Uniaxial Compressive Strength (UCS) of rocks is an important mechanical parameter for many civil engineering and rock engineering applications such as tunnel excavation, slope stability and foundation design. Macau is one of the world's fastest growing and most densely populated cities, many large and important infrastructures have been being continuously built using pile foundations which are designed to be supported by granitic bedrock. In Macau, the UCS of the granitic bedrock is required almost for every project involving pile foundations and is always measured directly from UCS test in the laboratory. However, direct measurement of UCS requires high quality rock core sample which is not only time-consuming and expensive but also requires high level of operating skill. In view of this fact, estimation of UCS using some empirical correlations will be more practical and efficient because they are relatively fast and economical compared to the direct measurement from UCS test. In the past, some empirical correlations had been established and widely used for estimating UCS of rocks in common engineering practice. However, it has been well recognized that the rock properties are generally varied with sites or geological regions in other words an empirical correlation developed from one region or one country may not be applicable for other regions or countries. Due to the reason that the empirical correlations for predicting UCS for granite are scarce in practice, in this study an extensive experimental program has been performed and a large database containing data such as UCS, Point Load Index (Is50), Schmidt Rebound Hardness (RL), porosity (η), water absorption (S), specific gravity (Gs) and dry density (ρ d) has been developed. An attempt has been made for developing a new empirical correlation for estimating the UCS of Macau granite. Accordingly, a comprehensive statistical analysis for correlating UCS with Is50, RL, η, S, Gs and ρ d has been performed and a local empirical relationship based on the developed database is proposed for obtaining reliable estimation of UCS for the granite of Macau. Finally, the performance of the proposed correlation is accessed by using another independent testing database developed in this study. It indicates that Is50, RL, η and S have strong correlation with UCS whereas Gs, ρd have poor correlation with UCS. This study not only proposed a proper predictive empirical correlation for UCS determination for Macau granite but also provides detailed statistical information which is beneficial to engineers for obtaining better characterization of Macau granite.

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