The dependence of the number of sets of faults and their orientation on the intermediate strain axis is investigated through polyaxial tests, reported here, and theoretical analysis, reported in an accompanying paper. In the experiments, cubic samples of Berea sandstone, Sierra-White and Westerly granites, and Candoro and Solnhofen limestones were loaded on their three pairs of faces by three independent, mutually perpendicular presses at room temperature. Two of the presses were servo-controlled and applied constant displacement rates throughout the experiment. Most samples display three or four sets of faults in orthorhombic symmetry. These faults form in several yielding events that follow a stage of elastic deformation. In many experiments, the maximum and the intermediate compressive stresses interchange orientations during the yielding events, where the corresponding strains are constant. The final stage of most experiments is characterized by slip along the faults. ?? 1983.