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www.elsevier.com/locate/ijrmms

non-persistent joints

M. Prudencio, M. Van Sint Jan

Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile

Received 13 June 2006; received in revised form 23 January 2007; accepted 25 January 2007

Available online 19 March 2007

Abstract

Most problems faced by the practicing rock engineer involve the evaluation of rock mass strength and deformability. The theoretical

evaluation of the mechanical properties of fractured rock masses has no satisfactory answer because of the great number of variables

involved. One of these variables, the inﬂuence of which over rock mass behavior is poorly documented, is the degree of fracture

persistence. This paper presents the results of biaxial tests performed on physical models of rock with non-persistent joints. The failure

modes and maximum strengths developed were found to depend on, among other variables, the geometry of the joint systems, the

orientation of the principal stresses, and the ratio between intermediate stress and intact material compressive strength (s2/sc). Tests

showed three basic failure modes: failure through a planar surface, stepped failure, and failure by rotation of new blocks. Planar failure

and stepped failure are associated with high strength behavior, and small failure strains, whereas rotational failure is associated with a

very low strength, ductile behavior, and large deformation.

r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Failure through a planar surface; Stepped failure; Failure by rotation of new blocks; Non-persistent joints

1. Introduction where (cj, fj) and (cr, fr) represents the cohesion and

friction angle of the joint and of the intact rock,

The design of high rock slopes, typical of open pits, often respectively, and k is the joint continuity factor given by

requires the evaluation of the rock mass strength along

failure surfaces partly along existing joints and partly k ¼ Lj =ðLj þ Lr Þ, (2)

through the intervening intact rock. Collinear joints

where Lj and Lr are the length of the joint and of the rock

separated by volumes of intact rock are often referred to

bridge, respectively (Fig. 1).

as non-persistent or discontinuous joints. Jennings [1]

Eq. (1) disregards the inﬂuence of the joints on the

proposed to compute the combined strength of joint and

stress distribution, and assumes simultaneous failure of

rock bridges from the simple linear weighing of the

the intact material and the joints; it thus disregards the

strength contributed by each fraction of material:

possibility of progressive failure. Jennings’ criterion can

also be expressed in terms of the major principal stresses, as

t ¼ kðcj þ s tan fj Þ þ ð1 kÞðcr þ s tan fr Þ, (1) follows:

ð2= sinð2bÞÞ kcj þ ð1 kÞcr þ s2 1 þ k tan fj þ ð1 kÞ tan fr cot b

s1 ¼ . (3)

1 tan b k tan fj þ ð1 kÞ tan fr

E-mail address: mauricio.prudencio@gmail.com (M. Prudencio). rock masses with non-persistent joints: ﬁeld observations

1365-1609/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.ijrmms.2007.01.005

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cement mortar mold before the mortar sets. Lajtai [9] ran

σ1

direct shear tests on model material with non-persistent

joints and observed that the failure mode changed with

A

increasing normal stress; he proposed a composite failure

β envelope to describe the transition from the tensile strength

γ

of the intact material to the residual strength of the

σ2 discontinuities. He thus recognized that maximum shear

Lr

σ2 strength develops only if the strength of the solid material

α

and the joints are mobilized simultaneously. Other

B investigators conducted further experimental research to

Lj

d understand, in a qualitative way, the beginning, propaga-

tion, and coalescence phenomena between two joints

σ1

[10–13].

Fig. 1. Parameters varied in the tests. 1.3. Tests with a set of non-persistent joints

(as in the well known Hoek and Brown failure criterion);

parallel non-persistent joints. He mostly varied the

analytical solutions (as in Jenning’s criterion); numerical

continuity factor (k) the spacing between joints (d) and

studies (using available commercial software), or labora-

the orientation of the joints with respect to the principal

tory tests. Laboratory tests are an attractive procedure

stress axes (b) (Fig. 1), maintaining a joint step angle (g) of

because they can expose failure mechanisms that may not

901 in all tests. Cording and Jamil [15] identiﬁed four

become evident by other means. Laboratory tests are also

modes of failure for non-persistent joints, depending on the

useful to calibrate analytical solutions and numerical

geometry of the joint system and the conﬁning stress:

studies. Some previous results obtained with different test

sliding on a single plane, stepping, multiplane stepping, and

arrangements are summarized in the following paragraphs.

