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Level 3 laboratory activities refer to the need for an open-ended laboratory activity is
emphasized in enhancing independent learning activities and inculcating creativity
and innovation of students. This open-ended laboratory activities is created to
provide a platform for students (as a group) to determine the objectives and scopes
of the laboratory assignment, identify the necessary apparatus and prepare step by
step methodology to carry out the task to address the given problem. The group will
be required to analyse all the technical data obtained and present them in a technical
format. Besides that, the groups have to solve a given problem using the right
laboratory testing equipment and methodology.

In this open laboratory activity, the students are required to carry out test to
determine the strength of rocks by using point load, rebound hammer test and
uniaxial compressive strength.

Rebound Hammer Test

To determine the strength of rocks on evaluate the structure of the concrete building.

Point Load Test

To determine the point load index value of the rock samples using point load test

Uniaxial Compressive Strength

To measure the uniaxial strength of rock samples in form of specimen of regular


A practical approach for estimating the strength behaviour of rock materials is

presented. The demand for data on rock properties in engineering design is
considered, and it is shown that, based on the trends observed in the South African
mining industry during the last twenty years, simple and easy-to-use methods for the
estimation of the uniaxial and triaxial strength of rock materials are needed. It is
shown that the uniaxial compressive strength of rock can be conveniently
determined from the point-load strength index, which is obtained underground on
unprepared rock cores. The triaxial strength of rock can be estimated for most
practical purposes from empirical strength criteria. Two such criteria are proposed
that allow estimation of the triaxial strength for rock materials to about 10 per cent.
The only input required for these criteria is the uniaxial compressive strength. The
validity of the practical approach outlined in this paper is confirmed from the
experimental tests conducted on some 700 rock specimens representing five rock
types. A practical example for the prediction of rock strength is given.

Trixial test machine (loading frame, pump, ram and platens)

System for measuring the load P required to break the specimen, Digital
Force Display
2 rock samples (igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic rocks)
Rebound Hammer Apparatus
Uniaxial compressive machine
Loading machine


1. Granite and marble rock had been put in the steel base.
2. Rebound hammer was set up.
3. Hold the rebound hammer perpendicular to the granites surface tested.
4. Compress the hammer spring by gradually depressing the plunger until the
hammer is triggered and impact occur.
5. The rock was read and recorded.
6. Repeated this procedure until three times to get the average reading of the
granite strength.
7. Procedure 3-6 was repeated for marble rock.


1. The total length (l) and diameter (d) of the marble was measured. Specimen of l/d
in between 0.3 to 1.0, are considered to be suitable for this test.

2. The specimen vertically in between two platens was placed.

3. The distance between two platen contact points (D) was measured with the help
of the scale attached with the loading frame. Measure the specimen width (W) which
is equal to the diameter of the core specimen (i.e. d).

4. Load to the core specimen was applied such that failure occur within 10-60 sec.
record the failure load P.

5. Repeated the procedure for granite rock.


1. Specimen shall be tested at a moisture content close to field condition as

2. L/D ratio, preferably be 2 to 3. If L/D < 2, then correction shall be applied.

3. The granite sample should be prepared in such a manner that the cylindrical
surface shall be smooth and free from abrupt and irregularities.

4. Diameter of the test specimen was measured to the nearest 0.1 mm by

averaging two diameters measured at right angles to each other at about the
upper height, the mid height and the lower height of the specimen.

5. The surfaces of the two bearing discs and the test specimen was cleaned.
The specimen was placed on the lower disc.

6. Carefully align the axis of specimen with the center of thrust of the spherical

7. Applied load continuously at a constant stress rate within the limits of 0.5
MPa/s to 1.0 MPa/s.

8. The maximum load on the specimen was recorded at failure in N within 1%


9. The procedure was repeated using marble rock sample.


Rebound Hammer Test

Type of Compressive load of Compressive load of Compressive load of Impact (

rock 1st reading (N/mm2) 2nd reading (N/mm2) 3rd reading (N/mm2) o
granite 59.60 67.30 67.10 90

marble 40.20 51.20 52.30 90


Average reading of granite

( 59.6 + 67.3 + 67.1 ) / 3 = 64.67 N/mm 2

Average reading of marble

( 40.2 + 51.2 + 52.3 ) / 3 = 47.9 N/mm 2

Point Load Test

Diameter = 50 mm

Area = 1.963 X10-3 m2

Height = 50 mm

No Name of Rock Type of rock Force to break Point load Compressive

. the rock(N) index (MPa) Strength (MPa)
1 granite igneous 21.69 6.057 27.120

2 marble sedimentary 2.24 0.63 15.56


Equivalent core diameter:

De= ( )

1.963 103

4( )0.5


size correction factor:

F= ( De50 ) 0.45 0.45

F= ( 0.05
50 )
0.45 0.45

F=6.981 104

Point load index for granite (mPA):

( )
I S (50 )=

I S (50 )=
(6.981 10 )(21.69)
0.052 )
I S (50 )=6.057

Point load index for marble (mPA):

( DeFP )
I S (50 )= 2

I S (50 )=
(6.981 104 )(2.24)
0.052 )
I S (50 )=0.63
Unaxial Compressive Strength

Diameter = 50 mm

Area = 1.963 x10-3 m2

Height = 100 mm

No. Name of Rock Compressive load before Compressive Stress(kPA)

failure (N)
1 Granite 162 342.40

2 marble 60 105.05

Rock test was conducted in this laboratory are including point load test,
unconfined compressive strength (UCS) test and rebound hammer test. Point load
test was conducted by placing cylindrical rock sample such as granite (igneous rock)
and marble (metamorphic rock) at the centre of the machine. Then, load was applied
until sample was crushed and failure load (ultimate strength) of the rock was
recorded. Crushed rock shape also was recorded to differentiate crush shape
between two sample rock. Compressive strength was calculated by determining
point load strength index by using this formula :

P 1000
I s=
D e2

Where ,
D e 2=

P = Ultimate Strength (kN)

A = Area of specimen (m2)

And compressive strength was calculated by using formula below :

q c =22 I s

Rebound hammer test was conducted by placing rebound hammer normal to

the rock surface and compressive strength was recorded. After that, UCS test was
conducted similarly to point load test and compressive strength was recorded. The
differences between rebound hammer and UCS test are destructive and non-
destructive test. Rebound hammer test was conducted without destruct the rock
while UCS test destruct the rock to determine crushed shape


To determine and classify the strength index of rock materials can be done by three
different experiment which are Point Load Test, Rebound Hardness Test and
Unconfined Compressive Test where there can be categorized as destructive and
undestructive test. All of the experiment will give the index value of strength of the
sample specimen which in this experiment the sample are granite and mica. To
determine the strength of rock is important in construction because when the higher
the strength of rock used the stronger the construction.