Publication Details

Indraratna, B., Premadasa, W. N. & Brown, E. (2013). Shear behaviour of rock joints with unsaturated infill. Geotechnique, 63 (15), 1356-1360.


Behaviour of soil-infilled rock joints has significant importance with respect to the strength of fractured rock mass. The presence of even a small amount of fine-grained infill material within a joint can reduce its shear strength considerably, depending on the degree of saturation of infill. Therefore, it is crucial to examine how the infill material can adversely affect the joint shear strength. Previous studies of infilled joints have mainly been focused on idealised regular joint patterns owing to the simplicity and reproducibility in laboratory testing. Current literature on infilled rock joints has also neglected the effect of the degree of saturation of infill on the shear behaviour. In most instances, fully saturated infill has been used or assumed, and the contribution of matric suction on the shear strength of joints having unsaturated infill has not been studied. In this study, a series of triaxial tests on natural joint profiles having joint roughness coefficient (JRC) of 10-12 is carried out at constant moisture content. A semi-empirical model is proposed and validated on the basis of laboratory data.



Link to publisher version (DOI)