The drying-wetting cycles caused by operation of the Three Gorges Reservoir have considerable effect on the deterioration of reservoir bank rock mass, and the degradation of reservoir rock mass by the drying-wetting cycle is becoming obvious and serious along with the periodic operation. At present, the strength of the rock prediction research mainly focuses on the uniaxial strength, and few studies consider the drying-wetting effect and confining pressure. Therefore, in this paper, typical sandstone from a reservoir bank in the Three Gorges Reservoir area is taken as the research object, while the drying-wetting cycle test, wave velocity test and strength test are carried out for the research on the strength prediction of sandstone under the action of the drying-wetting cycle. The results show that the ultrasonic wave velocity Vp
of the sandstone has an exponential function relation with the drying-wetting cycle number n
, and the initial stage of drying-wetting cycles has the most significant influence on the wave velocity. Under different confining pressures, the compressive strength of sandstone decreases linearly with the increase of the drying-wetting cycle numbers, and the plastic deformation increases gradually. The damage variable of the sandstone has a power function relation with the increase of drying-wetting cycle numbers. A traditional strength prediction model based on P-wave velocity was established combined with the damage theory and Lemaitre strain equivalence hypothesis; in view of the defects of the traditional strength prediction model, a modified model considering both the drying-wetting cycle number and confining pressures was proposed, where the calculated results of the modified model are closer to the test strength value, and the prediction error is obviously decreased. This indicated that the modified model considering the drying-wetting cycle number and confining pressure is reasonable and feasible.
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