shearing through intact rock. They found that the strength

along a stepped joint failure, including the tensile strength

1.1. Tests with assemblages of blocks

of the intervening rock bridge, could be approximated by

the expression

Some early attempts to evaluate the strength of rock

masses with non-persistent joints have consisted in testing d

t ¼ st þ sn tan ðfj þ iÞ, (4)

assemblages of blocks distributed in such a way as to produce Lj

non-persistent joints [2–7]. The results shed light on the

behavior of rock masses, but the geometry of the joints tested where st is the tensile strength of the intact material, i is the

was unrealistic. At high conﬁnement stress (s2/sc40.07, equivalent dilation angle, and fj the residual friction angle

where sc is the unconﬁned compressive strength of the intact of the non-cohesive joint. As an alternative, the following

material), failure occurred through a planar surface, partly equation presents the same criterion in the plane of (s1, s2)

along the joints and partly through the intervening intact 2st =sc d s2

material. At low conﬁnement stress, which may be more þ ð1 þ tanðfj þ iÞ= cotðb iÞÞ

s1 sin 2ðb iÞLj sc

relevant for slope stability analysis, the blocks could rotate, ¼ . (5)

sc 1 tanðfj þ iÞ tanðb iÞ

resulting in stress concentration and strength reduction.

To study the inﬂuence of the intermediate principal Results of other tests with a non-persistent joint set are

stress on the strength of an anisotropic material, Reik reported by various other investigators [16–19].

and Zacas [8] performed true triaxial compression tests Some methods used in practice to evaluate the strength

on 130-cm-high samples with a 60-cm2 cross-section. These of rock masses with several sets of non-persistent joints use

samples were assemblies of small blocks (4 6 10 cm an approach based on Eqs. (1) and (4), and an automatic

each) prepared with an artiﬁcial material. The tests studied search procedure to ﬁnd the path of least resistance. As

the change in the compressive strength of the samples as a indicated previously, these approaches may fail to recog-

function of two parameters: the orientation of the joints nize the development of progressive failure or of different

and the intermediate principal stress. They showed that the failure modes.

inﬂuence of the intermediate principal stress is small when The present paper describes the result of experimental

this stress is parallel to the strike of the main join set. studies carried out at the Pontiﬁcia Universidad Católica

de Chile on model materials with non-persistent joints.

1.2. Tests with truly non-persistent joints The tests have conﬁrmed the failure modes identiﬁed

by Cording and Jamil [15], and permitted the detection

A laboratory method of creating non-persistent joints of a failure mode that involves the rotation of blocks that

can be achieved by inserting thin metallic sheets in a are formed when the intervening rock bridges fail by

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coalescence of wing fractures. This failure mode, as the one values quoted for typical rocks, the axial strain at failure

described by Sagong and Bobet [20], cannot be explained coincides with typical values.

by Jennings’ criterion (Eq. (1)) or by that of Cording and Direct shear tests and normal load tests on 5 4 4 cm

Jamil (Eq. (4)). square samples indicated the following properties of

closed joints: maximum cohesion cj peak ¼ 0.042 MPa,

2. Testing material and equipment joint friction angle fj peak ¼ 331, and residual friction

angle of the joint fj residual ¼ 331. Thus, except for the

2.1. Model material E50/sci ratio, the model material properties comply with

the non-dimensional ratios proposed by Heuer and

Ideally, the model material should have mechanical Hendron [21].

properties that reproduce, to the proper scale, the behavior

2.2. Sample preparation

of intact rock. The model material used in this research is a

mixture of ﬁne sand, common cement and distilled water,

Biaxial tests were run on samples that were 300-mm-

mixed in proportion of 4000/1000/1235 by weight.

high, 150-mm-wide, and 50-mm-thick. These samples were

Uniaxial and triaxial compression tests made with this

prepared by pouring the mortar mixture into a mold, and

mixture gave the following results: unconﬁned compressive

inserting 0.1-mm-thick and 5-mm-wide steel sheets into the

strength sci at 14 days ¼ 3.46 MPa, axial strain at failure

mixture. The steel sheets were attached to an external

ef ¼ 0.45%, cohesion ci ¼ 0.86 MPa, peak angle of friction

frame provided with steel bars that could be positioned at

fi ¼ 371, tensile strength st ¼ 0.45 MPa, tangent modulus

different angles and spacing so that a variety of joint

of deformation at s ¼ 0.45 sci E50 ¼ 2400 MPa, and

geometries could be produced. Joints with aperture of

Poisson’s ratio n ¼ 0.16.

