The production of frictional wear debris (fault gouge) under optimum non-dilatant conditions conducive to maximum dynamic fragmentation has been undertaken utilising a novel direct shear machine. A wide variety of sedimentary lithologies have been tested under constant normal displacement control and a mechanistic model for the evolution of frictional resistance developed. X-ray diffraction quantitative mineral identification and laser diffraction particle sizing technologies have been employed to characterise the induced debris distributions. A relationship is presented between the frictional strength of the sliding surfaces and the specific surface area of the induced cataclastic debris.

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