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© LING LIN, B.5c.

A thesis sub mitted to the Sch ool of Graduat e Studies

in partial fulfillme nt of th e requirements for
the degree of M as t er of En ginee r ing

Faculty of Engineering a nd Applied Scien ce

Memorial Urriver ait y of New found lan d

March 1995

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Ab stract

Shear st rength is an importan t soil parameter . Many geotechnical failures have

been caused by inadequate shear streng th . In order to obtain a high st rength
modelling silty day for use in centrifuge model tests of soil-pipeline interaction ,
direct shea r tests , shear vane tests and CODe penetration tests were conducted to
lnw 'ligate its shear strength behaviour.

Th is t hesis first presents some background on the shear strength of soils and
measurement techniques. The details of the direct shear tests, the shear vane tests,
the cone penetration t~t9 and cent rifuge modelling are also discussed. The silty
clays used in this st udy were kaolin and a kaolin-silt mixture; the plasticity indices
were 30.6% and 19.5% respectively. The kaolin-silt mixture (K-S) was obtained by

mixing equal amounts of kaolin and silt by weight.

Direct shear and shear vane tests were conducted on both clays at different ver-
t ical stresses under various overconsolidation ratios (OCR 's). This thesis presents
th ese test procedu res and the test results. Cone penet rat ion tests were also COil -

ducted in a centrifuge at 50 gravities to verify the results from the direct shea r and
shea r vane tests and to correlate the cone penet ration resistance to the undrain ed
shear stre ngth from shear vane and direct shear tests. Centrifuge modeUing prin-
ciples and t he current met hods to convert cone tip resistance to shear strengt h are
also presented. Test results show that the shear strength of K-S is higher t han t hat
of pu re kaolin. Shear strengt hs of heavily overconsolidated clays obtained from

t he shear vane tests are higher th an those obtain ed from the direct shear tes ts . A
ccrrelat ica between cone tip resistance and undrained IMar . ttftlt;th is presented .
T he shear strCDt;th or K·S interpreted from CPT te5ulu WA:!I round to lie between
the direct shear and shear nne test results and show. a good corm atiOIl in the
measurement of shear strength.
Acknowledgm ents

I would like to acknowledge the a.ssistanc~ of many people in my study for the
degree of Master of Engineering. Particular than ks are due my supervisor, Dr.
J. I. Clark, for his guidance and financial sup port th roughout th is program, and
Dr. R. Phillips and Mr. M. Paulin for th eir guidance and help during th e tests.
Appredalion and grati t ude are also extended to:

(a ) Mr. D. Cam eron and aU the other members of geotechnical group at C.CORE
for the ir help.

(b) Mr. H. Dye and oth er sta ff in the Machine Shop of the Facult y of Engineering
for their help and suggest ions in manufactu r ing the test device.

(c) Dr. P. Morin and Mr. C. Ward of the Facult y of Engineering for their help in
preparing the direct shear test device.

(d) NOVA Co rporati on for supp lying t he test materials and sponsoring the test
program .



Acknowledg ements iii

Tab le of Con tents iv

List of Figures vii

List of Ta bles

List or Symbols xii

1 Introductio n

2 Literature Review
2.1 Shea.r Strength of Clays
2.2 Measurement of Shear Strength . . . •.
2.2.1 Direct Shear Test . . • . . . . • . • . . .

2.2.2 Triaxial Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • .

2.2.3 Shear Vane Test .. .
2.3 Properties of Kaolin and Kaolin-Based Mixtures . . • . 11
2.4 Cone Penetrati on Test ... . . . • . • • • . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . 14
2.5 Geotechnical Centrifuge Modelling 16

3 Material s Te st ing 18
3. 1 Physical Cha racteristics .. . . . . . . . .. . .. .. 18
3.2 Oedometer Consolidation Test . 20
3.2.1 Test Pr ogram . 20
3.2.2 Test Results . .. . . . .. . . . . . . . • . . 21

3.2.3 Result Analyses . . 28

.. S he a r Strength T est s 32

4.1 Direct Shear Test . . .. 33

4.1.1 Test Apparatus . . . . 33

4.1.2 Testing Procedu res . . . . . . • . • . . . • . . • . 36

4.1.3 Test Results of Kaolin . 39

4.l .4 Test Results of Kaolin-Silt Mixture . .. . . . . . . . . • • . . 43

4.2 Shee r Vane Tests . 45
4.2.1 Principles . • • . . . • • . . •. . . 47
4.2.2 Tub and Vane Design . . 49
4.2.3 Spring Calibrat ion 50

4.2,4 Testing Proced ures , • . . . . . • . .. so

4.2.5 Test Results of Kaolin .. 54
4.2.6 Test Results of Kaolin-Silt Mixt ure ..• . . . 56
tl.2.7 Effect of Repeated Load ing . . . . . . .. . . . . . . • .. . . 57
$ Cone P e net ra t ion Test ing .1
5.l Pri nciples of Centrifuge Modelliog . • . . . • . . . . . • . . . . . . . . 62

5.2 C-CORE Centrifuge Cent re . . .. . . • •. . . • . . . . . • . . . . . 6-1

5.3 Test Design . • • • . . . . . . . . • • . . . . . • . . . • • . . . . . .• 65
5.3.1 Cone Penetroll1ele r • . • . . . . • . • . • • . . . • • • . . . .. 65
5.3.2 Smal l Tub Cone Penet rat ion Tests • . .• . .• . ..•• . . . 66
5.3.3 Large Tub Cone Penetration Tests •. •. •. . • . . . 68
5.4 Cone Tip Resistances • . . . . • . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . 12
5.5 Undrained. Shear Strength (c,.). • . . . . . . • . . . 76
5.5.1 Selection of Cone Factor Nc • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 76
5.5.2 Determina tion of c, from CTP Data . . . . . . •.. . . . .. 78

6 Co mparison an d Discu ssion

6.1 Str ength of Kaolin a nd Kaolin-Silt Mixture . • . . • . • . . . . . • •• 85

6.2 Direct Shear and Vane Results . . • • • • • . • • . . • • . . . . . . .• 88

6.3 Comparison of CPT Results with Direct Shear and Vane Results . .• 91

6.4 Correlation of Ne from Direct Shear and Vane Tests . . . . . . . . .. 93

7 Summary an d Co nclu sions O.

Refer enc es 100

A Fact on fe r Ar ea Correct ion in Dir ect Sh ear Test s 10.

B R ecords of Cone Tip R esistance du r ing C P T roa

C LOT Results d uri ng C onsolid at ion of Large Tub II 110
List of Figures

2.1 Stress Sta tes and Shear Strain Distribution ill Direct Shear Test . . . 8

3.1 Grain Size Distribution Curves

3.2 Accumulated Deformation wit h Time of Kaolin
3.3 Accumulated Deformat ion with Time of K·S . 23
3.4. coO": Curve for Kaolin 25
3.5 e'O": Curve for K·g .. . • •. , , , . . 28
3.6 Comparison of Cu Re mits . . . . 31

4.1 Direct Shear Test Diagram .. 34

4.2 Wheatsto ne-Bridge Circuit for Shear St ress Measurement , . . . . 36
4.3 Typical Shear Stress vs Shear Displacement from Direct Shear Test 38
4.4 Shear Strength or Kaolin from Direct Shea r Tests . . . .. •• . , . • U
4.5 Normalized She.u Strength of Kaolin from Direct Shear Tests •. . • 42
4.6 Water Content of Kaolin after Direct Shear Tests . . . . . . . • . • . 42
4.7 Shear St rength of K·g from Direct Shear Tests. , . . . . . . . .. •. 45
4.8 Normalized Shear St rength of K·S from Direct Shear Tests . . • 46
4.9 Water Content of K· S alter Direct Sbe.u Tests . . . 46

4.10 Shear Vane Diagram . .... .. ... .. ... . .. 48

4.11 The Tub Used in the Vane Tests . 51
4.12 Normalized Shear St rength of Kaolin with OCR by Vane . 56
4.13 Normalized ShelLT St rength of K-S with OCR by Va ne. 58
4.14 Effect of Repeated Loading on Kaolin . 60

5.1 Correspondence of Stress Between Prototyp e and Model 63

5.2 Cone Used in tbe Tests . 66

5.3 Test Design of Large Tub I • • . 70
5,4 Test Design of Large Tub II • . . 71
5.5 Effed of Water Ta.ble in Centrifuge Test 73
5.6 Effect of Surface Desiccat ion During Cent rifuge Flight . 74
5.7 Tip Resist ance of Native and BackfillClay . 74

5.8 Tip Resistance of Backfill with Different Wat er Contents (with Water
Migration to the Nat ive Clay) . . . . . . . . 75
5.9 Tip Resista nce of Backfill with Different Water Contents (without
Wat er Migration to the Nat ive Clay) . . . 75

5 .10 Effect of Water Migra~ion . . 76

5.11 Relationship between Cone Factor N. and OCR 77
5.12 Tip Resistance of Tests L214 and L230 . . • . 80
5.13 Tip Resist ance of Test L240 and L243 . . • 80
5.14 Average T ip Resist ance of tests L214, L230, L240 and L243 . . 81
5.15 Pore Pressure during the consolidation of Transect A-A Tests 81
5.16 Pore Pressure during the consolidation of Transect B-D Tests . . . 82
5.17 Pore Pressure during the Consolidation of Transect C·C Tests 82

5.18 Surface Set lleml!'atdurin!: the Consolidation or Transect A-A Test! • 83
5.19 Dist ribution or Tota] StteJll, Effective Streu and Pore Pressure . . . . 83
5.20 Average OvercoDsolidation Ratio • • • . . . . • • • . •. . •. . . .. 84
5.21 Average Undrained Shear Strength from Cone Tests . •. . • • • • • . 84

6.1 Comparison or St rength or Kaolin and K·S from Direct Shear Tests . 86
6.2 Comparison of Strength of Kaolin and K·S from Vane Tesll • 87
6.3 Comparison of Shear Strength of Kaolin from Vane Test! . . . 88
6.4 Shear Str ength of Kaolin from Direct Shear and Vane Tests .. , . • . 89
6.5 Shea r Strength o( K·S from Direct Shear and Vane Tests . . . 89
6.6 Comparison o( St rengt hs {rom CPT , Direct Shear and Vane Test! . . 92
6.7 Ne Values from Direct Shear and Vane Tests • . • • . • . . . . 93
6.8 Comparison of Ne Values (or K·S . .• . . . • . • . . . . . . . . . . . 94

A.l Area Change of Specimen dUriD& S h ea.riD~ . . • . • . . . .. . . . .. 107

D.I Cone Tip Resistance o( LI03 and Ll04 • . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1I0

8 .2 Cone Tip ResistAnce o( LI05 e nd LI07 •. .•. . .. . . . . . . •• • 1I0
8 .3 Cone Ti p Resistance of L109 • . . . . . . • . . ...• .• • . .•• . . III
8.4 Cone Ti p Resistance of Ll 12 a nd LIl4 111
8 .5 Cone Tip Resisla.Dce of LlI 3 and LU6 . • • •.. • • . • • • •. . . • 112
8 .6 Cone Tip Resist ance o( LllS and LUB . .. . . . . .. .. . . . ..• 112
8 .7 Cone T ip Resistance of LU9 . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . •.. . 113
8 .8 Cone Ti p Resistance of L208 and L209 . • . . . . . , . • .. . . . . . 113
8.9 Cone Tip Resistan ce of L210 and L211 " • . . . . . . .. . 114
8.10 Cone Tip Resist ance o( L212 and L216 . . . . . . . . . . . . . •. • • 114
B.11 Cone Tip Resistance of L213 and L217 . 115
B.l2 Cone Tip Resist ance of L221 and L223 . 115
B.13 Cone Tip Resistanc e of L224 and L225 .. . . _ . _ . .. 116

8 .14 Cone Tip Resistance of L226 and L229 . . . 116

B.IS Cone Tip Resistanc e of 1.227 . . . . . . 117
8 .16 Cone Tip Resistanc e of L234 and L237 . . _ . . . . . _ . . _ . .. . . 117
8 .17 Cone Tip Resistance of L236 and L238 . . . . . . . . . . 118
B.18 Cone Tip Resistan ce of L239 and L242 . . . 118

C.l Surface Settlemen t of Tr ansect B-B 120

C.2 Surface Sett lement of Trans ect C-C . . . . . . . 120
List of Tables

2.1 PhysiCAl Propert ies of Speewbite Kaolin 12

2.2 Consolidation Parameters of Speewhite Kaolin . . . . . . . 12
2.3 St rength Constants or Spes white Kaolin .. . ,. .. .. . . . . . 13

2.4 Properties of Some Kaolin- Based Mixtures . . . . . . . . 13

3.1 Properties of Kaolin and K·S .. . •. . .. . • • • • . . . . . . • • • 19

3.2 Parametera fOf th e Ca.lculation or Void Ratio . . . • . • . . . . . . • . 24

3.3 Compres!lion Parameters of Kaolin • . . •. .•• ••• . .• . . . . . 26

3.4 Ccmp ressicn Paramete rs of K·S Mixture . • . . • . . . • . . • • . . . 27

U Direct Shear Test Results of Kaolin . • • . • • . . • . . . • • . . • . . 40

4.2 Direct Shea r Test Results or K·S _. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . H
4..3 Geometry of the Vane Used in t he Test . . . . . • . . . . . . . . . • . 50
4.4 Shea r Vane Test Results of Kaolin . . . . . . • . • • . . • • . . . • . • 55
4.5 Sheaf Vane Test Results of K·S
4.6 Shear Vane Results of Kaolin under Repeated Loading . . .. • . •. 59
6.1 Strength Parame ters of Kaolin and K-S . . . . . . • . . • . . . . . . . 86

A.I FactoN for A~a Correction . . .. . • . . . • . . . •. •. . •. 108

List of Symbols

cen tr ifuge accelera tion

centr ifuge model acceleration

prot otyp e acceleration

'. coefficient of compressibility

Am centrifuge model area

A, prototyp e area.

