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TRIAXIAL TEST: CONSOLIDATED UNDRAINED
SCOPE This method describes the procedure for the determination of the effective shear strength parameters of a soil using the triaxial compression apparatus. APPARATUS 1. A triaxial cell of dimensions appropriate to the size of the specimen to be tested, suitable for use at the highest intended cell pressure and provided with a means of applying additional axial load to the specimen through a loading ram. The cell shall include an end cap of the same diameter as the specimen. The vertical stress due to the top cap shall not exceed 1% of the maximum deviator stress. A cell pressure system for applying, maintaining and measuring the desired pressure of water within the cell to an accuracy of +5kPa. A back pressure system for applying, maintaining and measuring the desired pressure within the specimen to an accuracy of +5 kPa. This system shall also be capable of measuring the volume of water entering or leaving the specimen. A loading machine capable of applying axial compression to the specimen at variable speeds. Rates of speed in the range 0.05mm to 0.5mm per minute are normally satisfactory. The machine shall be capable of applying an axial deformation of approximately one third of the height of the specimen. Apparatus for measuring the additional axial load on the specimen to an accuracy of +5 kPa or 1 percent of the maximum axial load whichever is the greater. Apparatus for measuring the axial deformation of the specimen readable to 0.02mm. A pore pressure monitoring system (transducer type) capable of measuring the expected water pressures within the specimen to an accuracy of +5kPa. Seamless rubber membrane in the form of a tube, open at both ends, of diameter equal to the specimen diameter and of length approximately 50mm greater than the height of the specimen. The membrane thickness should be selected having regard to the nature of the soil to be tested. A thickness of 0.1mm to 0.4mm is normally satisfactory. Membrane stretcher to suit the size of the specimen. Suitable porous discs. Rubber rings to suit the diameter of the end caps. Filter papers cut to the same diameter as the specimen, and also filter papers cut to a suitable pattern to be used as side drains.
Triaxial Test: Consolidated Undrainaed Test Method 71/2/151.1 Issue 1 2/88
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MAIN ROADS Western Australia T\WA151-1.doc
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2 Trim the test sample from an undisturbed sample using a thin walled tube or other suitable sample preparation equipment.1 Obtain a test sample taken in accordance with Test Method WA 100. 17. 1.3 Cut the ends plane and parallel to ensure a right cylindrical specimen of the correct length.01 grams.2 Remoulded Samples 1.2.1 13. Moulds and other suitable equipment for preparing remoulded specimens. PROCEDURE 1.1g respectively. 1. 1. 1.doc Triaxial Test: Consolidated Undrainaed Test Method 71/2/151. 1. diameter and mass of the specimen to the nearest 0.1. 1. 1. 16. A thermostatically controlled oven with good air ventilation and capable of maintaining a temperature between 105°C and 110°C.1 Issue 1 2/88 Page 2 of 9 .1.1 Obtain a test sample taken from a selected position within a core or other sample. 1.2. of at least 5kg capacity readable to 0. MAIN ROADS Western Australia T\WA151-1.1.Pavements & Structures TEST METHOD WA 151.2. diameter and mass of the specimen to the nearest 0. 15.1g respectively.2 Compact the test sample at the required conditions of moisture/density in a suitable split mould.4 Measure and record the length. A stopwatch or other suitable timing device. with a limit of performance of equal to or less than 0.5mm and 0.2.06g.4 Measure the length.3 Cut the ends plane and parallel to ensure a right cylindrical specimen of the correct length.1 or from a selected position within a core or other sample. A balance.1.5mm and 0. 14.1 Preparation of Test Sample Undisturbed Samples (Note a) 1. Suitable equipment for preparing the test sample of the required diameter from undisturbed samples in the laboratory.
