Volume 21, Issue 4 (December 1998)
Experience with the Use of Methylcellulose as a Viscous Pore Fluid in Centrifuge Models
In geotechnical modeling, the use of a pore fluid having viscosity greater than that of water is a well-established method of satisfying the scaling laws relating to movement of pore fluid through the soil during dynamic loading events. This has often been achieved with either silicone oil or mixtures of water and glycerol. However, there are a number of inherent drawbacks and difficulties in using silicone oil in particular, and this paper describes an alternative solution of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) in water that has been used recently with success. This paper presents test data documenting the variation in solution viscosity with concentration and temperature and the variation in specific gravity with concentration. The relative performance of the fluid is illustrated with data from two centrifuge model tests, one with pure water as the pore fluid and one with an HPMC solution having viscosity ten times that of water.