0.1 mm were obtained by removing the steel sheets after

As shown by its uniaxial compression strength vs. axial

24 h of curing, while joints with aperture of 0.0 mm were

strain curve (Fig. 2), the model material has a rather ductile

obtained by removing the sheets after 2 h of curing. The

behavior: although the ratio E50/sc is above the range of

test specimens were cured for 14 days in a room with

controlled temperature and humidity. The different models

1.2 thus prepared had the parameter values shown in Table 1

Marble Model Material and the geometries shown in Fig. 3.

1.0

2.3. Test setup

0.8 Norite

A uniform load was applied to the sample, through a

σ1/σc

0.6 Sandstone

pyramid of simply supported steel platens, by hydraulic

Quarzite

0.4

jacks reacting against a steel frame (Fig. 4). The load was

measured with load cells, and the displacement by two

0.2 axial and two transverse LVDTs (displacement transdu-

cers). Fifty-three specimens were tested; the intermediate

0 principal stress ranged from 0 to 0.2 times the intact

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 material compressive strength. Control samples of each

ε (%)

mix (5-cm-diameter and 10-cm-high cylinders) were pro-

Fig. 2. Comparison of non-dimensional stress vs. strain curves of model duced, which allowed us to control the compressive

material, with Norite, Sandstone, Quarzite [24] and Marble [25]. strength of the intact material used in every specimen.

Table 1

Joint geometries and conﬁning stresses of the samples tested

2 90 45 0.000 0.026 0.040 0.050 0.096

3 135 15 0.000 0.043 0.047 0.103 0.169

4 30 0.000 0.017 0.023 0.053 0.091 0.103 0.169

5 45 0.000 0.040 0.064 0.126

6 60 0.000 0.011 0.025 0.035 0.060 0.077 0.079 0.176 0.199

7 4 117 0.000

8 3 127 45 0.000 0.011 0.020 0.039 0.058 0.086

9 2 2 112.5 0.000 0.030 0.055 0.075 0.100

10 135 0.00 0.000 0.042 0.066 0.123

11 2.5 1 1 90 0.01 0.000 0.099

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3. Test results and experimental observations high stress concentration. The initial spreading of these

ﬁssures, or wing cracks, is practically perpendicular to the

In agreement with Grifﬁth’s criterion, when a sample direction of the joint. The propagation of the cracks is

containing non-persistent joints is loaded in compression, inﬂuenced by the geometry of the neighboring joints, as

new ﬁssures are created at the tip of the joints subjected to deﬁned by Fig. 1. Similar failure modes can be deﬁned,

depending on the way in which the new cracks spread until

the model collapses.

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 failure through a plane, stepped failure, and rotation of

new blocks (Fig. 5). Some samples failed by a combination

of rotation with stepped failure, a mode that can be

considered included in the previous three modes.

Failure through a plane results when the failure surface

propagates along a joint set and the intervening rock

bridges, developing a single plane with the same dip as the

joints. Failure starts at the joint tips and propagates

S7 S8 S9 S 10 S 11

through the rock bridge until it reaches another colineal

Fig. 3. Joint geometries tested. joint tip.

Stepped failure occurs by sliding on a joint segment and

stepping between adjacent parallel joints (Fig. 6). Failure

of the intact material starts at the joint tip and propagates

quasi perpendicularly to the joint until it is connected with

another wing crack coming from the joint tip of a parallel

system. The resulting failure surface has an average slope

angle cf ¼ c1+Dc, where c1 is the dip of the joint system

and Dc ¼ tan1 (d/Lj).

Rotation of new blocks takes place when the joints are

relatively close and aE 901, so that all the joint tips are

nearly along the same line. The wing cracks of parallel

joints coalesce and the model fractures into a series of

blocks that can rotate. Failure usually spreads in a ductile

way. At large strains, the blocks tend to slide into a

multiple stepping mechanism, which can be described as an

interaction between rotation and stepped failure. However,

the strength of the model is controlled by the rotation

mode, and is much smaller than the strength for stepped

Fig. 4. Loading frame and sample set up (plan view). failure.

PROB 41

July 6

β = 15

3=0

Fig. 5. Observed failure modes: (a) through a plane, series 3, s2 =sc ¼ 0:00; (b) stepped, series 2, s2/sc ¼ 0.00; (c) rotation of new blocks series 5,

s2/sc ¼ 0.00; (d) interaction between rotation and stepped, series 8, s2/sc ¼ 0.01.