Connect the transducer to a suitable power source and readout device. working lightly up from the base to expel any air which is trapped between the membrane and the specimen. Place the rubber membrane around the specimen using the membrane stretcher. Set the cell pedestal on the compression machine and connect the cell pressure line.6 2. admit the de-aired water (Note b) and secure the loading ram by tightening the gland. Connect the thin pore pressure tube to the bottom of the pedestal and flush the tube with a small amount of de-aired water ensuring that no air is trapped in the tube.11 2.1 Issue 1 2/88 2.10 2. Connect the end of the tube to the top end cap in such a way that the tube coils snugly around the specimen.1 3.12 2.2 2. Place the specimen on the filter paper. pore pressure line and back pressure line. Locate the saturated filter paper on the porous stone disc. Seal the membrane to the cell pedestal by means of rubber rings.1 2.7 2. Assemble the cell.13 2.Pavements & Structures TEST METHOD WA 151. Seal the membrane to the top cap by means of rubber rings. Flush the back pressure system including the volume change gauge through with de-aired water to force any trapped air from the system. Flush the cell pressure system through with de-aired water to force any trapped air from the system.doc Page 3 of 9 . Smooth the membrane onto the specimen using the fingers.3 2. and smooth the side drain onto the specimen.4 2.14 Test Preparation Flush the pore pressure system through with de-aired water to force any trapped air from the system. Wrap a saturated filter paper side drain around the specimen and porous disc. Triaxial Test: Consolidated Undrainaed Test Method 71/2/151.15 3. Saturate the top cap or porous plate if applicable and filter paper and position them onto the specimen.5 2. Place a saturated porous stone disk onto the previously wetted cell pedestal. 2.8 2.1 2. 3.9 2. Pore Pressure Transducer Calibration Connect a pore pressure transducer into the lower pore water line and the back pressure system in such a way that the transducer can be isolated from the specimen and the back pressure system.2 MAIN ROADS Western Australia T\WA151-1.
record the height of the specimen.3 Repeat the saturation stage if necessary by reducing the cell pressure until it is 5 kPa higher than the back pressure and repeat Procedures 4. Measure the change in pore pressure. Calculate the pore pressure parameter (B) where: B = ∆u 4.3 4. Consolidation Stage Using the axial deformation measuring apparatus. Allow the pore pressure to dissipate through the back pressure volume change apparatus.1 4. MAIN ROADS Western Australia T\WA151-1.9 5.Pavements & Structures TEST METHOD WA 151.3 Isolate the transducer from the specimen.1 to 4.8 ∆u ∆σ 3 = change in pore pressure = change in cell pressure (50 kPa) where ∆σ 3 Saturation is complete when B approaches unity (Note d). Monitor the back pressure volume change gauge to ascertain when the specimen appears saturated.4 4.1 Issue 1 2/88 Page 4 of 9 . Raise the cell pressure and the back pressure in increments of 10kPa in such a way that the cell pressure always remains 5kPa higher than the specimen back pressure (Note c). 4.7 4.2 5. Record the reading on the volume change gauge.1 3.1 5. and using the range of pressures between back pressure and maximum cell pressure. Saturation Stage Activate the back pressure volume change apparatus and ensure that it is at a suitable level to monitor water movement into the specimen. Increase the cell pressure applied during the saturation stage until the difference between the cell pressure and the back pressure equals the required effective pressure. Isolate the specimen from the back pressure system and increase the cell pressure by 50kPa. Measure the pore pressure of the specimen.8. 4. prepare a chart comparing transducer output versus pressure.5 4.6 4. 5.doc Triaxial Test: Consolidated Undrainaed Test Method 71/2/151.2 4.
