Understanding Rock-Steel interface properties for use in offshore applications

Andreas Ziogos, Michael John Brown* (Corresponding Author), Ana Ivanovic, Neil Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


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
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Early online date8 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

The Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) and Lloyd’s Register EMEA are gratefully acknowledged for the funding of this project. The authors would also like to acknowledge the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) SMART Centre at the University of Dundee that allowed purchase of the equipment used during this study. The views expressed are those of the authors alone, and do not necessarily represent the views of their respective companies or employing organisations.


  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Strength & testing of materials
  • Foundations


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