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In the standard triaxial shear test frictional restraint at the loading platens results in nonuniform stresses in the test specimen. Because of this the pore pressure set up in the end zones of the specimen is different from that set up at mid-height. To obtain accurate measurements of the shear strength of a soil in terms of effective stresses, it is essential that the measured pore pressure be representative of conditions in the zone of shear failure. The simplest way of attaining this is by allowing the pore pressure to equalize throughout the specimen by transfer of moisture.
Lecturer in civil engineering, University of the Witwatersrand,