1 5. Terminate axial deformation and raise the loading ram sufficiently to restore the proving ring dial gauge to zero.13 6.doc Page 5 of 9 . Plot the volume change cms against the square root of time (min).3 6.1 6. readings of axial deformation. Open the connection between the pore pressure transducer and the specimen and ensure the recording device is operating. or dissipation of pore pressure is 95% complete.4 5.6 5.11 6. Remove the specimen and determine its wet mass. Calculate deviator stress and percent strain and plot these values until two consecutive values of the deviator stress are the same (Note h).6.7 6.5 5. Repeat Procedures 6. Triaxial Test: Consolidated Undrainaed Test Method 71/2/151.16 if a single stage test or the final stage of a multi-stage test is being performed. 6. activate the loading machine. Determine the height of the specimen.1 to 6. Switch the machine off and manually adjust the loading ram until it is just in contact with the seat on the upper end cap of the specimen.5 6. Commence compression of the specimen by setting the loading machine into motion. Select a suitable proving ring and mount it on the machine. Carry out Procedures 6. Record simultaneously.Pavements & Structures TEST METHOD WA 151.7 6.10 6.1 Issue 1 2/88 6.9 6.2 6. Drain and dismantle the cell.8 6. Compression (Shear) Stage Estimate a suitable rate of axial deformation (Note f).12.6 6.13 .14 6.15 MAIN ROADS Western Australia T\WA151-1. Release all pressure systems. pore pressure and proving ring dial gauge at suitable intervals of strain (Note g). Raise the loading ram above the specimen. Continue consolidation until the volume change gauge reading is essentially constant. adjust the proving ring to zero.12 Take readings at pre selected intervals of time (Note e) and record the values of volume change and pore pressure. Secure the loading ram to the bottom of the proving ring assembly.4 6. Increase the cell pressure to give the next required effective pressure and consolidate the specimen as per procedure 5 if a further stage of the test is being carried out. and with the ram moving at the selected test speed.
4.16 Determine the moisture content of the specimen in accordance with Test Method WA 110. This area at any strain E is given by the equation: A where A = Ao 1 -∈ = cross sectional area of the specimen in mm² A o = initial cross sectional area of the specimen in mm² ∈ = Lo − l Lo where Lo = initial length of the specimen in mm L 2.1 6.1 Issue 1 2/88 Page 6 of 9 . Calculate the cross-sectional area for each recorded point of strain on the assumption that the specimen deforms as a right cylinder (Note i). Calculate the deviator stress for each recorded point of strain from the formula (Note j): (σ 1 − σ 3 ) = P x 10 6 A where (σ 1 − σ 3 ) = deviator stress in kPa P A 3. = axial load in kN.1 or 110.doc Triaxial Test: Consolidated Undrainaed Test Method 71/2/151. MAIN ROADS Western Australia T\WA151-1. This value is obtained by multiplying the proving ring factor by dial gauge readings = cross sectional area in mm² Determine the maximum deviator stress from 6. = length of the specimen in mm at the stage of the test at which the area A is to be determined.2.9 and the corresponding pore pressure (u) from the pore pressure recorder. CALCULATIONS 1. Obtain effective stress parameters (C¹ and Ø¹) by plotting the Mohr effective stress circles for the point of failure in each test stage of a multi-stage test or in each specimen in a series of tests carried out on the sample.Pavements & Structures TEST METHOD WA 151.
The specimen dimensions. 2. Measure the gradient of the line drawn as tangent to the circles which represents the effective angle of internal friction (Ø¹). date sampled.4 4.1 1. Determine the value of the intercept of the tangent on the shear stress axis which represents the effective cohesion (C¹). Report effective angle of internal friction to the nearest 1º. General Information Sample reference numbers. 1.2 2. Provide Mohr circles and the tangent line of failure. Triaxial Test: Consolidated Undrainaed Test Method 71/2/151.2 1. Type of sample (eg undisturbed or remoulded).1 σ −σ 3 Locate a point at a distance of (σ 3 − u ) + 1 along a normal stress axis.1 The procedure to determine each Mohr circle is as follows: (Note k) 4.Pavements & Structures TEST METHOD WA 151. borehole number and depth.4 Results. location.5 2. Report effective cohesion to the nearest 5 kPa. Report the corresponding strains and times to failure. 1.3 2.1 Issue 1 2/88 MAIN ROADS Western Australia T\WA151-1.doc Page 7 of 9 . 2 where u σ1 = σ1 = = axial stress cell pressure pore pressure 4. Report the value of maximum deviator stress for each stage of the test to the nearest 5 kPa.3 1. Field description and Unified Soil Classification of the sample. draw a semi circle of radius: σ1 −σ 3 2 4.3 4.4 1.5 Draw a tangent of best fit to the circles obtained.1 2.2 Using this point as the centre. REPORTING Report the following values and general information if appropriate.
