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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2018, Article ID 7845143, 13 pages
Research Article

Experimental Investigation of Sandstone under Cyclic Loading: Damage Assessment Using Ultrasonic Wave Velocities and Changes in Elastic Modulus

1Key Laboratory of Deep Coal Resource Mining, Ministry of Education of China, School of Mines, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221116, China
2Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, G3 Center and Energy Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Nong Zhang; moc.361@gnongnahzforp

Received 2 November 2017; Revised 23 February 2018; Accepted 11 March 2018; Published 11 April 2018

Academic Editor: Emanuele Reccia

Copyright © 2018 Sen Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This laboratory study investigated the damage evolution of sandstone specimens under two types of cyclic loading by monitoring and analyzing changes in the elastic moduli and the ultrasonic velocities during loading. During low-level cyclic loading, the stiffness degradation method was unable to describe the damage accumulations but the ultrasonic velocity measurements clearly reflected the damage development. A crack density parameter is introduced in order to interpret the changes in the tangential modulus and the ultrasonic velocities. The results show the following. (1) Low-level cyclic loading enhanced the anisotropy of the cracks. This results from the compression of intergranular clay minerals and fatigue failure. (2) Irreversible damage accumulations during cyclic loading with an increasing upper stress limit are the consequence of brittle failure in the sandstone’s microstructure.