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Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech.Abstr. Vol. 12, pp. 101-I13. PergamonPress 1975.

Printed in Great Britain

The Significance of In Situ Tests on Large Rock Specimens


Z. T. BIENIAWSKI* W. L. VAN HEERDEN

This paper reviews large scale in situ tests on rock conducted throughout the world. Based on the authors" experience of 8 years of in situ testing involving 66 large coal specimens (up to 2 m in width and height and with width-to-height ratios from 0.5 to 3.4), the value and meaning of large scale in situ tests in compression are discussed. Practical guidelines are given for performing the tests, preferred testing techniques are described and typical data to be expected from the tests are listed. Empirical formulae are derived for the presentation of strength results and application of large scale test data to engineering design is demonstrated. It is also shown how the results of such tests can be directly applicable to predicting the behaviour of full size rock structures. Finally, the costs of large scale tests are considered, in terms of both time and money, and actual figures are quoted. It is concluded that large scale in situ tests can be an invaluable aid in engineering design and that their costs constitute a very small percentage of the value of production from an average mine and that the costs of tests are more than offset by the financial returns and technical gains obtained from large scale in situ tests.

INTRODUCTION

NEED FOR IN S I T U LARGE SCALE TESTS

Due to the fact that actual rock masses are disconLarge scale tests on rock have been conducted in various parts of the world; they are usually expensive, time con- tinua in most cases, tests conducted on small specimens suming and not always successful. The question, there- in the laboratory generally do not yield strength and fore, arises as to what one really obtains from in situ tests deformation data of rock which would directly be on large rock specimens and what value may be attached applicable to the rock mass from which the specimens to the results. were taken. A specimen is usually a continuous structure Very little information is available in published litera- or, at any rate, approaches such a state. The smaller the ture to answer these questions. specimen the fewer the discontinuities present and hence The authors have conducted an extensive programme the stronger the specimen. Thus, a smaller specimen may of in situ tests on large coal specimens loaded in com- be expected to have a higher strength than a large specipression. The tests started in 1966 and, after eight series men. A small specimen will seldom be representative of of tests, the programme was concluded in 1973. These in- the rock mass characteristics and a large specimen may, vestigations involved testing square coal specimens with therefore, provide a better estimate of these charactersizes from 0"6 m to 2 m in side lengths and of width-to- istics. Since there is no reliable method of predicting the height ratios from 0"5 to 3.4. The tests provided strength overall strength and deformation data of a rock mass and deformation data including post failure character- from the results of laboratory tests on small specimens, istics. In total 66 in situ tests were conducted over the in situ tests on large specimens are necessary. Such tests period of 8 years. also have the advantage that the rock specimen is tested The results obtained and the experiences gained at the same environmental conditions as are prevailing enable a critical assessment of the meaning and the value at the rock mass. of large scale compression tests in rock mechanics. Thus, although large scale tests are clearly called for, The following questions will be dealt with: the crucial questions are: Is the chosen size sufficiently (1) What are the best techniques for large compression large'? Are the loading conditions such that they simulate tests? the loads acting on the prototype'? Is extrapolation of the (2) What information do the tests yield? results to still larger sizes permissible'? (3) How can one apply this information to practical There are many types of in situ large scale tests such design'? as compression tests, shear tests, plate bearing tests, (4) What costs and time-tables are involved for such cable tests, flat jack tests and pressure chamber tests. tests'? They are used throughout the world for various pur* Geomechanics Division, Council for Scientific and Industrial poses and in various applications. The present paper Research, P.O. Box 395,Pretoria 0001, SouthAfrica. deals solely with compression tests. lOl

102

Z.T. Bieniawski and W. L. Van Hecrden delbrmation of the specimen was noticed. Seven specimens were tested but all were of different sizes so thai no cross-checking of results was possible. Some, but not all, specimens failed in a double pyramid fashion. The authors derived a relationship between the strength and width-to-height ratios, as given in Table I and dealt with later. However. with the aid of the results of additional tive tests carried out in 1941 by the same authors [2] a different relationship was derived as given in the second line of Table I. In deriving this last relationship two tests (out of seven) of the first series were rejected and three tests (out of five) of the second series were considered unreliable because of the small specimen widths 0'3 0-5 m. Thus eventually seven test results were used to derive the second strength formula. In 1964, over 25 years after the tests by Greenwald et al. [I, 2], Nose [3] reported on 12 compression tests conducted at the site of Kurobegawa No. 4 Dam in Japan. Granite specimens were tested measuring 1.4 1.8 m in cross-section and 2-8 m in height. The aim of the tests was to determine the shear strength and modulus of deformation of the foundation rock mass. Three specimens were loaded in uniaxial compression and nine in triaxial compression. However, out of the 12 specimens tested, eight did not fail (including all uniaxial specimens) because the loading capacity of the equipment was not sufficiently high. Although the author did not give details of the testing techniques used, he presented all the results of the in situ tests as well as those of the corresponding 12 laboratory tests on 52 mm dia specimens (82 134mm in height) of the same rock material. The uniaxial compressive strength of in sire granite was estimated at between 12 and 15 MPa, by comparison with the laboratory strength of between 23.6 and 48-0 MPa, the ratios of the laboratory strength to

LITERATURE REVIEW OF LARGE SCALE C O M P R E S S I O N TESTS Numerous large scale in situ compression tests, although not as common as in situ shear tests, have been conducted since 1937 mainly in connection with such projects as pillar design in collieries and iron ore mines. These tests were in particular aimed at one or more of the following objectives: (1) To determine the strength behaviour of pillars; (2) To establish the deformation characteristics of rock masses; and, more recently, (3) to obtain post-failure load-deformation data for coal pillars. In spite of 14 investigations involving in situ tests on large specimens being reported in the literature, only five of them comprized a sufficiently large number of tests to enable application of their results to the solution of actual engineering problems; the majority of the investigators tested one to five specimens only, aimed at obtaining an insight into the behaviour of rock masses. The tests conducted are reviewed below and formulae derived therefrom are listed in Table 1. The first large compressive tests in situ were conducted in 1937 in the U.S.A. by Greenwald et al. [1]. The tests took place in a Pittsburgh colliery and were aimed at determining the strength and deformation characteristics of large coal specimens. The tested specimens were all square in plan with widths between 0"8 and 1.6 m and with width-to-height ratios from 0'5 to 1-0. The specimens were prepared with hand tools without using explosives. A thick concrete block was cast on top of each specimen and loading was achieved by means of one or two large hydraulic jacks inserted between the concrete and the roof of the mine. Loading of the specimens was carried out in step increments. The load increase was halted at each increment until no further

TABLE

I.

