Tensile strength of fine-grained soils plays a significant role in assessing their cracking characteristics, which govern their suitability as a construction material for landfill liners and covers, earthen dams, embankments, and pavements. As such, determination of this property of these soils becomes essential. In this context, various experimental techniques that have been developed by earlier researchers to determine tensile strength of fine-grained soils are worth appreciating. Based on the experimental results obtained from these studies, several empirical relationships have been proposed. However, these relationships relate tensile strength of the soil with a single parameter (i.e., suction, plasticity index, liquid limit, CEC, clay content, or water content). This necessitates: (a) critical evaluation of such relationships, and (b) development of a generalized relationship that employs multiple soil properties. With this in view, investigations were carried out on some fine-grained soils and their tensile strength was determined by conducting undrained triaxial tests and suction measurements. Details of the methodologies adopted are presented in this paper and efforts have been made to achieve the two objectives mentioned above.
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