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The paper describes problems encountered in performing consolidated drained triaxial tests on Piedmont residual soil specimens trimmed from both Shelby tube samples and block samples. The micaceous silty soil has steeply dipping layers, planes of weakness, and granular seams. These characteristics complicate trimming and cause specimens to bend during consolidation and shearing. Because some specimens failed at strains of 14% to 20%, the nonuniformities influence the estimation of peak shear strength. To cope with variability, a multistage test on one specimen was compared to behavior measured on three single-stage tests performed on three specimens; all four specimens were trimmed from the same block. Comparative results were inconclusive.
residual soil, triaxial tests, shear strength, testing procedures
Assistant professor of civil engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Research engineer, Rockwell International, Richland, WA