SLIMMARY

OF STRENGTH

FORMULAE

PROPOSED

F R O M L A R G E S C A L E ill s i I u

I E S T S IN C O M P R E S S I O N

Year a n d ('Otlllt r} 1937 1939 IJ S A

hi ,,c ~;ttgR tOl-~, tl. P, G r c e n w a l d H, C Howarth [ H a r i l n a nil

Rock tested ('oal [Pitlsburgh)

Specimen cross-section Square

Width Iill} 0'81 to, 1"61

Hcight (Ill t 1178 Io 161

Width to height ratio 05(1 to 1"(13

No of tests 5

I~or m u l a S = 7 0 0 \ wfl~ (Ibf/m~l oi S = 4"8\ I1'11 {M P a )

Rcmalks Seven s p e c i m e n s ,,,,'ere tested but l w o were ,,tisregaldcd as Ihc} failed d u e to clay Ilow in the floor ]-he Cqtlation w a s o r i g i n a l l 3 g~ven m I b l i n 2 w i t h it congtHnl 69~ ]alel a p p r o x i l l l a t e d It) 7(1~1 ,~ r d a t i o n el 5" =: 9011 w h ill I b ( ' i n : ~ a ~ also h m n d for ~,'lr t Valid for: wtdth-mq/eight lahos < I a n d s p e c i m e n w i d t h - 15 m Valid I b l ~ i d t h t o - h c i g h l lation a n d s p e c i m e n el pillal width I 5m } qu;lIiOll: 7 ~ 4u h ( M i h 0 rise 1i1~, t]lc dttta ~ell

Rel.

[I }

1939 1941 U.SA

H. P G r e e n w a l d H. ('. H o w a r t h I Harlmaml

(oal (Pittsburgh}

Square

(I.30 to 1.07 0.61 to I 22 1"~ to 2.11

(I.74 to 0.77 /1%1 m t.22 06 to 20

0.41 to 1.68 05 to 2-1) 1.0 to 31

S = 2800{\,w/~/hS)(lbf/in ') or S = 1 9 3 ,jw/.~,'h ~ ( M P a ) S = 7.6 w I"/ll ~ ( M P a ) w d h w a n d h irt m e t r e s

12]

1965 1966 Z . T . Bieniat~ski S o t H h Afttea

Coal [Witbankl

Square

E9

[9]

1967 1968 Z. I Bicniawskl S o u t h A fiica

Coal (Wilbank)

Square

16

2 5 + 2w h I M P a )

I tOI I

1970 1972 S o u t h Africa

N. G W. C o o k H. W a g n c ;

Coal (Usutul

Square and lectallgtllal Square

ti.6 to 2.11 14

OS6 Io _~{) 0.41 [o

06 Io 22 I I-1 It7

I~

I I \ u h tMPaI

] 17]

1973 S o u l h Airica

W. L ~an H e e r d e n

Coal (New Largol

10

I0 .s~ 4 2 u h ( M P a l

l lNI

In situ Tests on Large Rock Specimens in situ strength being between 2.0 and 3.2. It was

103

remarkable, however, that the shear strength as derived from the triaxial tests in s i t u , which was between 2"35 and 3"0 MPa, was as high as 0-72-0"94 of the shear strength derived from the laboratory triaxial tests. The in situ modulus of elasticity was found to be between 1"25 and 2"9 GPa which was generally half that of the laboratory determined modulus, with the exception of one site where the in situ modulus was 0.16 of the laboratory modulus. No formulae were proposed. In 1966, Jahns [4] reported on four large scale in situ tests in compression conducted in Germany and aimed at determining the strength and deformation characteristics of iron ore. The specimens were cubical in shape and with a maximum side length of up to I'm; they were drilled out, exposing five faces with the sixth face remaining attached to the floor. The specimens were subjected to a maximum stress of 70 MPa using 49 hydraulic jacks and a pyramid shape stack of steel I-beams to concentrate the load on the specimens. Load deformation characteristics were measured up to failure of the specimens. In addition, 13 smaller specimens were tested in the laboratory. The results of the tests showed that the strength of a specimen depended upon its size. For example, a 0.1 m cube was found to have a strength of 117 MPa compared with 49 MPa for a 1 m cube. Gimm et al. [5] reported, also in 1966, on two tests conducted in Germany to determine the strength and deformation characteristics of one iron ore and one shale specimen which were about 2 m 2 in cross-sectional area and 1.5 m in height. The specimens, which remained attached to the floor of a mine, were loaded in uniaxiai compression by a number of hydraulic jacks, each of 2 MN loading capacity. Deformation of the specimens was measured by means of dial gauges attached to the sides of the specimens. The results showed that the deformation characteristics of the specimens were influenced by the bedding planes and joints in the rock. Hydraulic flat jacks of a very high loading capacity were designed in 1966 by De Reeper [6] and used for testing one iron ore specimen in situ. The flat jacks were 360 x 360 mm in size and 30 mm thick. At an oil pressure of 140 MPa the loading capacity of each jack was 15 MN. The maximum stroke of the jacks was 20 mm. The one iron ore specimen (1 m cube in size) which was tested was found to have a uniaxial compressive strength of about 50 MPa. Lama [7] reported in 1966 on in situ large scale tests conducted in Poland to compare the strength and deformation characteristics of two different coal seams. It appears that four specimens were tested (two in each seam). The specimens were square and had a width of approximately 0-65 m and a height of between 1.64 and 2.0 m (width-to-height ratio of about 0"4). The specimens, cut free on five faces with the bottom face remaining attached to the floor, were loaded by means of 16 hydraulic jacks (each of 5 MN capacity, stroke 95 mm, load area 330 270 mm) which were capable of applying a total maximum compressive stress up to 35.7 MPa at an oil pressure of 60 MPa. The in situ strength of a

