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Lecture 29

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Module 5

Lecture 29

Consolidation-3

Topics

1.1.6 Standard One-Dimensional Consolidation Test and Interpretation

1.1.7 Preconsolidation pressure.

Compression index

Effect of sample disturbance on the e vs. log cirve

1.1.8 Calculation of one-dimensional consolidation settlement

1.1.6 Standard One-Dimensional Consolidation Test and Interpretation

The standard one-dimensional consolidation test is usually carried out on saturated specimens about 1 in

(25.4 mm) thick and 2.5 in (63.5 mm) in diameter (Figure 5.25). The soil sample is kept inside a metal ring,

with a porous stone at the top and another at the bottom. The load P on the sample is applied through a lever

arm, and the compression of the specimen is measured by a micrometer dial gauge. The load is usually

doubled every 24 hours. The specimen is kept under water throughout the test. (F0r detailed test procedures,

see ASTM test designation D-2435.)

Figure 5.25 Standard one dimensional consolidation apparatus

NPTEL- Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 2

For each load increment, the sample deformation and the corresponding time t is plotted on semilogarithmic

graph paper. Figure 5.26 shows a typical deformation vs. log t graph. The graph consists of three distinct

parts:

1. Upper curved portion (stage I). This is mainly the result of precompression of the specimen.

2. A straight-line portion (stage II). This is referred to as primary consolidation. At the end of the

primary consolidation, the excess pore water pressure generated by the incremental loading is

dissipated to a large extent.

3. A lower straight-line portion (stage III). This is called secondary consolidation. During this stage, the

specimen undergoes small deformation with time. in fact, there must be immeasurably small excess

pore water pressure in the specimen during secondary consolidation.

Note that at the end of the test for each incremental loading the stress on the specimen is the effective stress,

. Once the specific gravity of the soil solids, the initial specimen dimensions, and the specimen

deformation at the end of each load has been determined, the corresponding void ratio can be calculated. A

typical void ratio vs. effective pressure relationship plotted on semilogarithmic graph paper is shown in

Figure 5.27.

Figure 5.26 Typical sample deformation vs. log-of-time plot for a given load increment

Figure 5.27 Typical e vs. log plot

NPTEL- Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 3

1.1.7 Preconsolidation pressure.

Typical e vs. log plot shown in Figure 5.28, it can be seen that the upper part is curved; however, at

higher pressure, e and log bear a linear relationship. The upper part is curved because when the soil

specimen was obtained from the field, it was subjected to a certain maximum effective pressure. During the

process of soil exploration, the pressure is released. In the laboratory, when the soil sample is loaded, it will

show relatively small decrease of void ratio with load up to the maximum effective stress to which the soil

was subjected in the past. This is represented by the upper curved portion in Figure 5.28. If the effective

stress on the soil sample is increased further, the decrease of void ratio with stress level will be larger. This

is represented by the straight-lime portion in the e vs. log plot. The effect can also be demonstrated in the

laboratory by unloading and reloading a soil sample, as shown in Figure 5.28. In this Figure 5.28, is the

void ratio-effective stress relation as the sample is unloaded, and is the reloading branch. At , the

sample is being subjected to a lower effective stress than the maximum stress

subjected. So will show a flatter curved portion. Beyond point f, the void ratio will decrease at a larger

rate with effective stress, and will have the same slope as .

Figure 5.28 Plot of void ratio vs. effective pressure showing unloading and reloading branches

Based on the above explanation, the two conditions of a soil can be defined

1. Normally consolidated. A soil is called normally consolidated if the present effective overburden

pressure is the maximum to which the soil has ever been subjected,

.

2. Overconsolidated. A soil is called overcosolidated if the present effective overburden pressure is less

than the maximum to which the soil was ever subjected in the past

In Figure 5.28 the branches are the overconsolidated state of a soil, and the branches

are the normally consolidated state of a soil.

NPTEL- Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 4

In the natural condition in the field, a soil may be either normally consolidated or overconsolidated.

A soil in the field may become overconsolidated through several mechanisms, some of which are

listed in table 2.

The preconsolidation pressure from a e vs. log plot is generally determined by a graphical

procedure suggested by Casagrande (1936), as shown in Figure 5.29. The steps are as follows:

1. Visually determine the point P (on the upper curved portion of the e vs. log plot) that has the

maximum curvature.

