Is soft rock also non-abrasive rock? An evaluation from lab testing campaigns

Markus Kaspar, Christine Latal, Manfred Blümel, Gerhard Pittino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Soft rocks are traditionally regarded in terms of low uniaxial compressive strength (UCS <25 MPa). However, other geomechanical and geological properties such as mineralogical composition, and microstructure should be considered when characterizing the properties of soft rocks. The term soft rocks includes a broad variety of rocks coming from various geological origins. Fabric and state of weathering control inherent anisotropic properties of strength and abrasivity of the various rock types. In this study, a suite of rocks from different geologic settings in the Austrian Alps and surrounding countries is analyzed to evaluate connections between the UCS, CERCHAR Abrasivity Index (CAI), and mineralogical composition (equivalent quartz content - FEQu) with emphasis on soft rocks. It is shown, that in order to assess the properties of soft rocks more accurately, the classification scheme can be expanded beyond the simple UCS approach by including mineralogical information and abrasivity values. This holistic approach more adequately captures the breadth of soft rock properties and allows a differentiated distinction of soft rocks in terms of strength and hardness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRock and Fracture Mechanics in Rock Engineering and Mining 12/09/2022 - 15/09/2022 Helsinki, Finland
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventEUROCK 2022 : Rock and Fracture Mechanics in Rock Engineering and Mining - Rakentajanaukio 4A, PL12100, FI-02150 Espoo, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 12 Sept 202215 Sept 2022

Publication series

Name IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
PublisherIOP Science


ConferenceEUROCK 2022
Internet address

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