Unified size-effect law for intact rock

Hossein Masoumi, Serkan Saydam, Paul C. Hagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


A suite of laboratory testing was performed on Gosford sandstone samples having a range of sizes, including point-load and uniaxial compressive tests. A unified size-effect law (USEL), based on the work by Zdenek Bazant, involving fracture energy as well as fractal theories, was introduced. It was shown that USEL correlates well with the ascending and descending uniaxial compressive strength trends obtained from Gosford sandstone as well as five other rock types reported by Brian Hawkins. Fractal characteristics found to be the primary mechanism for ascending strength trends and surface flaws could be considered as a secondary mechanism. The influence of the contact area on the size-effect behavior of point-load results was investigated using a new approach. This approach was novel in the way it incorporated the load contact area. Determination of the point-load strength index using this new approach led to opposite size-effect trends compared with those observed using a conventional point-load strength index. Hence, the utilization of USEL leads to better simulation of the new point-load strength index data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04015059
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Geomechanics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Fracture energy
  • Point-load strength
  • Size effect
  • Uniaxial compressive strength

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