Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



Detournay and Tan (2002) performed experiments with a rock cutting device to measure the load required to fail the rock under confining stress. They proposed models describing the correlation between the specific energy and confining stress for shear dilatant rocks as a function of unconfined specific energy at failure, cutter rake angle (θ), internal friction angle (φ) of the rock and an assumed interface friction angle (ψ) between the rock and the cutter. The aim of this research is to evaluate the model proposed by Detournay and Tan (2002), which states that specific energy varies linearly with bore hole pressure and assumes that the interfacial friction angle (ψ) between the rock and the cutter is equal to the internal friction angle. Quantitative assessment of rate of change coefficient (m) of specific energy was accomplished to evaluate the assumption that m is constant for different bore hole pressures (pm). The data on Mancos shale and Pierre shale was obtained from Zijsling (1987) and for Catoosa shale and Twin Creeks siltstone, the data was obtained from Smith (1998. The analysis of results presented in this thesis show that the variation of specific energy with the bore hole pressure is non linear, whereas the conclusions of Detournay and Tan (2002) proposed a linear relationship. The results also show that the internal friction angle is not equal to the interface friction angle. The results show that rate of change coefficient (m) of specific energy estimated using Detournay and Tan’s proposed equation and an assumed internal friction is not representative of m obtained from known values of internal friction angle, interface friction angle and back rake angle.



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Committee Chair

Radhey S. Sharma