ASTM D8296 - 19

    Standard Test Method for Consolidated Undrained Cyclic Direct Simple Shear Test under Constant Volume with Load Control or Displacement Control

    Active Standard ASTM D8296 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.09

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Cyclic direct simple shear strength test results are used most often for evaluating the ability of a soil to resist shear stresses induced in a soil mass during earthquake loading, offshore storm loading, etc.

    5.2 In this test, the cyclic strength is measured under constant volume conditions that are equivalent to undrained conditions; hence, the test is applicable to field conditions in which the soils have consolidated under one set of stresses, and then are subjected to changes in stress/strain without time for further drainage to take place.

    5.3 The cyclic strength is a function of many factors including density, confining pressure, stress history, grain structure, specimen preparation procedure, frequency, and characteristics of the cyclic loading applied. Therefore, test factors shall be considered during evaluation of test results.

    5.4 The state of stress within the direct simple shear specimen is not sufficiently defined nor uniform enough to allow rigorous interpretation of the results. Expressing the data in terms of the shear stress and vertical effective stress on the horizontal plane is useful for engineering purposes. Some effective stress parameters that could be derived from a cyclic direct simple shear test shall not be confused with corresponding parameters derived from other shear tests having better defined states of stress (that is, cyclic triaxial tests).

    5.5 The values of settlement in saturated soil after cyclic loading can be assessed from the test results by allowing volume change at the end of the shearing to achieve same vertical effective stresses as at end of primary consolidation.

    5.6 The data from the consolidation portion of this test are comparable to results obtained using Test Method D2435/D2435M provided that the more rigorous consolidation procedure of Test Method D2435/D2435M is followed.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method defines equipment specifications and testing procedures for the measurement of cyclic strength, number of cycles to liquefaction or cyclic properties (Modulus and Damping) of soils, after one-dimensional consolidation using a cyclic mode of loading.

    1.2 The cyclic shearing can be applied using load control or displacement control. It shall be the responsibility of the agency requesting this test to specify the magnitude and frequency of the cyclic loading. Other loading histories may be used if required by the agency requesting the testing.

    1.3 This test method is written specifically for devices that test cylindrical specimens enclosed in a wire-reinforced membrane or a soft membrane within a stack of rigid rings (this test method applies to Teflon coated rigid rings as well). Other types of shear devices are beyond the scope of this test method.

    1.4 This test method can be used for testing cohesionless free draining soils or fine grained soils. However, this test method may be followed when testing most soil types if care is taken to ensure that any special considerations required for such soils are accounted for.

    1.5 The shearing phase of this test is conducted under constant volume conditions. Since the lateral confinement system prevents radial specimen strains, the constant volume condition is accomplished by preventing specimen height change during shear. Shearing under constant volume can be performed on dry or saturated specimens. The constant volume condition is equivalent to the undrained condition for fully saturated specimens. Cyclic direct simple shear testing with truly undrained conditions (restricting pore water flow from and into the specimen) can be performed using some simple shear devices, but is beyond the scope of this standard.2

    1.6 The cyclic strength of a soil is determined based on the number of cycles required to reach a limiting double amplitude shear strain or a single amplitude shear strain, while liquefaction is more commonly defined as 100 % change in vertical stress ratio (change in effective vertical stress during shearing divided by effective vertical stress at end of primary consolidation). The change in vertical stress ratio in constant volume shearing is equivalent to the excess pore pressure ratio (excess pore pressure during shearing divided by effective vertical stress at end of primary consolidation) under undrained conditions. The strain criterion is only applicable when performing load controlled tests; 100 % change in vertical stress ratio can be used for both, load and displacement control. For displacement control testing, the criterion to stop the test could be a specified number of cycles.

    1.7 This test method is applicable to testing intact, reconstituted, or compacted specimens; however, it does not include specific guidance for preparing, reconstituting or compacting test specimens.

    1.8 It shall be the responsibility of the agency requesting this test to specify the magnitude of the consolidation stress prior to shear and, if assigned, an unloading consolidation stage may be required for over-consolidating the specimen.

    1.9 All recorded and calculated values shall conform to the guide for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.9.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded and calculated in this test method are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that shall generally 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; 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 test method to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering design.

    1.9.2 Measurements made to more significant digits or better sensitivity than specified in this standard shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.

    1.10 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. Reporting test results in units other than SI shall be regarded as conformance with this test method. In the engineering profession it is customary practice to use, interchangeably, units representing both mass and force, unless dynamic calculations (F=Ma) are involved. This implicitly combines two separate systems of units, that is, the absolute system and the gravimetric system. It is scientifically undesirable to combine two separate systems within a single standard. This test method has been written using SI units; however, inch-pound conversions are given in the gravimetric system, where the pound (lbf) represents a unit of force (weight). The use of balances or scales recording pounds of mass (lbm), or the recording of density in lb/ft3 shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this test method.

    1.11 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.

    1.12 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

    D1587/D1587M Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Fine-Grained Soils for Geotechnical Purposes

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

    D2435/D2435M 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)

    D3550/D3550M Practice for Thick Wall, Ring-Lined, Split Barrel, Drive Sampling of 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

    D4186/D4186M Test Method for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Saturated Cohesive Soils Using Controlled-Strain Loading

    D4220/D4220M Practices for Preserving and Transporting Soil Samples

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

    D4452 Practice for X-Ray Radiography of Soil Samples

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    D6528 Test Method for Consolidated Undrained Direct Simple Shear Testing of Fine Grain Soils

    D6913/D6913M 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


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D8296-19

    Citation Format

    ASTM D8296-19, Standard Test Method for Consolidated Undrained Cyclic Direct Simple Shear Test under Constant Volume with Load Control or Displacement Control, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2019, www.astm.org

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