Repository logo

An apparatus for measuring nonlinear viscoelasticity of minerals at high temperature

Published version



Change log


Cao, Ri 
Hansen, Lars N 
Thom, Christopher A 


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 10−1 –102 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 the 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 aluminum and acrylic to previously published values. We outline a set of criteria defining the conditions over which this apparatus can precisely determine the attenuation and Young’s modulus of a sample based on the sample length and expected values of attenuation and Young’s modulus.



37 Earth Sciences, 40 Engineering, 3705 Geology

Journal Title

Review of Scientific Instruments

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



AIP Publishing


Publisher's own licence