Volume 5, Issue 5 (September 1977)
Preparation of Isotropically Consolidated Clay Samples with Random Fabrics
This paper describes equipment and procedures that can be employed to prepare clay samples with a highly random fabric and a known stress history. By appropriate choice of the clay mineral and proper control of pore fluid chemistry, high water content slurries can be consolidated isotropically to produce large size, relatively homogeneous samples for laboratory use in the study of fabric effects on clay behavior. The fabric of the resulting samples has been identified by the complementary use of scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, and X-ray diffractometry, and the isotropy in the mechanical response of specimens trimmed from the sample in perpendicular directions has been determined by consolidation tests, permeability tests, and consolidated-undrained triaxial compression tests. Comparisons in all cases have been made with analogous characteristics of specimens trimmed from anisotropically consolidated samples with a highly oriented fabric, and results have indicated that fabric effects can be significant in some cases.