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The main types of cubical shear devices are described and classified according to the applied boundary conditions. There is no attempt to include all or even a large selection of individual designs; examples are used to develop a critical review of the types used presently and the way in which these are evaluated. The need to consider the material and specimen to be tested when deciding on the appropriate shear device is emphasized. The chosen examples amply illustrate the wide range of uses of the devices; special attention is given to the application of controlled rotation of principal stress directions. The capability of cubical devices to accept undisturbed samples after straightforward trimming is seen as enough to ensure future developments. A major theme is constraint unintentionally imposed through the boundaries; recognition, assessment, and reduction or elimination of boundary constraint are extensively considered. Classification of stress-strain data as true, comparative, or corrected is advocated as a means of ensuring proper data quality. An example is given from current work at the author's laboratory.
apparatus, evaluation, boundary-material interactions, stress-strain, strength, principal stress rotation
Professor of soil mechanics, University College, London,