ASTM D6467 - 13

    Standard Test Method for Torsional Ring Shear Test to Determine Drained Residual Shear Strength of Cohesive Soils

    Active Standard ASTM D6467 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 The ring shear test is suited to the relatively rapid determination of drained residual shear strength because of the short drainage path through the thin specimen, and the capability of testing one specimen under different normal stresses to quickly obtain a shear strength envelope.

    5.2 The test results are primarily applicable to assess the shear strength in slopes that contain a preexisting shear surface, such as old landslides, soliflucted slopes, and sheared bedding planes, joints, or faults.

    5.3 The apparatus allows a reconstituted specimen to be overconsolidated and presheared prior to drained shearing. This simulates the field conditions that lead to a preexisting shear surface along which the drained residual strength can be mobilized.

    5.4 The ring shear device keeps the cross-sectional area of the shear surface constant during shear and shears the specimen continuously in one rotational direction for any magnitude of displacement. This allows clay particles to become oriented parallel to the direction of shear and a residual strength condition to develop.

    Note 1Notwithstanding the statements on precision and bias contained in this test method: The precision of this test method is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent testing. Users of this test method are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not ensure reliable testing. Reliable testing depends on several factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method provides a procedure for performing a torsional ring shear test under a drained condition to determine the residual shear strength of cohesive soils. An intact specimen can be used for testing. However, obtaining a natural slip surface specimen, determining the direction of field shearing, and trimming and aligning the usually non-horizontal shear surface in the ring shear apparatus is difficult. As a result, this test method focuses on the use of a reconstituted specimen to measure the residual strength. This test method is performed by deforming a presheared, reconstituted specimen at a controlled displacement rate until the constant drained shear resistance is offered on a single shear plane determined by the configuration of the apparatus. An unlimited amount of continuous shear displacement can be achieved to obtain a residual strength condition. Generally, three or more normal stresses are applied to a test specimen to determine the drained residual failure envelope. A separate test specimen may be used for each normal stress.

    1.2 A shear stress-displacement relationship may be obtained from this test method. However, a shear stress-strain relationship or any associated quantity, such as modulus, cannot be determined from this test method because soil extrusion and volume change prevents defining the height needed in the shear strain calculations. As a result, shear strain cannot be calculated but shear displacement can be calculated.

    1.3 The selection of normal stresses and determination of the shear strength envelope for design analyses and the criteria to interpret and evaluate the test results are the responsibility of the engineer or office requesting the test.

    1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to inch-pound units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.5 All measured and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D422 Test Method for Particle-Size Analysis of Soils

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D854 Test Methods for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids by Water Pycnometer

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D2435 Test Methods for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soils Using Incremental Loading

    D2487 Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System)

    D3080 Test Method for Direct Shear Test of Soils Under Consolidated Drained Conditions

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4318 Test Methods for Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.20 (Physical properties of soil)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6467

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