Size Effects in a Transversely Isotropic Rock Under Brazilian Tests: Laboratory Testing

Kaihui Li, Yungming Cheng, Zhen Yu Yin, Dongya Han, Jingjing Meng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


A transversely isotropic rock, slate, was utilized to investigate the size effect and anisotropy on its deformation, tensile strength, and failure mechanism. A series of Brazilian tests were conducted on slate samples of six different sizes from 25 to 100 mm in diameter at seven different loading-foliation angles from 0° to 90°. The results indicate that the Young’s modulus in the plane of transverse isotropy increases, while the Young’s modulus and shear modulus perpendicular to the plane of transverse isotropy decrease with specimen size. The tensile strength of the slate increases with increasing loading-foliation angle, the variation of which is well captured by the Nova–Zaninetti criterion. Furthermore, the tensile strength of the slate increases with specimen size at loading-foliation angles from 0° to 45°, while it increases first and then decreases with specimen size at loading-foliation angles from 60° to 90°. A unified size-effect relation including two equations is proposed and verified against the experimental data on slate. The size-effect relation reveals the relationship among the tensile strength, specimen size, and loading-foliation angle for the transversely isotropic rock. Finally, the slate samples exhibit an increased brittle failure with specimen size, which is consistent with the observations in various isotropic rocks. It is also found that the specimen size, loading-foliation angle, and loading configuration together control the failure mechanism of transversely isotropic rocks in the Brazilian test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2623-2642
Number of pages20
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Anisotropy
  • Brazilian test
  • Size effect
  • Slate
  • Tensile strength
  • Transversely isotropic rock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

Cite this