We are currently investigating ground conditions for bridge piers in the west of ireland. The investigation has shown competant boulder clay N50 for between 5-8m overlying a dark peletic schist. We have been unable to obtain any decent core from the schist as the material is highly micaceous, and would appear to wear away using a water/polymer flush. The design engineer is thinking of loads of the order of 500Kpa, and while the boulder clay theoretically should sustain these loads there would be a greater degree of comfort if we could assess the strength of the underlying schist. Anybody any ideas as the expected strength of this schist, and how would it behave under light or moderate loadings given the seemingly high mica content.
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