Estimating compressive and flexural strength of travertines with respect to laminae-orientation by geomechanical properties

  • G. R. Khanlari
  • F. Naseri
  • D. M. Freire-Lista
Original Paper


Travertine is an anisotropic rock considered as one of the most popular stone materials in the building industry. Due to its bedding and lamination planes, the determination of rock strength properties regarding anisotropic orientation is a critical issue. In this research, different techniques were applied to estimate the compressive and flexural strengths of four types of travertines, selected from Hamedan and Markazi Provinces located in the west and central parts of Iran. For this purpose, after sample preparation and assessment of mineral composition, fabric (texture and structure) and pore characteristics (pore shape and pore sizes), the selected samples were characterized using physical and mechanical tests. These properties were evaluated with respect to two major anisotropic orientations (perpendicular and parallel to the bedding/lamination axis). Statistical analyses, including simple and multiple linear regressions, were utilized to correlate physical and mechanical parameters with compressive and flexural strength, and to establish some new equations. Based on the test results, it can be concluded that the percentage/type of matrix and porosity have a more important effect on the physical and mechanical properties than the rock structure. Data analysis in simple regression shows that bulk specific gravity (saturated surface dry) and Brazilian tensile strength are the most and least influential factors on compressive strength at perpendicular and parallel directions, respectively. In addition, effective porosity and Brazilian tensile strength are the most and least influential factors on flexural strength at both directions, respectively. Based on best subset multiple regression method, one or two equations were extracted for calculating compressive and flexural strength in the perpendicular and parallel directions. Also, pore shape factor and pore radius were used as independent parameters in multiple regression to establish some new equations for predicting compressive and flexural strength considering cutting directions. These parameters have more influence on flexural strength than compressive strength, because the parameters show significant correlation with flexural strength. Consequently, the results of statistical analyses show that the proposed equations are not necessarily composed of parameters with the higher/stronger determination coefficient in simple regression. Therefore, prediction studies not only offer some rational approaches, they also give a better insight into the main factors determining rock strength.


Travertine Bedding plane Cutting direction Petrographical characteristics Geomechanical properties Multiple regression 



This study was financed by the University of Bu-Ali Sina, department of geology. Our special thanks are offered to Mr. H.R. Mirzaiee (the chief of Sajad Stone Factory) who provided and cut the studied travertine blocks in the desired sizes. We would like to thank Dr. H. Mohsseni (Associated Professor in Sedimentary Geology) and S. Rahmani (PhD candidate in sedimentary geology) for their valuable suggestions on the petrography of the studied rocks.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. R. Khanlari
    • 1
  • F. Naseri
    • 1
  • D. M. Freire-Lista
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of SciencesBu-Ali Sina UniversityHamedanIran
  2. 2.Instituto de Geociencias IGEO (CSIC, UCM) Spanish Research Council CSICComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain

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