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A failure plane with the strike of s2, and developing s2, all underwent brittle failure at a strain of approximately

through the intact material, was observed at high 0.3–0.4% (Fig. 8a).

intermediate conﬁning stress. It deﬁnes the upper limit of The only series to fail through a plane was that with

the strength envelope for the model material under biaxial steep joints (Series 3 with b ¼ 151, Fig. 8c). The lower angle

load conditions (s3 ¼ 0). b of 151 made it easier for a failure surface through the

rock bridge to develop on the same plane of the joints than

3.2. Behavior of rock models on the longer surface failure needed to jump from one

system of joints to the adjacent one. Failure took place at

The 11 series presented here correspond to different small strains (less than 1%) and was usually brittle. As the

combinations of persistence k, spacing Lr/d, dip b, and intermediate principal stress s2 increased, the failure

angle of overlap g. Each series included several samples, occurred through the intact material, but the modulus of

each with a different value of the intermediate principal deformation of the ‘‘rock mass’’ did not change much.

stress s2. These test variables all strongly inﬂuenced the Stepped failure was observed in Series 2, 9, and 11, with

model failure (Table 2). b ¼ 451 and g close to 901 (Figs. 8b, i and k). For Series 2 and

The strength of the prismatic samples was approximately 11, the non-dimensional ratios k and Lr/d are the same,

10–20% high than the strength of cylindrical specimens although joint dimensions are different. As expected, these two

tested to check the intact material strength (Fig. 7). The series yield comparable results. The failure strain usually

modulus of deformation of the intact prismatic samples ranged from 0.5% to 1.0%. As the intermediate principal

was quite similar to the modulus of the intact material, E50. stress s2 increased, the failure mode changed to failure through

The three prismatic samples with no joints (Series 1), a plane and, eventually, to failure through the intact material.

tested at different values of the intermediate principal stress However, the failure strain was always larger than in the cases

of intact material and of failure through a single plane.

The remaining series (4–10) failed by rotation, a failure

mode characterized by lower strengths and larger failure

strains than either planar or stepped failure. They all had a

tip-to-tip joint angle a of 901, with a tip-to-toe angle g

ranging from 117 to 1351. Our tests did not disclose the full

range of a and g combinations where rotational failure

mode could occur. The stress–strain curve of these series

shows an abrupt change of slope, generally at strains

smaller than 0.2%, coincident with the development of

wing cracks at the joint tips. As the loading proceeds, the

wing fracture originating at the tip of a joint propagates

without stepping until it connects with the tip of another

joint. As a result, the rock mass becomes fractured into

several blocks that can now rotate and slide, leading to low

Fig. 6. Stepped failure. Average dip of the failure surface. strength and low modulus values. In fact, in some of the

Table 2

Dominant failure modes

2 5 2 2 90 45 45 Stepped failure (S) for 0.00os2/sco0.04

Planar Failure (P) for 0.05os2/sco0.10

3 5 2 2 135 15 90 Planar failure (P) for 0.00os2/sco0.10

Intact Material for s2/sc40.17

4 5 2 2 135 30 90 Rotation failure (R) for 0.00os2/sco0.17

5 5 2 2 135 45 90 Rotation failure (R) for 0.00os2/sco0.13

6 5 2 2 135 60 90 Rotation failure (R) for 0.00os2/sco0.08

Intact Material for s2/sc40.18

7 5 2 4 117 89,5 Rotation failure (R) for s2/sc ¼ 0.00

8 5 3 4 127 45 89,8 Rotation failure (R) for 0.00os2/sco0.04

Intact Material for s2/sc40.06

9 5 2 2 113 59,6 Stepped failure (S) for 0.00os2/sco0.08

Intact Material for s2/sc40.10

10 5 2 2 135 90 Rotation failure (R) for 0.00os2/sco0.12

11 2.5 1 1 90 45 Stepped failure (S) for s2/sc ¼ 0.00

Planar failure (P) for s2/sc ¼ 0.10

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tests, the model strength was equal to the strength that 4.1. Failure envelopes

would result along a single joint.

