A laboratory study on mix design to properly resemble a jointed brittle rock

Document Type : Research Paper


University of Tehran


In this paper attempts have been done to create a mortar with relatively high uniaxial compressive strength (UCS), easy casting, high flexibility, instant hardening, low cost and easy availability. The main use of this material is to physically model the mechanical behavior of jointed rock-like blocks. The effect of four parameters such as joint roughness coefficient (JRC), bridge length (L), bridge angle (γ) and joint inclination (θ) on UCS of non-persistent jointed blocks were studied. For this purpose, 35 cylindrical specimens with a broad range of plaster content (P) and cement content (C) in different ages were tested. In order to increase the strength of blocky specimens, some retarder and lubricant were used. The results showed that using 3 wt. % (Weight percent) lubricant MGAR106 and 0.05 wt. % Retarder decreases water content by 12.5% and increases plaster and cement content of 8.3% and 4.17 % respectively. Consequently, UCS of blocky specimens increased by 284.33%. In order to formulize the effect of P/C content and the age of cylindrical specimens (A) on UCS, Multivariate Non-linear Regression (MNR) and Bayesian Regularized Artificial Neural Network (BRANN) models were deployed. The results showed that BRANN approach can provide more exact predictions of the specimen UCS than MNR model. Moreover, P/C content had more influence on UCS than the specimen age. Finally the UCS tests on blocky specimens indicated that increasing JRC, bridge length and bridge angle increases UCS and it takes its minimum ate joint inclination of 60°. Furthermore, the capability of produced material to model cracking behaviour of jointed blocks was approved.