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Rock at Great Depth, Maury & Fourmaintraux (eds), 1989 Balkema, Rotterdam.

ISBN 906191975 4
Parameters controlling rock indentation
Parametres del'action d'une dent d'outil sur les roches
Parameter zur Gesteinseinkerbung
M.Thiercelin
Schlumberger Cambridge Research, Cambridge, UK
ABSTRACT: The influence of confining pressure on the indentation response of rocks is analyzed.
Special attention is given to shales which often cause problems during drilling. To take into
account the influence of failure mechanisms during indentation, two indentation parameters are
defined. The first one measures the non-localized deformation under the tooth; in shales, its
value is predicted bya rigid-plastic theory. The second parameter measures the deformation
related to highly localized mechanisms. This parameter is dominant at lowconfining pressure.
It cannot be predicted bya continuum formulation.
INTRODUCTION
Field observable changes in drilling
response which are related to changes in rock
mechanical properties and environmental
<onditions are measured in rocks (Falconer
et al , 1988). Therefore, one might expect
to obtain information on the lithology
being drilled, or on anyother relevant
in-si tu parameters such as pore pressure
in shales, from an interpretation of the
drilling response of bits. Models have
already been developed in order to calculate
state of the bit and formation strength from
a real-time interpretation of the rate of
penetration and bit torque (Winter et al,
1987; Falconer et al, 1988). However, due
to a lack of knowledge of the understanding
of the mechanisms which are involved in the
rOck fragmentation under the bit teeth,
these models use empirical parameters
I/hich cannot always satisfactorily provide
lnformation on intrinsic rock properties.
Anunderstanding of the failure mechanisms
I/hich occur during indentation is needed to
determine the fundamental parameters which
Control the drilling process. In particular,
the determination of the influence of rock
Properties and differential pressure (the mud
pressure minus the far-field pore pressure) on
the indentation parameters is recognized
to be a keysubj ect due to its application
to measurement while drilling. Gnirk and
Cheatham (1963) , Maurer (1965), and Gnirk and
Cheatham (1965) have demonstrated that the
indentation response of rocks is a function
of conf ining pressure. However, their
studies provided little information on shale
behaviour, though shales often cause problems
during drilling. It is the main purpose
of this study to describe the behaviour of
shale during indentation and to compare its
behaviour with that of other rocks.
ROCKPROPERTIES
Three rocks have been selected for this study:
Carrara marble, a Lower Jurassic shale, and an
Upper Jurassic shale. Results from Gnirk and
Cheatham (1965) on Indiana Limestone are also
reported. The Lower Jurassic shale has been
tested both dry and saturated.
Carrara marble, and Indiana limestone
contain mainly calcite. The Lower Jurassic
shale and Upper Jurassic shale contain
respectively 51Xand 40Xclay, primarily
illite and kaolinite, 35Xand 32Xquartz,
and 5Xand 15Xcalcite. Dueto the mineralogic
composition of these Jurassic shales, the
influence of the chemical environment on their
85
Table 1
Material properties
Lithology poros. E Uu
% MPa MPa
Carrara marble 0.7 20.700 84.0
Indiana limestone 31.0
L. Jur. shale, dry" 8.0 3.200 55.0
L. Jur. shale, sat." 8.0 2.400 17.5
U. Jur. shale" 13.0 1,200 20.0
properties normal to bedding plane.
mechanical behaviour is expected to be very
limi ted. The permeabili t:yof the shales is in
the order of nanoDarcies. Porosity, Young's
modulus at: at:mospheric pressure and uniaxial
str engt h are shown on tabLe 1. Triaxial tests
were carried out to determine the failure
envelope.
EXPERIMENT ALPROCEDURE
The equipment used to indent rock samples
under confining pressure comprised a 200
kNLnst.r on mechanical testing machine, a
confining cell, a servo-controlled confining
pressure system and a servo-controlled pore
pressure sys tem, The cell applied a confining
pressure and pore pressure (upto 60MPa)to
a 6inch diameter sample. The simulated mud
pressure which was applied to the top surface
of the sample was equal to the conf ining
pressure (figure 1).
