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Authors: Di Stefano, Giuseppe* 
Collettini, Cristiano* 
Carpenter, Brett* 
Mollo, Silvio* 
Romeo, Giovanni* 
Scarlato, Piergiorgio* 
Tesei, Telemaco* 
Vinciguerra, Sergio* 
Title: A new biaxial apparatus integrated within a pressure vessel to test the physical properties of brittle rock: the state-of-the-art
Issue Date: 16-Aug-2012
Keywords: bi-axial
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.01. Earth Interior::04.01.04. Mineral physics and properties of rocks 
Abstract: A main goal of the European Research Council, Starting Grant, GLASS (InteGrated Laboratories to investigate the mechanics of ASeismic vs Seismic faulting), is to develop a prototype rock deformation biaxial apparatus to examine the physical properties of brittle rocks. Two layers of fault rock are sandwiched between three steel block by a normal load applied using a horizontal oil-dynamics piston. A vertical oil-dynamics piston pushes the internal rock sample of the sandwich in order to slide at constant velocity. With GLASS we are going to build-up a confining pressure around the rock samples under load stress (tri-axial mode) and to measure the fluid flow properties of the rock during the deformation. Working in tri-axial mode with a fluid circulation, the machine is able to measure and to characterize frictional properties of faults on the sample for a wide spectrum of realistic conditions. We have concurrently been working to improve the control and the acquisition system for having a machine very flexible and easy to use for several applications and capable to detect different signals on the rock during frictional sliding in a fluid-rich environment with the goal of comparing these signals to those observed in nature. We began designing the servo controlled machine in October 2010 and have recently installed the apparatus in the HP-HT lab at the INGV in Rome. First tests of this biaxial apparatus confirm the main target of the project.
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