CPT cone penetra tion test

c cohesion of roil

C, compression ind ex

swelling ind ex

undrained shear stren gth

normalized shea r st rength

coe fficient of consolida tion

diamet er of vane sh aft

D va ne d iam eter

DSS dir ect shea rbox test

mea n graia size

void rat ios

r; ext ernal force in model

F, exter nal force in prototy pe

self-weight force in model

seU-weight force in prototype

I. side friction of cone penetration test

gravitational accele ration

G. spec ific gravity

s.; cent rifuge model dept h

11 vane heigh t
sample height in oedometer test

11. initi al sample height in oedometer tes t

11. solids height in oedom eter teat

lengt h oCdra inage path

average sample height in cedorne ter test

Ip plasticity index

liquidity index

k , k" coefficient of permeability

K. coefficient of eart h pressure at rest

K- S kaolin-silt mixture

model leng th dimen sion

L, prot otype lengt h dimen sion

LDT linear deformation transducer

coefficient of volume compres sibility

M. resisting mcrner ],along the surface of cylinder

M. resisting momen t at two ends of cylinde r

N dimension sca le

N, cone factor

OCR over consolidation ratio

PPT pore pressure tr ansducer

p' mean effective str ess

p: precon solidation stress

q, cone tip resistance

centri fuge rot a tional radiu s

vane area ra tio

friction ratio of cone p enetra tion test

vane blade thickness

time require d to reach 90% consolida tion

T torque applied to vane

T. timefa.ctor

T XE triaxial ex te nsio n teet

pore pressure

specific volume

WJ final wate r content after direct shear test

liquid limit

initial wate r content

Wp plastic limit

a. p stre ngth consta nts

unit weight of prototype

vertica l load increment

change in void ra tio

vertical deformation

final vertic al defor mati on

change in vert ica l loa d

t. strai n in model

t, strai n prototyp..

slope of loadin g-reloading line in v:lnp' plane

slope of norma l comp ression line in v:lnp' plane

ma te rial densi ty
principal stresse s

total vertical stress

0',0'... " ""
, ,
",,10 0' ,,2'
.Tv' O'w effective vertical stress

effective lat eral stress

st ress in mo del

stress in prototype

shear stress

TJ shear stress at failure

.' effect ive ang le of internal friction

angular velocity

Chapter 1

Th e det ermi natio n of soil strength is an importan t aspect of geotechnical en-

ginee ring, The und rained shear str engt h of clay s is affected by t he soils physical

proper ties and stress conditions (La.dd et d" 1917). Th e undrained str engt h can
be estimated from field tests as well as labora to ry tes ts. As field tes ts ar e usually
expensive and time-con suming, labora tory sheer tests are widely used to provide

insight into the strengt h beha viour of d ays.

In 1991, th e Centre forCold Ocean Resources Engineering (C.CORE) I'.t Memo-

rial University of Newfoundland undertook". co ntract project entitled "Centrifuge
Modelling of Laterally Loaded Pipelines" . The aim of thi s st udy was to investigate
th e load transfer behavio ur of buried pipe lines using centrifuge model tests and to
determine the soil-pipeline int eract ion factors and the effects of trench geometry.
Kaoli n clay was used as the model clay. Th e undrained. shear stre ngth of kaolin
W/LlJ e:ltimat ed using the following emp irical equat ion [Pocr ocshaeb , 1991):


where c", is th e undr ai ned shear strength, 0': is the effect ive vertical stress and OCR
is the cverco nsolidetjc a ratio. However, the und rai ned st reo&thof th e soil est imated

Wli ns the abo ve equat ion W&I found to not correlate well with the centrifuse cone
pe net ration test results .

Furthe r centrifuge modelling of latera lly loaded pipeli nes is be ing conducted at
the C-CO RE centrifuge centre. T he effective ver tical st ress, 0': can be estimated

O':=pNgh... ( 1.2)

where f' is t he density of the soll (submerged den sity for the soil below water table),
Ng is the acceleration level during the centrifuge tC!lt And h", is the soil depth.

The one-d imension ally consolidated undrained direct simple shear test results
of days presen ted by Ladd and Edgers (1972) ia dlceted tha t stre ngth o( some over-
consolidated d art ca n be expressed using

( 1.3)

where the valu e of m is a soil parameter, 0':" is the effective vertical st ress at the be-
ginn ing of shear, OC repr esents overconsolidaled soilsan d NC represents normally

consolidat ed soils.

In order to predict the undrai ned shear st rength p rofile, it is necessary to

develop a reliable relationsh ip bet ween the und rai ned shear strengt h c" and th e

effective vert ical stress O'~ . Such relat ionships ar e typically assumed to be of th e

v: =Q(OCR )" (I. ' )
where the parameters a and (J should be properly estima ted.

Equt.tion (1.3) and Equation (1.4) are essentially identical. For normally con-
solidated cleye, Equation (1.4) becomes

~=Q. (1.5)

Th e purposes of this thesis are La investigate the undrained shear strength of

the kaolin clay and to develop a higberstrength model c1a.y for use in the centrifuge
model study of soil-pipeline interaction. Kaolin day and a kaolin-silt mixture were
tested as the modelling silty c1a)'3. The following chapters of this thesis introduce
the test techniq ues end the results or direct shear tests, shear vane tests end cone
penetration tests for the estimation of the undrained shear strength of the kaolin
and t he kaolin~silt mixture.
Chapter 2
Literature Review

O ne of the purpose oC th :.s th esis is to investiga.te t he st rength behavio ur of kaoli n

and a kaolin-silt mixture usin g direct shear tests, shea r vane tes ts and cone penetr a-
t ion tests . In order to provide some backgrou nd rela t ed to t he study, th is chap ter
presents a review of direct shear tests , shear vane tests and co ne penetr at ion tests ,
and introd uces th e applications of cen t rifuge modelling in geo technical e ngineering.

A rev iew of the behaviou r o f kaolin-based d ays is also presented .

2.1 Shear S t rengt h o f Cl a ys

Shear strength of a soil is the internal resistance per unit area t hat the soil
mass can offer to res ist failu re and slidin g along any pl a ne inside it (Das , 1985) . In

geot echnical enginee d ng, many failures ofsoilslructures and foundatio ns result (ro m

inad equa te shear st rength. Sheu stre ngth is an importan~ mec hanical ch aracte rist ic

or so il, is Influenced by many (actors an d may be estima te d Irom field and laboratory

test result s.

Tb e shea r streng t h of a so il is directl y relate d to Its n ormal st ress; the relat ionship
bet ween th e norma l st ress a nd sheQ.l' stress on a failure plane can be exp ressed as


whe re, TJ is the shear stres s at failu re, (1 ' is t he effective nonnal st ress, ~' is t he

effective angle of int e rnal fr ict ion and c' is cohesion. T his eq uation is well known
as Mohr-Cou lomb fail ure criterion. For coheeicnles e ma terials, such as sand, t he

valueofc' is usually zero.

However , the st re n gth be haviour of soils is very com plicat ed . The shear stre ngth
of soils is affecte d by soil physical p rope rties (s uch as min eralogy and consistency),

co nfining p ressure, s tres s history and other fa ct ors. Some mai n factors influencing

so il shear st rengt h are 119 follows:

Void ratio: Void ratio is perhaps the most importan t pa rameter a ffecting t he

shea r streng t h of sa n ds. G enerally speaking, t he lower the vo id ratio, the high er
the shear strength ( H oltz and Kovacs, 1981). The parameter ~'in Equation (2.1)

cha nges not o nly wit h soil t yp e, hut also with soil void ratio.

Time effect: Creep of soil is the ti me-dep en dent st r a in wh ich develo ps at a rate

controlled by the soil viscou s resistance (Mitc hell , 1976 ) . Seco ndary conso lida t ion

of so ils which contin ues alter primary consolid at ion is a kind of creep . Creep of a

soil causes no t only strain bu t alsost ress redistribution w ithin th e soil ( Kavazanjia.n
and Mitchell , 1984).

A nisotropy : T he ani sotropy o f soil incl udes three aspects: the anisot ropy
of t he soil st ructure , th e et r eeees appli ed to the soil and the boundary conditio ns
(Duncan and Seed, 1966) . Duri ng one-d imensional dtpo.ition end load ing, par ticlf'S

01to ils ttnd to become h oriwn t ally oriented (Ladd d 41., 1977). Th is ori enlation
01 particles causes inhere nt aniso t ropy 0 1 the soils and resul ts in changes of s trt'tlgth
a.nd o t he r pro perttes of t he soile. Duncan and Seed ( 1966) have shown t hat t he

anisotropy of particle ori e nlation of II. kao linite cau ses lLI m uch &5 a 10% m ange in

undra ined st ren gt h.

St reSS history: One 01 the most im portan t characte ris tics o f soils is thll t soil
strengt h is significantly in8uenced by st res s history. In ma.ny cases, etrcee hi slory of

II. soil is represen t ed by t he overcon solida t ion ratio (O CR). In one d imension al test -

ing, an overccnsolid ated so il hu not only a lower void rat io but a lso :l. higher lateral

stress th an a norm ally co n solida ted. soil; th e undra ined st re ng th of c vcrccneclidated

soU is higher th an that o f norm al ly conso lidated so il. Th e one-dim ension ally con-

solidated undrained direct simple sbear tes t result s or clays presented by Lad d and

Edgers {1972} in dica ted t hat the undrai n ed st rengt h of c ve rccnsoli dated cla Y' in-
cre.ues with overco nsolidat iOll ra t io and effective vertical st ress (11:) at the beg inning
oCshea r .

Th e sheAr st ren gth o f clay. is also affec ted by the degree of sa tu ration , sample

disturb ance , soil type, grain size dh tri b u tion, ra t e of she ar ing, t emperat ur e and

otber en vironment al cond ition s.

2.2 M easurement of Shear Strength

Shear at rcngth of eoil can be estim ated from t he empirical correlat ion and alec

can be determined directly by some of the laboratory tests, As discussed above,

the re are many factors which may a1fect ttc strength of soils. Th e sbeer strength
determi ned by different laboratory tests may also change, depending DOt only 00

the type of test b'l l also on t he drain age and consolidatio n condi tio ns. Among the

many teat met hods, the direct shear lest and t riaxia l test are t he two main types of
shear tests. The laboratory vane test is also a commonly used test, especially (Of
soft day s.

2.2 .1 Direct Shear T est

The direct shear test is one of the oldest strengt h tests because it has been used
for more t han 200 years since Coulomb. This test relates shear strengt h at failure
directly to normal stress and thus can be used to define the Mohr -Coulomb failure

In this test, e epcclmen container, called 'ebeer bcx', is separated horizontal ly into
two halves. One-hellis fixed, while t he ot her is either pulled or pushed horizontal ly,
A norm al load may be applied to the soil specimen. A stress- or st rain-contro lled
shear Coree can be applied to the speci men. As the applied shear force is horizontal,
the failure plane is restr ained t o be horizontal (Holtz and Kovacs, 1981).

T here arc some limitat ions and disa dvantages associated with direct shear test.
In t he test, th e soil specimen is forced to fail along the horizontal split plane and not

along t he weakest plane (Das, 1985). In additio n, the shear str ess distr ibu t ion over

Figure 2.1: Stress Stat es and Shea r St rain Distribut ion in Direct Shea r Test

t he shear surface is not uniform (Wood , 1990). T he atrees etetee and shear strai n
dist ri but ion of soil of direct shear test is shown in Figure 2.1. Dur ing shearing, t he
pr incipal stress plane changes. Anoth er disadva ntage of the d irect shear test is th at

t he pore pressu re generate d du ring th e test cannot be measured (Vickers, 1983) and
therefore t he drainage cond ition is ha rd to cont rol; the only way to ju dge t he tes t

bei ng drained or undrained is to control the rate of shearing (Head , 1982).

