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INFLUENCE OF SPECIMEN SHAPE AND TEST BOUNDARY CONDITIONS ON THE STRESS-STRAIN BEHAVIOUR OF SOIL

Amit Prashant and Dayakar Penumadu Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
Acknowledgements: Financial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through grants CMS-9872618 and CMS-0296111 is gratefully acknowledged. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.
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Presentation outline

The need of laboratory testing with different specimen shapes and loading/boundary conditions. Testing program and the apparatus used to study the shear strength behaviour of Kaolin clay

Lubricated end triaxial test on solid cylinder and cubical specimens True triaxial test on cubical specimens Frictional end triaxial test on hollow cylinder specimen

Experimental results and discussion on the effect of specimen shape and boundary conditions on shear strength behaviour Conclusions
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Triaxial test on solid cylinders


Conventionally used method for obtaining the shear strength parameters for short and long term stability of soil structures. Controlled drainage conditions. With lubricated ends, the specimen deformation is uniform along the height of the specimen Can be used to study the soil behavior only under the axistymmetric stress conditions.

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Combined axial-torsional test on hollow cylinders


With all the advantages of conventional triaxial system, it can also be used to study the effect of principal stress rotation on the mechanical response of anisotropic soil. Frictional ends are used to apply the torsional shear stress for principal stress rotation, which results in non-uniform deformation. Usually, the inside and outside cell pressures are equal, and therefore the relative magnitudes of principal stresses have a constant relationship with the rotation of principal stresses.

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True triaxial on cubical specimens


Three principal stresses are independently applied to the specimen faces. Therefore, this test is used to study the effect of the relative magnitudes of principal stresses. The specimen boundaries could be all rigid, all flexible, or a combination of rigid and flexible. Depending on the boundary types, stress concentrations and/or nonuniform deformations may occur in the specimen. This test can not be used for continuous rotation of principal stresses.

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Specimen preparation

Hollow and solid cylinder specimen consolidometer Kaolin clay mixed at a water content of 155% and consolidated under 207 kPa axial pressure. Cubical specimen consolidometer

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Lubricated end triaxial system


Triaxial compression and extension tests on solid cylinders and cubes using lubricated end platens. Complete drainage path provided using filter paper strips. End lubrication is provided through the use of 0.6 mm thick latex membranes and a thin layer of vacuum grease. Specimen dimensions:
Cylindrical 102 mm diameter Prismatic square base with 102 mm diagonal, 102 mm height

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True triaxial system


Triaxial compression and extension tests on cubical specimens using flexible boundaries. Ref. [1], and [2] Strain rate controlled using PID based closed loop control algorithm. Specimen dimensions: Cube each side of 102 mm.

[1] Mandeville, D., and Penumadu, D. 2004. True triaxial testing system for clay with Proportional-Integral-Differential control. ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal, 27(2), GTJ11756: 1-12. [2] Prashant A. and Penumadu D., 2004. Effect of intermediate principal stress on overconsolidated Kaolin clay. J. Geotech. Geoenv. Engrg., ASCE, 130(3), 284-292.

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Triaxial cell for hollow cylinder specimen


Triaxial compression and extension tests on Hollow cylinders using frictional end boundaries. MTS 858 loading equipment with a Series 359 Axial-Torsional Load Unit. Data acquisition and control using TEST STAR electronic interface and TESTWARE-SX software Hollow cylinder specimen: Height = 230 mm Outer diameter = 102 mm Inner diameter = 71.2 mm

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Tests performed in this study


Test Method Specimen Loading Compression Lubricated end triaxial test Solid Cylinder Extension Compression Lubricated end triaxial test Cubical Extension Compression Frictional end triaxial test Hollow Cylinder Extension Compression True triaxial test Cubical Extension TT-E TH-E TT-C LC-E TH-C LS-E LC-C Designation LS-C

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Stress-strain and excess pore pressure

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Observed strength behaviour


Test LS-C LC-C TH-C TT-C LS-E LC-E TH-E TT-E q 0.088 0.132 0.104 0.150 0.132 0.131 0.117 0.156 Su/c 0.30 0.29 0.32 0.31 0.26 0.29 0.24 0.27 29.9 29.6 33.1 28.8 39.5 41.1 34.2 36.4 M 1.20 1.18 1.34 1.14 1.05 1.08 0.95 0.99 Af 1.16 1.23 1.12 1.08 1.60 1.55 1.68 1.54

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Conclusions

Study of the complex soil behaviour in generalized stress space involves the use of various specimen shapes and loading/boundary conditions. Effect of specimen shape and boundary conditions was evaluated by performing triaxial compression and extension tests using four testing methods 1. Lubricated end triaxial test on solid cylinders 2. Lubricated end triaxial test on solid cylinders 3. True triaxial system for cubical specimens 4. Triaxial test on hollow cylinder specimen Despite identical stress path and consolidation history, four testing methods showed that the specimen shape and loading/boundary conditions may significantly influence the observed stress-strain relationships, pore pressure evolution, and the calculated strength parameters, and need to be considered when analyzing the experimental data to use in structural design.

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