Volume 24, Issue 2 (June 2001)
Horizontally Mounted Bender Elements for Measuring Anisotropic Shear Moduli in Triaxial Clay Specimens
Novel horizontally mounted bender element devices capable of high-quality transmission and reception of horizontally propagated shear waves polarized in orthogonal planes across the mid-height of a triaxial clay specimen are described. Mounting of these mini benders, in a T-shaped configuration, is in the pads of a radial strain belt on 100 mm diameter triaxial samples, or alternatively as bender probes (similar in concept to mid-height pore pressure probes) suitable for use on triaxial samples down to 38 mm diameter. This latter type may also be used in bench-top tests or on site. The effective fabrication procedures that have been developed are described. The instrumentation systems used to drive and receive signals are outlined, and estimates of the magnitude of the shear strains developed by the bender elements and the accuracy with which shear wave velocities can be determined are discussed. These new bender elements enable both anisotropic shear moduli to be measured over the same path length on a single triaxial specimen that can be taken to a wide variety of anisotropic stress states. Comparison with measurements using conventional platen-mounted bender elements suggests these may underestimate the shear modulus by up to 20%.