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Field vane tests have been traditionally employed with reported success in design on soft soils. In Brazil, most of the available vane test equipment requires preboring. With these devices soil-rod friction influences the data and should be accounted for through calibration tests. An investigation was carried out on Rio de Janeiro clay, and the results showed that soil-rod friction tests can provide unreliable results. Therefore, friction should be eliminated through a better mechanical design, as accomplished in the vaneborer apparatus, with which field vane (FV) tests have shown less data scatter. The FV strength profile was evaluated in a stability analysis of an embankment failure on Rio de Janeiro clay, and a factor of safety close to one was obtained in this highly plastic clay. This led to the conclusion that recommended FV correction factors are too conservative for the Rio de Janeiro clay.
field vane tests, Rio de Janeiro clays, calibration tests, soil-rod friction, correction factors
Associate Professor, School of Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro,
Professor, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói,