In this paper, an anisotropic shear behavior of rock joints is investigated under constant normal load condition (CNL). The natural rock joint roughness is transferred to artificial rock samples using room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicon rubber. Artificial cylindrical rock joint samples (90 mm diameter and 50 mm height) are made by mixture of cement, sand, and water in the ratio of 1:1.5:0.45 (by weight). Direct shear tests are conducted on these samples in twelve directions at 30° apart at four different normal stresses (250kPa, 500kPa, 1000kPa, and 1500kPa). Thus, 48 samples are tested in laboratory. Test results shows that the peak shear strength (τ) of rock joints is anisotropic in nature due to change in morphological features in particular shearing direction. Joint roughness coefficient (JRC) is determined in each shearing direction by trial and error method using Barton's model (1973). Further, cohesion ϲ and angle of friction ϕ of joint surface in each direction is determined. Finally, a relationship between angle of friction ϕ and joint roughness coefficient (JRC) is developed. Experimental shear strength and Barton's shear strength is compared and it is found that effect of anisotropic decreases with increasing normal stress.


Rock mass is generally composed of discontinuity which refers collectively to joints, faults, bedding plane and folds etc. ISRM (1978) defined joint as a line of break of geological origin along which there is no visible displacement. Joint is three dimensional discontinuity which composed of two matched/mismatched surfaces. The presence of joints in rock mass plays an important role to define its overall shear strength, deformability behavior, in-situ stresses and hydro-geological properties. The shear strength of rock joints is important in the design of near surface/ deep geotechnical works (mining excavation, dam foundation, power plants, underground caverns, and slopes).

In last 40 years, many constitutive models are developed to predict shear strength of rock joints under CNL conditions (Patton 1966; Landanyi and Archambault 1969; Barton 1973; Goodman 1976; Barton and Choubey 1977; Plesha 1987; Desai ad Fishman 1991; Amadei and Saeb 1992; Maksimovic 1992; Wibowo et al. 1993; Huang et al. 1993; Amadei et al. 1998; Indraratna 2000; Homand et al. 2001; Wang et. al. 2003; Samadhiya et. al. 2008; Asadollahi and Tonon 2010; Ghazvinian et al. 2012). These constitutive models have limitations to predict shear strength of rock joints in one direction. Till date, among all constitutive models, Barton (1973) model is widely used in practice due its simplicity. It includes parameters such as joint roughness and joint compressive strength (JCS) to quantify joint surfaces.

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