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    A Comparison of Soil Shear Strengths as Determined with Field and Laboratory Vane Shear Apparatus

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    The increasing use of the field vane shear apparatus3,4 has been noted during the past several years. Even with the many limitations it possesses, a defined degree of reliability has been attached to this method of determining the undrained shear strength of fine-grain plastic soils.

    This paper presents a comparison of results of undrained shear strengths as obtained by the field vane shear test with those obtained by a laboratory vane shear device. Further comparisons are presented from the use of the “Q” type (unconsolidated-undrained) triaxial compression test on undisturbed specimens. A remolded strength was determined with the field and laboratory vane shear devices, and certain triaxial test specimens were remolded at unaltered water contents. This was also accomplished for comparative reasons. Close agreement under qualified conditions was found to exist between the strength values obtained by the two methods of vane testing as well as the triaxial tests. However, definite variation was found in the shear strengths obtained by laboratory vane testing within a given 30-in.-long undisturbed sample taken in a 3-in. diameter thin-walled tube with a piston sampler.


    shear tests, soil (material), vane shear test, field tests, clay (material)

    Author Information:

    Miller, E. A.
    Principal, Harding Associates, San Rafael, Calif.

    Hall, E. B.
    President, Geo-Testing, Inc., San RafaelCalif.,

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.05

    DOI: 10.1520/STP44628S