ROCK MECHANICS A
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The objective of the course is to provide fundamental knowledge and tools necessary to be able to assist designers in the design of structures made using rock masses, and technicians specialising in land management with particular regard to the stability of rock slopes.
The student must have taken the courses of Science of Construction and Geotechnology.
Course contents summary
The course studies the mechanics of rock and rock masses, describing their mechanical behaviour and illustrating the empirical, experimental and analytical methods used to quantify their characteristics. Special attention is dedicated to the simulation of the mechanical behaviour of rock masses as continuous and/or discontinuous media. Then, certain problems linked to rock engineering are examined, such as the stability of excavation walls, natural rock slopes, and rock foundations. The course will be accompanied by applied examples and exercises in which theoretical concepts are put into practice.
Course programme: Definition of rock mass, rock matrix and discontinuity. The quantitative description of discontinuities (in situ exploration using sampling and measurement). The use of stereographic projection for the analysis of the kinetic behaviour of blocks of rock. Depiction of the state of strain in a continuous medium. Structural bonds and strength criteria. Shear strength of rock discontinuities (on-site and laboratory measurements). Mechanical properties of intact rock (laboratory tests). Methods of classifying rock masses. Empirical methods of describing the characteristics of a rock mass. In situ testing to determine the mechanical characteristics of a rock mass. State of strain in situ. Water flow in rock media (in situ testing). Numerical methods for modelling rock masses. Limit equilibrium methods for testing the stability of open-cast excavations. Structures for supporting and/or reinforcing rock masses, and the appropriate size of such structures. Numerical techniques for the analysis of the mechanical behaviour of rock structures. Notes on actual cases of open-cast mine management, large civil engineering projects and rock foundations.
1. E. Hoek, E.T. Brown. UNDERGROUND EXCAVATION IN ROCK, IMM, London, 1980.
2. E. Hoek, Bray, ROCK SLOPE STABILITY, IMM, London, 1981.
3. G.P. Giani, ROCK SLOPE STABILITY ANALYSIS, Balkema, 1992.
4. J. A. Hudson and J. P. Harrison. ENGINEERING ROCK MECHANICS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE
PRINCIPLES, Pergamon. 1997
5. J. P. Harrison and J. A. Hudson ENGINEERING ROCK MECHANICS: PART 2: ILLUSTRATIVE WORKED
EXAMPLES, Pergamon, g, 2000.
6 J.C. Jaeger, N.G.W. Cook, Fundamentals of rock mechanics, Chapman and Hall, 1969, London.
The theoretical lessons are accompanied by corresponding practical exercises regarding the themes developed during the course.
The examination consists of an oral test.