The samples were protected from
contamination bythe confining fluid on
their curved surface bya rubber jacket and
on the surface to be indented bya silicone
visco-elastic putty.
Specific procedures were followed to test
the saturated shale under effective confining
pressure. The high value of the Skempton B
parameter measured in Jurassic shales means
that the application of confining pressure
generates pore pressure close to the confining
pressure. Therefore, the shales had to be
drained in order to achieve high values of
effective stress. To prevent unrealistic
drainage times in these lowpermeability
rocks, four drainage holes 2.5 inch long
and 0.2 inch in diameter were drilled along
the axis of the cores, from their bases, to
within one inch of the indentation surface.
The cores were mounted on a permeable disc.
allowing connection of the drainage holes to
the pore pressure control system. Even with
this set-up. the drainage time to achieve a
uniform pore pressure through a sample was at:
least: 14hours.
The shales were always saturated during
storage and core preparation. To perform
experiments on dry shales. cores were placed
in an oven at 70degree Celsius for several
days. Rocks were indented normally to one
surface at a constant displacement rate
of 1rom/min. Dueto sample variability, a
large number of tests had to be performed on
the saturated shales to obtain conclusive
results.
chamber
specimen
Bnud
jacket
Figure 1: The indent:at ion cell.
LOADPENETRATION CURVESANDFAILURE
MECHANISMS
The load penetration curves obtained during
indentation of these rocks are similar to
those described byMaurer (1965). Cheatham
and Gnirk (1966) and Sikarskie and Cheatham
(1974). At atmospheric pressure. the curves
have a sharply varying slope due to unloading
portions (figure 2). In the literature
this behaviour is called' 'predominantly
bri ttle behaviour' '. Each drop in the load
corresponds to the complete formation of a
chip which is broken free from the specimen.
During loading. the load is often a linear
funct ion of the penet:rat ion.
This "brittle behaviour' , will disappear
progressively with an increase of confining
86
pressure. Eventually, at high confining
pressure, a "ductile behaviour" is
observed, which is characterized bya
monotonic load-displacement curve (figure 3) .
1.0
0.9
0.8
0.7
~ 0.6
:; 0.5
<U
.20.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.0
0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0
displacement in mm
Figure 2: Load displacement curve of the
Lower Jurassic shale at atmospheric pressure.
Thefailure mechanisms associated with
these macroscopic behaviours are various and
Complex. In the limestones and at atmospheric
pressure, most of the anelastic deformation
whichoccurs during the loading phase,
takes place in a zone surrounding the tip
of the wedge, where the material is crushed
(Reichmuth, 1963). Tensile microcracking,
crUshing, compaction, and microscopic
Slippage are observed in the anelastic
zone of porous limestones (Thiercelin and
Cook, 1988). Chips correspond to another
modeof deformat ion. Theyare formed by
the propagation of tensile cracks. These
macroscopic tensile cracks are initiated in
the material surrounding the crushed zone and
propagate through intact material.
In the shales, the failure mechanisms are
different (Thiercelin and Cook. 1988). The
deformations are mainly localized along shear
bands and shear cracks, although macroscopic
tensile cracks nucleate close to the rock
surface from the tip of the shear cracks. A
crUshed zone is not observed. However, the
shear cracks are certainly the result of
Strain localization in an anelastic zone.
Under confining pressure, a combination
Of intense anelastic deformation which is
non-localized at a macroscopic level, and
shear cracks, are observed in the marble
and the shales. Surface bulging is produced
around the indentor, rather than discrete
chips. Macroscopically. itbecomes difficult
to differentiate between the deformation
related to the macroscopic shear cracks and
the non-localized anelastic deformation.
Indiana Limestone behaves quite differently
under confining pressure. Cheathamand Gnirk
(1966) observed that the rock deforms mainly
bycompaction.
