Publication Details

Thirukumaran, S. & Indraratna, B. (2016). A review of shear strength models for rock joints subjected to constant normal stiffness. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 8 (3), 405-414.


The typical shear behaviour of rough joints has been studied under constant normal load/stress (CNL) boundary conditions, but recent studies have shown that this boundary condition may not replicate true practical situations. Constant normal stiffness (CNS) is more appropriate to describe the stress-strain response of field joints since the CNS boundary condition is more realistic than CNL. The practical implications of CNS are movements of unstable blocks in the roof or walls of an underground excavation, reinforced rock wedges sliding in a rock slope or foundation, and the vertical movement of rock-socketed concrete piles. In this paper, the highlights and limitations of the existing models used to predict the shear strength/behaviour of joints under CNS conditions are discussed in depth.



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