Rock Mechanics

Published: March 26, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Rock Mechanics Mean?

Rock mechanics is the study of the mechanical behavior of rock in the force field of its environment. Rock mechanics can be divided into two classes, both of which deal with control of rock deformation and fracture processes:

  • Structural rock mechanics: Which deals with the stability of engineering structures supported in rock and
  • Comminution: Which deals with the breakage of rock into fragments when external force is applied in the form of drilling, grinding, blasting etc.

Trenchless technology employs sub-surface tunneling methods such as horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and microtunneling that often encounter rock strata.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Rock Mechanics

Rock has certain physical and structural characteristics that distinguish it from other materials, such as high difference in compressive and tensile strengths, tendency of structural property of rock to weather with time, and rapid increase in strength with increase in confining pressure. Rock mechanics helps engineers to understand how rocks will react when subjected to construction activities such as tunneling and building.

It assesses the rocks bearing capacity and how the structures will affect the rock at different depths. It also determines the shear strength of the rock, response of the rock to loading and the failure mechanism of rocks.


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