A series of undrained cyclic direct simple shear (CDSS) tests on dense Toyoura sand has been performed with the aim to investigate the influence of the stiffness of the DSS device on test results. To this end, springs were installed to reduce deliberately the stiffness of the apparatus. It is shown that the cyclic resistance of the sand depends strongly on the rigidity of the apparatus frame. In particular, as the stiffness of the DSS device increases, the number of loading cycles required to reach liquefaction decreases. This pronounced apparatus–stiffness dependence is of great practical concern in geotechnical engineering because it directly implies that the CDSS response of a soil sample can be predominantly controlled by the stiffness of the apparatus and not by the soil behavior alone. In addition, the test results indicate that the effect of equipment compliance in cyclic undrained DSS testing can be minimized when the ratio of the stiffness of the tested sand sample to the stiffness of the apparatus has a significantly low value.
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