0"65 x 0"65 x 1"64m (height) specimen was found to be 6.8 MPa as compared with the laboratory strength of 100 mm cube specimens of 24.5 MPa. In another seam the corresponding values were 11"3MPa (in situ) and 17.4 MPa (in laboratory). In 1967, Bieniawski [8-10] reported on large scale in situ tests in compression conducted in South Africa and aimed at the determination of the strength and deformation characteristics of coal pillars. He presented the results of 44 in situ tests conducted between 1966 and 1968 on square coal specimens measuring from 0'5 to 2 m in side length and of various heights. The influence of width-to-height ratios of up to 3"1 was investigated by testing specimens of different heights and with the same cross-sectional area. Specimens of the required dimensions were cut from corners of coal pillars by means of a universal coal cutting machine. The prepared specimens remained in situ, attached to the floor and with five faces exposed. The specimens were loaded to destruction in uniaxial compression by means of up to 36 hydraulically actuated jacks (1.5 MN capacity each, 300 x 300 mm loading area, stroke 125 mm). The jacks were placed on the top of the specimens and exerted a load against the specimen and the roof of the seam. To simulate the constraining effect produced by the roof on a coal pillar, a lateral constraint was introduced on the top of the tested specimens in the form of either wood shuttering or steel shuttering or reinforced concrete capping (75 mm thick) placed around the upper part of the specimen. The choice of the type of the lateral end constraint was arbitrary but it was compatible with the specimen sizes, that is, weaker constraint was applied to smaller specimens and stronger for larger specimens. The axial and lateral deformation of the specimens were measured using extensometer units attached to the specimen surfaces and axial deformation units placed in the specimen centre. The results of the tests on 44 specimens of 16 different sizes showed that, for cubical specimens, the strength decreased with increasing specimen size and that the strength remained constant from a 'critical specimen size' onwards, which was about 1.5 m. This meant that these data could be directly applied to full size pillars. Based upon the test results, the influence of width-to-height ratio on the strength of specimens, smaller and larger than 1.5 m in width, was expressed by a formula. Two relationships are given in Table 1 and will be discussed later. In 1968, Richter [11] reported on four tests on iron ore, sandstone and shale specimens which had the following dimensions: height 1.25-1.50m; width 1.251.40 m; length 1.50-2.15 m. Standard cylindrical hydraulic jacks were used to load the specimens in compression (each of stress capacity 2"5 MPa) and deformation was recorded during loading. Laboratory tests (48 mm specimen dia) accompanied the in situ tests. It was found that the in situ strength of iron ore specimens was 18 times lower than the laboratory strength (20MPa vs. 360 MPa) while in the case of sandstone the ratio was 4 (7,5 MPa vs. 30 MPa). No significant differences were found in the case of the modulus of elasticity.

104

Z.T. Bieniawski and W. L. Van Heerden


150
I00 7O 5O
a~

Georgi et al. [12] conducted one uniaxial compression test on a large block of granite in situ. The object of the test was to determine the influence of joints on the deformation behaviour of the rock. The specimen which was 1 x l m in cross-section and 1.2 m high, was loaded in compression by means of hydraulic jacks. A maximum compressive stress of 13 M P a was achieved. It was concluded that the deformation behaviour of the in situ specimen followed basically the same mechanism as the behaviour of laboratory specimens with discontinuities. Large scale in situ tests on cylindrical marl specimens were carried out by Chaoui et al. [13], the purpose of which was to compare strengths in uniaxial compression, triaxiai compression and in direct shear. Two specimens were tested in uniaxial compression, three in triaxial compression and three in direct shear. Axial loads were applied to cylindrical rock specimens of 0'7 m d i a and 1 m high by means of three hydraulic ,jacks resting on a concrete pad which was cast onto the specimen. Lateral loads were applied by means of four thin curved jacks which were inserted between the specimen and a steel cylinder surrounding the specimen. It was found that the cohesion determined from triaxial and shear tests was about the same and was about I M P a while the uniaxial compressive strength was 3 MPa. By comparison, laboratory uniaxial compressive strength of the same marl was 10"5 MPa. Pratt et al. [14] used an ingeneous testing method in 1970 in the U,S.A. for the determination of the strength properties of a quartz diorite rock mass. The rock specimens were prepared by cutting three slots on the surface of an outcrop by a drill and broach technique. The three slots, two at slant angles of 60 to the surface of the rock, formed the sides of the specimen, while the third slot was vertical and normal to the side slots and formed the end of the specimen. This technique provided a specimen with the configuration of an equalateral triangular prism. Loads were applied by means of a stack of triangular flat jacks grouted into the vertical slot at the end of the specimen. The specimens were up to 2.75 m in side length. A maximum stress of 34 MPa could be applied by the flat jacks. The in situ test programme of 10 specimens was supplemented by a series of 13 laboratory tests. A major finding of this study was that the strength of diorite decreased with increasing specimen size by a factor of 10 and an asymptotic value of the strength was attained at the specimen size of 0.9 m. This confirmed the trend previously reported for coal by Bieniawski [8] as depicted in Fig, 1. Cook et al. [15] introduced in 1971 a testing method based on a principle described by Cook [16]. The aim of this method was to determine complete stress-strain curves of coal pillars. Each jack (loading capacity up to 4.5 MN) was supplied with oil by an independent pump (maximum oil pressure 100 MPa). Each jack had a load area of 300 x 300 mm and a stroke of 200 mm. By setting the volume of oil delivered by each pump to the same value, the displacement of the loaded surfaces could be kept uniform during the test. The loading sys-

Ir0n

ore

~ Johns [1966)

g
30 2(; 15 ~ k ~ Diorite

E
o u

o Pratt era/(1972)
o

-o

Cool

~'~-

I-

o*--Bieniowski (1967)

05

15

25

Specimen

side length,

Fig. I. The phenomenon of the strength approaching asymptotically a constant value--as observed from large scale tests of various investigators.

tem was designed in such a way as to minimize the amount of hydraulic fluid in the system so as to increase the stiffness of the system. For this purpose, four-element Bosch diesel fuel-injection pumps were used for high pressure oil supply to each jack. Complete load-deformation curves of large coal specimens were obtained for the first time in situ. However, specimens with width-toheight ratios of greater than 2.2 could not be loaded to failure because of insufficient loading capacity. The results of the tests using this method were reported by Wagner [17] who on the basis of 12 tests proposed a formula which is listed in Table 1. Van Heerden [18] modified the above uniform deformation method to achieve a higher loading capacity. A concrete block was introduced on the top of each specimen, the properties of the block being chosen so as to simulate the constraint given by the roof of the seam in the case of actual coal pillars. The choice of constraint was based on a finite element analysis of the stress distribution in coal specimens which were 1.4 x 1-4 m in cross-section and of various heights giving width-toheight ratios of up to 3'4. The specimens were loaded to complete failure in situ and complete load-deformation curves were obtained. Ten specimens were tested on the basis of which a strength formula was proposed as listed in Table 1. It was also shown that the modulus of elasticity of the coal was independent of the width-to-height ratio of the specimens and that the post-failure modulus (derived from the slope of the stress-strain curve after failure) decreased with increasing width-to-height ratio to reach a constant value of 500 M P a (0-5 GPa) at a width to height ratio of 3-5. The literature published on large scale in situ tests generally revealed that considerable variations in the strength of large rock specimens may be expected from one locality to another. For example, a large number of in situ tests in various coal-fields of the U.S.S.R conducted by Bich (Lama [7]) has shown that the in situ strength of coal seams varied from 2-45 to 17.65 MPa. The effect of lateral constraint applied to the tested