5.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
4.0
3.0
2.0
1.0
0.0
0.0 5.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0
displacement in mm
Figure 3: Load displacement curve for the
Lower Jurassic shale at 10MPaeffective
confining pressure.
INDENTATION PARAMETERS
Indentation parameters are required to
compare the experimental results with
theories. Elasto-plastic theories are
commonlyused to predict the indentation
response. In ductile metals, the slope of
the load-penetration curve characterizes
the indentation response (Hill, 1950). In
rocks, wehave seen that a linear relationship
between load and penetration is either
related to non-localized deformations
at a macroscopic level or to frictional
mechanisms: meanwhile the unloading portion
is always related to highly localized
deformations. Therefore the author proposes
that only the linear loading portion of the
load-penetra,.tion curves can be described
byan elasto-plastic formulation. To study
87
the non-localized deformation independently
of the highly localized deformation, two
relevant parameters are proposed. The first
one is related to the linear loading portion
of the load displacement curve and the
second one describes the brittleness of the
indentation response.
Thefirst parameter is the meanpressure
Pm acting normal to the original specimen
surf ace. Themeanpressure has been def ined
in the literature for ideal plastic materials
which exhibit a linear load penetration curve
whenindented bya sharp wedge (Johnston,
1985). For thas e materials, the meanpressure
is:
Pm = F(u)j5(u) (1)
where:
F(u) is the load;
5(u) is the tooth cross-section at the
original specimen surface.
5(u) is a furicti.on of the displacement; and the
geometry of the tooth. It is gi ven by:
5(u) = 2wtan(a)u
where:
u is the depth of penetr at ion:
a is the semi-angle of the wedge;
w is the width of the wedge.
Therefore the meanpressure becomes:
J(
Pm =
2wtan(a)
where J( is the slope of the load penetration
curve.
However, at lowconf ining pressure the
load penetration curve is piecewise linear
in rocks. To keepthe notion of measuring
a plastic deformation, wedefine the mean
pressure as
( 8F(u) 1
Pm u) = 8u 2wtan(a)
on the loading portions which are linear. The
meanpressure can be understood as a hardness.
In pratice, one can assume that the mean
pressure is independent of the penetration.
To quantify the complete load displacement
curve an indentation strength (or effective
hardness) is proposed:
1 loU
am = 2 () F( v) dv
w u tan a 0
(5)
where:
u the depth of penetration;
w the width of the wedge;
a the semi -angle of the wedge.
The computation of am is based on the work
done during the indentation. W e often found
that am is independent of the penetrat ion.
However this parameter is still a function
of the meanpressure. To have a better
measurement of the localized deformation
under the tooth, wedefine the following
parameter:
'"Y = Pm - l.
am
(6)
(2)
With this definition '"Y is equal to zero if
the indentation response is ductile. It is a
measure of the bri ttLenass of the indentation
response.
COMPARISON BETWEEN THEORYANDEXPERIMENTS
(3)
To demonstrat;e that the meanpressure can
be predicted bya plastic formulation,
experimental results are compared with an
analytical solution developed byCheatham
(1958) for a perfectly plastic material
following a Mohrfailure criterion. Cheatham
obtained the following solutions:
1. for a smooth, perfectly lubricated
tooth-rock interf ace:
1
Pm =(ap - ac) -2 . '"
5111 '
{(1+sin </e
2atan
< / > - (1- sin </} (7)
where:
(4)
a is the semi-angle of the tooth;
< / > the angle of internal friction of
the rock;
a
p
the peak strength of the rock at a
particular confining pressure;
a
c
the confining pressure.
88
Table 2
Material properties
Lithology q
MPa
90.
52.
57.
23.
35.

degree
29.
28.
21.
22.
19.
Carrara marble
Indiana limestone
L. Jur. shale, dry'
L. Jur. shale, sat.'
U. Jurassic shale'
properties normal to bedding plane.
