X-ray diffraction was used to determine the mineralogy of the Carboniferous mudstone rocks on a major tunnelling project in Sheffield. These data were compared to the rock's potential to breakdown, using the slake durability and the Duncan free swelling tests. The limitations of each test are discussed. Particular attention is paid to the effects of weathering, strength and time on the test data. Two comparative indices are proposed for the determination of a mudrock's potential to form a slurried spoil under mechanical excavation.

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