We compared the strength of the laboratory samples

4. Analysis of results with the shear strength of a joint and with previously

published failure criteria for non-persistent joints, such as

The failure mode and the strength of rock models with those of Jennings [1] and of Cording and Jamil [15].

non-persistent joints were found to depend on the Fig. 9 summarizes the strength at failure for g ¼ 1351

geometry of the joints on the s2/sc ratio and the strength and three values of b (451,301,151). In addition to the

of the joint material. experimental points indicating the failure stresses, each

1.25

1.00

0.75

σ1/σc

0.50

0.25

0.00

0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0

ε (%)

Fig. 8. Principal stress difference vs. axial strain curves. (a) series 1, (b) series 2, (c) series 3, (d) series 4, (e) series 5 and (f) series 6, (g) series 7, (h) series 8,

(i) series 9, (j) Series 10, (k) series 11. R, Rotation failure mode; P, sliding on a single plane; S, stepping failure mode, I, Shearing through intact material.

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Fig. 8. (Continued)

panel includes three lines: the upper line represents the not inﬂuence much the strength of the models within the

strength of the intact sample in the (s1, s2) plane, according range tested. In these tests, b ¼ 451 and 451pap601. The

to the Kim and Lade [22] criterion; the intermediate line results are in agreement with those reported by Cording

represents the failure strength of the fractured sample and Jamil [15]: step failure, dominant at low conﬁning

according to Jennings’ criterion; and the lower line stresses, changed to planar failure and ﬁnally to failure

represents the strength for a single joint of inclination. through the intact material as the conﬁning stress

For b ¼ 451 (Fig. 9a), the sample fails by rotation and the increased. Although series 2 and 11 have the same non-

model strength is equal to the residual strength along a dimensional parameters, the length of the joints and their

single (lower line). For b ¼ 301 (Fig. 9b), the sample fails spacing are smaller for series 11 (Table 1). In fact, a closer

by rotation and the strength falls somewhere between the look at the experimental results (Fig. 11) shows that series

strength along a single joint (lower line) and Jennings’ 11 is slightly stronger than series 2. The slight increase in

envelope (intermediate line). For b ¼ 151 (Fig. 9c), the strength can be explained by the Fracture Mechanics

sample fails through a plane connecting several non- Theory, which indicates that for small fracture lengths

persistent joints. Surprisingly, the strength increases correspond small values of the Stress Intensity Factors (KI

dramatically and it becomes higher than the strength and KII). This lead to higher rock mass strength.

predicted by Jennings’ simple model. We believe that the Within the geometries tested, the strength of models

strength is due to higher normal stresses on the rock failing by rotational mode was most signiﬁcantly inﬂu-

bridges than predicted by the simple model. This hypoth- enced by the angle of inclination b of the major principal

esis is supported by ﬁnite-element analysis: for an open stress with respect to the joint system (Fig. 12). From

joint, the maximum normal stress computed along the rock this ﬁgure can be obtained the model friction angle,

bridge resulted in more than four times the average normal witch increase from series 4 to 5 to 6 and to 8 (respectively,

stress computed with Jennings’ hypothesis (Fig. 17). 401, 401, 451 and 541). On the other hand, the cohesion

The results of series 2, 9 and 11 fall fairly well within the does not show a clear trend. The c/sci value is between

same envelope (Fig. 10), indicating that the angle g does 0.014 and 0.028.

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1 I

1 1

1.25 1.25 1.25

4 3

P

1.00 3 1.00 3 1.00

2 P

4

σ1/σc

σ1/σc

σ1/σc

R

0.75 0.75 0.75 2

R 2

R

0.50 0.50 4 0.50 P

R

R R R

0.25 0.25 0.25

R R β=45 RR β=30 β=15

0.00 0.00 0.00

0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20

σ2/σc σ2/σc σ2/σc

1 Intact Material

2 Fracture Strength

3 Jenning’s Criteria

4 Best linear fit

Experimental Data

R: Rotation Failure Mode

P: Sliding on a Single Plane

S: Stepping Failure Mode

I : Shearing Through Intact Material

Fig. 9. Change in strength and failure mode with the orientation of the major principal stress.

1.50 1.40 1

1

1.20 Symbol Lj/e Model

1.25 P+S

1.00 2

P+S P

σ1/σc

S P 0.60

σ1/σc

S

S 2 Fracture Strength

4 Fracture Strength 0.20 S 500

0.50 S P S

S Experimental Data 0.00

0.25 S P : Sliding on a Single Plane 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20

S : Stepping Failure Mode σ2/σc

S

0.00 1 Intact Material

0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 2 Fracture Strength

σ2/σc P : Sliding on a Single Plane

k=0.71, Lr/d=1, β=45, γ=90 & 112.5, φj=33 S : Stepping Failure Mode

Fig. 11. Effect of joint aperture ‘‘e’’ on the strength of the samples.

