Standard Active Last Updated: Aug 14, 2017
ASTM D7012-14e1

Standard Test Methods for Compressive Strength and Elastic Moduli of Intact Rock Core Specimens under Varying States of Stress and Temperatures

Significance and Use

5.1 The parameters obtained from Methods A and B are in terms of undrained total stress. However, there are some cases where either the rock type or the loading condition of the problem under consideration will require the effective stress or drained parameters be determined.

5.2 Method C, uniaxial compressive strength of rock is used in many design formulas and is sometimes used as an index property to select the appropriate excavation technique. Deformation and strength of rock are known to be functions of confining pressure. Method A, triaxial compression test, is commonly used to simulate the stress conditions under which most underground rock masses exist. The elastic constants (Methods B and D) are used to calculate the stress and deformation in rock structures.

5.3 The deformation and strength properties of rock cores measured in the laboratory usually do not accurately reflect large-scale in situ properties because the latter are strongly influenced by joints, faults, inhomogeneity, weakness planes, and other factors. Therefore, laboratory values for intact specimens must be employed with proper judgment in engineering applications.

Note 2: The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself ensure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means for evaluating some of those factors.


1.1 These four test methods cover the determination of the strength of intact rock core specimens in uniaxial and triaxial compression. Methods A and B determine the triaxial compressive strength at different pressures and Methods C and D determine the unconfined, uniaxial strength.

1.2 Methods A and B can be used to determine the angle of internal friction, angle of shearing resistance, and cohesion intercept.

1.3 Methods B and D specify the apparatus, instrumentation, and procedures for determining the stress-axial strain and the stress-lateral strain curves, as well as Young's modulus, E, and Poisson's ratio, υ. These methods make no provision for pore pressure measurements and specimens are undrained (platens are not vented). Thus, the strength values determined are in terms of total stress and are not corrected for pore pressures. These test methods do not include the procedures necessary to obtain a stress-strain curve beyond the ultimate strength.

1.4 Option A allows for testing at different temperatures and can be applied to any of the test methods, if requested.

1.5 This standard replaces and combines the following Standard Test Methods: D2664 Triaxial Compressive Strength of Undrained Rock Core Specimens Without Pore Pressure Measurements; D5407 Elastic Moduli of Undrained Rock Core Specimens in Triaxial Compression Without Pore Pressure Measurements; D2938 Unconfined Compressive Strength of Intact Rock Core Specimens; and D3148 Elastic Moduli of Intact Rock Core Specimens in Uniaxial Compression. The original four standards are now referred to as Methods in this standard.

1.5.1 Method A: Triaxial Compressive Strength of Undrained Rock Core Specimens Without Pore Pressure Measurements. Method A is used for obtaining strength determinations. Strain is not typically measured; therefore a stress-strain curve is not produced.

1.5.2 Method B: Elastic Moduli of Undrained Rock Core Specimens in Triaxial Compression Without Pore Pressure Measurements.

1.5.3 Method C: Uniaxial Compressive Strength of Intact Rock Core Specimens. Method C is used for obtaining strength determinations. Strain is not typically measured; therefore a stress-strain curve is not produced.

1.5.4 Method D: Elastic Moduli of Intact Rock Core Specimens in Uniaxial Compression.

1.5.5 Option A: Temperature Variation—Applies to any of the methods and allows for testing at temperatures above or below room temperature.

1.6 For an isotropic material in Test Methods B and D, the relation between the shear and bulk moduli and Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio are:

Equation D7012-14E01_1

Equation D7012-14E01_2


G   =   shear modulus,
K   =   bulk modulus,
E   =   Young's modulus, and
υ   =   Poisson's ratio.

1.6.1 The engineering applicability of these equations decreases with increasing anisotropy of the rock. It is desirable to conduct tests in the plane of foliation, cleavage or bedding and at right angles to it to determine the degree of anisotropy. It is noted that equations developed for isotropic materials may give only approximate calculated results if the difference in elastic moduli in two orthogonal directions is greater than 10 % for a given stress level.

Note 1: Elastic moduli measured by sonic methods (Test Method D2845) may often be employed as a preliminary measure of anisotropy.

1.7 Test Methods B and D for determining the elastic constants do not apply to rocks that undergo significant inelastic strains during the test, such as potash and salt. The elastic moduli for such rocks should be determined from unload-reload cycles that are not covered by these test methods.

1.8 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.9 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

1.9.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded or calculated, in this standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user’s objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of this standard to consider significant digits used in analytical methods for engineering design.

1.10 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.11 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.09
Developed by Subcommittee: D18.12
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.1520/D7012-14E01
ICS Code: 13.080.20