2.2.2: Triaxial Test

Th e triaxial test is the most widely used met hod for the dete rminat ion of shear
st rengt h pa rameters. In this test , a cylindrical soil samp le is encased by a t hin
rubber membrane and placed inside a pressurised chamber which is usually filled
with wate r. Th e sample is subjected to an isotropic stress by prcssurising the fluid
in t he chamber. To shear the .pecimeo. , aD axial d ress ill normally applied th rough
& vertical loading ram to ca use shear failure (Du, 1985). Compar ed with the direct
shear tes t , the t riaxialtelt hu the following advantages:

(I) Drainage condition can be controlled according to the telt purp oses;
(2) Pore pressure in undrained tells cen be monitored And volume change cb-
servatk>ns in drained tests CaD be conducted;
(3) The soil failure can occur on any plane depe nding 00. the etrese conditione;
(4) Back pressure may be applied to increase the degree of sat uration of soil
sam ples.

2.2 .3 Sh ear Van e Test

T he laboratory shear VADe test is another simple way to de termine t he undrained

shear It ren!th 01 soils. During test ing, the veae is pushed into a soil, a.nd a torque
is applied to the rod of t he vane at a constant rate_ The shear st rengt h of the 8Dil
ea.n be obtained by measuring the maximum torque required to cause a cylindrical
CaBute surface the vane blade edges. Th e muimum to rque is usually
measured from the spring rotation angle. As described by FJa.ate (1966), there are
aeveral factors affecti ng the results of vane test:

(1) Vane Sha p e and Size

The most popular type of vane is the -t-blade rectangular vane with a H/ D
(Height/Diameter) ratio of 2, although Silvestri et al. (1993) used different shapes in
t heir stud ies. Fta.ate (1966) and Arman d al. (1975) indicated that the effect of the
vane size on the measured shear strengt h is insignificant for field vane tests . Cad ling
and Odenstad (1950) also showed tha t when an HID ratio of 2 is maint ained, the
vane blade d iameter ha.s DO ef'ect on t he results . For laboratory vane tellis , Vey
(1955) found t hat a vane with higher HID ratio may have a lu ge degree of sample
dist ur1"ance. and Pury (1983) recommend a vane size of ISmm in
diamete r a nd 14mm in height . Area. rat io, defined as t he rat io of the cross sectjcn
u ea of t he vane to the Cf'OIS sect ion a rea of the shea red soil eylinder, is directly

proport ional to the vane size. Vickers (1983) suggests th a~ the Mea rati o should be
les, t han 12%.

( 2) Disturban ce d ue to Inse rtio n

During penetrati on of the vane, some disturbance to the soil sample would occur
due to t he vane rod and the vane itself. The soil ca n stick to the vane as it is
pushed into th e soil t bus the &rea rati o of the vane increasefl. Davies d 01. (1989)
found th at t he dist urbance of the soil around the vane sbaft was symmet rical a.od
exte nded to ahout 2 times the radius of the shaft from its center line.

(3) Sh ear Velocity

Alt hough in ASTM 0 4648· 87. it is mentioned that th e va:.~ device should rota.te
the torque spring at a. conlLant rate cf 60· per minute . there is no It an da.rd vane
rota tion rate {or t he laboratory vane test . Extr emely (.., t rotation n.tes may cause
the undrained sheer It rength to increase because of viscous effects. At very low
speed, significant consolidation occurs which may also cause higher values of shear
st rengt h (Sprin gman, 1993). Perlow and Richard, (1977) studied the effect of shear
velocity on vane shear strengt h and pointed out t hat since the shear velocity at the
edge of t he vane increases considerably wit h increasin, vane diameter, significant

differences in the shearing rate at the failure surface exist between large and small
vanes at similar rotation rates. The wide range of vane sizes and rotation rates
CM result in significant differences in shear velocity. Monney (1969) found that
laboratory strengths obtained at a rotation rate of 900 per minute were nearly 30%
higher than st rengths measured at 1 per minute on relatively undisturbed marine

clayey silts.

(4) Ot her Facto rs

Othe r factor:!euchas nonuniformity of stress distribution in the soil, shaft friction
(water between the shaft and soil may decrease the friction) and the standing time
between vane insertion and rot ation may also a.f£edthe vane test results.

2.3 P roperties of K aolin and K aolin-Based Mix-


Kaolin clay is widelyused as a modelling clay in fundamental studies . It has been

used in centrifuge modelling tests to investigate many practical problems (Spring-
man, 1993). The behaviour of kaolin clay has been investigated by many people such
as Atkinson et al. (1987), Rossato d al. (1992), Lawrence (1980),Springman (1993)
end Parry and Nadaraja h (1973). Table 2.1 and 2.2 summarized the properties and
compreaaibility of Speswhite kaolin obtai ned by some of these researchers.

As discussed previously, the undrained shear st rength can be expressed ll.II:


The constants Q and P in above equation fer kaolin were obtained by some re-

Table 2.1: Physical Properties of Spcswhite Kaolin

Atkinson et aI. Rossato el al. Lawrence

(1987) (1992) (1980)
Liquid Limit % 65 63 69
Plastic Limit % 35 33 38
Plastic Index % 30 30 31
Specific Gravity 2.61 2.61
Clay Fract ion < 2Jlm % 80 82

Table 2.2: Consolidation Parameters of Spcewhltc Kaolin

(after Springman, 1993)

o; e c, Source
kP. 2
mm / "
400·700 1.10 0.35 0.68 AI·Tabbaa. 1987
120-450 1.21 0.57 0.34 Dransby 1993
100-200 1.30 0.18 0.95 Ellis 1993
54·91 1.54 0.25 2.87 Sharma 1993)
43·86 1.54 0.27 2.06 Springman 1993)

searchers through shear vane tests conducted in-flight in t he centrifuge a nd arc

listed in tab le 2.3.

From Table 2.1, it can be seen that the plasticity index of kaolin is about 30%.
Th e d ay fraction of kaolin is about 80% which is much higher than natu ra l d ays
and resul ts in a. lower stiffness a.ndweaker shear strengt h. This disadvantage may
be improved by mixing kaolin with some granular material to obtain kaolin mixtures

Table2.3: Strength Constants of Speewhite Kaolin

Nunez 1989) 0.22 0.62
Bcltcu et ai. 1993 0.19 0.67
Sprin man 1989) 0.22 0.706

Note: 0, {3are mean values.

Table2.4: Properties o( Some Kaelin-Based Mixtures

(after Rossato et al. (1992) and Springman (1993))

Pure Kaolin KSS KRF NaturalClay

u; ~3C%i
w. % 63 38
wp % 33 17
Ip % 30 17 18.6 30
G. 2.61 2.63
Cla.yFra.ction < 2pm % 82 55·65 43
",fa TXC 0.197 0.244 0.233 0.308
c, a TXE 0.180 0.186 0.199
c..! tT"",or DSS 0.152 0.180 0.222

with higher strength . The kaolin-based modelling clay! have been shown to have

some advantages compared to pure kaolin (Rossato d al., 1992). Springman (1993 )
obta ined a kaolin-based mixtu re by mixing 70% Speswhite kaolin with 30% 180
grade silica rock flour (KRF) . Rossato d at. (1992) obtained another m ixture by
combining 50% Speswhite kaolin, 25% fine quartz sand and 25% industr ial quart z
silt (KSS). The physical properties of these two materials are listed in Tab le 2.4,
where TXC is the short form for triaxial compression test , TXE is triaxial extension
tes t and nss is direct simple shear tes t . From tab le 2.4, it can be seen that the
shee r strength of the kaolin mixtures are higher than pure kaolin.

2.4 Cone P enetra tion T.,st

The cone penetration test (CPT) is a tech nique for the measurement of soil
properties by pushing an instrumented cone into soils at a constant rate . T he main

applications of CPT are to determi ne the soil profile and identify soils and to evaluate
soil engineering parameters. In some case s, CPTs may be accompan ied by boring s to
achieve more reliable test results. The CPT can provide continuous meas urement

of ground conditions; it also causes less dist urbance of soil layers aasccieted with
boring and sampling. The CPT technique has been widely used in research and
engineering practice. Because of the complex changes or stress, strai n and pore
pressure dur ing the cone penetr ation test , it ie difficult to make a comprehe nsive
theoret ical enelysie. In engineering practice, t he analysis of CP T is highly empirica l
(Meigh, 1987).

For a standard cone penetrometer, the cone is 60~ and the cross-sectlona l area is

usually 10, 15 or 20 cm3 • In centrifuge modelling, much smaller cone penetrome ters
have been used (Ferguson and Ko , 1981; Davies et 0/., 1989). T he standa rd rate
of ia-eitu cone penet ratio n is 20±5 rom!! (Meigh, 1987). Some penetromete rs can
measure both tip reeietenee (q.) and side friction (I.) ; others can only provide qe-
Othe r piezoco ne pene tromete rs have also been developed for additional measu rement
of pore water pressure in soils d uring cone pene tra tion (Konrad and Law, 1987;
Mayne an d Holtz , 1988; Sully and Campane lla, 1991).

Anoth er impor tant parameter of CPT is the friction ratio, Rf, which is defined
as the ra t io of side frict ion to tip resistance a nd expressed as


and which is very useful for soil dassificatic 0..

CPT data can be used for esti ma tion of t he relat ive density of normally ccnsc l-
idated sand (Jamio lkowski, 1985) and overconsclideted sand (Schmertmann, 1975),
sand strengt h (Du rgunoglu and Mitchell, 1915) and ot her parameters (Meigb, 1987).
Also, extensive investiga tions beve been car ried out for determin ing t he prope rties

of clays using C PT, including und rained shear st rength oi norma lly consolidated
clays [Lun ne and Kleven, 1981) and overconsolidat ed clays (Mars lan d and Quarter·
man, 1982 ), and deformability of d ays (Meigh, 1987). In addition , CPT has also
been used for the estimatio n of pile bear ing capaci ty (Meigb, 1987), for t he cont rol
of ground improvement (Juilie and Sherwood , 1983) U1d for t he determination of
liquefaction potential of sand layers (Zhou, 1980).

Cone tip resistance q., changes directly with undrained shea r st rength of clay,

e"., which is usually determined by in situ vane test ; the expression equating t he two

parameters is (Schmertmann, 1975; De Ruiter , 1982)

c,, =~ (2.4)

where (7110 is total overburden pressure and Ne is a cone factor.

A range of the N e values bas been found (Amar et ai" 1975; Lunnc et al., 1976);
t here is no universal Ne for all clays. Tbe value or N. changes with soil physical
propert ies and overconsolidation ratio.

2. 5 Geotechnical Cen t rifuge Modelling

Although many geotechnical engineering problems, such as stability of slopes,

earth pressure, bear ing capacity and settlement, can be solved using theories baaed
on a set of simplified assumptions, it is sometimes more desirable to conduct a large
scale field test in order to obt ain reliable data. However, t he cost and the time
required and the difficulty in controlling the test condition reduce the application
value o~ field tests. Laboratory tests , on the contrary, are easy to operate and t he
test condition is easier to contro l (Mikasa and Takada, 1973). As soil is a high
non-linear material and its mechanical propert ies depend on the state or effective
st ress, model similarity requires that any st ress in the model be equal to that in the
prototype. It is bard to find a modelling technique which may sat isry self-weight
stresses between model and prototype using the same material. For example, a
model or an earth slope SOem high experiences very different self-weight etreeecs
t han an act ual earth slope with a height or 50 m. The stress intensity due to selr-

weight. of the smell scale model j! much lese than t hat. in the prototype and hence
t he stress-st rain behaviour and the patterns of deformations can be quite different
in the two sit uat ions. In order to solve th is p-eble m, the centrifuge technique has
been int roduced for geotechnical ap plications. In centrifuge modelling tests, the
gravitati onal effect can be modelled. By applying a. centri fugal acceleration , th e
self-weight etreee distrib ut ion can be corrected to simulate the stress conditions in

th e prot otype.

The idea of centrifuge modelling and its possible use came to birth as early
as 1868 (Craig, 1989). In the 1930's, investigators in the USA and the former
USSR int roduced th is tech nique to geotechnical engineering (Rowe, 1975). Many
import ant developments of the cent rifuge technique for geotechnical problems were
made at the University of Manchest er and t he University of C&mbrige in the United
Kingdom in th e 1960's and 70's (Rowe, 1975; Schofield, 1980). Currently, there
are geotechn ical centrifuge facilities in the USA. United Kingdom, France, Jap an ,
Canada, China and other count ries.

Geotechnical centrifuge modelling has been a well-recognized resear ch technique

to fulfill similarity in model tests for investigat ing many kinds of problems in geotech-
nical eng ineering. The centrifuge technique has been used for stud ies of soil con-
solidat ion (Kimura et al., 1984), retaining struct ures (Schcherbina, 1988), dams
and emban kments (Lee and Schofield, 1988; Feng and Hu, 1988), shallow and deep
founda tions (Kutte r et al., 1988), cone pe netration tests (Ferguson and Ko, 1981;
Springman , 1993) and soil liquefaction potentia l (Hushmand et at, 1988).