A plot of the stress/strain curves for each stage. 1. The mode of failure of the specimen (Note m).001 t/m³. The maximum pore pressure for each stage to the nearest 5 kPa. From a practical point of view. the Mohr envelope and the determination of C¹ and Ø¹.8 2.1 2.1 Issue 1 2/88 (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (j) (k) MAIN ROADS Western Australia T\WA151-1. etc hours. the contribution of the rubber membrane to the measured strength may be significant and should be allowed for. The axial deformation at failure can often be estimated by previous experience on similar material. A plot of each consolidation phase.9 2.95.Pavements & Structures TEST METHOD WA 151. 1. (b) (c) To minimise leakage past the loading ram and cell interface. The initial and final moisture content to the nearest 0. they should be measured and allowed for. The cell pressure for each stage to the nearest 5 kPa. The general shape of the stress/strain curve should be taken into consideration before a decision is made to stop compression. Figure 1 shows the development of Mohr's circles. 2.6 2. For most clays a test duration of 2-4 hours is adequate. Triaxial Test: Consolidated Undrainaed Test Method 71/2/151. saturation is considered complete when B has exceeded 0. The formula for calculating the area A assumes negligible volume change in the specimen. Usually 5-10 minutes is sufficient. ie around 2%. Preferred times for readings are: 7. 4. Procedures for the preparation of test specimens vary considerably in detail but the general aim is to produce specimens of required dimensions with a minimum change of soil structure and moisture content. 2. Membrane correction is usually not necessary however on very soft. This pressure may be increased if required.2mm of axial strain for 38mm and 50mm diameter specimens and 0.11 2. The time chosen must ensure an equalisation of pore pressure within the specimen. 15 and 30 sec.doc Page 8 of 9 .1%. Simultaneous readings should be taken at 0.10 2. Sufficient time should be left between increments to allow pore pressure to stabilise within the specimen. a quantity of oil should be poured onto the water at the top of the cell. If volume changes larger than this are expected. 8.5 2. 4. The test is limited to specimens in the form of right cylinders of height approximately equal to twice the diameter of the cylinder.7 2. A description of the specimen as broken open after the test (Note l). Care should be exercised to ensure that the test is not stopped too early.5. small diameter specimens. As a guide normally consolidated clays have typical failure strains of 20-24% and heavily over-consolidated clays have typical failure strains of 4-8%. A back pressure of approximately 100 kPa is usually sufficient to eliminate trapped air by absorption into the de-aired water. 8. 16 and 32 min.12 NOTES (a) The initial and final dry density to the nearest 0.4mm axial strain for 75 mm and 100mm diameter specimens.
1 Issue 1 2/88 Page 9 of 9 . MAIN ROADS Western Australia T\WA151-1. Breaking the specimen is preferable to cutting the specimen as structural features are not obscured. a partial cut to assist the breaking may be necessary. As some soils are difficult to break. (m) A convenient means of recording the mode of failure is a sketch indicating the position of the failure plane.doc Triaxial Test: Consolidated Undrainaed Test Method 71/2/151. The recording should be completed without undue delay to avoid loss of moisture from the specimen. The angle of the failure plane should be recorded if apparent.1 (l) This procedure allows comment to be made regarding the homogeneity of the specimen.Pavements & Structures TEST METHOD WA 151.
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