Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
Rock Mechanics
Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Civil Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Scavia Claudio ORARIO RICEVIMENTO PO ICAR/07 64 4 12 16 9
SSD CFU Activities Area context
ICAR/07 8 B - Caratterizzanti Ingegneria civile
Subject fundamentals
The aim of the course is to provide the fundamental elements of Rock Mechanics and of their application to the assessment of the excavations, in the surface and underground (tunnels), and to the rock slope stability.
The presence of natural discontinuities in rock masses, at different scales, leads to experimental and theoretical subjects, which are partly different from those studied in Soil Mechanics (Geotechnical Engineering) and Structural Mechanics courses.
As to this during the course the mechanical behaviour of natural discontinuities is described and the methods of the equivalent continuous and discontinuous are introduced.
These basic elements are applied to the analysis of rock slope and excavation stability, by referring to real case histories.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge of the fundamental rock mechanics subjects, both in laboratory and in situ scales. Ability of using analytical methods for the assessment of the stability of rock slopes, excavation faces and underground excavations, using the limit equilibrium method and stress and strain analyses.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
Geotechnical Engineering
Quantitative description of natural discontinuities (surveys in situ); shear strength of discontinuities (strength resistance criteria, in situ and laboratory tests); mechanical properties of rock matrix (laboratory tests); empirical methods for the rock mass; evaluation of the in situ state of stress.

Limit equilibrium methods for the rock slope stability assessment: bi and tri-dimensional sliding mechanisms and bi-dimensional toppling.
Supports and retaining systems design for slope stability.

Excavation methods for surface and underground tunnels; empirical methods for the design of the supports and retaining systems for deep tunnels; analytical methods for the evaluation of stress and strain distribution around underground excavations; rock support interaction analysis for the assessment of the stability of tunnel supports; monitoring of tunnel behaviour during excavation.
Delivery modes
The course consists in lectures and exercises.
Students are given homework to solve in reference to what they have previously analyzed. Each homework can be carried out by groups of a maximum of three people.
The essays assigned are afterword corrected and evaluated by the teacher, and the students have to deliver them to the instructor within the planned term; the essays handed back late will not be corrected and will contribute negatively to final evaluation.
The topics of the exercises are: (1) stereographic graphical representation of natural discontinuities, (2) analysis of natural discontinuities characteristics, through the use of the DIPS code, (3) laboratory test: determination of rock matrix deformability and strength parameters, (4) laboratory tests on natural discontinuities: shear strength parameters evaluation, (5) rock mass classification, (6) evaluation of the plastic zone around a circular tunnel, evaluation of the rock-support interaction in circular tunnels, use of the ROCSUPPORT code, (7) bi-dimensional rock slope stability analysis, (8) slope stability analysis in reference to rockfall.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
Power Point slides used during the course are available to the students. These slides must be integrated by the notes taken by the students in the classroom during the lectures.
References can be made also to the following texts:
(1) E. Hoek, E.T. Brown. "Underground excavation in rock ", IMM, London, 1980.
(2) E. Hoek, Bray, "Rock slope stability ", IMM, London, 1981.
(3) J. A. Hudson and J. P. Harrison. "Engineering rock mechanics: an introduction to the principles ", Pergamon. 1997.
(4) J.P. Harrison and J.A. Hudson, "Engineering rock mechanics: part 2: illustrative worked examples ", Pergamon, 2000.
Assessment and grading criteria
The exam consists in an oral and a written sections. The written part consists in a series of exercises aimed at verifying the ability of the students to apply the theoretical knowledge learnt during the course. The oral test is aimed at verifying the degree of learning of the theoretical concepts and procedures and the ability of the students to relate them in the rock structures design.
Necessary condition for carrying out the oral test is the delivery of all the essays within 15 days . The final evaluation is based on a total judgment, taking into account the results of the oral and written tests and of the homework.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2016/17

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