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Six questions concerning the advantages and limitations of equipment for measuring shear strength of soils, and related test errors, were posed to the author. The responses are given in this paper. Emphasis is placed on the need to understand the shape of the stress-strain curve when selecting the apparatus. This need arises in soil testing because the soil type, soil structure, state, and stress path all have a strong influence on the stress-strain curves. Details of testing that are discussed are: (1) used of undisturbed or compacted specimens, (2) when to test partially saturated soils, (3) backpressure saturation, and (4) membrane penetration effects. Some suggestions for needed research are given.
strength, stress-strain, apparatus (equipment), soil testing, back pressure, partial saturation, membrane penetration, research
Principal, Geotechnical Engineers, Inc., Winchester, Mass.