In situ Tests on Large Rock Specimens


specimens at their top and bottom was considered of overriding influence by Jaeger and Cook [19] when determining the compressive strength of coal pillars. Recent investigations [20] show, however, that while lateral constraint is an important factor, its effect will be overshadowed by the scatter of experimental results due to geological structure of in situ specimens, even from the same locality. CHOICE OF TEST METHOD

105

Requirements Large scale in situ tests aimed at determining strength and deformation characteristics of mine pillars necessitate a technique for which certain requirements must be fulfilled. Three of the more important ones are mentioned here:
(1) Determination of complete stress-strain curves of tested specimens including their post-failure data. This ensures that there is no doubt as to the actual failure load; in some cases it may not be obvious that the specimen has, in fact failed. It has been found, for example, that attaining the peak of the stress-strain curve is not necessarily accompanied by extensive cracking of the specimen, thus the failure point might not be clearly detected. A complete stress-strain curve, however, shows the peak clearly. (2) Determination of in situ data for high width-toheight ratios. This is important because actual mine pillars often feature high width-to-height ratios--in South Africa between 2 and 5. This necessitates equipment of high loading capacity for large scale tests. (3) Reasonable simulation of lateral constraint conditions at the interfaces between pillar top and stope roof as well as between pillar bottom and stope floor. This ensures that the lateral constraint conditions are taken into account although, as was shown elsewhere [20], this requirement may not be so vital as was previously thought. Nevertheless, it is advisable to aim at satisfying the lateral constraint conditions as closely as possible.

Subsequently, in order to ensure full utilization of the loading capacity of hydraulic jacks, a reinforced concrete block is cast on top of the specimen. The dimensions and properties of the block will be different for different specimen sizes and the rock tested. They can be selected on the basis of a finite element analysis of the stress distribution in an actual mine pillar and in an in situ specimen [18], the aim being to simulate the lateral constraint conditions. In the case of square coal specimens 1"5 m in width, the block dimensions were 1'6 1"6 and 1 m in height. The concrete was of 40 MPa uniaxial compressive strength (very strong concrete), reinforced with three layers of steel bars 12 mm dia at 100 mm centres near the top, in the middle and near the bottom of the concrete block. Such a block had a mass of about 6500 kg and contributed a compressive stress of about 0.03 MPa in a specimen with a strength of 17 MPa. Once the concrete is cured, a space is left for the loading jacks, e.g. 400 mm in the case of the CSIR tests [18], and then the space above the jacks is filled with concrete up to the roof. This serves to avoid loading of jacks against the roof coal which may fail before the specimen does. Filling up the gap with timber, however hard, is not recommended as this decreases the overall stiffness of the system and results in much of the stroke of the jacks being lost on compressing the timber.

Loading system
Displacement-controlled loading, as opposed to stress-controlled loading, appears to be the best choice for large scale in situ tests in compression because it enables determination of the complete stress-strain curves. The recommended loading system is that described by van Heerden [18]. Basically, this system consisted of 25 hydraulic jacks (more may be required for larger specimens) each connected to a separate pump. The pump unit consisted of seven four-element Bosch diesel fuel-injection pumps (in effect 28 separate pumps) which incorporated a control for accurate setting of the delivery of each pump. This hydraulic jacking system was designed to minimize losses in stiffness normally found in hydraulic systems. Connections between the jacks and the pumps were made with high pressure steel tubing (2 mm i.d., 6 mm o.d.). Each jack had a loading capacity of 4.8 MN at an oil pressure of 100 MPa. The mass of each jack was 180 kg, its stroke 200 mm and its loading area 300 300 mm. An individual pressure gauge for each jack was mounted in a panel fitted to the front of the pump unit.

Specimen preparation For coal specimens, a universal coal cutter is recommended for specimen preparation. Iron ore specimens may be drilled out to a required size and shape. Blasting as a means of specimen preparation should be avoided. In coal, specimens of the required dimensions are usually cut from a corner of a coal pillar. The faces of the pillar are first trimmed back to remove weathered, damaged and strained coal best to a distance of about 1 m. Vertical cuts parallel to the prepared faces are then made to separate a column of coal from the remainder of the pillar. A horizontal cut at the required height should be made last. This completes the formation of the specimen which remains attached to the floor with five sides exposed. This operation generally takes a full shift. After the specimen has been cut, it is cleaned and carefully inspected and its dimensions are measured to within 5 mm. At this stage the geological structure of the specimen should be mapped.

Measurement of deformation To avoid difficulties encountered underground with precision electronic measurement equipment, it is recommended that all measurements be carried out with hydraulic displacement indicators. The indicators used by the CSIR consisted of a master and a slave cylinder inter-connected with thin bore nylon tubing. The constant volume of oil between the master piston and the

106

Z . T . Bieniawski and W. L. Van Heerden

slave piston was kept at constant pressure by an air accumulator pressurized to 0.7MPa. This accumulator acted as a spring, keeping the master piston in firm contact with the surfaces between which the displacements were to be measured. Movement of the slave piston rod was transmitted to a dial gauge mounted on the same panel as the pressure gauges of individual jacks. In the actual tests four such displacement indicators were mounted between the bottom of the concrete block, resting on the specimen, and the floor of the seam. In addition, hydraulic displacement indicators were used which were mounted on the jacks to indicate jack piston displacement from the start to the end of the test. This served as a cross-check since the total piston displacement at any stage of the test consisted of the deformation of the specimen plus the elastic deformation of the two concrete blocks and the elastic indentation of the floor and roof of the seam. Deformation and oil pressures readings were recorded during the test by photographing the panel with a polaroid camera, at suitable time intervals during the test.

Testing procedure
Loading of the specimens should be started at a small pre-load (about 13 kN) for each jack. This is done to ensure that all jacks are in firm contact with the two concrete slabs. At the start of the test the oil pressures in all .jacks were adjusted to between 2.0 and 3-0 M P a after which all the dial gauges, measuring displacement, were set to zero and all the bleed-off valves were closed. The specimen was now loaded by pumping oil at the same slow constant rate into each jack. The oil delivery rate of all pumps was set so that the specimen was deformed about 20 mm in 2 hr. Polaroid photographs were taken at about 5 rain intervals during the loading of the specimen up to failure. After failure, indicated by a drop in hydraulic pressure, the time interval between photographs was adapted to suit the circumstances. In some of the specimens with low width-to-height ratios which failed rather quickly photographs were taken at a rate of about 2 photographs per minute. Deformation could be read to the nearest 0.1 mm and oil pressures to the nearest 0"5 MPa. The strongest specimen with a width-to-height ratio of 3.4 failed at 25.05 M P a but the estimated maximum capacity was 50 MPa, enough to break specimens with width-to-height ratios of 5.
Fig. 2, A typical failed coal specimen after completion of'an m ~itu test

An interesting observation was that, while at maximum load there was usually increased "talking' of the specimen sometimes accompanied by heavy bumping, this was not always the case and extensive slabbing only occurred well after the failure of the specimen. Maximum stress was mainly indicated by the drop in the hydraulic pressure which was by no means a sudden phenomenon although this depended on the relative stiffness of the loading system and of the specimen. A particular advantage of the displacement controlled loading is that there is no tilting of the specimen and this results in a stable experiment. Using the techniques described above complete stress strain curves may easily be obtained for specimens with width-to-height ratios of up to 5 and the lateral constraint conditions are reasonably satisfied. A typical complete stress strain curve obtained during such tests is given in Fig. 3.