2. for a perfectly rough tooth-rock
interface:
1- sin
Pm =((7p - (7c) 2costana
{( 1+ ~:::~) (1+sin )e
W
- ~~~~} (8)
where w =2(a +f+~) tan
Toobtain a prediction fromthe analytical
solution, MohrCoulombfailure parameters
(the uniaxial strength and the internal angle
of friction) are determined for triaxial
testing results. TheMohrfailure criterion
is:
11"
(71 =q +tan(- +- ) (73
4 2
q is the intercept of the curve at zero
conr ining pressure. Onlythe port ion of the
failure curve which is a linear function
of the confining pressure was used to
determine the parameters. Therefore, q
is not necessarily equal to the uniaxial
strength of the material. However, under the
confining pressures tested (upto 100MPa)
the rocks selected for the study follow such
a criterion. The results of the determination
are shownon table 2.
Acomparison of meanpressures (measured at
atmospheric pressure) with the meanpressure
predicted using the MohrCoulombanalytical
solutions is shownon table 3. Thebehaviour
of the Lower Jurassic 2shale was too brittle
at atmospheric pressure to allowus to measure
.its meanpressure. It is observed that, if
one assumes a perfectly rough tooth-rock
interface, the prediction is good for the
Saturated shales and Indiana limestone, and
Underestimated for Carrara marble.
Comparisons between the prediction and the
measurement of the meanpressure as a function
of the confining pressure are shownon figures
4, 5, 6, and 7. Thevariability of results in
shale is clearly observed and it is typical of
indentation tests. It reflects not only the
sample variability, but also the difficulty of
measuring a single value of the meanpressure
from indentation curves.
500
450
l1:l
400
c,
~ 350
c
Q) 300
:5
(J )
250
(J )
Q)
Ci.200
c
~ 150
~ 100
50
o
- 5 o 5 10 15 20
Effective pressure in MPa
25
(9)
Figure 4: Meanpressure as a function of
confining pressure for Lower Jurassic shale,
saturated. Comparison of experiment (0) with
prediction (-----).
700
rf. 600
~
c 500
Q)
:5
l:l 400
Q)
Ci.300
c
l1:l
~ 200
100
800
o
o 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Effective pressure in MPa
Figure 5: Meanpressure as a function of
confining pressure for Lower Jurassic shale,
dry. Comparison of experiment (0) with
prediction (------).
89
2000
1750
<ll
1500
a..
~
.!:
1250
Q)
:J
1000
rJl
rJl
Q)
a.
750
c:
<ll
Q)
500
~
250
o
o 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Effective pressure in MPa
Figure 6: Mean pressure as a function
of confining pressure for Carrara marble.
Comparison of experiment (0) with prediction
(- - ).
2000
1750
<ll
1500
a..
~
c:
1250
Q)
:J
1000
rJl
rJl
Q)
a.
750
c:
<ll
Q)
500
~
250
agrees with the measurement only at confining
pressure higher than 10HPa. However. this
apparent agreement maybe due to sample
variability.
Figures 8and 9showthe brittleness of
the indentation as a function of confining
pressure for the saturated shale and the
Carrara Marble.
4.0
rJl
rJl
Q)
c:
3.0 Q)
:E
.0
2.0
6. 0
5.0
1.0
..
..
o
o 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Effective pressure in MPa
0.0
- 5 0 5 10 15 20 25
Effective confining pressure in MPa
Figure 8: Brittleness as a function of
confining pressure for Lower Jurassic shale.
saturated.
rJl
~ 4.0
c:
Q)
E 3.0
:g
Figure 7: Mean pressure as a function of 2.0
confining pressure for Indiana limestone.
Comparison of experiment (0) with prediction 1.0
(- - ).
