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2- Rock Mechanics

References
Hudson, J. A., and Harrison, J. P. (2005): Engineering rock Mechanics
an introduction to the principles (4th Edi.),
Elsevier Ltd. (Pub.), Amsterdam, 457 P.
Hunt, R. E. (2005): Geotechnical Engineering Investigation Handbook
(2nd Edi.), Taylor & Francis Group (Pub.),
Boca Raton, 1033 P.
Mathewson, C. C. (1981): Engineering Geology, Charles, E. Merrill Co.
(Pub.), Columbus, Ohio, 450 P.

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What is Rock Mechanics?
Rock mechanics is a science that uses the principles of mechanics to
describe the behavior of rock for engineering purposes.
Rock Definitions
The Geological Definition of Rocks
Material of the Earth’s crust, composed of one or more minerals strongly
bonded together that are so little altered by weathering that the
fabric and the majority of the parent minerals are still present.

The Engineering Definition of Rocks


Rock is the hard and durable material that cannot be excavated without
blasting.
Or The earth materials that do not slake when soaked into water.

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Rock Groups and Classes
Geologic Bases

Based on their geologic aspects, rocks are grouped by origin as igneous,


sedimentary, and metamorphic, these rocks are classified
according to their petrographic characteristics, which include
their mineral content, texture, and fabric.

Geologists concern about the origin, classification, history, and the


economic aspects of rocks.

Rock Identification

Rocks are identified mostly by its texture; mineral composition; field


relationships; color; crystal size and crystal form, and other
petrographic characteristics.
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Engineering Considerations of Igneous Rocks

(1) Fine-grained of alkali igneous rocks cannot be used as aggregates in


Portland cement due to volume expansion caused by the Alkali-
silica reaction.

(2) Coarse-grained igneous rocks (e.g., granite, syenite, etc.) cannot be


used as aggregates in constructions because its low abrasion
resistance; but fine-grained igneous rocks (e.g., basalt) are good
for aggregates e.g., basalt as paving aggregates goes with asphalt.

(3) Siting of foundations needs to avoid weathered rocks (e.g., dams,


bridge piers, etc.).

(4) Igneous rocks are good for dimension stone (tombstone etc.) because
their resistance to weathering but need avoid fractures.

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Engineering Considerations of Sedimentary Rocks
(1) The sedimentary rocks also have the Alkali-silica reaction problem
when used as aggregates with Portland cement. The sedimentary
rocks with this problem are greywacke.

(2) Fine-grained sedimentary rocks like limestone and dolomite are the
best for being used as aggregates; siltstone, shale, conglomerate,
and quartz sandstone are not acceptable.

(3) Stream and terrace gravel contains weak pieces, they are not good for
aggregates in concrete.

(4) Coarse-grained limestone is not good for aggregates;

(5) Sinkhole problem in carbonate terrains due to the high dissolvability


of limestone and dolomite.

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Engineering Considerations of Metamorphic Rocks

(1) The metamorphic rocks also have the Alkali-silica reaction problem
when used as aggregates with Portland cement. The metamorphic
rocks with this problem are phyllite, impure quartzite, and granite
gneiss.

(2) Coarse-grained gneiss can be abraded severely when used as


aggregates.

(3) For metamorphic rocks the stability of rock mass greatly affected by
the foliation orientation.

(4) Marble as a metamorphic rock from carbonate sedimentary rocks can


cause similar problems, eg., leakage of reservoirs, sinkhole
collapse, solution cavities, and channels.
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Engineering Bases
On an engineering basis, rock is often referred to as either intact or in
situ.

Intact rock (rock substances or rock materials) refers to a block or


fragment of rock free of defects (discontinuities), in which its
hydraulic and mechanical properties are controlled by the
petrographic characteristics of the material, whether in the fresh or
decomposed state. Classification is based on its uniaxial
compressive strength and hardness.
Or It refers to the consolidated and cemented assemblage of mineral
particles form the intact blocks between discontinuities in the rock
mass.
Northwest
joint set

Northeast joint
set

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In situ rock (rock mass) refers to the rock mass that normally contains
defects (discontinuities), which separate the mass into blocks of
intact rock and control the hydraulic and mechanical properties.
Classification is based on rock quality, with the mass generally
termed as competent or incompetent.

