Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
versión On-line ISSN 2411-9717
versión impresa ISSN 0038-223X
The compressive strength of rock (σc) has an important effect on design of structures in rock engineering. Compressive strength can be determined in the laboratory using the uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) test. Some other index tests, such as the point load test, are also used, particularly when suitable samples for UCS are not available. The quantification of rock texture has introduced a new method in rock engineering for estimating the mechanical and physical properties of rock materials from microscopic investigations. The aim of this study is to quantify rock texture to estimate rock strength from the texture coefficient (TC), which is determined from a statistical assessment of thin section images. Rock texture is quantified by twelve different images from a single thin section to increase the reliability of texture analysis. A data-set is prepared to investigate correlations between TC and σc. The statistical correlations are computed after classifying of the rock samples based on their lithology as well as grain features. Equations derived based on the results of this study are used to predict the approximate value of compressive strength from the texture coefficient. This method is particularly useful for preliminary studies in rock engineering projects prior to detailed site investigation.
Palabras clave : rock engineering; compressive strength; statistical correlation; grain features; texture coefficient.