Chapter 3
Materials Testing

Two types of remoulded soils were used in this study: kaolin clay an d a kaolin -silt

mixtu re (K·S). The former was obtained by mix ing Speewhite kaolin powder with

water while the latt er was obtained by mixing equal amounts of Spcewhite kaolin
and Sil-Co-Sil silt with wate r. Th is chapter int roduces t he physical c.haracteristics

of these two clays and t he oedomeler consolidation test results.

3.1 Physical Characteristics

In or der to classify the kaolin and the kaolin-silt mixture, t he plast ic limit, liquid

limit, specific gravity and grain size distribution were determined for both soils.

Plastic limit tests were done following the procedures described in ASTM D4318-

84. Liquid limits were determined using th e fall cone metho d. T he specific gravity

teats were conducted following the procedures describ ed by Bowles (1986). T he

test results ar e given in Table 3.1. In the grain size analysis tests, t he hydrometer

method was used and all soil particles passed through a a.o'{Smm sieve. T he grain
size d istributions of the kaolin, silt and kt-.olin-silt mixtu re are shown in Figure 3.1.

Table 3.1: Properties or Kaolin and K-S

Soil Typ e Kaolin Kaolin-Silt Mixtu re

Liquid Limit , W l, : % 59,3 35.2

Plas tic Limit , Wp : % 28.7 15.7

Plasticity Index, Jp : % 3°,6 19.5

Specific Gra.vity, G.: 1 2.63 2.62

Mean G rain Size, D5Q: mm 0.0005 0.0035

C lay Fraction « 2pm): % 73 42

10 0
0 ,. I
~ 60
,- - ., /

;;: K"oll
40 /

. --
1 0~ 10"
Grain Dlameler (mm)

Figure 3.1: Grain Size Distribut ion Curvet!

From Table 3.1 and Table 2.1, it can be seen that th e specific gravity of the

kaolin of th is study is close to tho se obta ined by Rceaetc et al. (1992) and Lawrence

(1980). Both the liqu id limit and th e plas tic limit of the kaolin of this st udy are
lower t han those listed on Tab le 2.1, which may be due to th e fact th at th e clay
frac tion of the kaolin of this st udy is 73% while th e d ay fract ions listed on Table
2.1 are 80% and 82% respecti vely. T he plastic indices on Ta ble 3.1 and Tab le 2.1
ar e very close.

The kaolin and the kaolin-silt mixt ure ar e inorganic clays. Accordi ng to ASTM

D2487 (1993), the kaolin is a fat clay of high plasti city, classified as Clli the kaolin-
silt mix tu re is a lean clay, classified as CL. The kaolin will have low stren gt h and

low per meability.

3.2 Oed om eter Consolid at ion Test

3 .2. 1 Test Progr am

1'0 dete rmine th e consolidat ion charac teristics of t he two soils, codometce con-

solidation testing was carried ou t by applyi ng vertica l loads to a laterall y confined

speci men and obse rving th e vert ical deform ation of t he specimen with time.

T he inner diameter of the oedom eter used in t his test was 61.8 mm. The
specim en WAS teste d under two-way drai nage conditions. Vertical load s were applied

to the spe cimen by dead weights thr ough a lO'l.ding fram e. T he load increment ratio

(6(1,, /(1,,) was kept to 1 (except th e first toad incremen t step) accord ing to ASTM
D2435-90. Each load increment was applied for app roximatel y 24 hou rs. Vertical
deformat ion of t he spe cimen was mo nitored using a dial gauge.

The kaolin lIJId K·S slur ries were prepared at initial water contents of approxi-
mately 100% And 70% respectively and were stored for 24 hours for the purpose of
better saturation. After the specimen was spooned into the oedometer ring, the
init ial height and water content of the specimen were measured . The loading frame
which gave a 14 kPa vertical stress was applied on the specimen through a loading
plate and a ball-bearing. Th e dial gauge wea set up and water was added all around
the specimen . The timer was started and the readings of the dial gauge were taken
at approximate times of 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30 min, and 1,2,4,8,24 h after
it was loaded . The next stress increment was then applied with the same procedure.
The tota.! vertical pressure was increased to 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1200 kPa
in steps. After the specimen was consolidated under 1200 kPa, the specimen was
unloaded and swelling was monitored. The unloading was made in steps with the
unloading increment equal or less than 2nOkPa. The dura tion of each unloading
increment was from 4 to 6 hours for the completion of soil swelling. The final water
content was measured when the unloading process had been completed.

3.2 .2 Test R esu lt s

For the two cleys, the initial water content, w o, and specimen height, Ho , were
measured before the tests were conducted . The observed accumulated deformation
of the two specimens are shown in Figure 3.2 and Figure 3.3. The initial void ratio,
eo, and the height of solids, H., can be calculated using (assuming 100% saturatioo)





1 2
10 lQ
T ime. t emln)

Figure3.2: Accumula.ted Deformation with Time of Kaolin


.-. . ~
0 • •
--..:..... 50

• ~
• --.: 10
i--'- C-- ••
, -

4 . - • •
• •

. ~O
2 12

• ••
3 0 .,
10 10
, •••
, • ,
, 10
TIme , I (min)

Figure 3.3: Accumulated Deformation with Time of K-S

Table 3.2'. Paramet ers for th e Calculation of Void Rat io
Soil Type
(:;.) '. (:~)
Pure Kaolin 91.3 2.63 54 2.401 15.9

K-S lofixture 67.6 2.62 5.\ l.771 19.8

H. -- ~ (3.2)
(1 + ,.)
where G. is the specific gravity of soil. The results are shown in Table 3.2.
According to ASTM 02435-90, t he void rat io of the specimen of any height can be
calculated using the followingequat ion:


where H is the sample final height at each load increment.

Th e coefficient of compressibility, all , the coefficient of volume compressibility,

m.., and compression index, C~, are importan t parameters used to eeumet c soil
compression. The definitions of these parameter s arc


m,,= 1: lI
el ' and (3.5)

C~ = 109(t1~2ela~1 ) (3.6)

where el and e2 are t he void ratios at the beginning and the end of th e consolidation,
.6.e is the change of the void ra tio, O'~I and 0'~2 are the corresponding effective

10 10' f O'
Effectiv e Veri/cal St, elS (kpa)

Figure 3.4; e-O'~ Curve for Kaolin

vert ical pressures at CI and ea, and .6. 0"~ is the change of vertical effective stress.
T he coefficient of consolidat ion c" can be determined using

c"= - t-",- (3.7)

where tooobt ained using the square root of t ime method (Bowles, 1986) is t he time
required to reach 90% consolidat ion. Tv is the t ime factor (at consolidation degree
of 90%, T" is 0.8·18), and 11 is the lengt h of the drainage path which is equal to half
or the av('rage sample height. T he results of c.... alt. C~ and m, are given in Table
3.3 and 3.4, in which, fJ is the average sample height at any loading step. From
t he consolidation test results, e-p curves of both soils are shown in Figure 3.4 and
Figure 3.5.

Table 3.3: Compression Parametersof Kaolin


(mm) ~:, 1";;:'1,' ", e
I Il/;;P.\
0....14 48.183 9000 0.0547 0.7328 2.035 55.100

14....25 41.183 3480 0.1033 0.1490 1.593 12.732 0.5435 4.77

25-50 38.678 1980 0.1602 0.1665 U 36 6.661 0.5532 2.64

50....100 36.161 1110 0.2497 0.1506 1.278 3.012 0.5003 1.28

100-200 33.915 778 0.313'. 0.1323 1.136 1.323 0.4394 0.80

200-400 31.903 540 0.3996 0.1212 1.009 0.606 0.4028 0,29

400....800 30.080 290 0.6614 0.1083 0.895 0.271 0.3599 0.14

800-1200 28.722 280 0.7030 0.0628 0,809 0.157 0.3566 0.09

Table 3.4: CompressionParametersof KHS Mixture

7i d, e '. C, m,
Ik';:.) [ mm] ;~ (0:'/5) 1110"' ) (I / MP. ) (I/MP. )

0.....14 49.163 7260 0.0706 58.818 1.477 44.2243

14-25 42.353 2340 0.1625 9.605 1.134 8.3801 0.3577 3.84

25-50 40.395 1215 0.2847 9.926 1.036 3.9703 0.3297 1.90

50.....100 38.452 735 0.4265 9.654 0.938 1.9307 0.3207 0.97

100....200 36.603 540 0.5260 8.983 0.834 0.8983 0.2984 0.48

200_4 00 34.875 420 0.8139 8.429 0.747 0.4215 0.2800 0.24

400-80 0 33.318 290 0.8115 7.255 0.679 0.1814 0.2410 0.11

800_ 1200 32.292 276 0.9009 3.089 0.627 0.0772 0.1754 0.05

1.2 r;;-,--,-- - - - - - - - - - --,

"~ O.8

10' 10
EIl ':lCliv8 V erlic al Str ess (kp a )

Figure 3.5: e. O'~ Cu rve fot f\-S

3 .2.3 Result A nal yses

In critical sta le theory, the romp rcsslon and swelling lin ~'1I arc M NIU HCt I to b e

straig ht in (n(p' )." space with ~ lo pcs .'\ and . ,. respectively. Here II' is tile mean

effect ive princip al stress and v is the specific volu me (t'= l te). T he value of p' carl

be ca lculated usin,;

where 0': is effect ive vertical st ren and 1<. is the coefficient of eartli pressure lot rest
which can be exp ressed 3.!1 (Mayne and Kulhewy , )982)

J( . = (1 - sin¢/)(OC.'l)"no/l (3.9)

where ¢' is th e effective angle of intcrn lll friction a nd OCR is ovcrccnsclida ticn rat io .
For kaolin. 6' =23- (AI-Tabbaa , 1987) and lI~ing Eq'I,·.tion (3.8 ) the data in

Table 3.3 results in .\=0.187 and 1(=0,051. The average values of kaolin obtained
by AI·Tabbaa.( 1987)are .\=0.187 and 1'1:=0.028.

Wood (1990) introduces the estimations of A and '" usin g

AI:l:l:2 .3C~ (3.10)


where C c is the compression index and C. is the swelling index in one-diment ionaUy
consolidation te sts. According to the dat a. shown in Figure 3.4 and Figure 3,5, the
average values of C~=0.453 and C.=0,0926 of the kaolin yield .\=0,197 and 1(=0,0402
while th e values of C.= 0,294 and C.=0.0361 of the K·S mixture yield >'=0.128 and


Using the data in Tab le 3.3 and Table 3.4, the relationsh ip between Cu and void
ratio, e, of the kaolin CAIl be expr essed as


and for K·S mixture,


where Cu is in m 2 / s. The results of this study and the result of kaolin tested by
King (1993) a re shown in Figure 3.6. It can be seen that {or kaolin, the Cu val ues of
the two st udies are close at high void rat io levels. From Table 3.3, Table 3.4 and
Figure 3,6, it can be seen that for both t he kaolin and K-S mixture, the c., values
of th is study increase much slower with vertical s t ress when the vertical st ress is
greate r tha n 400 kPa, The result s are in accordance wit h the fact that c., reaches

a plateau of 0.35 x 10- 1 m'/$ when vertical stress is between 400 kPa and 700 kPa

(AI· ... 1987).

. .. ... ..
... ... ..
.. . .. .......
...... ...
.... .........
............. .. .....
.. ............ ......
... .. ....

0 Pr...nt "' "dr. K;~ ;~

. t
, - -- Presents.tudy, K·S
' v•

I <,

., i: " ,~
.. .. .. .
.. .... .. ....
... .. ...... ... ... .. .. .. . .. .... .. .. .. ....<>-
.. ... ...... .. .- ....... .. .. ..
.. .... .......... .... ..... ...... ......
.... .... ...

,,'... 1.' 2.'

Void ratio, .

Figure 3.6: Comparisonor c" Rem Its

Chapter 4
Shear Strength Tests

As described previously, there are many test method s {or measuring the shear
strength of soils. The shear strength is influenced by many factors, such lUI soil
type, confining stress, soil density and stress history. In order to determine the
shear strength parameters Q and fJ of Equation (1.4), a series of consolidated
undrained direct shear and shear vane tests were conducted on both the kaolin and
the kaolin-silt mixtu re at different effective normal stress and OCR levels. Thi s
chapter will present the test techniques and results of the direct shear tests and
shear vane tests on the two soils.

In the direct sheer and shear vane tests, the soilepecimena were normally one-
dimensionally consolidated under total stress increments similar to that described in
Chapter 3. During consolidation, vertical deformation was monitored. When 90%
of primary consolldeflon Wall complete, the next loading increment wasapplied. The
overconsolidation ratio (OCR) o( a specimen is the rat io of tbe maximum preconsol-

idation stress a:. to the curren t effective vertical stress 0':2' that is, OCR=a:dO':2'
In both direct shear and shear vane testa, specimens with OCR values of I, 2, 4,6,

8 were used t o investiga te the strength be haviour or the so ils.

