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The mechanical and microstructural behaviour of calcite-dolomite composites: An experimental investigation

Kushnir, ARL; Kennedy, LA; Misra, S; Benson, P; White, JC; (2015) The mechanical and microstructural behaviour of calcite-dolomite composites: An experimental investigation. Journal of Structural Geology , 70 pp. 200-216. 10.1016/j.jsg.2014.12.006. Green open access

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Abstract

The styles and mechanisms of deformation associated with many variably dolomitized limestone shear systems are strongly controlled by strain partitioning between dolomite and calcite. Here, we present experimental results from the deformation of four composite materials designed to address the role of dolomite on the strength of limestone. Composites were synthesized by hot isostatic pressing mixtures of dolomite (Dm) and calcite powders (% Dm: 25%-Dm, 35%-Dm, 51%-Dm, and 75%-Dm). In all composites, calcite is finer grained than dolomite. The synthesized materials were deformed in torsion at constant strain rate (3 × 10−4 and 1 × 10−4 s−1), high effective pressure (262 MPa), and high temperature (750 °C) to variable finite shear strains. Mechanical data show an increase in yield strength with increasing dolomite content. Composites with <75% dolomite (the remaining being calcite), accommodate significant shear strain at much lower shear stresses than pure dolomite but have significantly higher yield strengths than anticipated for 100% calcite. The microstructure of the fine-grained calcite suggests grain boundary sliding, accommodated by diffusion creep and dislocation glide. At low dolomite concentrations (i.e. 25%), the presence of coarse-grained dolomite in a micritic calcite matrix has a profound effect on the strength of composite materials as dolomite grains inhibit the superplastic flow of calcite aggregates. In high (>50%) dolomite content samples, the addition of 25% fine-grained calcite significantly weakens dolomite, such that strain can be partially localized along narrow ribbons of fine-grained calcite. Deformation of dolomite grains by shear fracture is observed; there is no intracrystalline deformation in dolomite irrespective of its relative abundance and finite shear strain.

Type: Article
Title: The mechanical and microstructural behaviour of calcite-dolomite composites: An experimental investigation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2014.12.006
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsg.2014.12.006
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098157
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