Tensile strength is the most critical design parameter of brittle materials in a wide range of engineering applications. However, although the rock mechanics literature is replete with direct and indirect testing methods to estimate rock tensile strength, the available procedures, in general, tend to overestimate this critical strength parameter in hard rocks. Alternative approaches are therefore to be developed that are more accurate, reliable, robust and more suitable to hard and brittle rock-like solids. This paper, first, reviews some of the widely accepted testing techniques in the literature for the tensile strength measurement of rocks and investigates further their validity to hard and brittle rocks. Then, based on some preliminary studies, few improved testing techniques are reviewed as potential alternative tensile strength test methods suitable for hard and brittle rock-like geomaterials.

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