The British standard constant-head triaxial test for measuring the permeability of fine-grained soils takes a relatively long time. A quicker test could provide savings to the construction industry, particularly for checking the quality of landfill clay liners. An accelerated permeability test has been developed, but the method often underestimates the permeability values compared owing to structural changes in the soil sample. This paper reports on an investigation into the accelerated test to discover if the changes can be limited by using a revised procedure. The accelerated testis assessed and compared with the standard test and a ramp-accelerated permeability test. Four different finegrained materials are compacted at various water contents to produced analogous samples for testing using the three different methods. Fabric analysis is carried out on specimens derived from post-test samples using mercury intrusion porosimetry and scanning electron microscopy to assess the effects of testing on soil structure. The results show that accelerated testing in general underestimates permeability compared with values derived from the standard test, owing to changes in soil structure caused by testing. The ramp-accelerated test is shown to provide an improvement in terms of these structural changes.
- geotechnical engineering
- waste management & disposal