An apparatus for measuring nonlinear viscoelasticity of minerals at high temperature

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Ri Cao, Lars Hansen, Christopher A. Thom, David Wallis


We describe a high-temperature, uniaxial creep apparatus designed to investigate nonlinear attenuation of materials over a wide range of temperatures (25–1300°C) using forced oscillations combined with a bias stress. This apparatus is primarily designed for investigation of minerals and rocks with high melting temperatures. An oscillatory compressional stress is used to determine attenuation and Young’s modulus at frequencies of 0.01 to 100 Hz and high stress amplitudes (>0.1 MPa). Large bias stresses are applied in addition to the oscillatory stresses such that attenuation tests are conducted simultaneously with ongoing creep.

The complex compliance of the apparatus was characterized by conducting calibration tests on orientated crystals of sapphire. The real part of the apparatus compliance exhibits a dependence on sample length and frequency, whereas the imaginary part is only dependent on frequency. The complex compliance is not dependent on the oscillation amplitude or the bias stress. We assess the accuracy and precision of this calibration by comparing measurements of the attenuation and Young’s modulus of stainless steel, aluminum, and acrylic to previously published values. We outline a set of criteria defining the conditions over which this apparatus can accurately determine the attenuation and Young’s modulus of a sample based on the sample length and expected values of attenuation and Young’s modulus.



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


transient creep, amplitude-dependent attenuation, apparatus compliance, Keywords: viscoelasticity


Published: 2020-10-30 16:48

Last Updated: 2020-10-30 23:48


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:

Data Availability (Reason not available):
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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