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Dr. Asmaa Moddather

Soil Mechanics and Foundations


Faculty of Engineering – Cairo University
Fall 2016

Introduction

• Soil fail in shear.

• Shear strength of soil is the internal resistance that the


soil mass offer to resist failure/sliding along any plane
inside it.

• Shear failure will occur at points where shear stresses


(τ) exceeds soil’s shear strength (S).

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

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Introduction

• Shear stresses are generated into the soil mass due to


adding external loads and/or excavations.

• The engineer needs to know the nature of shearing


resistance in the soil mass to analyze problems such as:
o bearing capacity of foundations.

o stability of slopes.

o lateral pressure on retaining walls.

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Introduction

Stable mass
Failure surface
Bearing capacity of
Foundation

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Introduction

Failure surface

Stable mass
Stability of slopes

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Introduction

Direction of movement

Failure surface

Stable mass
Failure surface

lateral pressure on retaining walls

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Failure Mechanism

1. Local failure takes place at points where shear stresses


(τ) > shear strength (S).
2. When local failure occurs at sufficiently large number
of points within the soil mass, a general failure takes
place.
3. Failure takes the form of sliding of a soil block over a
Failure/Sliding/Slip surface within the soil mass.

• To study shear failure at a point, we need to calculate:


1. Stresses (τ, σ) on any plane through this point
2. Shear resistance (S) at this point
Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Shear Failure Criterion in Soil


• Shear resistance in soils is due to:
o Friction and interlocking between soil particles Friction
component
o Inter-particle attraction forces (due to electro-chemical effects)
Cohesion component

• The shear strength (S) of soil at a point is expressed as a linear


function of the effective normal stress (σ’) acting on plane of
failure:
S = c + σtanφ
where, c and φ are the shear strength parameters
c: cohesion
φ: angle of shearing resistance
Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

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Shear Failure Criterion in Soil

τ Mohr-Coulomb shear strength


failure envelope

Φ’

c’
σ’

τ f = S = c ' + σ ' tanφ '

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Shear Failure Criterion in Soil

Shear strength
τ failure envelope

(σf, τf )

c
σ

Elastic equilibrium
Plastic equilibrium

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Factors affecting Soil Shear Strength (S)


• For coarse grained soils, S depends on friction and interlocking
between particles (φ’):
o Relative density:
v. loose versus v. dense τ
small φ’ large φ’

o Gradation:
Φ
poorly graded versus well graded

small φ’ large φ’

o Particle shape: σ
rounded versus angular

small φ’ large φ’

o Particle surface roughness (as roughness


increases, φ’ increases)
Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Factors affecting Soil Shear Strength (S)


• For coarse grained soil:
τ
o φ’ ranges from 27o to 45o

o φ’dry ~ φ’wet Φ

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

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Factors affecting Soil Shear Strength (S)


• For fine grained soils, S depends on friction and interlocking
between particles (φ) as well as cohesion (c):
o Stress history (overconsolidation ratio):
as OCR increases, S increases
τ
o Soil fabric (floculated, dispersed):
floculated has higher S
Φ
o Soil disturbance (affects soil fabric):
as disturbance increases, S decreases

o Soil permeability (water drainage): c


 Shear strength of soil loaded under drained σ
conditions (slowly) is different from that
loaded under undrained conditions (quickly)
 Drained shear strength versus undrained shear
strength

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Shear Strength Tests

• Shear strength parameters for a particular soil are


determined by means of laboratory tests on specimens
sampled from in-situ soil.

• Great care is required in sampling, storage, and handling


of samples prior to testing, especially in case of
undisturbed samples where it is necessary to preserve the
in-situ structure and water content of soil.

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

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Shear Strength Testing

 Handheld devices
 Pocket penetrometer
 Torvane

 Laboratory tests
 Laboratory vane shear test
 Unconfined compression test
 Direct shear test
 Triaxial

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Handheld devices

Pocket Penetrometer

Torvane

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Pocket Penetrometer

 Consists of calibrated spring and 0.25 inch (6.4 mm)


diameter piston.

 Piston is forced (by hand pressure) to penetrate into sample.

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Pocket Penetrometer

 Calibrated spring is compressed providing an


indication of unconfined compressive strength (qu)

 Values obtained are generally not accurate enough


for design recommendations.

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Pocket Penetrometer
 Affected by:

 The extremely small area of the piston.

 Skill of the operator.

