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Determination of Post-Failure Characteristic Behaviour of Rocks under Conventional Method Based on the Mechanism of Rock Deformation Process

Authors: Victor Abioye Akinbinu


This work is intended to study the post-failure characteristic behaviour of rocks and the techniques of controlling the post-failure regime based on the mechanism of rocks deformation process. It is impossible to determine the post-failure regime of rocks using conventional laboratory testing equipment. This is because most testing machines are soft and therefore no information can be obtained after the peak load. Stress-strain deformation tests were conducted using both conventional and unconventional method (i.e. the closed loop servo-controlled testing machine) in accordance to ISRM standard. Normalised pre-failure curves were constructed to show the stages in the deformation process. The first type contains the Class I and progress to Class II with low strength soft brittle rocks. The second type shows entirely Class II characteristic behaviour. The third type is extremely brittle under axial loading, resulted in explosive failure, so its class could not be determined. The difficulty in obtaining the post-failure curves increases as the total volumetric strain approaches a positive value. The author’s use of normalised pre-failure curves enables identification of additional type of deformation process with very brittle response under axial loading. Testing the third type without confinement could cause equipment damage. Identification of the deformation process with the rock classes using conventional test could guide the personnel conducting tests using closed-loop servo-controlled system, to avoid equipment damage when testing rocks with third type deformation process so that testing is performed safely. It has also improved our understanding on total specimen failure and brittleness of rocks (e.g. brittle for Class II and less brittle or ductile for Class I).

Keywords: Closed-loop servo-controlled system, conventional testing equipment, deformation process, post-failure, pre-failure normalised curves, rock classes.

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