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    Torsional Shear Testing Technique for Dynamic Properties of Clay

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    The testing technique and apparatus described herein implement the determination of dynamic stress-strain-time properties of clay soils over several decades of the frequency spectrum, including the normal frequency range of most earthquakes. The basic device used for these tests is the Weissenberg rheogoniometer, with some modifications to enhance its adaptability to testing soils. The soft clay test specimens are held in a cone-and-plate sample holder, while a hollow cylinder geometry is more suitable for stiff clay specimens. These geometries satisfy reasonably well the desirable condition that stresses and strains be homogeneous within the test specimen, and they allow tests to be conducted over a wide range of moisture contents. The specimens are subjected to oscillatory torsional shear deformations, and the moment response is measured; with the use of the specimen geometry and the homogeneity of stress and strain, these deformations and forces are readily converted to shear stresses and shear strains. In addition to the magnitudes of stress and strain, the time difference between corresponding points on the stress and strain curves is measured, allowing computation of a phase angle between stress and strain. Two types of oscillatory tests are particularly convenient to perform in this apparatus; in one case, the frequency is maintained constant while the deformation amplitude is varied, while in the other case, deformation amplitude is held constant and frequency is varied. Data obtained by this technique allow the evaluation of several aspects of the dynamic clay behavior, such as the effect of stress history, the degree of nonlinearity in the stress-strain response, and the extent to which presently available theories, such as linear viscoelasticity, can be used to interpret the mechanical behavior. For example, the energy dissipated in a unit volume of the sample over a single cycle of deformation can be calculated by using the phase angle and the stress and strain amplitudes; alternatively, this dissipated energy can be measured directly by means of a hysteresis loop, and the two values can be compared.


    soil mechanics, dynamic loads, soil dynamics, clay soils, torsional shear, stress, strain, oscillatory deformations, shear stress, shear strain, evaluation, tests, test equipment

    Author Information:

    Krizek, RJ
    Associate Professor of Civil EngineeringPersonal Member, Northwestern UniversityASTM, Evanston, Ill.

    Franklin, AG
    Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.05

    DOI: 10.1520/STP33639S