Some instability problems were found on natural or engineered slopes mostly lying on Subang claystones. The instability problems included excessive erosion, slumps and rock falls. The field performance surveys of the problems suggested that the claystones physically weather rapidly so that the rock properties they exhibit during excavation often change to properties with a more characteristic of soil. Such a phenomenon is generally known as a slaking process. In order to gain better understanding about the slaking of Subang claystones, a series of experimental laboratory studies were carried out involving a modified slaking index test. Claystone samples used in this study were obtained from their exposures along the Northern West Java area of Indonesia. Petrographic analysis was correspondingly performed to identify mineral and texture/fabric, and in turn, to determine the inherent factors of the rocks which might affect the slaking process. The stssudy results indicated that the claystones were characterized by high to very high slaking properties having a maximum slaking index (Is) of 57.4% and a mean Is of 43.8%. Major dispersion slaking on sample surfaces and high cracking in response to excessive swelling were recognized as main slaking modes within the claystones. All samples lose progressively less material through the five wet-dry cycles of a slaking index test, indicating a decelerated slaking rate. It was evident that the main inherent factors controlling the slaking process were expandable clay mineral smectite, non-clay mineral pyrite and soluble mineral calcite. Moreover, a quite important of inherent bonding material and stress release energy in the slaking characteristics of the claystones was revealed by a closure phase of an initial hairline crack during unloading.
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