Effects of short-term mechanical loads on the cracking of glass tubes in a 500-m-deep rock formation

Nicolas Barth, Yves Rémond, Frédéric Bumbieler, François Buscail, Aurélien Schwartz, Said Ahzi, Daniel George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To determine the reliability of deep geological repositories for radioactive waste, understanding the mechanical interactions between the host rock and structures is of great importance. Among repository concepts, high-level activity waste disposal cells consist of drilled underground horizontal microtunnels with a steel casing (0.9 m diameter). The French Andra's Underground Research Laboratory conducts ongoing research activities to characterize the casing reliability over an initial period of at least 100 years, for reversibility purposes. Several experiments are dedicated to short-term mechanical analyses of the 500-m-deep host rock formation. Due to the complex hydromechanical response of the rock to drilling, unintuitive mechanical loadings are observed in comparison with the surrounding lithostatic equilibrium stress state. In this work, these short-term mechanical loads applied on glass tubes inside a borehole are investigated. A finiteelement model is developed to predict adequate load scenarios, source of the anisotropic continuum damage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04018002
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018



  • Continuum damage mechanics (CDM)
  • Damage propagation characterization
  • Lithostatic stress
  • Nuclear waste repository
  • Underground research laboratory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this