Many rocks exhibit non-linear deformation characteristics, but nevertheless are regarded as linear when estimating settlements. The results of a plate test on Bunter Sandstone are examined taking account of the non-linear nature of the rock. A method of estimating the settlement of large structures is outlined, using a 60 ft diameter reactor foundation as an example as cases on non-linear rocks can only be considered on a numerical basis. The errors incurred in treating non-linear rocks as linear and in extrapolating from plate loading tests are discussed.

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