Effect of Heat Capacity and Physical Behavior on Strength and Durability of Shale, as Building Material

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Increasing use of rock materials like shale in building, roofing, embankment filling, brick manufacturing, and in other civil structure application makes it an important rock to consider in construction engineering. Knowledge of thermal and physical properties of shale as building material is required to predict the rock's strength and permanence against weathering. Inconsistent heat capacity of anisotropic rock can result in differential heat flow. This tendency can expand the building materials leading to reduction in strength and initiate disintegration. Authors have studied various thermo-physical properties of anisotropic shale from Tennessee, which is commonly used as building stones and bricks. Experiment was designed to measure the basic thermal property, 'heat capacity' of shale. Series of laboratory tests including durability, strength, specific gravity, moisture content, and porosity were conducted to determine the physical and mechanical behavior of the samples. Results indicated that properties like porosity, strength and heat capacity varied significantly within samples, where as specific gravity and moisture content yielded steady values. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to evaluate possible correlations among the tested properties. Strong positive relationship was evident between heat capacity, and porosity. Heat capacity and Unconfined Compressive Strength of shale were inversely related. This study emphasized that physical and thermal properties of shale are directly linked with strength and durability of the rock mass.