A review of the testing approaches in swelling rock conditions at three different institutions
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (EES). 2021, 833 1-8. 10.1088/1755-1315/833/1/012034
The swelling potential of weak rocks is crucial to assess in stability determinations of tunnels constructed for both infrastructure and hydropower. Among the institutions that are involved with extensive research on swelling rock material, the methodologies applied at three different European institutions are reviewed in this manuscript. XRD analysis and oedometer swelling tests are included as index tests at all three institutions whereby the adopted swelling test methodologies at all three institutions are grounded in the ISRM standards. Different mindsets in how to forecast the challenges related to swelling are, however, reflected in the boundary conditions of test procedures and the internal modifications on the test apparatus, the preparation procedure, and in the choice of specimen size/mass. This manuscript reviews the adopted methodologies and highlights the advantages and drawbacks on the testing approaches used. Two of the institutions rely on a general approach which is standardized, and the results are compared. It is highlighted that, both institutions have modified the ISRM standard and the methodologies represents two unique approaches. Institution 3 have a case-specific approach and no test data were available. However, the described methodology differs from the procedures at Institution 1 and 2. Important differences between the testing procedures are both discussed and exemplified by comparing the test results obtained from duplicate samples at two of the institutions.