Creep Behavior of Intact and Cracked Limestone Under Multi-Level Loading and Unloading Cycles

Yanlin Zhao, Lianyang Zhang, Weijun Wang, Wen Wan, Shuqing Li, Wenhao Ma, Yixian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


A series of triaxial creep tests were carried out on intact and cracked Maokou limestone specimens under multi-level loading and unloading cycles. A new data processing algorithm is proposed to analyze the experimental data and divide the total strain into instantaneous and creep strains, with the instantaneous strain consisting of instantaneous elastic and plastic strains and the creep strain consisting of viscoelastic and visco-plastic strains. The results show that the viscoelastic strain converges to a certain value with time, but the visco-plastic strain keeps increasing with time, although both tend to increase with higher deviatoric stress. The ratio of the visco-plastic strain to the total creep strain also tends to increase when the deviatoric stress is higher. The steady-state creep strain rate increases with higher deviatoric stress or lower confining pressure, and the relation between the steady-state creep strain rate and the deviatoric stress can be well described by an exponential expression. The results also show that the preexisting cracks in the limestone have a great effect on its creep properties. At the same confining pressure and deviatoric stress, the cracked limestone shows larger instantaneous and creep strains (especially visco-plastic strains), longer duration of primary creep, and a higher steady-state creep strain rate than the intact limestone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1409-1424
Number of pages16
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Creep behavior
  • Creep test
  • Maokou limestone
  • Multi-level loading and unloading cycles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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