Volume 34, Issue 4 (July 2006)
Determination of Thermal Properties of Soils in a Geotechnical Centrifuge
Studies conducted in the past reveal that heat transfer through a soil mass depends basically on its thermal properties and hence estimation of soil thermal properties is essential. Efforts have been made by researchers to estimate thermal properties of soils with the help of analytical or numerical models and by conducting laboratory or field experiments. Though laboratory tests are inexpensive, quick, and easy to perform, they lack simulation of real-world conditions in terms of in situ stresses. To overcome this, field tests, which are relatively costly and time consuming, are found to be quite useful. However, these tests offer either little or no direct control over the boundary conditions. To overcome these difficulties, researchers have turned to geotechnical centrifuge modeling for simulating migration of heat through the soil mass. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to determine the influence of an accelerated environment on thermal properties of soils. With this in view, an attempt was made to establish a working methodology for estimating thermal properties of soils, compacted at different dry densities, in a geotechnical centrifuge; details are presented in this technical note.