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    ASTM D6467 - 21

    Standard Test Method for Torsional Ring Shear Test to Determine Drained Residual Shear Strength of Fine-Grained Soils

    Active Standard ASTM D6467 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 The ring shear test is suited to the relatively rapid determination of drained residual shear strength because of the short drainage path through the thin specimen, the constant cross-sectional area of the shear surface during shear, unlimited rotational displacement in one direction, and the capability of testing one specimen under different effective normal stresses to obtain clay particles that are oriented parallel to the direction of shear to obtain residual shear strength envelope.

    5.2 The apparatus allows a reconstituted specimen to be overconsolidated and presheared prior to drained shearing. Overconsolidation and preshearing of the reconstituted specimen significantly reduces the horizontal displacement required to reach a residual condition, and therefore, reduces soil extrusion, wall friction, and other problems (Stark and Eid, 1993)3. This simulates a preexisting shear surface along which the drained residual strength can be mobilized.

    5.3 The ring shear test specimen is annular so the angular displacement differs from the inner edge to the outer edge. At the residual condition, the shear strength is constant across the specimen so the difference in shear stress between the inner and outer edges of the specimen is negligible.

    Note 1: Notwithstanding the statements on precision and bias contained in this test method: The precision of this test method is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent testing. Users of this test method are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not ensure reliable testing. Reliable testing depends on several factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 Fine-grained soils in this Test Method are restricted to soils containing no more than 15 % fine sand (100 % passing the 425 μm (No. 40) sieve and no more than 15 % retained on the 75 μm (No. 200) sieve).

    A Summary of Changes section appears at the end of this standard.

    1.2 This test method provides a procedure for performing a torsional ring shear test under a drained condition to determine the residual shear strength of fine-grained soils. This test method is performed by shearing a reconstituted, overconsolidated, presheared specimen at a controlled displacement rate until the constant drained shear resistance is established on a single shear surface determined by the configuration of the apparatus.

    1.3 In this test, the specimen rotates in one direction until the constant or residual shear resistance is established. The amount of rotation is converted to displacement using the average radius of the specimen and multiplying it by numbers of degrees traveled and 0.0174.

    1.4 An intact specimen or a specimen with a natural shear surface can be used for testing. However, obtaining a natural slip surface specimen, determining the direction of field shearing, and trimming and aligning the usually non-horizontal shear surface in the ring shear apparatus is difficult. As a result, this test method focuses on the use of a reconstituted specimen to determine the residual strength. An unlimited amount of continuous shear displacement can be achieved to obtain a residual strength condition in a ring shear device.

    1.5 A shear stress-displacement relationship may be obtained from this test method. However, a shear stress-strain relationship or any associated quantity, such as modulus, cannot be determined from this test method because the height of the shear zone unknown, so an accurate or representative shear strain cannot be determined.

    1.6 The selection of effective normal stresses and determination of the shear strength parameters for design analyses are the responsibility of the professional or office requesting the test. Generally, three or more effective normal stresses are applied to a test specimen in a multi-stage test or a new specimen can be used for each effective normal stress to determine the drained residual failure envelope.

    1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are provided for information only and are not considered standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to inch-pound units. Reporting of test results in units other than SI shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.

    1.8 All measured and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026 unless superseded by this standard.

    1.8.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded or calculated in the standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user’s objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of this standard to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering design.

    1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.10 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D854 Test Methods for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids by Water Pycnometer

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D2435 Test Methods for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soils Using Incremental Loading

    D2487 Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System)

    D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedures)

    D2974 Test Methods for Determining the Water (Moisture) Content, Ash Content, and Organic Material of Peat and Other Organic Soils

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4318 Test Methods for Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits and Data Records in Geotechnical Data

    D6913 Test Methods for Particle-Size Distribution (Gradation) of Soils Using Sieve Analysis

    D7928 Test Method for Particle-Size Distribution (Gradation) of Fine-Grained Soils Using the Sedimentation (Hydrometer) Analysis

    E11 Specification for Woven Wire Test Sieve Cloth and Test Sieves


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.20 (Physical properties of soil)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D6467-21

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6467-21, Standard Test Method for Torsional Ring Shear Test to Determine Drained Residual Shear Strength of Fine-Grained Soils, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2021, www.astm.org

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