4.1 Direct Shear Test

T he direct shear tests were carried ou t for the determ ination or shear strength
or both kaolin and K·S. The sp ecimens were consolidated a nd shea red in shearbox
under OCR va lues or I, 2,4 , 6 a nd 8. T his section introduces t he dirCl:t shear test
appar a tus, test procedu res and the test results,

4.1.1 Test Apparatus

The direct shea r test a pparatu s used in this study is th a t or the Soils Lab oratory
or the Faculty or Engineering a n d Applied Science at Memo rial University of New-
foundl and . T he diagram of this apparat us is shown in Fjgure 4.1, The components
of this shelU'd evi ce are d escribe d below.

Driving unit: A m otor is used to apply a horizont a l st rain -controlled shear

displacement to t he spec imen. In the direct shear test, th e driven speed of the
horizo n tal disp lacement is usual ly from 0 .5 to 2 nun / min ( Bowles, 1986)_ In this
study, a shear ing rate o f 1.26 mm / min was used which is t he maxi mum shearing
rate o f this device.

Shearbox ca rr iage : The carriage is used to mount t he shea.rbox and is filled

with water d u ri ng the t est. Th is car riage moves horizont ally when the driving
motor is workin g to supp ly the shear forc e to the specimen .
Shearbox : T his box is the specimen container consist ing of two halves which

can be fixed tog eth er by means or two cla mping scr ews. Two lift ing screws enable

;; is

the upper half to be lifted slightly to reduce the friction force at the su rface of the
two halves. The inside diameter of the shearbox is 61.8 mm.
Load hanger: It is made with a.spherical seating and ha.ll bearing for applying
the normal pressure through a loading plat e to the specimen,
Load ing ring : Strain gauges are used for measuring the horizontal shear force;
t he details are to be introduced later in this section.
D ial gaug e: When necessary, a dial gauge is used for the meas urement of
vert ical deformation during consolidating and shearing.
X-V plotter : It is used to record the shear load applied to the specimen.

The re are two ways of using a loading ring to measure the shear st ress applied
to the specimen. A dial gauge can be used to measure the loading ri llg deformation
caused by the shear force and t his deformation can be converted to load using the
calibrat ion curve of the load ring. Tbe other method is to use strai n gauges to
measure load applied to the loading ring, as shown in Figure 4.1.

In this study, four electrical resistance strain gauges were glued to the loading
ring. The strain gauges were of foil type; the gauge resistance was 120 ohms. When
a load is applied to the loading ring as shown in Figure 4.1, the two str ain gauges on
the outside surface of t he ring a.reextended and the other two gauges on the inside
surface are compressed. These {our gauges were connected together to form a full
Wheatstone-bridge circuit, as shown in Fig";e 4,2,

This arrangement of strain gauges has two advantages. The strai n sensed by
each of t he {our gauges is added toget her hence the accuracy of load measurement is

x·y Plollu

3,4 : COlipren ioD Cl ugel

Figure 4.2: Whcatercne-B ridgc Circuit for Shear St ress Measurement

increased. The other advantage is th at t his circuit can provide tem peratur e compen-
sat ion. With a fuJIWheats tone-hridge circuit , th e measurement results will not be
influenced by the changes of environmental temperature or by the exciting electrical

current through the gauges. This circuit was excited by a 10 volt direct current
power supply and the measurement was taken by an X· Yplotter. The loading ring
WM calibrated using dead weights.

4.1.2 Testing Procedures

The overall height of the original ehcarbox was 50 mm; the upper part wa.s25 mm
and the lower half was also 25 mm. Accord ing to the compression test results of
the kaolin presented in Chapte r 3, more than 40% compression would occur under

a. 1000 kPa. vertical load. In orde r to obtain a t hicker specimen, an upper hall
extene lcn giving a total 60 nun in height was manufactured and used io the tests.

Th e two halves of the ehearbcx were fixed together by the dampiog screw" and
placed in the carriage. The soil slurry was placed into the ehearbox using a tea
spoon . Two porous st ones were used at the top and bottom end of th e specimen.
The initial height of the specimen WM measur ed immediately after th e slur ry had

been poured.

Th e load plate was then placed on the specimen. Th e load hanger was gently put
onto th e load plate thro ugh a ball-bearing a nd the vertical dial gauge was set. Water
was added all around the specimen. After putting on the load bange r, th e timer
was star ted and vertic, 1 dial gauge readings were t aken at time inte rvals according
to ASTM D2435-90. When 90% consolidation at a load step was achieved, the next
load increment was applied with the same procedure. The self- weight of the hanger
was t he first load step of 14 kPa . The load increment was applied according to
ASTM 02435·90. T he degree of consolidation required W~ 90% but 100% was
required for th e last load increment . To obtain an overconsolidated specimen , th e
specimen was unloaded to the required st ress level, O"~, alter consolidation at the
maximum load increment, O"~I' When t he specimen was loaded or unloaded to
the required str ess level the clamping screws were removed and two liftiog screws
were dri ven. After the screws contacted the lower ha lf, a further half-t urn rotation
separa ted the two halves, Th ese two lifting screws were removed before shear load
was appl ied.

lO ' r--~---~--~---~--,

~ 60
: i

'" .. 0
1 i
/ --~=='-""""'''''''''''--_-''-!.'''­
Norman Consolidated A' SO
'" 20 i

2 3
Shu t DIspla cemen t (mm)

Figure 4.3: T ypical Shear St ress VI Shear Displacement from Direct Shear Test

Specimens wereshared at a rate of 1.26mm per minute. The speed of th e plotter

recording paper W&lI 1 mm per second. Th e shearin g of the specimen Wa5 stopped
if." peak value of , beat load occ ur red , otherwise th e .peci men wu shear ed for more
th an 200 seconds in order thi. the horizontal shuI' displacement wu 1/ 15 of the
speci men diameter. Arter the driving machine or the shcarbox WAS stop ped, the
shean:d epecimeo was immediate ly removed and t he w,.ter content of the spec imen
was measured .

The shear rate was constant in all the tests . When an ovcrconsolidated

sam ple was sheared, there was a pea k shear force (Figure 4.3) , which was used
in the calculatio n of IIhear 8 ~ te ngt h. It was noted that fot normal ly consolidated
specimens, t here wu no app arent pea k shear force value as shown in Figure 1.3 . In

t his figure, Al SOwas a normally consolidated sped men sheared under a n effective

vert ical stress of 150 kPa. ElSO was an overconsclldated specimen with O CR value
of 8 and sheered under an effective vertical stress of 150 kPa. In t he CMe when the re
is no peak shear force, the shear force at failure was considered to be at a horizonta l
deformation of 1115 of the orlginal eamp le diameter, which was 4.12 nun . As th e
shear rate was set at 1.26 mm/mi n, thi s shear force WlL' taken 200 seconds alter
sta rting. Because when the sample was sheared, the horizontal erose-sectional area.
of the specimen was reduced, an area correction for the calculation of specimen shear
strengt h must be made. The details of area correction arc presented in Appendix

4.1.3 Test Results of Kaolin

In order to evaluate the strength be haviour of kaolin, 21 direct Sh('M tests with
various st ress and OCR levels were conducted. The test results are shown in Table
4.1, where e.. is the undrained shear st rength after the area correction was applied,
IUJ is t he final water content of the specimen. The initial water content of the kaolin
was 100%.
Using the data of Table 4.1, the relations hip between normal stress and shear
strengt h of t he specimens with different OCR value is shown in Figure 4.4 where
linear regression lines have been fitted to the data of each OCR. It ca n be seen
that at each OCR level, the shear strength is proportional to the normal stress at
shearing. Under the same norml\! stress, shear strength increases with increasing
OCR. The test result s indicate that t he undrained strength of the kaolin is related
to stress level and stress history. For a normally consolidated specimen, the slope
of t he OCR=I line in Figure 4.4 gives the value of 0' . Figure 4.5 shows that the

Table 4.1: DirectShear Test Resultsof Kaolin

OCR Te l
" ..
(k Pa)
c,.lu:~ wI

ASO SO.O 50.0 12.0 0.240 St.7

AIOO 100.0 100.0 22.5 0.225 4.8.0
1 AlSO tso.o ISO.O 3S.0 0.233 41.3
A200 200.0 200.0 46.3 0.232 4.3.6
A250 250.0 250.0 54.9 0.220 4.1.9
BSO 100.0 SO.O 15.6· 0.312 4.8.3
8100 200.0 100.0 33.6· 0.336
2 8150 300.0 150.0 50.1 0.334- ~
8200 400.0 200.0 64.8· 0.324. 4.0.7
8 250 500.0 2.50.0 79.S· 0.318 38.8
CSO 200,0 50.0 20.6· 0.412 4.5.9
CWO 400.0 100.0 40.2· 00402 4.1.0
4 CISO 600.0 ISO.O 67.7· 0.4.51 4.0,0
200 600.0 200.0 89.0· 0.4.45 38,4
C2S0 1000.0 250.0 105.5· 0.4.22 37,4
DSO 300.0 SO.O 27.7· 0.664 14.1
6 DlOO 600.0 100,0 53.4.· 0.534 40,4
D1SO 900.0 1S0.0 74.5· 0.4.97 39.1
ESO 4.00.0 50.0 29.1· 0.682 4I.l
8 EIOO 800.0 100,0 58.0· 0.580 38.8
siso 1200.0 1S0.0 81.8· 0.545 36.6

Note: Data with· are obtained using the peak values of the shear forces.

150 ,--~-~-------~-,

'" 50

50 100 150 200 250 300
Effect ive Vertica l S tress du ring shast lng (kPa)

Figure4.4: ShCJ'lt Strength of Kaolinfrom Direct Shear Tests

normalized 9tre ngth c;. /q~2 is de pendent on OCR end independen t of norma l stress


T he last column of Tab le 4. 1 shows the wat er content of specimens afte r shear-

ing. It can be seen that the water content decreases with bot h normal str ess and

overconso lidation ratio, ThC5Cresults are shown in Figure 4.6.

Th e undra ined shear :ilrenglh param eters Q and P in Equation (1.4) can be
de termined by linear regression analysis . Mat hemat ically, Equat ion (1.4) can be

rewritten as

1'9(!:;-) = 1'9(0 )+ P(OCR ). (4.1)


0 .8 Equa tion 4 .2

0 .4 . 11:, ..50 kPa
lIE 100
o 150
0 .2 x 200
2 4 6 8 10
Overconsolidation Ratio , OCR

Figu re 4.5: Normalized Shea r St reng t h of Kaolin from Direct Shear Tests

6 0 r--~---------------'

3°0 SO 100 150 200 250 300

EUecllv& Vertical SIre n during shearing (kPal

Figure 4.6: Wa.ter Conte nt of Kaolin alte r Direct Shear TI'..ats

Using the data in Table 4.1, t:le following values can be obtain ed:

109(0) := - 0.6234; Q := 0.238;


T herefore, th e undrained shear strength of the kaolin bas the followingexpression:

::r =0.238(OCR) o.4ol1 (' .2)

where c.. is the undrai ned shear st rength, u~ is t he effective vertical atreee at the
beginning of shearing, and OCR is the overconsolidation ratio. This curve has been
plotted to the data of Figure 4.5.

4.1.4 Test Results of Ka olin-Silt Mixture

To investigate t ~o<i strength of the kaolin-silt mixtur e, 20 direct shear tests were
ca rried out under various vert ical st ress and OCR levels. The initial water content
for the K-S specimen was 70%. The test results are given in Table 4.2, in which,
area correction has been applied.

The relationship between undrained shear strength and effectivevertical stress is

show n in Figure 4.7 where linear regression lines have been fitted to the data of each
OCR . The relationship between normalized shear strength and overconsolidation
rat io is shown in Figure 4.8. Figure 4.9 shows the final water contents after direct
shear testi ng.

These tcst results indicate that the undrained shear strength of K-S is also a
funct ion of effective normal stress and OCR. T he uodrained shear strength pa reme-

Table4.2: Direct ShearTest Results of K·S



AIOO 100.0 100.0 32.1 0.321 31.9
AlSO 150.0 150.0 48.7 0.325 30.5
A200 200.0 200.0 64.5 0.323 29.1
A250 250.0 250,0 82,3 0.329 28.7
2 8 100 200.0 100.0 45.8 0.458 29.2
8 1050 300.0 150,0 68,7 0.458 28.2
B200 400.0 200,0 90,1 0.4M 27.7
8250 500.0 250.0 112.6 0.450 27.0
4 C50 200,0 50.0 26.2 0.524 29.9
CIOO 400.0 100.0 53.8 0.538 2·{.9
Cl5 0 600.0 150.0 79.2 0.528 26,4
200 800.0 200.0 104.6 0.523 25.8
6 0 50 300.0 50.0 30.9· 0.618 28.3
DIOO 600.0 100.0 62.3· 0.623 26.5
0 150 900.0 150.0 95.7· 0.638 25.0
02 00 1200.0 200.0 127.0· 0.635 24.3
8 EOO 400.0 SO.O 38.5" 0.770 27.5
EIOO 800.0 100.0 70.6· 0.708 25.8
EI50 1200.0 150.0 103.3' 0.689 24.5

Note: Data with· are obtained using the peak values of t he ebear forces. The values of
e,. of AIOO , AlSO and A200 are the mean values of three tests.