20 - '-'~- MPo

Mode qlilhilure and stress-strain curve Failure is usually associated with gradual opening of vertical cleats and spalling from the corners of the specimen. In the CSIR tests all the specimens tested failed in a controlled non-violent manner leading to gradual specimen disintegration and resulting in a symmetrical double pyramid at the conclusion of the test, as illustrated in Fig. 2. At this stage the specimen was completely crushed and small pieces could be removed forcibly even from its core. The total axial deformation was of the order of 20 mm and there was a residual strength of the order of I MPa.

~E 15~ / "~

Width / heiqht ratio = 2,78 Modulus of elasticity =3,620GPo

I 0,01

I 0,02

1 0,03

I 0,04

I 0,05

I 0,06

0,07

Axial stroin

Fig. 3. Complete stress-strain curve in uniaxial compression obtained in situ for a square coal specimen of 1.4 m width.

In situ Tests on Large Rock Specimens

107

PRESENTATION OF STRENGTH TEST RESULTS


The main object of large scale in situ tests in compression is to estimate strength behaviour of rock structures such as mine pillars. For this purpose an empirical formula which includes some characteristics of the specimens is usually derived from the strength data obtained from large specimens. Originally, such formulae were derived from tests on small laboratory specimens, usually coal, and were then extrapolated towards large scale data. Unfortunately, only a few investigators presented formulae derived from large scale tests. These are listed in Table 1 from which it will be noted that two types of expressions were proposed to describe large scale test data, namely:
S = A + B(w/h)

et al. [12], Chaoui et al. [13] and Pratt et al. [14] are

(1)

where S is the strength, w the width and h the height of a square cross-section specimen, and A and B are constants measured in the same units as the strength S (usually MPa). (A + B) represents the strength of a cube of the material tested.
S = k(w"/h b)

(2)

(a special case is S = k v w / h , that is, for a = h = 0-5) where the parameters S, w and h are the same as for expression (I), a and b are dimensionless constants while k is a constant having the dimension IS] x [length] ~-b~, that is being measured in M P a m ~a-~) in the SI system of units. Only if a = b, the constant k has the meaning of the strength of a cube with unit side length. Expression (2) can also be written in the form
S = k[(w/d)"]/[(h/d) h]

where d is the side length of a cube (w = h). For (w = "h) = d the equation reduces to S = k, so that k represents the strength of a cube with unit side length of the material tested. It will now be shown that expression (1) is preferable to expression (2). The first strength formula was presented in 1939 and was a special case of equation (2). Greenwald et al. [1] mention that this form was proposed as early as 1900 for anthracite after laboratory tests made for the Scranton Engineers Club. Their second formula proposed in 1941 was of the general form of equation (2) but it only fitted seven out of 12 specimens tested. In fact, Greenwald et al. gave three formulae in their papers and while they had hoped to conduct more tests to cross-check their results this was not done. Most of the subsequent large scale investigations, conducted from about 1965, did not yield any strength formulae, the only exception being tests conducted in South Africa. Thus test results by Nose [3], Jahns [4], Gimm et al. [5], de Reeper [6], Lama [7], Richter [11], Georgi
* Based on his laboratory studies, Skinner presented a formula for full size anhydrite pillars as follows: Strength (MPa) = 1.4 + 0.9 (w/h), the original formula being in imperial units as S (lbf/in 2) = 201 + 129 (w/h).

not included in Table 1. The next large scale test formulae after Greenwald et al. were those reported by Bieniawski [9,10]. He found that the strength of cubical coal specimens decreases with their increasing side length and that from a certain size onwards, about 1.5 m, the strength of such specimens remains constant in spite of increasing size. This is illustrated in Fig. 1 which includes similar findings which have also been obtained by Jahns and by Pratt et al. The results are not surprising since similar observations apply to other materials as well. Denkhaus [21] pointed out that the strength of steel remains constant for sizes of about 20 mm upwards which is why structures such as bridges and ships are designedon the basis of strength tests on standard steel specimens of much smaller sizes. Figure 1 means that strength data obtained on specimens of at least the critical size are also applicable to full size structures of larger scale and that two relationships are needed to describe the strength of large specimens; both are given in Table 1. The first one is of the general form of expression (2) and is valid, in the case of coal, for width-to-height ratios of less than unity and for specimen sizes of less than 1'5 m in side length. It means that, for constant height, the strength of a specimen increases with increasing width and further that, for constant width, the strength of a specimen decreases with increasing height. Bieniawski [10] also proposed a second type formula of the form S = A + B(w/h) as obtained from the data obtained on square coal specimens 1"5 and 2 m in side length and width-to-height ratios of between 1"0 and 3"I. This linear equation (1) thus describes the influence of width-to-height ratios on the strength of specimens having sizes larger than the 'critical size' of 1.5 m and is hence applicable to full size pillars. This form of linear equation also fitted the data from other collieries as obtained subsequently by both Wagner [17] and van Heerden [18]. Wagner, however, preferred a special case of expression (2)(see Table 1) but, as will be shown later, a linear fit to his data would have been more appropriate. In order to check that the expression S = A + B(w/h) is the most appropriate strength formula, attention should be turned to the results of small scale investigations. Laboratory studies of this aspect date back to 1900 and some of these investigations included work by Bunting [22], Steart [23], Gaddy [24], Skinner [25], Holland [26] and Bieniawski [27]. Bunting from 647 anthracite specimens and Skinner from 207 anhydrite specimens reported thata formula of the form S -- A + B (w/h) was most suitable.* Gaddy found that the strength of coal is inversely proportional to the edge dimension of a cube with a side D as follows: S = kD'. Steart from .foul" tests(!) on square coal specimens (230 mm in width) and from observations of mine pillars, formulated the following remarkable speculations for the strength of large coal pillars: (l) the strength of pillars with constant width varies in inverse ratio to height; (2) the strength of pillars of constant height varies as the square root of

