Mechanical behaviour of unsaturated kaolin (with isotropic and anisotropic stress history). Part 2: performance under shear loading

V Sivakumar, R Sivakumar, JL Boyd, P Mackinnon

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    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Validation of a framework for unsaturated soil behaviourhas frequently resulted in disagreement with basic propositions.A primary reason for this disparity is consideredto be attributable to the anisotropic properties of the soil specimens tested as a result of preparation using onedimensional compaction. As part of the work presented, comparison is made between tests on samples of unsaturated kaolin prepared at identical specific volumes and specific water volumes using isotropic compression and one-dimensional compression. The suctions in the samples were reduced to predefined values by wetting under low isotropic loading in a triaxial cell. The samples were then taken through various stress paths to failure, defined as the critical state strength, while the suctions were held constant. Stress path tests were also performed on samples without reducing the suction to predefined values. In the latter, constant water mass tests, the suctions were allowed to vary and were measured using a psychrometer. The results of the tests at critical state are compared with the propositions of Wheeler and Sivakumar. The shear strengths of samples with isotropic previous history are shown to be significantly greater than those of samples with one-dimensional stress history when plotted against the mean net stress. The normal compression lines, critical state lines and yield characteristics are also shown to be significantly influenced by the previous stresshistory and are shown to be different for isotropically and one-dimensionally prepared samples.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)595-609
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2010


    • compaction
    • shear strength
    • stress path
    • suction
    • unsaturation


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