Fig. 10. Strength envelope for step failure, k ¼ 0,71; Lr/d ¼ 1.0; b ¼ 451;

Comparison between series 2 (Lj/e ¼ 500) and series 11 (Lj/e ¼ 250).

90pgp112.5.

k ¼ 0.71, Lr/d ¼ 1.0, b ¼ 45, g ¼ 90, e ¼ 0.1 mm (joint aperture).

4.2. Effect of joint cohesion and joint stiffness importantly, the magnitude of normal and shear stiffness

of the joint. Finite-element analysis indicate that an

Series 5 and 10 show the inﬂuence of joint cohesion over increase of normal and shear stiffness reduces the tensile

the model strength. For a joint cohesion approximately stress at the joint tips, thus increasing the strength of the

0.05 times the intact material cohesion and a joint model.

continuity factor of 0.71, the strength of the model mass

increases approximately by 0.4 times the intact material 4.3. Anisotropic strength behavior

strength (Fig. 13).

The strength increases because of two effects: an increase The effect on the strength of the models of the

in the cj/sc ratio from 0 to 0.012 and, even more orientation b of the major principal stress is further

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1 1 1

1.25 1.25 1.25

I I

1.00 3 1.00 3 1.00

4

σ1/σc

σ1/σc

σ1/σc

0.75 R 0.75 0.75

2 R R

R R

0.50 4 0.50 4 0.50

R R

R 2 R

0.25 R 0.25 R 0.25 R

R R R R

RR R

0.00 0.00 0.00

0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20

σ2/σc σ2/σc σ2/σc

Serie 4. k=0.71,Lr/d=1,β=30,γ =135 Serie 5. k=0.71,Lr/d=1,β=45,γ =135 Serie 6. k=0.71,Lr/d=1,β=60,γ =135

1.50

1

1 Intact Material

1.25 Series Properties

2 Fracture Strength

3 Series Nφ φ σ1/σci c/σci

3 Jenning’s Criteria

1.00

4 R+I 4 Best linear fit

4 4.56 40 0.078 0.018

σ1/σc

0.75 2

R+I Experimental Data

5 4.56 40 0.058 0.014

R: Rotation Failure Mode

0.50 P: Sliding on a Single Plane 6 5.93 45 0.137 0.028

R+S

S: Stepping Failure Mode

0.25 R+S I : Shearing Through Intact Material 7 9.48 54 0.116 0.019

R R+S

0.00

0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20

σ2/σc

Serie 8.k=0.63,Lr/d=1,β=45,γ=127

1.50

1

1.25

1.00 R

2

3

σ1/σc

0.75

R

0.50 R R R

0.25 R

R

R

0.00

0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20

σ2/σc

Experimental data closed joint

Experimental data open joint

1 Intact Material

2 Fracture Strength (open joint)

3 Fracture Strength (closed joint)

R: Rotation Failure Mode

k=0.71, Lr/d=1.0, β=45 and γ =135.

Open joints, series 5, cj= 0.000 [MPa], φj=33°, kn = 16 [MPa]/cm and kt = 0 [MPa]/cm.

Closed joints, series 10, cj=0.042 [MPa], φj=33°, kn = 16 [MPa]/cm and kt = 330 [MPa]/cm.

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M. Prudencio, M. Van Sint Jan / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 44 (2007) 890–902 899

illustrated in a plot of s1/sc vs. b (Fig. 14). This plot joints. To improve our understanding of the interaction

compares the strength of series 3–6, and shows curves among adjacent joints, we carried out a numerical study

obtained from the linear envelopes in Figs. 9 and 12. It with the software PHASE2 [23], assuming elastic behavior.

shows three different failure modes. (a) Planar failure is This study estimated the external stress ﬁeld needed to

observed for b ¼ 151. The intact material shear strength induce joint closure and that needed to obtain tensile

and the joint shear strength, mobilized simultaneously, failure at the joint tips, and studied the normal stress

result in high strengths. We assume that the same failure distribution along the rock bridges for cases in which the

mode would prevail for smaller values of bU (b) Rotational joints have a low inclination with respect to the major

failure, observed for b between 301 and 601. The strength is principal stress. It covered two cases, g ¼ 901 and g ¼ 1351,

reduced and the failure is more ductile. (c) Transitional each time with Lj ¼ 5 cm, Lr ¼ 2 cm, d ¼ 2 cm, and

failure, assumed for b between 151 and 301. e ¼ 0.1 mm (open joint). Its main results are shown in

Figs. 16 and 17.