108
25O

Z.T. Bieniawski and W. L. Van Heerden

~2C( Data from sandstone specimens ,OOxlOOmm Square ~ /

.c

u IOO
o

E 1
I

Width to height ratio W_ h .~ 5C Fig. 5. Results of confirmatory tests depicting the strength vs. widthto-height ratios of specimens.
In Situ tests~'ts ~ ,
~

In Fig. 6 the results of large scale in situ tests conducted in South Africa are plotted and it is obvious from Width to height ratio the graph that the results may be represented with confiFig. 4. The relationship between the strength and the width-to-height dence by a linear equation. ratio of square rock specimens--published data. It is thus recommended that the strength of large scale in situ tests, for specimen sizes showing no size effect and for width-to-height ratios of up to 5, be represented by equation (1). their width; and (3) the strength of pillars of cube form It should, however, be added that in order to make the varies in inverse ratio to the square root of their dimenin situ test results generally applicable (i.e. not only to the sions. In 1968, Bieniawski [27] reported tests on 145 sand- locality where the actual tests were carried out), equation stone specimens with 125 125 mm cross-section and (1) should be expressed in dimensionless form. In the case with width-to-height ratios of 0.33-10. He found the of the in situ tests conducted in South Africa, this is relationship S = 10 + 10 (w/h) (MPa) for width-to- demonstrated in Fig. 7 from which it will be seen that height ratios between 1 and 5, From there on, a rapid the strength results from different collieries fall close to increase in the strength was observed up to a ratio of 10, a straight line. The equation of this line is: above which t h e sandstone specimens could not be ~/al = 0"64 + 0.36 (w/h) broken even at 10MN (1000 tons) load. Studies on sandstone by Cruise [28], Babcock [29] where a is the strength of the specimen and al is the and by Sheorey and Singh [30] revealed trends similar strength of a cubical specimen of the size tested. The above formula has the advantage that the influence to those observed by Bieniawski. These results are plotted in Fig. 4. It will be clear from this figure that, strictly of the various properties of different coal strata is included speaking, the relationship between the strength and in the value of al- This formula can thus be used for the width-to-height ratio could best be described by a poly- design of full size coal pillars in South Africa provided nomial fit, but for practical purposes and for the ratios that ~1 is determined from tests on cubical specimens between 1-5, which are most commonly found in mines, with a side length equal or greater than the "critical this relationship may well be approximated by a straight size" of 1"5 m. line equation of the form S = A + B(w/h). Figure 4, however, also distinctly reveals that an equation of the type S = kx/w/h is not justified because it predicts a trend not 1973 tests at ~ _ ~ 1 ~ / ~ x New Largo Colliery substantiated by the experimental results. However, it must be admitted that in the range of width-to-height .: ~, 2o ratios of I-5 such an equation will be acceptable for x / n / 1972 Tests of practical purposes. This is why a number of investigators x~x"~ o o J- / / ..... C Usutu h e r o l Y i " ~ n (dora from Wagner~?) were misled into using this form for width-to-height .~, 1 1966-1968 tests at ratios of over 5, the influence of which, in fact, is under~ Witbonk Colliery 5 estimated by the formula. As a further proof of this argument, the authors conducted their own investigations on 42 sandstone speciL I I ..... i mens, 100 x 100mm in cross-section and of various 0 i 2 3 4 heights. The results are given in Fig. 5, from which it will ratio be gleaned that no doubt exists as to the trend of the Fig. 6. Representation of strength data from large scale in situ tests on coal conducted in South Africa. results.
.... ' W---T--I
I 2

2"~,21~w"~, n~
3 4

. . . . . .

-h:~"m-- SolomOn'S I ~o...,~c,~ 6 7 8 _w h

30

,IJ

..........

w lh

In situ Tests on Large Rock Specimens

109

the order of 4.0 GPa. Small scale data (50 mm cubes) give values of about 6,0 GPa. == (3) The deformation at the maximum stress (strength b~ failure) is not large, generally of the order of 5 mm only, c;for a specimen of original height of up to 2 m. i .o. == (4) The strain at failure of large specimens increases approximately linearly with the width-to-height ratio. It x~:~ x'''';F o " does not exceed E = 0"01 for coal. ^ o New Largo colliery 13 Usutu colliery (5) Some authors [15, 17] defined a modulus of deforx Wttbank colliery o mation as the quotient of the maximum stress and the corresponding strain. This modulus is lower than the I I I I I 2 3 4 modulus of elasticity and decreases slightly with increasw/h ratio ing width-to-height ratio. A modulus of deformation of Fig. 7. 3"0 GPa may be expected for coal pillars with w/h = 3. (6) The post-failure modulus is markedly effected by EXPECTED D A T A the width-to-height ratio. It was found [18] that the When undertaking large scale in situ tests in compres- post-failure modulus of coal decreased with increasing sion, it is useful to know what typical data may be width-to-height ratio tending to an asymptotic value of 0"5GPa at w/h = 3"5. This phenomenon was first expected from the tests. These will now be listed. observed [31] on sandstone in 1969. Expected strenoth data (7) The Poisson's ratio of large coal specimens does not depend upon the width-to-height ratio, typical (1) All investigators [1-18] agree that the strength of values for coal being 0"25. Small scale data (50 mm cubes) large cubical specimens is less than that of cubical speciyield a Poisson's ratio of about 0"35. mens of smaller side lengths. (8) Close relationship exists between lateral deforma(2) Those investigators who have tested a sufficiently tion of a coal pillar and micro-seismic activities [17]. large number of cubical specimens of various sizes have found that the strength decreases asymptotically with There is a rapid increase in the lateral deformation close size until a side length is obtained after which there is to the point of specimen failure. no longer a change in the strength [10, 14]. This 'critical size' is 1-5 m for coal and 0"9 m for diorite. By comparison Expected mode of failure with small scale data (50 mm cubes), the strength of these It should be expected in large scale compression tests critical size specimens is smaller by a factor of 7 for coal that there will be gradual specimen disintegration of the and 10 for diorite. specimen under increasing load rather than a sudden (3) The strength of large rectangular specimens may be collapse. Not one specimen of the 66 large scale tests expected to be the same as that of large square speci- conducted by the authors failed in a violent manner. Fail,mens with side length equal to an effective width of rec- ure will start at the corners of the specimen and propotangular specimens w,, = 4A/C where A is cross-sec- gate towards the centre. This may be explained as foltional area and C is circumference (Wagner [17]). By lows: Up to the point of specimen failure high stress concomparison, small scale data suggested [27] that the centration exists near the corners and low stress levels strength of rectangular specimenswas governed by their in the centre. The circumferential portions of the speciminimum width dimension, rather than the square root men which are initially highly stressed but under low of the rectangular specimen cross-section (Holland confinement yield first and the zones of high stress migrate towards the centre. Since the central portion is [26]). (4) Depending on its width-to-height ratio, a large constrained by the surrounding material, it is capable of scale specimen can provide considerable resistance even withstanding extremely high stress even when the pillar when its maximum load bearing capacity (strength) has has been compressed beyond its maximum resistance. been exceeded.

