Abstract

The need to exploit further a number of potentially important energy resources has necessitated a better understanding of the behaviour of rock at elevated temperatures. This paper describes a testing facility capable of testing medium sized cylindrical rock specimens under confining pressures to 140 MPa, pore pressures to 105 MPa, axial loads to 2.67 MN and sample temperatures to 400°C. Descriptions are given of the procedures and techniques used in the test facility to carry out triaxial compression tests, permeability and thermal conductivity tests, and measurements of the coefficient of linear thermal expansion. Data for a granite and a sandstone are given and discussed briefly in order to illustrate the wide-ranging capability of the test facility to meet many of the perceived needs for research into the thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of rock.

In addition to these basic types of test, an example is given of the use of the test facility to simulate in situ conditions in order to observe the response of the rock to engineering procedures.

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