'" so

50 100 150 200 250 300
Effective Verllcal Str ess durin g shearing (kPa)

Figure 4.7: Shear Strength of K·S (rom Direct Shear Tests

tere a and IJcan be determined using the same method as for kaolin. The following
relat ionship between normalized shear strength and OCR can be obtained for the

= O.330{OCR)0,37'O.

Th is curve has been plotted to the data of F igure 4.8.


4.2 Shear Vane Tests

Laboratory shear vane testing has been proven to be an effective method of
determining the "he1\f strength of clays. In this studYl vane tests were carried
out on sped men. in a specially designed drcular sample tub using a rectangular
vane with 4 blades. The vane test device was manufactured by the Wykeham-

0 .8 Equation • .3

0 .0

0 .•
II: 100
0.' ' 00
0 , • 0
Ovo rco ns olldatlon Rallo , OCR
8 '0

Figu re 4.8: Normalized Shea r Strength of K·S fmm Direct Shear Tells

.O r---~--~--~----~------,

' =".~~

~ 30

50 100 150 200 25 0 300

Effect Ive Vertical Slress during shearIng (kPal
Figure 4.9: Water Content of K· S aftc r Direc t Shear Tes L!
Farrance Company in England. Th e soil specimens were consolidated to a 400 kPa
preconsolidation st ress and then unloaded to obtain OCR value of I , 2, 4, 6 or 8.
The shear vane tests were conducted at effective normal stress of 50,66.7 ,100 , 200,
and 400 kPa on samples of bot h t he kaolin a nd K-S mixtures.

4.2.1 P rinciples

During vane testing , a vane is pushed into the specimen and rotat ed at a uniform
speed by applying a torque at the top of the vane shaft. If t he vane has a diameter of
D and a height of H (as shown in Figure 4.10), then a soil cylinder of height , H, and
diam eter , D, resists the torque until failure occurs, The applied tor que at failure
can be measured by means of a torsional spring and converted to an equivalent shear
st rength according to the size of the vane. The resistance of soil to the vane can
be reflected by t he rotati on of the spring. Neglecting the friction between the vane
shaft and soil during rot ation, the applied torque (T ) should be equal to the sum
of t he resisting moment of the shear force along the side surface of the soil cylinder
(M , ) and the resiilting moment of t he shear force at t wo ends of the cylinder ( M~) .

That is
T~M.+2M•. (4.4)

As discussed in Chapter 2, there are many factors which may influence the vane
test results. The following assumpt ions in the calculation of t he undrained shear
st rength of soils using vane test data are made based on the analyses by Flaa',.e

(1) The soil is completely undrained;

_'r_.~ ,

Figu re 4.10: Shear Vane Diagram

(2) No disturbance is eaueed by the insertion of the vane;

(3) The remou lded zone a round the vane is very small;

(4) There is no progressive failure. The maximum applied to rque overcomes the

fully-mobilized shear strength along a cylindrical eurface; and

(5) Isotrop ic strength condit ion exists within the soil mass.

For a rect angular 4-b lade vane, assum ing t he undrained strength of soil is c",

equation (4.4) can be wri tt en as (Vickers, 1983):

T = c..1f'DHX~ -e c, x 2x if211'r x dr x r, (1.5)

That is

where c" is the undrained shear strength of the sped men, T is the torque applied
to the vane, D is the diameter of the vane blade, and H is the height of the vane.

4.2 .2 Tub and Vane Design

The sample container used for the vane teste is a circular steel tub which is 300
mm in diamete r and 400 mm in height. The vert ical load can he applied to the
soil sample by a loading frame t hrough a loading bar and a loading plate on the
lop surface of the sample. Dead weights were used for the loading. Four th readed
holes which were plugged with bolts during soil consolidation were drilled on the
lowi ng plate for the insertion of the vane as shown in Figure 4.11. T hese holes
have a diameter of 25 rnm.

The vane used in this stu dy hal> four equal-size rectangular blades; this is the
most commonly used type of vane in geotechnical engineering. Almeida and Parry
(1983) conducted vane tests using different sizes of vane and recommended a vane
with a diameter of 18 rnrn and a height of 14 mm which was adopted in this study.
The thickness of the vane blade was determined in consideration of the strength of
t he vane. The diameter ,f the vane shaft was dete rmined in consideration of t he
vane a rea ra tio which should be less than 12% as discussed in Chapte r 2. The
summ ary of the vane dimensions is given in Table 4.3. The area ra tio of the vane
is defined as t he rat io of the cross sectional area of the vane to the crcssed-sectlonal
area of the sheared cylinder. For this type of vane, the area ratio can be calculated
using t he following equation :

Table '1.3: Geome tr y of t he Vane Used in the Teet

Bl...J~ Blade Shaft Blade Area

Vane Type Diame ter Height Diameter T hickness Ra tio
D (mm) H(mm ) d(mm) l{mm) (%)

4·Blades 18 14 3.' 0.6 10.6


where R.. is the area ratio ill per centage and d is the diameter of t he vane shaft .
The value of R A in this st udy is 10.6%, a! shown in Table 4.3.

4.2 .3 Spring C alibration

As presented above, the t orque is applied to the vane shaft th rough a torsional
spring. The rotatio n angle of the spring reflects the shea r resista nce of t he specimen.
It is important to choose a suitabl e spring and properly calibrate it . In calibrating

t he torsional spring, a pulley was used to apply loads step by step to the spring
and the readings of the rota tio n an gle of the spring were taken b o rn t he grarlllatoo
scale. A linear relations hip between the torque applied and t he rotation angle of

the spring was observed . T he spring has a constant of 4.63x 10- .1 N.m fd egroe.

4 .2.4 Test ing Procedures

As the shear vane tes ts were conducted in the tub which is 400 mm in dept h
and 300 nun in diamete r , a large amount of clay slurry with a p rescribed water


Figure 4.11: The Tub Usedin Lhe VaJJe Tests

content was mixed under vacuum. The initial water content or the kaolin and K·S
was 100% and 70% respectively. In order to redu ce friction betwee n the soil and
t he wall of the container, t he inside wall of the tub was coated with Vaseline before
t he slurry was poured in. Two pieces of geotextile and a 10mm laye r of sand were
placed at the bott om of t he t ub to permit bottom drainage. At the top sur face of
the slur ry, geotextile with 4 holes cut according to the locat ion of t he holes on the
loading plate was used. At the hole positions, filter papers were used instead of the
geotexti le. A layer of sand was placed on t he gootextile;t he sand was covered with
a piece of geotextile which also had four hole positions covered by filter paper. The
loading plate was placed gently on t he specimen according to the hole posit ions of
the geotextile as shown in Figure 4.11.

The loading bar was then placed on tbe plate a nd the vertical load was a ppl ied.
The fioal vertical precoosolidati on pressure (O':d was 400 kPa which was achieved
through incremental loads of 4, 12, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400kPa. During consoli-
dation , vert ical deformation was monito red.. Each of the first 4 loading increments
was maintained for 24 hours; the degree of ccneolidatlcn at vertical loads of 100 and
200 kPa was 90% and 100% a t 400 kPa before unloading or testing. The unload ing
increment was less than 150 kPa and swelling was permitted for at least 5 hours.
T he OCR values of the soil specimens during the va ne tests ranged from 1 to 8 while
th e effective vertical stresses (0':'2) were 400, 200, 100,6 6.7 and 50 kP a respectively.

In th e ASTM 04648 (1993), it is recommended that the miniatu re vane test be

conduct ed insoils with undrained shear st rength less that 100 kPa. For the normally

consolidated K-S specimen under effective vertical stress of 400 kPa, the measured
und rained strength ol the soil Wall greater than 100 kPaj and so th is measured result
may not be reliable . Therefore, a vane lest on a normally consolidated specimen
under effective vertical stress of 200 kPa was conducted; the result of th is test was
used to obtain the undrained shear st rength of the K-S mixture when OCR=1.

When the required effective vertical stress was achieved, free water at the top
of the soil surface was removed using a vacuum cleaner. The screw plugs on t he
loading plate were removed and the water, drainage sand and filter paper in the
holes were cleaned out before the vane tests were conducted.

The va ne apparatus was at tached to the tub by a mounting plate. The surface
of the vane blades and the shaIt was coated with Vaseline. The vane was carefully
pushed th rough t he hole unt il the top surface of the vane was just at t he surface
of the specimen. At this point the depth of the vane insertion was considered to
be zero. The vane was then inserted at a penetration rate of 10 mm/ min into
the specimen to a depth 5 em below the surface as shown in Figure 4.11. T here
was a 60 seconds delay for the kaolin before t he vane shear was conducted and 30
seconds for K-S mixture. The difference of the time delay for the two soils was
due to consideration for the difference in the coefficients of consolidation of the two
mate rials.

The initia l readings of t he pointer OD both inner and outer angular scales were
taken. T he vertical handle was rotated clockwise a t such a steady rate that the
rotation ra te of the spring was 6{)e per minute. After the peak torque, tbe reading

on t he inne r scale did ne t increase and remained in position indicating the maxim um
rota t ion angle of the spring, from which the soil st rength could be calculated . The
time to cause failure in th e soil was a.lso recorded.

T he sprin g was then released and refixed , The vane was inserted at the same
rate as mentioned above to a depth 10 em below the specimen surface. At t his
depth , another shear vane test Wa9 conduct ed in t he same way as th at at t he 5 em
dept h. Similarly, another vane test was also cond ucted at a depth of IS em. Af~e r

completion of the vane tests , the vane was steadily raised out of the soil.

It should be mentioned. that as the vane was inserted into the soil, shaft friction
induced some resist ance to the spring during the shea r testing , This extra resis tance
should be deducted from the test data. As described above, the shear vane tC9~S

were conducted at depths of 5, 10, and 15 em from th e surface of the soil. Assuming
that the resista nce caused by the shaft friction is proportional to the length of the
insert ion, the real shear strength e". can be obtained through linear regression using
the test data at 5, 10 and 15 em.

4.2.5 Test Re sul ts of K aolin

The vane test results of the kaolin are shown in Table 4.4. In this table, c;.' is
t he average value of 4 tests calculated Irom Equation (4.6) which includes th e !lhaft
frict ion part . e". is the undrained shear st.rength with the shaft frict ion deducted
from t he average data. It can be seen that the undrained shear strength of the
kaolin increases with increasing normal effecti ve stress at shearing. The nor malized
shear streng th e"./(J:~ increases with OCR . The da t a are shown in Figure 4.12.

Table 4.4: Shear VaneTest Results or Kaolin

(;Po ) r:p~) ~;"th
on )

1 400 400 10.0 9~ .30 71.37 0.178

15.0 113.SO
5.0 61.00
2 400 200 10.0 78.95 SO.02 0.250
15.0 86.45
5.0 50.40
4 400 100 10.0 61.00 43.70 0,437
15.0 65.75
5.0 46.65
6 400 66.7 10.0 56.65 40.'5 0.606
15.0 60.95
5.0 "2.10
8 400 50 10.0 44.85 37.28 0.746
15.0 SO.70
Equat ion 4 .8


0 .4


4 6 10
Overconsolida tion Ra lio. OCR

Figure 4.12: Norm alized Shear St rengt h of Kaolin wilh DC Il by VAile

Th ese test results can a190 be used to deterruiue the soil pl U'llllll 'tl:rs a and P
of Eq uat ion ( 1.4). Th e undrained s heaf strength determined Irom vane tt'llli ug can

be expressed as
~ = O.167(OCR)o.7O't . ('.8)

4.2 .6 Test Results of K aolin -S ilt Mixt ure

The shear va ne results of the K-S mixture arc shown in Table 4.05. In the t able,
i: is th e average value of 2 to 5 teste of undra ined shear etrength calculated from
Equation (4.6) which includes the shaft friction part. c.. is t he undra ined shea r
stre ngt h with t he sha.rt friction deducted from the Avenlgc datil. The ram lls are

sho wn in Figure 4.13.

Table 4.5: Shear Vane Test Result s of K·S

c,. /~"2
I (:p~) I (:P~l ~:t~ I (k';,.l
5.0 62.15
1 200 200 10.0 72.20 52 .50 0.263
15.0 81.65
5.0 89.54
2 400 200 10.0 111.17 75.13 0.376
15.0 121.97
5.0 69.31
4 400 100 10.0 78.16 61 .06 0.611
15.0 86 . 11
5.0 66.88
6 400 66.7 10.0 75.48 59 .36 0.890
15.0 82,45
5.0 52.70
8 400 50 10.0 57 .35 48.12 0.962
15.0 61.90

From the test data in Table 4.5, the undrained shear stress of kaolin-silt mixtu re

can be expr essed as

~ = 0.253(OCR)o.65T. (4.9)

4.2.7 Effect of Repeated Loading

Th e test data shown in Table 4.4 is for kaolin under the first loading cycle.

