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16.06.2015 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 3/2016

Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering 3/2016

Experimental Studies on the Mechanical Behaviour of Rock Joints with Various Openings

Zeitschrift:
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering > Ausgabe 3/2016
Autoren:
Y. Li, J. Oh, R. Mitra, B. Hebblewhite

Abstract

The mechanical behaviour of rough joints is markedly affected by the degree of joint opening. A systematic experimental study was conducted to investigate the effect of the initial opening on both normal and shear deformations of rock joints. Two types of joints with triangular asperities were produced in the laboratory and subjected to compression tests and direct shear tests with different initial opening values. The results showed that opened rock joints allow much greater normal closure and result in much lower normal stiffness. A semi-logarithmic law incorporating the degree of interlocking is proposed to describe the normal deformation of opened rock joints. The proposed equation agrees well with the experimental results. Additionally, the results of direct shear tests demonstrated that shear strength and dilation are reduced because of reduced involvement of and increased damage to asperities in the process of shearing. The results indicate that constitutive models of rock joints that consider the true asperity contact area can be used to predict shear resistance along opened rock joints. Because rock masses are loosened and rock joints become open after excavation, the model suggested in this study can be incorporated into numerical procedures such as finite-element or discrete-element methods. Use of the model could then increase the accuracy and reliability of stability predictions for rock masses under excavation.

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