Biotite Nanoindentation Data
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Phyllosilicate minerals, due to their sheets structure and morphology, are known to cause anisotropy in bulk rock properties and make the bulk rock more compliant. Accurately characterizing the micromechanical behavior of phyllosilicate minerals from laboratory observations, which eventually translates to the bulk rock behavior, is still challenging due to their fine-grained nature. Recent advances in atomistic simulations open the possibility of theoretically investigating such mineral mechanical behavior. We compare the elastic properties of biotites recovered by spherical nanoindentation with those predicted from density functional theory (DFT) simulations to investigate to what extent theoretical predictions reproduce actual phyllosilicate properties. Spherical nanoindentation was conducted using schist rocks from Poorman Formation, South Dakota, USA, to recover continuous indentation stress-strain curves. Loading in the layer-normal orientation shows an average indentation modulus (𝑀) of about 35 GPa, while loading in the layer-parallel orientation gives a higher average of about 95 GPa. To facilitate comparison, the elastic stiffness constants (cij) determined from DFT were converted to indentation modulus (𝑀) using solutions proposed in this study. The majority of the nanoindentation modulus results are below the values inferred from the simulation results representing ideal defect-free minerals. We suggest that crystal defects present at the nano-scale, potentially ripplocations, are the dominant cause of the lower indentation modulus recovered from nanoindentation compared to those inferred from DFT simulations. Results highlight the importance of acknowledging the defects that exist down to the nano-scale as it modifies the mechanical properties of phyllosilicates compared to its pure defect-free form.
Research Subject Categories::NATURAL SCIENCES::Earth sciences::Endogenous earth sciences::Solid earth geology and petrology
Research Subject Categories::NATURAL SCIENCES::Earth sciences::Endogenous earth sciences::Mineralogy
Research Subject Categories::NATURAL SCIENCES::Earth sciences::Endogenous earth sciences::Solid earth physics
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