The soil was consolidat ed under a vertical stress of 400 kPa and then the vane test

was carried ou t or the soil was unloaded to a pres cribed OCR for the vane test . In

addition, vane teste of kaolin under repeated loading and unloading were also carried

Eqquatinn '.9
0 .8




0 4 6 10
Ove rconsolidation Ratio, OC R

Figure 4.13: Normalized Shear Strength of K-S with OCR by Vane

out to investigat e the effect of repeated loading. For the repeated loading tl'SL, the
soil sample was con solidated under a vertical stress of -100 kP a and then WM fully
unloaded in steps; when the swelling was complete, th e sample was rclcndcd from
zero to 400 kPa. After the soil consolidation under th is vert ical stress of 400 kPa
was complete, t he vane tCo5t wa.scarried out or the so il was un loaded to e prescribed
vertical stress for t esting under overconsolidation cond itions. TlJC vane tests were
conducted at OCR levels of I to 8 while the vert ical stresses were 100 to 50 kP...
respectively. The lest result s of the kaolin which expe rienced repeated loading arc
shown ill Table 4.6 , in which, c: is th e average value of two tests. The undr ained
shear strengt h can be expressed as

~ =O.243(OC Il t HS
• (1 . 10)

Table 4.6: ShearVane Results or Kaolin under Repeated Loading

OCR u•• u., Depth i; c,.ja ..2

kP. kP. [ern]

1 400 400 10.0 111.00 97.23 0.243

15.0 118.45
5.0 80.10
2 400 200 10.0 84.40 74.57 0.373
15.0 90.55
5.0 53.25
4 400 100 10.0 6lJ.lO 45.83 0.458
15.0 67.80
5.0 50.75
6 400 66.7 10,0 57.35 44.92 0.673
15.0 58.70
5.0 43.00
8 400 50 10.0 48.00 38.77 0.775
15.0 51.85


0 .s 2 . l0adlr~..g .... · ..

i- Loading

0. 2

00" - -- ; - -- - ;--- - ;--- - ; -- ----,'

• 6 , 10
overeeneondaucn Rallo, OC R

Figur e 4.l4: Effect of Repeated Loading on Kaoli n

Compar ison of Eq u ation (4.8) and Equat ion (01.10) indicates the the repeated
loadin g increases the strength paramete r e value and decr eased t he (Jvalue, as shown

in Fig ure 4.14. It can be seen tha t within the OCR level s of t he tests, t he strength

or kaolin unde r repea ted load ing is greater than that un d er first loading. The ra t io
of the shear st rength u nder repeated Iceding to t hal of first load ing decreases with
OCR. This rat io is 1.46 when OCR= l and only 1.04 when OC R=8.

Chapter 5
Cone Penetration Testing

The shear strength of t he kaolin and K·S has been investigat ed by the direct sheer
tesh and shear vane test s and th e result s beve been presented in C hapler 4. In
addit ion , cone p enetrat ion tests on the K-S clay were conducted dur ing B.ight at 50

9 in a cen trifuge. T hese t ests we re conducted in bo th small an d la rge tubs. In the

large tu b tests, t renches wer e carve d on the overconso lidated K- S clay and back filled

with K·S slurries of differe nt water conten ts before t he centri fuge was started. The

cone tests were the n conducted in both th e native and backfi lled K-S clays.

To pr ovide some backgro und a.bout centrHuge modelling, this chapter intro duces

some be eic princi ples of ce ntrifuge modelling and t he scaling laws, the cent rifuge
facility an d the cone penetromete r used in tbis st udy. Procedures in specimen
preparat ion will also be presented. The method of interpretin g ebear st rengt h from

cone tip resistan ce is discussed and the inte rpreted s hear strength is shown.

5 .1 P rinciples of Cent rifuge Modelling

In model tests, similarity of bo t h stresses and strains arc required between the
prototype and the m odel. In geot e chnical modelling, as soil is a highly non-linear

material, it is very difficult to find a model scal e to provi de si m ilarity of self-weight

s t resses between model and prototype. However, by increasi ng the self-weight of

the model in a cen t rifuge, the resp o nse of soil to se lf-weight lo ads ca ll be pr ope rly

rep resented in the m odel tests . In centr ifuge tests , reduced scale soi l models are

no rmally con structed using th e same mate ria ls as t he proto ty pe. They arc pl aced

in a strongbox which is rotated at a prescrib ed angula r velocity w. Ir th e centrifug e

radius is r , then the centripetal accelera tion experien ced by the model in the flight

is given by

and this ac celeration a induces selC-weight for ces in th e soil mass (Mitchell, 1991).

It a l:N time scale model is sub jected to a cent ripetal ac celerati o n a, wh ich is
N times o Cthe gra.vit ationa.1 accelera t ion, th at is,

a =Ng

the stress distributions of the prototype and model will be similar, as shown in

Figure 5.1. The s t rain profile will also be similar be cause the conetltuti ve laWB

go verning the soils are the s am e. Furthe rmor e, if any external loading is added to

t h e sell·we ight load ing, these must be scaled so that the corresponding stress profile

is maintained. Under these conditions, the reaction of the model to thr. external

lo ad ing will be sim ila r to that of th e proto type (Pooroo shasb , 1990).

Prololyp e


Mo del
St ress Distr ibuti on

Figure 5.1: Correspondence of Stress Between Prototype and Model

If the centrifuge modelling test is cond ucted at Ng, the acceleration scale is given

Where, subscript m ~ model

p- prototype.

Assuming the mate rial mass density of the prototype is equal to the mass density

of the model, for stress scale

~:.: 1.
and the geometric scale is given by

Subsequently, ot her scale facton can be obt ained as followin8:

Unit Weight:

Strai n:
Externa l Force:
F", C1.... A'" 1
F; = C1p A, = Iii
Self-weight Force:

The aim of cent rifuge modellin8 is to obtain the same mechanica.l behaviour of
the soil body at t he corresponding points of the model such as at depth z in the
model and at depth Nz in the protot ype, as indicated in Figure 5.1.

5.2 C-CORE Centrifuge Ce ntr e

The cone penetration tests on K-S model clay were conducted at the C-CO RE
Centrifuge Centre which was opened on Jun e 30, 1993. Th is cent rifuge centre is
located on the north campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland. It is a two-
storey building, consisting of laboratories , workshops, offices, a cont rol room and a
circular cha.mber in which an Acutronic 680-2 centrifuge is housed. This centr ifuge

is capable of carrying loads up to 2.2 tons to 100 gravities or 650 kg to 200 gravities.
Tile max imum rotational speed is 189 rpm while the maximum accelerat ion of the
package at an effedive radius of ~.O rn is 200 gravitiell. The model is contained in
a large st rongbox with a usable internal area of llOcmx 140cm in plan and 40em in
height. During centrifuge tests, the strongbox is placed on the swinging platform
at one end of the rotor. The other end of the roto r holds counter-balancing weigbh.
Visual monitoring or the centrifuge is achieved through television cameras mounted
aroun d the inside wall of the chamber. The models can also be monitored th rough a
camera mounted on the st rongbox. Electrical signals from transducers are acquired
by a data acquisition system using a PC-compatible 486 computer . Water may be
supplied to the model during testing.

5. 3 Test D es ign
5.3 .1 COlle P enetrom et er

To conduct cone penetration tests during centrifuge Bight, a cone penetrometer

appa ratus was developed (Cunard , 1993). This apparatus is capab le or moving at
a constant speed to different positions along a fixed direction through a horizontal
driving system. It is fixed 00 the top of the strongbox at the required position

before the centrifuge testing is started. The penet rometer used in this study has a
cross-sect ional area or 1 cm2 with an apex angle of 000as shown in Figure 5.2. This
penetrometer measures tip resistance, qe> thro ugh strain gauges mounted behind the
cone tip. During centrifuge Right, the cone penetrometer was pushed vertica lly into
the model clay at a rate of 3mm per second and the response of the st rain gauges
was recorded by t he data acquisition system. Movement of the cone during the




Figure 5.2: Cone Used in the Tests

test can be observed through the camera mounted inside the swinging basket The
calibra tion factors of the tip resistan ces are 808.65 kPafmV (for small tub tests) ,
814.51 kPa /mV (fer large tub I tests) and 843.0 kPa/ mV (for large tub If tests) .

5. 3 .2 Sm all Tub Cone Pe netrat ion Tests

Three cone penetration tests in small tub s were carried out lo complement t he
direct shear and vane tests . The K·S slurry was consolidated ouc-dimcnsionelly in
a circular tub following the same procedu res as described for the vane tests . When
100% consolidation was reached under a vertical pressure of 400 kPa, the specimen
wes unloaded. The unloading order was 400 • 250 • 1-10 . 0 kl'e . Whe n the
specimen was lota lly unloaded, the tu b was removed from the loading frame and
the spec imen was trimmed to th e required height. Pore pressure transd ucer pr'rs

were insetted into the specimen to monitor the dissipat ion of pore pressure during
t he consolidation of !Oil in cent rifuge Oight. A linear displacement t ransducer (LDT)
wu mounted on the surface of the specimen to monitor t he vertica.l. movement of
the ,u rfa.ce. T he unit weight of the specimen wu 19.1 kN/ m3 • The three small
tu b lest , are brie6y introduced below:

Small Tub 1 (SI) : T he total height of t he evereceeclldeted specimen WM

205mm. The water tab le WM kept approximat ely at ZOmm above the soil surface.
A PPT Wall inserted at a depth 102.5 mm below the surface of t he specimen.

Sm all Tub 2 (S2 ): The total height of the specimen W all 150 mm. The water
table W All approximate 90 mm belowt he specimen surface. A PP T was at a depth
120 mm below the specimen surface.

Small Tub 3 (S3) : The lot&lheight of the specimen wu 150 mm. The wate r
table was approximate 90mm below the specimen surface. To prevent desiccation
during centrifuge Bight, t he soil surface was covered with Vaseline. PPT# l wu
at a dept h of 123 mm end PPT#2 was 127 mm below the surface of t he specimen.

After preparat ion of the specimen, t he tub was transferred into the centrifuge
st rongbox (also known &I the luge tub) and connected to the water supply. Elec-
tro nic ca bles were connected for cone control and data acquisition. Initial readings
were t aken just before the centrifuge was start ed. 'I'he centrifuge was sta rted
from rest and accelerated in increments of 109 until 50g was reached. Th e g.level
W&ll maintained for several minutes at each increment. Monitoring of LDT 's and
PPT 's started while t he cent rifuge was still at reet. When 90% consolidation of

the soil sample was reached, the cone penetration test was conducted at the rate
of 3mm/ second. All data were recorded by the da ta acquisition system. When
the test was completed, the penetrometer was removed from the soil and the cen-
trifuge was stopped. Soil cores were taken immediately after the testing for the
measurement of water content.

5.3 .3 Large Tub Cone Penetration Tests

The large tub tests were designed to verify the results of the 50g small tub tests
and direct shear a nd shear vane test results. Moreover, trenches were carved in
the specimen and backfilled with kaolin-silt slurry, Cone penetra t ion tests were
conducted in both the native and backfilled materials.

The centrifuge cone penetra tion tests were carried out in t be specimen consoli-
dated in the large rectangular strongbox, noted as the large tub . The K-g mixture
Wll.'l consolidated under a 400 kPa vertical.load and then unloaded to zero. After
the specimen was unloaded, the tub was removed from the loading frame. The spec-
imen was shaved to a 15 cm height and 4 trenches of BOmm in depth were carved
and backfilled. PPT s a nd LDTs were mounted for monitoring the deformation and
pore pressure. The det ails of the large tub tests are described in the next section.

Large Tub 1 (Ll): Four trenches were carved in the cveremsolldated soil
specimen. The t renches had a depth of 80mm, a width of 60nIm and A length
of 150mm and were lined in two transects all shown in Figure 5.3. K-S slurry
with a water content of 40% was backfilled into these trenches. Along the A-A
transec t, the native soil was permitted to desiccat e. In the trenches al and a2,

no attempt was made to prevent the migration oC water Crom the backfill material
into the nativ e material during consolidation in centrifuge flight. Along transect
D-B, the soil surface was coated with Vaseline t o prevent deslccatlcn due to the air
now acroes the sample during rotation of the centr ifuge. In t rench bl , the wall and
base were lined up with veeeltne, while in trench 62, the wall and base were lined
up with strips of pla8tic film with the purpose of preventing water migration Irom
the backfill slurry to nali ve soil. After equilibrium was reached in th e centr ifuge at
509, t he cone penetration tests were conducted in both nat ive and backfill materials
along transects A·A and B·B as shown in Figure 5.3.