4.4. Estimation of the failure mode of non-persistent joint The major principal stress that produces joint closure

systems decreased as b increased and did not change signiﬁcantly as

s2/sc varied from 0 to 0.15. An increase of g from 901 to 1351

Knowledge of the possible failure mode allows one to resulted in a closure stress increase of approximately 50%.

forecast whether the failure will be ductile or fragile. In contrast, the major principal stress that causes tensile

Cording and Jamil [15] found that stepped failure occurs as failure at the joint tip did not change signiﬁcantly as g

b and the Lr/d ratio increase. Sagong and Bobet [20] also increased from 901 to 1351 but did change as s2/sc varied

found a correlation between geometrical parameters and from 0 to 0.15. For s2/sc ¼ 0, the stress was also

failure modes. As our tests show, a plot of (yb) vs. Lr/d independent of b, but for s2/sc ¼ 0.15, it depended

(where y ¼ 1801g) serves as an empirical procedure to strongly on b.

discriminate between failure modes. This plot (Fig. 15) The numerical analyses show that the normal stresses are

builds on experimental evidence from our research in not uniform along the rock bridge. Compressive stresses

addition to evidence found by Jamil [14], and includes data are observed for sh equal to 0.3, with high stress

for joint persistence greater than 0.63 and b larger than 301. concentrations at the joint tips. In these cases the average

For b less than 301, the samples always failed through a value of the stress normal to the rock joint was 2.8 times

plane. The plot is similar to that of Sagong and Bobet [20], larger than the uniform value computed with the simple

but it covers more cases and is a better predictor. hypothesis of Jennings (Fig. 17).

The stress distribution near the tip of a joint depends, Our laboratory tests on artiﬁcial rock models with non-

among other factors, on the presence and location of other persistent joints illustrate the large anisotropy in the

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900 M. Prudencio, M. Van Sint Jan / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 44 (2007) 890–902

80 σ1

70 P P d

1

60

SyP β

50 Lr σ2

P S&P 2 θ

40 S

θ−β S&P s

30 3

S S

20 P+S

R R

10 MS 4 Failure Mode

R+S P : Planar

0 R+S R

S : Stepping

5

-10 R : Rotation

R P+S : Mixed mode P y S

-20

R+S : Mixed mode R y S

0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0

MS : Multi stepping

Lr/d

1 Sliding on a single plane

2 Transition zone between sliding on a single plane and stepping failure mode.

if σ2/σc>0.04 planar failure

if σ2/σc<0.04 stepping

3 Stepping

4 Transition zone between stepping and rotation

5 Rotation

Note : If β<22.5 Planar failure

Fig. 15. Summary of failure modes observed in the tests and suggested boundaries. Plot valid for k40.63 and s2/sc o0.20.

Joint closure

0.8 0.8

Joint closure

σ1/σc

σ1/σc

0.6 0.6

0.4 0.4

0.0 0.0

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

β β

σ2/σc Symbol

0.00

Tensile fracture

0.15

0.00

Joint closure

0.15

Fig. 16. Major principal stress needed to induce tensile failure at the joint tips and to achieve joint closure.

strength of a fractured rock mass. The stress orientation Low conﬁning pressures when the joint step angle is

relative to the orientation of the joints and the value of the approximately 901 can induce a step failure along an

conﬁning stress resulted in different failure modes. average slope angle cf ¼ c1+Dc, where c1 is the dip of the

Samples with steeply dipping non-persistent joints and joint system and Dc ¼ tan1(d/Lj).

joint step angle larger than 901 underwent planar failure. Wing fractures and tensile failure propagating in the

The strength of some samples turned out to be larger than rock bridge between parallel adjacent fractures can

the strength predicted by a simple model because the signiﬁcantly reduce the strength of the rock mass. As a

normal stress on the rock bridges is several times larger result, the model divides into a series of individual blocks

than the stress assumed by the simple model. that can rotate, leading to a toppling or ‘‘rotational

