Point-load testing chips of rock

Tony Meyers, Mark Ormond and Ross Frick

Hole production in the mining and petroleum industries produces chips of rock ranging in size from a few mm up to approximately 15 mm. Chips have however generally been considered too small for strength testing. The current research has shown that it may be possible to obtain the strength of chips from well-sorted, homogeneous, rocks, having fine to medium particle size, when tested perpendicular to discontinuities, using a standard point load test apparatus with modified platens. The modification only requires the 5 mm ball bearings on the tips of the platens to be replaced with 1 mm ball bearings. More research is however required to validate the result.