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Considerable difference of opinion exists as to the usefulness of direct shear tests of soil in the field of foundation engineering. The development of this symposium resulted from an expressed desire by members of ASTM Committee D-18 on Soils for Engineering Purposes for more information on the present status of this type of test before considering ASTM standard. The papers in the symposium were designed to show examples of the successful use of direct shear methods, and to outline the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of direct shear testing. Three papers give examples of use in practice. R. R. Proctor explains his equipment and method of analysis for determining the stability of earth dams. His long and successful practice in this field lends weight to the value of his conclusions. E. S. Barber discusses the use of direct shear tests in highway design and concludes that they have special value where consolidated tests are required. F. J. Converse points out the value of direct shear tests in the analysis of the foundations of buildings on irregularly bedded deposits of recent aluvium.
Converse, Frederick J.
Professor of Soil Mechanics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.