Significance and Use
The apparatus keeps the cross-sectional area of the shear surface constant during shear and shears the specimen continuously in one rotational direction for any magnitude of displacement. This allows clay particles to become oriented parallel to the direction of shear and a residual strength condition to develop.
The apparatus allows a reconstituted specimen to be overconsolidated and presheared prior to drained shearing. This simulates the field conditions that lead to a preexisting shear surface along which the drained residual strength can be mobilized.
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, and the capability of testing one specimen under different normal stresses to quickly obtain a shear strength envelope.
The test results are primarily applicable to assess the shear strength in slopes that contain a preexisting shear surface, such as old landslides, and sheared bedding planes, joints, or faults.
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 D 3740
1.1 This test method provides a procedure for performing a torsional ring shear test under a drained condition to determine the residual shear strength of cohesive soils. An undisturbed specimen can be used for testing. However, obtaining a natural slip surface specimen, determining the direction of field shearing, and trimming and properly 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 measure the residual strength. This test method is performed by deforming a presheared, reconstituted specimen at a controlled displacement rate until the constant minimum drained shear resistance is offered on a single shear plane determined by the configuration of the apparatus. An unlimited amount of continuous shear displacement can be achieved to obtain a residual strength condition. Generally, three or more normal stresses are applied to a test specimen to determine the drained residual failure envelope. A separate test specimen may be used for each normal stress.
1.2 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 possible soil extrusion and volume change prevents defining the height needed in the shear strain calculations. As a result, shear strain cannot be calculated but shear displacement can be calculated.
1.3 The selection of normal stresses and final determination of the shear strength envelope for design analyses and the criteria to interpret and evaluate the test results are the responsibility of the engineer or office requesting the test.
1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values stated in inch-pound units are approximated.
1.5 All measured and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D 6026.
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 and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.