Indirect tensile strength tests

A cylindrical specimen is loaded diametrically across the circular cross section. The loading causes a tensile deformation perpendicular to the loading direction, which yields a tensile failure. By registering the ultimate load and by knowing the dimensions of the specimen, the indirect tensile strength of the material can be computed. Below is a figure showing the load fixture and a principal picture of the loading.


 A load situation for an indirect tensile strength test


A summary of results from 33 tested specimens from a borehole is shown in the figure below. The specimens are loaded along and across the direction of the foliation and the results display a material anisotropy on the depth levels at 160 and 815 meters.

Specimens loading to failure along (left) and across (right) the direction of the foliation.

Summary of results from indirect tensile strength tests from a borehole with an anisotropic material.


The results and pictures are taken from:

Jacobsson, L. Forsmark site investigation, Drill hole KFM04A, Indirect tensile strength test. SKB-P04-174, Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB, 2004.  

Example of standards

ASTM D3967-95a, 1996, Standard test method for splitting tensile strength of rock core specimens

Related Information

Experimental Resources

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Contact Persons

Lars Jacobsson

Phone: +46 10 516 56 19

Mathias Flansbjer

Phone: +46 10 516 52 25

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail

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