2. Draw a horizontal line PQ.

3. Draw a tangent PR at P.

4. Draw the line PS bisecting the angle QPR.

5. Produce the straight-line portion of the e vs. log plot backward to intersect PS at T.

6. The effective pressure corresponding to point T is the preconsolidation pressure

.

Another method for the determination of

Table 2 Mechanisms causing overconsolidation (Brumund et al 1976)

Mechanisms Remarks and references

Changes in total stress due to:

Removal of overburden pressure

Past structures

Glaciation

Changes in pore water pressure due to change in

water table elevation:

Artesian pressures

Deep pumping

Desiccation due to drying

Desiccation due to plant life

Kanny (1964) gives sea level changes

Common in glaciated areas

Common in many cities

Many have occurred during deposition

Many have occurred during deposition

Changes in soil structure due to secondary

compression (aging)*

Raju (1965); Leonards and Ramiah (1960);

Leonards and Altschacffl (1964); Bijerrum

(1967, 1972)

Environmental changes such as pH, temperature,

and salt concentration

Lambe (1958)

Chemical alteration due to weathering,

precipitation of cementing agents , ion exchange

Bjerrum (1967)

Change of strain rate on loading

Lowe (1974)

NPTEL- Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 5

Figure 5.29 Graphical procedure for determination of preconsolidation pressure

Compression index

The slope of the e vs. log plot for normally consolidated soil is referred to as the compression index

.

From Figure 5.30,

Figure 5.30 Compression index

NPTEL- Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 6

(66)

For normally consolidated clays. Terzaghi and Peck (1967) gave a correlation for the compression index as

(67)

Where LL is the liquid limit. The preceding relation has reliability in the range of and should not to

be used for clays with sensitivity ratios greater than 4.

Terzaghi and Peck also gave a similar correlation for remolded clays:

Several other correlations for the compression index with the basic index properties of soils have been made,

and some of these are given below (see Azzouz et al., 1976):

(68)

(69)

(70)

(71)

(72)

Where

Nacci et al. (1975) tested some natural deep-ocean soil samples from the North Atlantic. The calcite content

varied from 10 to 80%. Based on their results, the following equation has also been proposed:

(73)

Where PI is the plasticity index.

Effect of sample disturbance on the e vs. log cirve

Soil samples obtained from the field are somewhat disturbed. When consolidation tests are conducted on

these samples, we obtain e vs. log plots that are slightly different from those in the field. This is

demonstrated in Figure 5.31.

NPTEL- Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 7

Figure 5.31 Effect of sample disturbance on e vs. log curve

Curve I in Figure 5.31a shows the nature of the e vs. log variation that an undisturbed normally

consolidated clay (present effective overburden pressure

; void ratio

called the virgin compression curve. A laboratory consolidation test on a carefully recovered sample would

result in e vs. log plot such as curve II. If the same soil is completely remolded and then tested in a

consolidometer, the resulting void ratio-pressure plot will be like curve III. The virgin compression curve

(curve I) and the laboratory e vs. log curve obtained from a carefully recovered sample (curve II) intersect

at a void ratio of about

Curve I in Figure 5.31b shows the nature of the field consolidation curve of an over consolidated clay. Note

that the present effective overburden pressure is

is the

preconsolidation pressure, and is a part of the virgin compression curve. Curve II is the corresponding

laboratory consolidation curve. After careful testing, Schmertmann (1953) concluded that the field

recompression branch ( in Figure 5.34b) has approximately the same slope as the laboratory unloading

branch, . The slope of the laboratory unloading branch is referred to as

. The range of

is

approximately from one-fifth to one-tenth of

.

1.1.8 Calculation of one-dimensional consolidation settlement

The basic principle of one-dimensional consolidation settlement calculation is demonstrated in Figure 5.32.

If a clay layer of total thickness

NPTEL- Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 8

Figure 5.32 Calculation of one-dimensional consolidation settlement

(74)

Where e is strain. Again, if an undisturbed laboratory specimen is subjected to the same effective stress

increase, the void ratio will decrease by . Thus, the strain is equal to

(75)

Where

.

Thus, from equations (74) and (75),

(76)

For a normally consolidated clay in the field (Figure 5.33a),

(77)

For an overconsoidated clay, (1) if

(78)

And (2) if

(Figure 5.33c)

NPTEL- Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 9

(79)

Figure 5.33 Calculation of [equations (77) to (79)]

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