In laboratory tests such as triaxial, consolidation, and scale model tests, the laboratory specimens are often loaded at a different rate than the soil in the field. It is known that clayey soils exhibit rate dependent volume change (secondary compression) and rate dependent shear strength. This paper presents a framework for accounting for the effect of the rate of strain on the mechanical properties. The effect of drainage path length on the amount of secondary compression and the apparent increase in the strength of clay that occurs due to the increase in strain rate can be counterbalanced by scaling the void ratio of the clay. This paper proposes that the required difference between the model and prototype void ratio depends only on the coefficient of secondary compression, and on the scale factor for the rate of strain. This is supported by qualitative arguments based on conventional concepts of soil mechanics and quantitative predictions of a simple verified constitutive model.
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