 Specific point on the sample to which the piston is applied


(ex. if small pebbles are present in the sample)

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Pocket Penetrometer
 Choose your test location with care to avoid gravel or other
particles that would influence reading.

 Avoid obviously disturbed areas. For saturated cohesive


soils, it is important that readings be taken in “fresh”
samples or cut surfaces, since rapid drying will greatly
influence the reading.

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

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Pocket Penetrometer
 Several readings should be taken from the same and
different specimens and averaged.

 Provides best results when used on soft to medium stiff


clays.

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Torvane
 Small, cylindrical device that has an axially radiating set of
small vanes on one end and a dial on the other.

 A fresh block of undisturbed soil is cut using a knife to


generate a smooth surface.

 Vane end of the testing device is inserted into the soil and
retracted, leaving an imprint showing the vane pattern.
The vanes are then reinserted into the imprint.
Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

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Torvane
 The device is held firmly and rotated clockwise until the soil
fails in shear.

 The shear strength of the soil (Su) is then read off the dial
indicator.

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Torvane
 Similar to the pocket penetrometer test in that affected by:

 extremely small area of the piston.

 the skill of the operator.

 specific point on the sample.

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Laboratory Vane Shear Test


 (ASTM D4648)

Vane H:D  1:1 to 2:1

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Laboratory Vane Shear Test


 (ASTM D4648)

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Laboratory Vane Shear Test

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Laboratory Vane Shear Test


1. Fasten the vane shear unit, as well as the specimen
container, securely to a table or frame to prevent
movement during a test.

2. Insert the vane in the sample to a minimum depth equal to


twice the height of the vane blade to ensure that the top of
the vane blade is embedded at least one vane blade height
below the sample surface

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

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Laboratory Vane Shear Test


3. Initiate mechanically rotation of the vane so as to rotate
the top of the spring or transducer at a constant rate of 60
to 90°/min.

4. Record spring deflection or torque transducer readings at


least every 5° of rotation until a maximum of 180° of
rotation is obtained (failure).

5. Record the maximum torque and intermediate torque


readings if required.

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Laboratory Vane Shear Test


6. Following the determination of the maximum torque,
determine the remolded vane strength by rotating the
vane rapidly through a minimum of five to ten revolutions.

7. The determination of the remolded strength should be


started immediately after completion of rapid rotation and
in all cases within 1 min after the remolding process.

8. Repeat steps from 1 to 5


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Laboratory Vane Shear Test

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Laboratory Vane Shear Test

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Unconfined Compression Test


 (ASTM D2166)
Sample H:D  2:1 to 2.5:1
Loading frame

Proving ring
(measures axial load)
Dial gage
(measures axial displacement)

Sample

• Special case of UU test


o σc = 0
o Very simple and quick
Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Unconfined Compression Test

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Unconfined Compression Test

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Unconfined Compression Test


Ao
A
∆H
Bulging

Ho
H

Specimen before test Specimen after test


V = Constant
Vafter test = Vbefore test
AH = A o H o
A(H o − ∆H) = A o H o
Ao
AoHo Ao Ao A=
A= = = ε(%)
(H o − ∆H) (1 − ∆H ) (1 − ε) (1 − )
100
H
Dr. oAsmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

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Unconfined Compression Test

• Readings: Load (F), vertical displacement (∆H)

• Data Reduction:
o Axial strain: εa = (∆H/Ho) x 100
o where: Ho = initial sample height
o Stress: σ = F/Ac
where: Ac corrected area = Ao/(1-εa)
Ao = initial x-sectional area of the sample

• Data Plotting:
o Plot stress (σ) versus axial strain (εa)
Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Unconfined Compression Test


Stress, σ

qu

a,f

Strain,  (%)

qu = unconfined strength
cu = undrained shear strength = qu/2
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Unconfined Compression Test


 Place the specimen in the loading device so that it is
centered on the bottom platen.

 Adjust the loading device carefully so that the upper platen


just makes contact with the specimen.

 Zero the deformation indicator or record the initial reading


of the electronic deformation device. Apply the load so as to
produce an axial strain at a rate of 1/2 to 2 %/min.

Dr. Asmaa Moddather – Soil Testing and Properties – Fall 2016

Unconfined Compression Test


 Record load, deformation, and time values at sufficient
intervals to define the shape of the stress-strain curve
(usually 10 to 15 points are sufficient).

 The rate of strain should be chosen so that the time to


failure does not exceed about 15 min.

 Continue loading until the load values decrease with


increasing strain, or until 15 % strain is reached.

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