Thepredictions are good for the shales.
though at high confining pressures they
are better for the dry shale than for the
saturated shale. This is not the case for the
Indiana Limestone in which the meanpressure
is almost independent of the confining
pressure. For the marble. the prediction
7.0
6. 0
5.0
0.0
- 5 5 15 25 35 45
Effective confining pressure in MPa
Figure 9: Bri ttleness as a function of
confining pressure for Carrara marble.
It is found that the experimental values
tend to an' asymptote. In theory. the
90
br ittleness should tend to zero. These
curves allow us to determine the transition
pressure from a brittle behaviour to a ductile
behaviour. This pressure is obtained once the
br ittleness of the indentation response is no
longer a function of the effective confining
pressure. The transition pressure is quite
lowfor the shale, being around 4MPa. It is of
the order of 30MPafor the Carrara Marble.
DISCUSSION
AMohrFailure criterion predicts relatively
well the response of the shales, even
at atmospheric pressure. This is a good
indication that the meanpressure reflects
the macroscopic plastic behaviour of the rock
Under the tooth, at least for shales and at the
~isPlacement rate tested. Themeanpressure
as controlled bythe uniaxial strength of
the rock, internal friction and the initial
Value of the effective confining pressure.
Use of the meanpressure instead of the
trend of the actual curve (i. e. a parameter
equivalent to the effective hardness defined
in equation (5)) which was used in previous
~ork (Gnirk and Cheatham (1963,1965))
lrnproves the quanti tati ve agreement between
the experimental results and the theory.
Evensaturated shales indented at 1mm/min
fOllowthe perfect plasticity prediction.
Oneof the unknowns during the saturated shale
experiments is the behaviour of the saturating
flUid. Fromthis study the agreement between
the theory and the experiments maymean
ei ther that the shale behaviour is drained
at the penetration rate tested. or that
the actual response is similar to a drained
response. The influence of penetration rate
on shale indentation response (Cook and
Thiercelin, 1989) did not allow us to obtain
moredefinitive conclusions about the pore
fluid behaviour during indentation.
Agood prediction is also achieved for
Carrara marble for pressures higher than
10MPa. However. a larger number of tests
ls reqUired to reduce the influence of
sample variability on the interpretation.
Indentation of Indiana limestone does not
fOllowsuch a criterion. Onecan expect that
the compaction of the rock under the tooth is
the Controlling mechanism. To predict the
value of the meanpressure for such a rock.
elasto-plastic models taking into account
compaction during plastic deformation are
Table 3
Comparison between prediction and
experimental results at atmospheric pressure.
The tooth angle is 40degree except for the
Indiana Limestone (60degree) .
Lithology smooth rough
MPa MPa
155. 787.
113. 403.
90. 340.
37. 143.
54. 192.
Carrara marble
Indiana limestone
L. Jur. shale. dry
L. Jur. shale, sat.
U. Jur. shale, sat.
exper.
MPa
1690.
351.
brittle
159.
210.
more appropriate than perfect plasticity.
The brittleness of the indentation response
allows us to define accurately the transition
pressure from a brittle behaviour to a ductile
behaviour. This transition is especially
lowfor the shale tested. This parameter
is more sensitive to the confining pressure
than the meanpressure in the brittle regime.
Therefore one can expect this parameter to be
dominant in rotary drilling at loweffective
mudpressure. Unfortunately. even if the mean
pressure can be easily related to intrinsic
rock parameters. this is not the case for
the brittleness. In rotary drilling. the
brittleness of the indentation is not only
a function of rock properties, but also of
mudproperties, penetration rates and tooth
properties.
CONCLUSION
This study has shownthat the indentation
response of rocks can be described bytwo
parameters: the meanpressure. which is
described byan elasto-plastic theory. and the
bri ttleness of the indentation response which
measures the influence of highly localized
deformations. In shales. the meanpressure
is predicted bya perfect plasticity approach,
assuming a Mohrfailure criterion. In porous
limestones one must take into account the
large variation of volume occuring under the
tooth to obtain an accurate prediction.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The author wishes to thank the management of
Schlumberger for permission to publish this
paper.
91
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