Volume 33, Issue 4 (July 2010)

    Modified Direct Shear Apparatus for Unsaturated Sands at Low Suction and Stress

    (Received 27 December 2009; accepted 30 April 2010)

    Published Online: 2010

    CODEN: GTJOAD

      Format Pages Price  
    PDF Version 13 $25   ADD TO CART


    Abstract

    Modifications to a conventional laboratory testing system are described for direct shear testing of unsaturated soils at relatively low matric suction and net normal stress. Matric suction ranging from zero (saturated) to about 10 kPa is controlled using a hanging column assembly (ASTM D6836). Net normal stress ranging from about 0.3 to 10 kPa is controlled by directly applying dead loads to the specimen via a series of aluminum top caps machined to varying thicknesses. Precise control of suction and normal stress within these ranges makes the apparatus ideal for examining the shear strength behavior of unsaturated sands, which are characterized by relatively low air-entry pressures and for which the influences of matric suction on mechanical response can be subtle. Soil-water characteristic curves are concurrently obtained during the shear testing program by measuring transient and equilibrium pore water drainage under the imposed suction changes. Testing procedures and recommended protocols are described. Results from a series of tests using saturated and unsaturated specimens of poorly graded fine sand are presented to demonstrate application and performance of the system. Relationships between shear strength and matric suction are non-linear and exhibit peak shear strength at matric suction within the range of the air-entry suction. High friction angles measured for the portions of the failure envelope at low matric suction and normal stress may indicate the effects of dilation on the strength development.


    Author Information:

    Likos, William J.
    Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Missouri–Columbia, Columbia, MO

    Wayllace, Alexandra
    Division of Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

    Godt, Jonathan
    U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO

    Lu, Ning
    Division of Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO


    Stock #: GTJ102927

    ISSN: 0149-6115

    DOI: 10.1520/GTJ102927

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Author
    Title Modified Direct Shear Apparatus for Unsaturated Sands at Low Suction and Stress
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee D18