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The use of a drum centrifuge for geotechnical research is described. This type of centrifuge is distinguished by its ability to carry a payload around the entire circumference of a rotating drum. This allows the formation of “endless” slopes and gives the centrifuge a large capacity at very low cost. The design and construction of the centrifuge is described in detail. Also, the test procedures used to conduct slope stability experiments, including consolidation of a clay slurry, in-flight cutting of the slope, and both short- and long-term stability tests are discussed. Deviations from true similarity, between model and prototype are listed, including fluctuation in acceleration, variation in water content, and stress paths. Possible future uses of the drum centrifuge are presented.
Professor of civil engineering, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA
Associate professor of civil engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Professor of geotechnical engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge,
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