Volume 34, Issue 6 (November 2011)
A Transparent Sand for Geotechnical Laboratory Modeling
The paper describes a new transparent granular soil that can be used for laboratory geotechnical modeling purposes. The transparent soil consists of fused quartz particles in combination with a mixture of two mineral oils as pore fluid. The solid particles and the matching liquid have the same refractive index. The soil has important advantages with respect to transparency, stability, health safety, and utility over glass and silica gel materials. The transparent soil is also inexpensive compared to silica gel-fluid materials that have been used in the past. Conventional laboratory shear box, triaxial compression, and permeability tests were carried out to demonstrate that the mechanical properties and hydraulic permeability of the transparent soil are typical of granular soils with angular particles.