(Received 19 August 1999; accepted 1 February 2001)
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Depending upon the initial water content of the soil sample, a family of compression curves is possible. Identification of characteristic limiting water contents for any fine grained soil system, along with the unique mechanisms controlling them, helps obtain the limiting compression curves. In the present note, it has been demonstrated that the compression curve obtained with its origin at the free swell limit of the soil represents the global upper bound compression curve, and that the compression curve obtained after the soil has reached equilibrium under cyclic consolidation represents the global lower bound compression curve. The compression curve obtained with its origin at the settling limit water content of the soil is the stress-free reference state curve as well as the upper bound compression curve for the homogeneous soil sample.
Professor of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore,
Senior lecturer of Civil Engineering, Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore,
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