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soil - chapter 5

soil - chapter 5

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CHAPTER 5
EFFECTIVESTRESS AND PORE
WATER
PRESSURE
5.1
INTRODUCTION
The
pressure transmitted through grain
to
grain
at the
contact points through
a
soil mass
is
termed
as
intergranular
or
effective
pressure.
It is
known
as
effective
pressure since this pressure
is
responsible
for the
decrease
in the
void ratio
or
increase
in the frictional
resistance
of a
soilmass.
Ifthe
pores
of a
soil mass
are
filled
with water
and if a
pressure induced into
the
pore water,triestoseparatethegrains, this pressureistermedas
pore water pressure
or
neutral stress.
The
effect
of
this pressure
is to
increase
the
volume
or
decrease
the
frictional
resistance
of the
soil mass.The
effects
of the intergranular and pore water pressures on a
soil
mass can be illustrated bymeans
of
simple practical examples.Consider a rigid cylindrical mold, Fig.5.1(a),in which dry sand is
placed.
Assume that there
is
no side friction. Load
Q
is applied at the surface of the soil through a piston. The load applied at
the
surface
is
transferred
to the
soil grains
in the
mold through their points
of
contact.
If the
load
isquite
considerable,
it
would result
in the
compression
of the
soil mass
in the
mold.
The
compression
might be
partly
due to the
elastic compression
of the
grains
at
their points
of
contact
and
partly
dueto
relative sliding between particles.
If the
sectional area
of the
cylinder
is A, the
average stress
at
any
level
XY
may be
written
as
-«=f
(5.1)
The stress
a
a
is the average stress and not the actual stress prevailing at the grain to graincontacts which
is
generally very high.
Any
plane such
as
XY
will
not
pass through
all the
points
ofcontact and
many
of the
grains
are cut by the
plane
as
shown
in
Fig.5.1(b).
The
actual points
of
143
 
144
Chapter
5
contact exhibit a wavy form. However, for all practical purposes the average stress is considered.Since this stress
is
responsible
for the
deformation
of the
soil mass,
it is
termed
the
intergranular
or
effective
stress.
We may
therefore write,
a =
(5.2)
where
cr'is
the
effective
stress.
Consider
now
another experiment.
Let the
soil
in the
mold
be
fully
saturated
and
madecompletely watertight.
If the
same load
Q
is
placed
on the
piston, this load
will
not be
transmitted
tothe
soil grains
as in the
earlier case.
If we
assume that water
is
incompressible,
the
external load
Q
will
be
transmitted
to the
water
in the
pores. This pressure that
is
developed
in the
water
is
called
the
pore water
or
neutral stress
u
w
as shown schematically in
Fig.
5.1(c).
This
pore water pressure
u
w
prevents the
compression
of the
soil mass.
The
value
of
this
pressure
is
G
A
(5.3)
If
the
valve
V
provided
in the
piston
is
opened, immediately there will
be
expulsion
of
water
throughthe
hole
in the
piston.
The
flow
of
water continues
for
some time
and
then stops.The expulsion of water
from
the pores decreases the pore water pressure and correspondinglyincreases
the
intergranular pressure.
At any
stage
the
total pressure
Q/A
is
divided between water
and the
points
of
contact
of
grains.
A new
equation
may
therefore
be
written
as
Total pressure
cr
[
-
— =
Intergranular pressure
+
pore water pressure
A
Piston
Rigid
cylindricalmold(a) Soil under load in a rigid container
(b)
Intergranular
pressure (c) Porewater pressure,
Figure
5.1
Effective and pore water pressures
 
Effective Stress and
Pore
Water
Pressure
145
or
a
t
=<?'+u
w
(5.4)
Final equilibrium will be reached when there is no expulsion of water. At this stage the porewaterpressure
u
w
=
0. All the pressure will be carried by the soil grains. Therefore, we can write,
a
t
=
<r'
(5.5)
The
pore
water pressure
u
w
can be induced in the pores of a soil mass by a head of water over
it.
When there is no
flow
of water through the pores of the mass, the intergranular pressure remainsconstant at any level. But if there is
flow,
the intergranular pressure increases or
decreasesaccordingto the
direction
of
flow.
In
partially saturated
soils
part
of the
void
space
is
occupied
by
water and part by air. The pore water pressure
u
w
must always be less than the pore air pressure
(u
a
).
Bishop (1955) proposed
an
equation
for
computing
the
effective
pressure
in
partially saturatedsoils. This equation contains a parameter which cannot be determined easily. Since this equation is
only
of academic interest, no
further
discussion is necessary here.
5.2
STRESSES
WHEN
NO
FLOW TAKES PLACE
THROUGH
THESATURATED
SOIL
MASS
In
Fig.
5.2 the container A is
filled
with sand to a depth
z
l
and water to a depth
z
2
above the sand
surface.
A flexible tube connects the bottom of the container A to another container
B.
The waterlevels are kept constant in these two containers.The water surfaces in both the containers in Fig. 5.2(a) are kept at the same level. Under thiscondition, no
flow
takes place
from
one container to another.Consider two points
M
and
N
as shown in the
figure
on a horizontal plane. The water pressureat
M
should be equal to the pressure at
N
according to the laws of hydraulics. Therefore,
the
water pressure
at
N=U
Z
=
(Z
+z
2
)Y
w
(5-6)
The pressure
u
z
is termed as the pore water pressure acting on the grains at depth
z
from
the
surface
of the
sample.
However,thetotal pressureatpoint
N
is due to thewater head plustheweight
of
thesubmerged soil above
N.
If
y
b
is thesubmerged unit weightof thesoil,thetotal pressureat
N
is
a
z
=
zy
b
+(z
+
z
2
)y
w
(5.7)
Theintergranularoreffective pressureat thepoint
N
is thedifference betweenthetotaland
the
pore water pressures. Therefore,
the
effective
pressure
CF,'
is
<r
z
=<r
z
-u
z
=zr
b
+(z
+
z
2
)r
w
-(z
+
z
2
')r
w
=zr
b
(5.8a)
Equation
(5.8a)
clearly demonstrates
that
the
effective
pressurecr,' isindependentof thedepth of water
z
2
above the submerged soil surface. The total pore water and effective pressures atthe bottom of the soil sample are as followsTotal pressure
cr
t
=
a
c
=
(z,
+
Z
2
)Y
W
+ z\Y
b
(5.8b)Pore water pressure
u
c
=
(zi
+Z
2
)y
w
(5.8c)
Effective
pressure
a'
c
-
(o
c
~u
c
}
=
z\Yb
(5.8d)
The stress diagrams are shown in
Fig.
5.2(b).

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