ii'

Expected deformation data (1) It is remarkable that large scale test results demonstrate in most instances an elastic behaviour even in such materials as coal. Only at stress levels greater than about 70 per cent of the strength do the stressstrain curves become markedly non-linear. While, when load cycling, hysteresis is generally apparent if in the elastic portion of the curve the load is released, the deformation of the specimen returns to almost zero. (2) The modulus of elasticity of large specimens is independent of geometrical dimensions such as size, height or width-to-height ratio. Its average value for coal is of

APPLICATION O F LARGE SCALE TEST DATA T O ENGINEERING DESIGN Large scale in situ tests, like any other tests, are only of value if the information derived from them can be directly applied to engineering design. To be able to do this, one should know broadly what requirements must be fulfilled by the tests and what typical data are needed by the designer. Requirements ( I ) The number of large scale tests must be sufficiently large to allow meaningful conclusions. At least two

11.0

Z.T. Bieniawski and W. L. Van Heerden most important to designers ill understanding the proccss of failure in these structures. (5) In situ strength data are essential li)r the design of mine pillars and obtaining these data is one of the main objectives of large scale in situ tests in compression. It will be seen from the above that the benefits to be derived from large scale tests are considerable. It must. however, be realized that the tests have one shortcoming, namely, that they are applicable mainly to the locality at which they were conducted. Yet, as pointed out before, considerable variations may be expected from the data obtained at different collieries even from the same coalfield. For this reason it is essential that the requirements, listed earlier as items 4-6 under Requirements, are satisfied. This must be done for the following reasons: (i) Geological examinations are essential for classification of the rock mass and for identification of all its important features which can have a bearing on the test results. (ii) Small scale tests are essential to determine differences in rock material properties at various localities and thus assess possible applicability of large scale test results outside the main locality. Small scale tests also serve to understand better the scale effect in the rock being tested and sometimes allow derivation of possible index relationships with large scale test data. Because it is economical to have a large number of small tests, they can provide useful trends in the material behaviour, provide an upper limit in the strength and deformation data and give the engineer an excellent "feel' of his material. (iii) A comparison of predictions based on large scale test data with the behaviour of the actual full size structures is necessary to test the validity of such predictions. One approach for a cross-check on the behaviour of full size structures is to conduct a survey of failed and stable mine workings and derive a pillar strength formula which would serve to establish whether large scale test predictions are realistic. In Fig. 8, the strength equations derived from large scale tests in South Africa are plotted together with a pillar strength formula derived by Salamon [33] from a survey of actual coal pillars in South Africa involving

specimens of any type or dimension should be tested to cross-check the results. Preferably a test series should consist of a minimum of l0 specimens. (2) Specimens of different width-to-height ratios, including cube shape, should be tested. (3) The maximum specimen size should be sufficiently large to clearly exhibit the asymptotic strength, i.e. the critical size from which the strength remains constant with increasing size. Maximum specimen sizes should be of the order of at least 2 m in material such as coal. For hard rock, the maximum specimen size may be smaller. (4) Detailed geological examination of each test site is essential. (5) Tests on small specimens, conducted underground, should always accompany large scale tests. (6) A comparison of large scale test data with the behaviour of the full size structures to be obtained from local experience or surveys is necessary.
Design data

The problem of extracting design data from large scale tests resolves itself to proving which test data are directly applicable to full size structures, that is, which data are not subject to size effects. The expected data, discussed previously, should thus be re-examined with this point in mind. It immediately becomes obvious that the following large scale test data, if available, may be applied directly in the design of full size structures: (1) The data independent of width-to-height ratios, in the case of mine pillars: (a) modulus of elasticity; (b) Poisson's ratio. (2) The data dependent on the asymptotic strength of cubical specimens having been reached and dependent on width-to-height ratios of specimens of sizes larger than the critical size at the asymptotic strength: (c) modulus of deformation. (d) post-failure modulus. (e) axial and lateral deformation data near and at failure. (f) complete stress-strain curves. (g) in situ strength. The following practical benefits are derived from the above data: (1) Modulus of elasticity and Poisson's ratio are important in the design of room-and-pillar mining or longwall coal mining. Stress analysis techniques for such purposes, including the finite element method, will require these data. (2) Modulus of deformation and post-failure modulus are required for the design of room-and-pillar layouts involving yielding pillars [32]. Modulus of deformation allows an assessment of the energy stored in the mining system at the instant of pillar failure. The post-failure modulus enables comparisons of the stiffness of pillars with the stiffness of the rock strata. (3) Deformation data at failure provide information as to the order of magnitude for pillar compression at maximum stress, while the amount of lateral deformation will be useful in providing an early warning of possible pillar failure. (4) Complete stres~strain curves provide a very valuable insight into the behaviour of mine pillars which is

2C

:-:'7::j>
~-es~S $ = 2 ' 5 + 2

2 Pillar

widfh to height ratio W_._ h

Fig. 8. Comparison of large scale tests formulae with the pillar formula from a survey of coal pillars in South Africa.

In situ Tests on Large Rock Specimens

111

stable and collapsed cases. The Salamon formula is plotted for a range of width and height dimensions because the formula is of a 'Pittsburgh type' after Greenwald et al. [2] while the large scale test strength formulae involve directly width-to-height ratios rather than individual values of pillar widths and heights. It is interesting to note that a glance at Fig. 8 immediately reveals that the full size pillars formula could also have been represented by a straight line equation similar to the large scale test formulae--for example, S = 4.5 + 3(w/h) would fit well. It will be seen from Fig. 8 that the full size pillars formula falls between the results obtained from large scale tests at the three collieries. This is understandable since, as was shown earlier in this paper, coal strata from some collieries will yield higher strength values than from the others while the full size pillars formula by Salamon represents average colliery data. It may be concluded from Fig. 8 that large scale test data make realistic strength predictions for full size coal pillars. The great value of large scale tests is that they can make mining more economical by allowing a higher extraction at collieries where stronger coal strata was found during in situ tests by comparison with the average data applicable to the whole country. To summarize, in situ tests in compression on large rock specimens do provide valuable information of direct use in the design of engineering structures such as mine pillars. It must be emphasized, however, that in order to be able to have full confidence in the test results a number of requirements must be fulfilled and those which were listed in this section must all be observed. COST AND TIME CONSIDERATIONS . Having demonstrated the many benefits of large scale in situ tests, it is appropriate to discuss what costs are involved in such tests in terms of both money and time. Large scale in situ tests have always been considered as expensive and time consuming but no detailed cost studies have as yet been published. The authors have kept full records of the costs involved in their tests and can, therefore, present reliable figures. It is believed that the costs of large scale tests must be considered in the light of the percentage turnover spent by an industry on a research programme involving large scale tests and in the light of the financial gains derived from the tests. The research programme described in this paper involved a total expenditure of R213,000" in 10 years. For 66 tests the average cost of one test was about R3250 which is a high figure by most research standards. Furthermore, an average of R21,300 per year for 10 years is also a handsome amount. Yet, if it is considered that during the same period of time the industry has earned some RI030 million from coal sales, then the costs of large scale tests emerge as being of little financial burden to the sponsor. In fact, the average production of the
* O n e r a n d (R) = U.S. $1.5.

