Mechanical Tests on Pervasively Jointed Rock Material: Insight into Rock Mass Behaviour
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- Ribacchi, R. Rock Mech Rock Engng (2000) 33: 243. doi:10.1007/s006030070002
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In the exploration phase for the design of an underground cavern in a limestone formation a large number of triaxial compression tests were carried out on laboratory specimens which were characterized by a variable degree of fracturing. The data were analyzed to investigate the influence of fracture intensity and of confining stress on the mechanical parameters. In particular, investigations focused on the relationships between the parameters of the strength criteria, respectively in residual and peak conditions, on the decay of the Young modulus with stress level in the prepeak phase of the test, and on the brittleness of the rock in the postpeak phase. The tested rock can be considered as a small-scale model of a jointed rock mass, and the laboratory data therefore provide useful insight into the mechanical behaviour of rock masses, especially the relationships between residual and peak strength parameters, which are required in many analytical models and in numerical codes for the analysis of underground excavations.