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Critical-State Soil Mechanics

For Dummies
Paul W. Mayne, PhD, P.E.
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0355
www.ce.gatech.edu
Email: paul.mayne@ce.gatech.edu

2006

PROLOGUE
Critical-state soil mechanics is an effective stress framework

describing mechanical soil response

In its simplest form here, we consider only shear-induced


loading.

We merely tie together two well-known concepts: (1) onedimensional consolidation behavior, represented by e-log v
curves; and (2) shear stress-vs. normal stress ( v) from
direct shear box or simple shearing.

Herein, only the bare essence of CSSM concepts are presented,


sufficient to describe strength & compressibility response.

Critical State Soil Mechanics (CSSM)


Experimental evidence provided by Hvorslev (1936; 1960, ASCE); Henkel
(1960, ASCE Boulder) Henkel & Sowa (1961, ASTM STP 361)

Mathematics presented elsewhere, including: Schofield & Wroth (1968);


Burland (1968); Wood (1990).

In basic form: 3 material constants (', Cc, Cs)


OCR)

Constitutive Models, include: Original Cam-Clay, Modified Cam Clay, NorSand,


Bounding Surface, MIT-E3 (Whittle, 1993) & MIT-S1 (Pestana) and others
(Adachi, Oka, Ohta, Dafalias)

plus initial state (e0, vo',

"Undrained" is just one specific stress path


Yet !!! CSSM is missing from most textbooks and undergrad & grad curricula
in the USA.

One-Dimensional Consolidation
Sandy Clay (CL), Surry, VA: Depth = 27 m
1.0

vo'=300 kPa

Void Ratio, e

0.9

p'=900

Cr = 0.04

kPa

Overconsolidation Ratio, OCR = 3

0.8

Cs = swelling index (= Cr)

0.7

cv = coef. of consolidation
D' = constrained modulus

0.6

Ce = coef. secondary compression


Cc = 0.38
k hydraulic conductivity

0.5
1

10

100

1000

Effective Vertical Stress,


svo'
(kPa)
v

10000

Direct Shear Test Results

s
Direct Shear Box (DSB)

Direct Simple Shear (DSS)

CC

NC
CSL

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CSSM for Dummies

CSL

Effective stress v'


Shear stress

Log v'
CSSM Premise:
All stress paths fail
on the critical state
line (CSL)

NC

c=0

CSL
tan '

Effective stress v'

CC

e0
ef

NC

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CSSM for Dummies

NC
CSL

CSL

STRESS PATH No.1


NC Drained Soil
Given: e0, vo, NC (OCR=1)
Drained Path: u = 0
Volume Change is Contractive:

vol = e/(1+e0) < 0

Effective stress v'


Shear stress

Log v'

vo

c=0

max = c + tan

CSL
tan'

vo

Effective stress v'

CC

e0

NC

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CSSM for Dummies

NC
CSL

CSL
vf

vo

Effective stress v'

Log v'

Given: e0, vo, NC (OCR=1)


Undrained Path: V/V0 = 0
+u = Positive Excess
Porewater Pressures

Shear stress

STRESS PATH No.2


NC Undrained Soil

CSL
tan'

maxcu=su

vf
vo

Effective stress v'

CSSM for Dummies

NC
CSL

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CC

DSS: su/ voNC = sin

Shear stress

su/ vo = constant

CSL

Effective stress v'

Log v'
Note: All NC undrained
stress paths are parallel
to each other, thus:

NC

CSL
tan'

Effective stress v'

CS
NC

Void Ratio, e

CC

OC
NC
CSL

CSL

Log v'

Effective stress v'

p'

Overconsolidated States:
e0, vo, and OCR = p/ vo
where p = vmax = Pc =
preconsolidation stress;
OCR = overconsolidation ratio

CSL
Shear stress

Void Ratio, e

CSSM for Dummies

tan'

Effective stress v'

p'

CSSM for Dummies

CS

NC

Void Ratio, e

e0

OC
NC
CSL

CSL

vo'

vf'

Effective stress v'

Log v'

Stress Path No. 3


Undrained OC Soil:
e0, vo, and OCR
Stress Path: V/V0 = 0
Negative Excess u

Shear stress

Void Ratio, e

CC

CSL
u

vo'

tan
'

Effective stress v'

CSSM for Dummies

CS

NC

Void Ratio, e

e0

OC
NC
CSL

CSL

vo'

Effective stress v'

Log v'

Stress Path No. 4


Drained OC Soil:
e0, vo, and OCR
Stress Path: u = 0
Dilatancy: V/V0 > 0

CSL

Shear stress

Void Ratio, e

CC

tan
'

vo'

Effective stress v'

Critical state soil mechanics


Initial state: e0, vo, and OCR = p/vo
Soil constants: , Cc, and Cs ( = 1-Cs/Cc)
For NC soil (OCR =1):

Undrained (vol = 0): +u and max = su = cu

Drained (u = 0) and contractive (decrease vol)

For OC soil:

Undrained (vol = 0): -u and max = su = cu

Drained (u = 0) and dilative (Increase vol)

Theres more !

Semi-drained, Partly undrained, Cyclic..

Equivalent Stress Concept


NC
e0
ep

CS

p'

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CC

NC

OC

CSL

CSL

vf' e' Log v'

1. OC State (eo, vo, p)


2. Project OC state to NC
line for equivalent stress, e
e = Cs log(p/vo)
e = Cc log(e/p)

3. e = vo OCR[1-Cs/Cc]

Shear stress

vo'

p'

Effective stress v'


CSL
tan
'

su

at e
suOC = suNC
vo'

e '

Stress v'

Critical state soil mechanics


Previously: su/vo = constant for NC soil
On the virgin compression line: vo = e
Thus: su/e = constant for all soil (NC & OC)
For simple shear: su/e = sin
Equivalent stress: e = vo OCR[1-Cs/Cc]
Normalized Undrained Shear Strength:
su/ vo = sin OCR
where = (1-Cs/Cc)

Undrained Shear Strength from CSSM

Undrained Shear Strength from CSSM

Porewater Pressure Response from CSSM

Yield Surfaces
NC

NC

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CSL

OC

OC

p'
CSL

p'

Yield surface represents


3-d preconsolidation

Quasi-elastic behavior
within the yield surface

Normal stress v'


CSL

Shear stress

Log v'

Normal stress v'

Port of Anchorage, Alaska

Cavity Expansion Critical State Model for Evaluating


OCR in Clays from Piezocone Tests

O CR

qT ub
1

2
1 .9 5 M 1 v o '

where M = 6 sin/(3-sin)
and

= 1 Cs/Cc

fs
ub
qc qT

0.8

1/

Critical state soil mechanics


Initial state: e0, vo, and OCR = p/vo
Soil constants: , Cc, and Cs ( = 1-Cs/Cc)
Using effective stresses, CSSM addresses:

NC and OC behavior

Undrained vs. Drained (and other paths)

Positive vs. negative porewater pressures

Volume changes (contractive vs. dilative)

su/vo = sin OCR where = 1-Cs/Cc

Yield surface represents 3-d preconsolidation