Understanding Rock-Steel interface properties for use in offshore applications

Andreas Ziogos, Michael John Brown (Lead / Corresponding author), Ana Ivanović, Neil Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The properties of unbonded rock-steel interfaces and the characteristics that control this behaviour seems to be an under researched area in terms of geotechnical application for example in the design of gravity-based foundation systems or dead weight anchors and the interaction of pipelines on rock. Whilst basic guidance does exist for rock-rock interfaces or pipeline behaviour, this focuses on macro roughness with little consideration of micro roughness, relative roughness of the surfaces or their strengths and hardness. Therefore in order for design and understanding to develop in these areas there is a need for basic interface friction parameters and understanding of the interface characteristics that control the strength of the interface such that correct values can be used but also so that the interface properties can be best manipulated to improve interface interaction. This paper presents interface friction angles for four types of rock sheared against steel interfaces of different roughness at a variety of normal stresses. The rocks themselves have a range of surface roughness, strength and hardness. The results of the testing programme are used to improve a simple analytical approach for predicting the shear strength of rock-steel interfaces that allows input of key controlling parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Geotechnical Engineering
Early online date8 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2021


  • ROCK
  • Interfaces
  • shear strength
  • Shallow foundations
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Strength and testing of materials
  • Foundations

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