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ARTICLE IN PRESS

M. Prudencio, M. Van Sint Jan / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 44 (2007) 890–902 901

σv=1 Kg/cm2

Average normal stress on the rock bridge

15

σn(kg/cm2) for σv= 1 kg/cm2

From From

σh

σh= 0.3 Kg/cm2 (kg/cm2)

Numerical Jennng’s

Analysis Hypothesis

0.3 0.97 0.35

Area of study

2) 2)

g/cm g/cm

σ n (k σ n (k

2.0

2.0

1.5

1.5

1.0

1.0

0.5

0.5

0.0

-5.0

0.0

-5.0

-1.0

-1.0

0

σh=0.3

σh=0.3

Lr(cm

1

1

L r (c

)

m)

2

Fig. 17. Normal stress distribution along the rock bridge according to the numerical analysis and according to Jennings’ hypothesis.

failure’’. The overall strength can be as low as the residual [2] Brown ET, Trollope DH. Strength of a model of jointed rock. J Soil

strength on an equivalent joint along the potential failure Mech Found Div ASCE 1970;96:685–704.

surface. [3] Brown ET. Strength of models of rock with intermittent joints. J Soil

Mech Found Div ASCE 1970;96:1935–49.

Planar failure and stepped failure are associated with

[4] Einstein HH, Hirschfeld RC. Model studies on mechanics of jointed

higher strengths, brittle behavior, and small failure strains, rock. J Soil Mech Found Div ASCE 1973;99:229–48.

while rotational failure is usually associated with a very low [5] Ladanyi B, Archambault G. Simulation of shear behavior of a jointed

strength, ductile behavior, and large deformation. The rock mass. In: Proceedings of the 11th symposium on rock

ability to forecast the failure mode has a signiﬁcant mechanics, 1970. p. 105–25.

economical factor for the stability of open pits: rotational [6] Kulatilake PH, He W, Um J, Wang H. A physical model study of

failure would lead to a regressive slope failure, while a jointed rock mass strength under uniaxial compressive loading. Int J

Rock Mech Min Sci 1997;34:623–33.

planar failure, although associated with a possible steeper [7] Singh M, Seshagiri RK, Ramamurthy T. An approach to evaluate

pit, would lead to a brittle behavior of the slope. strength and modulus of rock masses. Rock Mech Rock Eng 2000;

33:141–7.

Acknowledgments [8] Reik G, Zacas M. Strength and deformation characteristics of jointed

media in true triaxial compression. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 1978;

15:295–303.

The authors acknowledge the funding provided by [9] Lajtai EZ. Strength of discontinuous rocks in direct shear.

FONDECYT via project 1980821. The ﬁrst author Geotechnique 1969;19:218–33.

(Mauricio Prudencio) also thanks the School of Engineer- [10] Reyes O, Einstein HH. Failure mechanisms of fractured rock—

ing of the Pontiﬁcia Universidad Católica de Chile for the a fracture coalescence model. In: Proceedings of the seventh

economical support given to develop this research. international congress rock mechanics, 1991. p. 333–40.

[11] Shen B, Stephansson O, Einstein HH, Ghahreman B. Coalescence of

fractures under shear stress experiments. J Geophys Res 1995;6:

References 5975–90.

[12] Bobet A, Einstein HH. Fracture coalescence in rock-type materials

[1] Jennings JE. A mathematical theory for the calculation of the under uniaxial and biaxial compression. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci

stability of open cast mines. In: Proceedings of the symposium on 1998;35:863–88.

theoretical background to the planning of open pit mines. Johannes- [13] Vallejo LE. Fissure parameters in stiff clays under compression.

burg, 1970, p. 87–102. J Geotech Eng 1989;115:1303–17.

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Illinois, 1992. material in uniaxial compression. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 2002;39:

[15] Cording E, Jamil M. Slide geometries on rock slopes and walls. In: 229–41.

Fourth South American congress on rock mechanics, Santiago, vol 3, [21] Heuer RE, Hendron AJ. Geomechanical model study of the behavior

1997. p. 199–221. of underground openings in rock subjected to static loads: report 1.

[16] Weishen Z, Zuoyuan L, Rui D. Physical simulation of jointed rock Development of modeling techniques. Urbana: U Illinois; 1969.

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93, Rotterdam: Balkema; 1993. p. 241–7. J Rock Mech Min Sci 1984;21:21–33.

[17] Mughieda OS. Failure mechanics and strength on non-persistent rock [23] Rocscience Inc. PHASE2. Finite element analysis and support design

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