smallest of the three collieries at which the large scale tests were conducted is at present 123,000 tons of coal per month which, at R2.50 per ton, is worth R308,000 per month. The cost of the test programme at that colliery was about R20,000 (R2000 per specimen) which represented about 6-5 per cent of its I month production value and could, in fact, be earned by that colliery in 1"5 days. In addition, there are direct financial gains from large scale tests. Continuing with the example of the same colliery, the large scale tests conducted there have shown that the pillars in this colliery are about 50 per cent stronger than as predicted by Salamon's formula for all pillar workings in South Africa. It was calculated that the mine could, for the same safety factor of 1"32 as used at present, increase percentage extraction by 9-3 per cent. In economical terms this would mean a monthly increase of 11,457 tons of coal or an additional income of about R28,600 per month which would more than offset the total cost of large scale tests at this colliery. This clearly demonstrates that large scale in situ tests are indeed economical and that the costs involved are very modest indeed compared to the production income in the mines concerned. In addition, this example only quoted the benefits related to the pillar strength determination while, as was shown before, many other technical data could also be expected. To summarize, the following distribution of costs, time and labour force were applicable to the authors' research programme: Development costs: R50.000 Capital costs: R50,000 Running costs: R2000 per specimen Time factors: specimen preparation 8 weeks for 10 specimens; testing of s p e c i m e n s 5 weeks for 10 specimens; duration of one test series--6 months to report submission Labour force: one research engineer, two technicians, five labourers. It should be noted that the research programme described in this paper, which was spread over 10 years, included 2'5 years of development and preliminary trials and after 5 years of tests the research objectives were changed which necessitated further development of techniques. Today, with all the techniques established and all equipment available the cost per specimen would be R2000 (U.S. $3000), depending, of course, upon the real value of money. CONCLUSIONS (1) The best technique for large scale in situ tests in compression is one involving displacement, rather than stress, controlled loading. For full utilization of the loading capacity of hydraulic jacks, a reinforced concrete block should be placed on the specimen top to simulate reasonably the natural end constraint in situ. (2) Although simulation of the interface constraint between pillar and roof and floor is important, the

112

Z.T. Bieniawski and W. L. Van Heerden


tbr his constructive criticism of the manuscript and 10r his encouragement given to them in the course of this investigation.
Received 14 August 1974.

magnitude of such constraint is not as critical as was previously believed. The influence of end constraint may easily be overshadowed by the scatter of experimental results due to geological structure of in situ specimens even in the same locality. (3) It should be expected that due to structural differences in rock strata, the strength data from large scale in situ tests may differ substantially from one mine to the other. (4) The number of large scale tests must be sufficient to allow for meaningful conclusions. At least two specimens of any type or dimension should be tested to crosscheck the results. Generally, one series of tests should consist of a minimum of 10 specimens. (5) Specimens cubical in shape as well as of different width-to-height ratios must be tested. (6) The maximum specimen size should be sufficiently large to enable reaching the asymptotic strength, i.e. one independent of the specimen size. Maximum specimen sizes of the order of 2 m should be expected in materials such as coal. (7) Both strength and deformation data should be monitored and complete stress strain curves should be obtained. (8) The following parameters should be determined: maximum strength, residual strength, modulus of elasticity, modulus of deformation (maximum stress/strain at failure), post-failure modulus and Poisson's ratio. (9) Representation of the strength results from large scale tests should be of the form: Strength = A + B (w/h) where A and B are constants and w/h is the width-toheight ratio, for specimens larger than the critical size at which the asymptotic strength was reached. This equation should be expressed in dimensionless form. (10) Tests on small specimens, conducted underground, should always accompany large scale tests. (1 I) A cross-check on the behaviour of the prototype is always necessary. (12) Excluding development costs and costs of the equipment, the running costs of large scale in situ tests are about R2000 per specimen. (13) One series of t0 large scale tests will take about 6 months to complete (assuming all the equipment is available) and will involve a team consisting of an engineer, two technicians and a few unskilled labourers. (14) These seemingly expensive tests will be more than offset by financial returns and technical gains derived from an in situ test programme; in any case, these costs are a very small percentage by comparison with the value of production from a mine. In fact, the total costs of one in situ test series may be recovered in 2 production days of an average colliery. (15) Large scale tests can be an invaluable aid in engineering design and can be directly applicable to prediction of the behaviour of full size structures.
Acknowledgement-The authors wish to thank Dr. H. G. Denkhaus, Director of the National Mechanical Engineering Research Institute

REFERENCES
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In situ Tests on Large Rock Specimens


26. Holland C. T. The strength of coal in mine pillars. In Proc. 6th Symp. on Rock Mechanics (E. M. Spokes and C. R. Christiansen, Eds.) pp. 450-466. AIME, New York (1964). 27. Bieniawski Z. T. The compressive strength of hard rock. Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskappe, 8, 163-182 (1968). 28. Cruise J. A. The determination of the strength characteristics of wide pillars. MSc(Eng) Thesis, 45 p., University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1969). 29. Babcock C. O. Effect of end constraint on the compressive strength of model rock pillars. Trans. Soe. Min. Engn., AIME 344, 357-363 (1969).

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30. Sheorey P. R. and Singh B. Strength of rectangular pillars in partial extraction. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci, & Geomech. Abstr. !1, 41-44 (1974). 31. Bieniawski Z. T. Deformational behaviour of fractured rock in multiaxial compression. In: So'ucture, Solid ,Mechanics and Enoineerin# Design (Proc. 1969 Materials Conference) (M. Te'eni, Ed.) pp. 589-598. Wiley-Interscience, London (1971). 32. Salamon M. D. G. Stability, instability of design of pillar workings, Int, J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. 7, 613 631 (1970). 33. Salamon M. D. G. and Munro A. H. A study of the strength of coal pillars. J. S. Aft'. Inst. Min. MetaU. 68, 55-67 (1967).