Types of discontinuities: faults, dykes, joints, fractures, cavities,


bedding planes, cleavage planes, and foliation planes.

Rocks are significant for two major reasons in engineering:

(1) As building materials for constructions;

(2) As foundations on which the constructions are setting.


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Engineering properties of intact rock according to ISRM
( Brown, 1981)

Physical Properties
1- Water Content
2- Porosity
3- Density
4- Absorption
5- Abrasiveness by Los Angeles Machine
Percent loss = (material finer than 0.141 mm) / (original weight)

For highway construction, we need percent loss less than 35 –50 %.

Mechanical Properties
1- Strength
2- Elastic Modulus
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The strength of rock substances is divided into Uniaxial comp. strength

A- Compressive strength
1- uniaxial compressive strength qu = F / A

2- Schmidt Hammer
Schmidt Hammer

B- Tensile strength
1- Brazilian test
2- Point load test
T = 0.636 F/DK
K: thickness of specimen Point load test

Point Load index Ip = F / D2

C- Shear strength

τf = F / A
3
F: total shear force
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Schmidt Hammer
Compressive strength of rock surface (UCS) MPa
Kahraman (2001)
qu (MPa) = 6.97 e(0.014R ρ)

R: Schmidt hammer rebound


number,
ρ: rock density (gm/cm3),

Relationships between
rebound number and
UCS (After Deere and
Miller, 1966).
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Stress – strain relationship of any rock is
controlled to a large degree by the
mineralogy, bedding plane, banding and
other characteristics of rock structures
and fabric
Plastic Def.

Ductile Def. Ductile Def.

Plastic Def.

The difference between a brittle


material and a ductile
material.

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Engineering Classification of Intact Rock Based on Compressive and Tensile Strengths
ISRM (Brown, 1981)
Compressive Term Strength MPa
Strength Extremely weak rocks 0.25 – 1.0
Very weak rocks 1.0 – 5.0
Weak rocks 5.0 - 25.0
Medium strong rocks 25.0 – 50.0
Strong rocks 50.0 – 100.0
Very strong rocks 100.0 – 250.0
Extremely strong rocks > 250.0

Compressive
and Tensile
Strengths

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Field estimates of rock uniaxial compressive strength proposed by Hoek and Brown (1997).

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Elastic Modulus (Young’s Modulus)
Axial Young’s Modulus (E) is the ratio of the axial stress change to axial strain produce by the
stress change. τ
100%
A- Tangent Young’s modulus (Et)
B- Average Young’s modulus (Eav)
C- Secant Young’s modulus (Es) 50%
Δτ

Δσ
τ σ
τ
100% 100% Et =Δτ / Δσ

50%
Δτ
Δτ

σ Δσ σ
Δσ
Es =Δτ / Δσ Eav =Δτ / Δσ
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Classification of Young’s modulus (after Anon, 1979).

Young’s modulus

Using the ratio of Young’s modulus to the compressive strength


(Deformability) Et / qu
Classification of deformability (after Deere and Miller, 1966)

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Engineering classification of the igneous intact rocks
(After Deere and Miller, 1966).

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Engineering classification of the Sedimentary intact rocks
(After Deere and Miller, 1966).

Evaporites

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Engineering classification of the Metamorphic intact rocks
(After Deere and Miller, 1966).

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Engineering properties of rock mass according to ISRM
( Brown, 1981)

1- Mechanical Properties (intact rock)

2- Field observations (discontinuities description)

3- Core logging

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2- Field observations (discontinuities description)

The rock mass is described by the following items according to ISRM (Brown, 1981)
1- Orientation (Attitude of a discontinuity in space)
strike, dip direction, and dip amount
2- Spacing (perpendicular distance between adjacent discontinuities)
3- Persistence (a discontinuity trace length as observed in an exposure)
4- Roughness (inherent surface roughness and waviness of a discontinuity)
5- Wall strength (compressive strength of the adjacent rock walls of a discontinuity)
6- Aperture (perpendicular distance between adjacent rock walls of a discontinuity)
7- Filling (the filling materials that separate the adjacent rock walls of a discontinuity)
8- Seepage (water flow and free moisture visible in individual discontinuities or in the rock mass
as a whole)
9- Number of sets ( the number of the discontinuities sets)
10- Block size (rock block dimensions resulting from the mutual orientation of intersecting
discontinuities sets)
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Description

