Resonant Column Test for Unsaturated Soils With Suction–Saturation Control

    Volume 34, Issue 6 (November 2011)

    ISSN: 0149-6115


    Published Online: 1 August 2011

    Page Count: 10

    Khosravi, Ali
    Univ. of Colorado at Boulder,

    McCartney, John S.
    Univ. of Colorado at Boulder,

    (Received 26 March 2010; accepted 27 June 2011)


    Comprehensive characterization of the small strain shear modulus Gmax of an unsaturated soil specimen during hydraulic hysteresis requires precise control of the stress state, matric suction, degree of saturation, as well as knowledge of the void ratio. This paper describes the details and typical results from a test method which incorporates the axis translation technique for suction control, a flow pump for degree of saturation control, and a vertically oriented proximeter to infer changes in void ratio into a fixed–free resonant column setup. A unique aspect of this test method is the operation of the flow pump to reach equilibrium points on the hysteretic soil–water retention curve (SWRC) for measurement of Gmax. The flow pump, which controls water flow to or from the soil specimen through a high air-entry ceramic disk, is guided using a feedback loop involving the matric suction measured at the boundary of the specimen. Values of Gmax were measured at different equilibrium points on the primary drainage path of the SWRC up to the point of water occlusion, then along a scanning imbibition path of the SWRC. The results indicate a greater shear modulus during imbibition, consistent with trends and magnitudes noted in the technical literature.

    Paper ID: GTJ103102

    DOI: 10.1520/GTJ103102

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    Title Resonant Column Test for Unsaturated Soils With Suction–Saturation Control
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee D18