Publication Details

This journal article was originally published as Indraratna, B, Welideniya, HS and Brown, ET, New Shear Strength Criterion for Infilled Rock Joints, Geotechnique, Institution of Civil Engineers, 55(3), 2005, 215-226.


Infill materials found in natural rock joints may cause a reduction in joint shear strength, influencing rock mass stability. This paper reports a study aimed at developing a semi-empirical methodology for predicting the shear strength of infilled joints, taking into account joint surface characteristics and the properties of the joint and infill materials. A new model for predicting the shear strength of infilled joints is presented, on the basis of a series of tests carried out on two types of model joint surface having asperity angles of 9.5° and 18.5°, with graphite and bentonite used as infill materials. All tests were carried out in a large-scale shear apparatus under constant normal stiffness (CNS) conditions. The results indicate that at low infill thickness to asperity height ratio ( t/a ), the combined effect of the basic friction angle (f b ) and the joint asperity angle ( i ) is pronounced, but it diminishes with increasing t/a ratio so that the shear strength converges towards that of the infill alone. Summation of two algebraic functions ( A and B ) that represent the joint and infill characteristics correctly models the decay of normalised shear strength with increasing t/a ratio. The new model successfully describes the observed shear strengths of the graphite and clay (bentonite) filled model joints. Abstract Les matériaux de remplissage trouvés dans les joints rocheux naturels peuvent causer une diminution de la résistance au cisaillement du joint, influençant la stabilité de la masse rocheuse. Cet exposé rend compte d'une étude destinée à développer une méthodologie semiempirique pour prédire la résistance au cisaillement de joint remplis, prenant en compte les caractéristiques de surface du joint et les propriétés du joint et des matériaux de remplissage. Nous présentons un nouveau modèle pour prédire la résistance au cisaillement de joints remplis, en nous basant sur une série de tests effectués sur deux types de surfaces de joint

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