2- Spacing
Terminology for
discontinuity spacing
according to ISRM
(Brown, 1981)

< 20 mm

3 -Persistence
persistence
Terms for the description of one-
dimensional persistence persistence
according to ISRM (Brown, persistence
1981)
persistence

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4- Roughness

Small scale roughness profiles ( unevenness),


(after Hack and Price, 1995)
Large scale roughness profiles (Waviness),
(after Hack and Price, 1995)
Shear strength increase

Shear strength increase


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Joint Roughness Coefficient (JRC)
Amplitude of roughness, mm

Shear strength increase

Assessment of JRC from


amplitude of roughness
and length of joint profile
(Barton, 1982)

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Standard profiles for visual estimation of JRC
24
(Barton and Choubey, 1977)
ISRM (Brown, 1981)

τf / σ = tan (JRC log10 (JCS/σ) + Ф)

Фr : residual friction angle (Weathered wall), (25o -35o)


Фm: maximum friction angle (Fresh wall), (30o -70o)

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6- Aperture
Apertures classification according to ISRM (Brown, 1981)

Aperture Description
< 0.1 (mm) Very tight
0.1 – 0.25 (mm) Tight Closed
0.25 – 0.50 (mm) Partly open
0.50 – 2.50 (mm) Open
2.50 – 10.0 (mm) Moderately wide Gapped
> 10.0 (mm) Wide
1.0 – 10.0 (cm) Very wide
10.0 – 100.0 (cm) Extremely wide Open
> 100.0 (cm) Cavernous

7- Filling materials
Mineral composition, grain or crystal size, strength, water content,
permeability, soil index properties, weathering grade and
swelling potentiality.
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8- Seepage Seepage description according to ISRM (Brown, 1981)

Un-filling discontinuities Filling discontinuities

Seepage Seepage
Description Description
rate rate
The discontinuity is very tight and dry,
The filling materials are heavily
I and water flow along it does not appear I
consolidate and dry.
possible.

The discontinuity is dry with no evidence The filling materials are wet , but no
II II
of water flow. free water is present

The discontinuity is dry with evidence of The filling materials are wet , occasional
III III
water flow. drops of water

The discontinuity is wet but no free The filling materials show signs of
IV IV
water is present. outwash, continuous flow of water.

The discontinuity shows seepage, The filling materials are washed out
V occasional drops of water, but no V locally, considerable water flow along
continuous flow. out- wash channels.
The filling materials are washed out
The discontinuity shows a continuous
VI VI completely and show a continuous flow
flow of water.
of water.
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Tunnel wall
Seepage rate Description
I Dry wall and roof, no detectable seepage.
II Minor seepage, specify dripping discontinuities.
III Medium inflow, specify discontinuities with continuous flow.
IV Major inflow, specify discontinuities with strong flows.

V Very high inflow, specify discontinuities with very strong flows.

9- Number of sets
10- Block size
Northwest joint set
Block size description , Anon (1977)
Very large > 8 m3

Northeast joint set Large 0.2 – 8 m3


Medium 0.008 – 0.2 m3
Small 0.0002 - 0.008 m3

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Very small < 0.0002 m3 28
3- Core logging

1- Total Core Recovery (TCR)


2- Discontinuity Frequency (F)
3- Rock Quality Designation (RQD)

1- Total Core Recovery (TCR)


(TCR) is the ratio of the length of core
recovered to the length of drilled

2- Discontinuity Frequency (F)


(F) is the number of natural
discontinuities intersecting a unit
length of recovered core.

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3- Rock Quality Designation (RQD)

Deere, (1968)

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RMR classification

The following six parameters are used to classify a rock mass using the RMR system:

1. Uniaxial compressive strength of rock material.


2. Rock Quality Designation (RQD).
3. Spacing of discontinuities.
4. Condition of discontinuities.
5. Groundwater conditions.
6. Orientation of discontinuities.

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Rock Mass Rating System (After Bieniawski, 1989).

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