Yield stress measurements of mud sediments using different rheological methods and geometries: An evidence of two-step yielding

Ahmad Shakeel*, Alex Kirichek, Claire Chassagne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Yield stress materials have a wide range of commercial applications. Yet, the suitable way of determining the yield stress values of a given material has been the subject of many studies and debates. Yield stresses are dependent on the material (shear) history and composition, which implies that robust protocols should be developed to study the yield stress dependence on a given parameter. In this study, three natural mud samples from a port having different densities were chosen for analysis. Four different geometries including concentric cylinders (Couette), cone and plate, parallel plates, and vane geometries were used. Our aim was to find the geometry and measurement protocol that best adapted to natural mud samples: the measurement should be reasonably fast and the major changes in sample structure (two-step yielding) should be recorded within the same measurement. Various rheological experiments such as stress sweep, oscillatory amplitude sweep, creep and stress growth tests were tested. Two-step yielding behavior was observed for the mud samples in stress sweep and amplitude sweep tests. The first yield point was linked with the breakage of interconnected network of aggregates/flocs while the second one was attributed to the collapse of aggregates into the smaller flocs or individual particles. Stress sweep tests proved to be practical, time efficient, and reliable tests for measuring yield stress values. Our study showed that Couette and parallel plate geometries are the most suitable geometries for analyzing the two yield stresses of the samples. Vane geometry is appropriate to study consolidated (solid-like) systems as for these samples a Couette geometry cannot be used because the bob could get stuck during the experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106247
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Geology
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Mud sediments
  • Oscillatory measurements
  • Rheology
  • Steady measurements
  • Two-step yielding
  • Yield stress


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