Lar ge 'IUb 2 (L2): Tbe surface area of the native specimen Was all coated
with Vaseline. Six tr enches, 190mm long, 5Smm wide and 80mm deep, were carved
in the specimen and lined in three transects, as shown in Figure 504. Along transec t
A·A, the two t renches were backfilled wit h K·S slurry with a water content of 65%.
The wall and base of the tre nches were coated with Vaseline. Trenches along
tran sect B-B were backfilled with a slurry of 75% water content. Trench bl was
cove red with Vaselineon the wall and th e bottom . In trench b2, the backfill slurry
was allowed to drain into the native mater ial. Along transect C-C, slurry having
water content of 55% was used Cor backfill. Trench cl was coated with Vaseline on
the wall and t he bottom. In trench c2, no attempt was made to prevent backfill

slurry draini ng into the native material. The su rface oCt he backfill slurry was all
covered with plastic film to prevent desiccation. After equilibrium was reached
in th e centr ifuge at 5Og, a series or cone tests were conducted in both nat ive and
backfill mat erials along transects A-A, B-B and C-C as shown in the figure.

I ~ "l

-- ~~':- c;g-' Et 'f'-El-l~.- -- -
II I 12

~ lDl 'l

--,:.:n~.-.:..---~~T ~- ----------
-- -l~8tl i16 f'iffl~4~S -- _.
Ulll2j bl 1 b2

I ~"2

Figure 5.3: Test Design of Large Tub I

laler Conleots


C1557. )

Figure 5.4: Test Designof Large TubII

5.4 Cone Tip Resistances

Th e numbers and t he posificna of the cone tests conduct ed during centrifuge

flight aT C shown in Figure 5.3 and Figure 5.4. Some results of cone tests are
given in Appendix B. In ecce tes t 5103, the wate r tab le was kept above the soil
surface, while in test 5205, the water t able W&3 kept approximate 90 mm below th e
specimen sur face. It can be seen CromFigure 5.5 tha t the recorded ti p resistan ce
of the submerged specimen (5103) is lower than that of test 5205.

During centr ifuge flight, the surface of the model clay may exhib it desiccation
which can be observed from the surface of the clay and also can be reflected in the

measu red t ip resistance as shown in Figure 5.6. In this ngure, tes t 5205 and 5303
were performed on the same material wit h the water table below the soil surface.

However, the surface of the model clay in test 5205 was exposed to a ir while th e
surface of the clay in test 5303 was covered wit h a thin layer of vaeeliae . From
Figure 5.6, it can be seen that the desiccation during cent rifuge night is aiguiflcant,

The near surface soil shear strength of test 5303 is much lower than t hat of test


In the cone tests conduct ed in large tub I, the backfilled K-S slurry had an init ial
wate r conte nt of 40%. Although the backfilled slur ry may consolidate due to self-
weight during cent rifuge flight, it can be seen from Figure 5.7 that the tip resistance

of the backfill K-5 in test Ll06 and the native soil ( L108) was diffcrent.

In large tub II cone teste, L228 and L241 were conducted in the backfill with

wate r contents of 55% and 75% respectively. In these two tests, the backfilled

- $103
·40 . _ . - $205
e ·60
i!. ·80 ,
a · t OO .


200 400 600 800 1000

Cone lip te. r.lanee (kPa)

Figure 5.5: Effect of Wate r Ta ble in Cent rifuge Test

K·S slurry was consolidated by it. self-weight under 50g with the water allowed to
migrate into t he adjace nt Dat ive K-S soil. In Tests L215, L222 and L235, no wat er
was allowed to m igrate lute t he native 80il beca use t he tr enches .....ere covered with

Vaseline. Differences in tip resist ance can he seen in Figure 5.8 and Figure 5.9 It
was observed that th e drained water accumulated on the lop of the slurry surface.
In Figure 5. 10, test L235 and L241 were conducted in t he backfill K·S soil which
has a water content of 75%, hut test L235 was conducted in the trench which was
surrounded with Vaseline.

". - S 205
·40 "

- - 5303

I -60
":.\ .

i' · 80


200 400 600 800 1000

Cone l ip reststence (kPa)

Figure 5,6: Effecl of Surface Desiccation During Centr ifuge Flight

. _ . • L 1CS (Nat iv e)

1. 80
: -80

· ' 400·L.--""-:-:--=--'~-~-'-~-~
200 400 600 80 0 1000 1200
Cone IIp resistan c e (kPa)

Figure 5.7: Ti p R.esi5tancc of N and Backfill Clay


-' 0
I ·60 - - l 2,f, (75%)
- L228 (5S't. )
i ·8 0

·1 00

-120 "

200 400 600 800 1000

C on e tlp resistance (k Pa)

Figu re 5.8: Tip Resistance of Backfill with Different Water Conte nts (with Waler
Migr ation to the NAtive Clay)

i yta!8 t.T.!bj a _

- - l l 35 (75%)
- l215 (65"4)
.- - L222 1SS%1
· 100


20 0 400 600 800 1000

Co ne lip re ststanee (k Paj

Figu re 5.9: Tip Resistan ce of Backfill with Different Water Con tents (wit hout Water
Migr1l.lion to the Native Clay)
: W!.l~ ra~r~ _

"ci' -80

· 100 ,
· 120

200 400 600 800 1000

Cone lip res istance (kPa)

Figu re 5.10: Effect of Wat er Migration

5.5 Undrained Sh ear Strength (c,,)

5.5 .1 Select ion of Con e Fa ctor N,

Sch mert mann (1975) links t he lip resistance with und rain ed shear st rcngth Uliillg

10- 17"" (5.1)

c.. =~

where 17"" is t he lol al vertica l st ress and No is the cone factor.

Lunne and Kleven (1981) show that Nois not a constant. It is related to t ill! tY11I!
of cone, the rate of pene tratio n, t he type of soil an d the overburden pressure. Also,
the value of No for normally consolidated clay is lower than lilat for oven:ollliolj.I.1.kd

clay (Meigh, 1987). Eidc ( 1974) conducted cone tests and correlated lip resist ance
with field vane shear stre ngt h. The cone facto r N< ranged ronghly Imm 8 to 12




• FrancGscon (1983) . Kaolin

+ AlmeIda and Parry (1983) . KaoHn
o Presen t Study , Kaolin -Sill

10' 10'
Overconsolidation mue, OCR
Figure 5.11: Relationship between Cone Factor Ne and OCR

for days having shear st rength va lues in the range of 49 to 291 kPa. Also, Bowles
(1977) pointed out that for natural clays, t his Nc is typically 8-12. The values of
Ne of normally consolidated kaolin d ay is approximately 4 to 5 [Fran cescon, 1983;

Almeidaand Parry, 1983). Forthe kaolin-silt mixture,as its properties arc between
t hose of kaolin clay and natu ral d ays, a N. value of 6 was selected in tbis study.

In overconsolidated clays, N. increases with OCR ( and Pa rry, 1983).

The value of N. (or overconsolidalcd kaolin clay increases wit h OCR as shown
in Figu re 5.5. In the present st udy, an N c value or 6 was chosen for norma.lly
consolidate d K-S clay. Assuming the Nc - OCR cu rve is ap p roximately parallel to
the curves obtained by Almeida and Parry (1983) and Franccsccn (1983), M shewn

in Figure 5,11, the N. value of this study can he exp ressed as

N.= 12.51,080f~CR· (5.2)

Thi s expression for N. is used in this stud y for the inter pretation of the shf'ar

strength of soil from cone ti p resist ance q. and its reliabili ty will be discussed. in the

next chap ter,

5.5 .2 Det ermination of c, from CTP Dat a

As int roduced before, Equation 5.1 ca.n be used to dete rmine shear st rength c,

from the cone tip res istance. The cone factor N, in Equation 5.1 for K·g clay is
given in Equation 5.2. The cone tip resistance used to dete rmine the typical shear

strength ill the average values of 4 cone tests (L214 , L230, L240 and L243) from

lar ge tub II, as shown in Figure 5.12, F igure 5.13 and Figure 5,14. These four cone
tests were chosen beca use the K·S specimen in large t ub II tests was covered with

Vaseline an d the effects of desiccation were minimized . T hese tests were conducted

in the position s far away from th e tr enches,

As the K-S clay in th is st udy was tested under 50 gravi ties , the scale factor is

50 according to th e centrifuge principles. The model clay m ay represe nt a 50 time!

thicker prototype in l 'g situation. Th e effective vertical stres s in the soil can be

expr essed all


where 0': is effective vertica l stress (kPa), 0'''0 is tot al stress and u is pore water
pressure. The overconso lidation ratio is given by

OCR=~ (5.4)
where Q"~I is t he preconsolidation pressure, which is 400 kPa here.

The un it weight of K-S of th e L2 tests was 19.1 kNjm 3 (average value or the
unit weight measur ed directly an d the unit weight calculated from water content
of the soil before centr ifuge testin g). Part of the K-S specimen was submerged in
t he water . The water tab le can be determined from the pore preesnree measured
from the PPT remits . Figure 5.15, Figure 5.16 and Figure 5.17 are thc measured
pore pressures of K-S during the consolidations in L2 tests. The cone tests were
conducted at about 250 minutes afte r the specimen was consolidated . The surface
set tlements of the specimen measured from the LOTs during the consolidation are
shown in Figure 5.18 for transect A-A. (The surface settlements of the t ransect B·B
and e-C tests are shown in Appendix C).

It is assumed that the excess pore pressu re generated during the swing up of
th e centrif uge was thoroughly dessipated when the cone tests wereconducted . The
pore pressure at the end of the consolidation is considered to be the hydro-stat ic
pressure. The point of sere pore pressure is located at the water tab le posit ion.
T he average position of the water table of the lar ge t ub II tests was calculated to
be 3904 mm below the soil surface. For the specimen above the water table, as the

surface of the specimen was covered with Vaseline, there was pore suction which
bad the same slope as the hydro-static pressure as shown in Figure 5.L9. From
the effective stress shown in th is Figure, t he OC R profile of the specimen can be
obtained u: ing Equation 504, as shown in Figu re 5.20. The average shear st rength
of the K-S from the cone tests using Equation 5.2 is shown in Figure 5.21.

S - .. ,
i -8'
· 100 L214
\ ,. L230


200 .. 00 60 0 BOO 1000

Con8 11p resIstan ce (kPa)

Figure 5.12: Tip Resistance or Test L214 and L230


- -.
I ·60 \.
g. ·80
· 100 L240 L243

· 120

200 ..00 60Q

Cane tip reslsl ance (kPa)
" 800 1000

F igure 5.13: Tip Resistance orTest L240 and L243



1. 60

"oi' ·80
· t OO

· 120

.140'OL ---::7:"-----:c::----::::--~ 800

20 0 400 600
Cone tip res istance IkPI)

Figure 5.14: Avera~e T ip Resistance of lesu L214, L230. L240 and L24.3
PPTs A-A Tran sect of La rge Tub 2

. PPTll

· 500'------=~--:~--~--~---
50 100 150 200 250
TIme (MInute)

Filjure 5.15: P ore P ressure during the CODsolida tion orTranaect A· A Teet.


.. !",

f:: ~- -.- -.-.- - -.- --.-- -.

! 0 - PPT"
._- PPT'2

50 100 150 200 250 '00

Time (Mfnul e)

Figure 5.16: Pore Pressure during the consolidation of Transect B-B Tats


Ia ;",

i': "O ~~~-

' ''
'_ ._ ._ ._ . _ .:- ._,-,_._._ .-.
.: 20
P PTl.~ '

~ 0

· 20

50 100 150 200 250 300

Time (Minute)

Figure 5.17: Pore Pressure during th e Consolidation of Transect C.C Testa


.§.Q,2 5
LOT# 2

~ 0 .15 l OT"

~ 0.1
0 .05

5 10 15 20
Sq uare Root 01T lma (Minutes)

Figure 5.18: Surface Settlement during the Consolidat ion of Transect /I.· A TClIt s

:: : \ _ :~
.~ _lY.a~"_T~b.!. _
I · 60 \ '. \ - ElIs cllv9 s tress
5 \ \ - To tal S lress
l -80 \ -,..- - Por e Pr ess ure

· 100 \ \
\ '\
· 120
, -.

o 50 tOO 15 0 200
Stress es, Por" Press ure (kPal

Figure 5.19: Distribut ion of Tota l St ress, Effective St ress and Pore P t CliSUt C

·20 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ~ ~!.l~ !a~l!. __

I -60

i · 80

· 100

·1 20

5 10 15 20 25 30
AII. rage Overcon so lidat ion Ra tio, OCR

Figure 5.20: Average Overconsolidation Ra tio



I ·60
: · 80

· 100


0 10 20 30 .0 50 so
Shea r Strength (kPa)

Figure 5.2 1: Average Undrain ed Sbear St rengt h from Cone Tests

Chapter 6

Comparison and Discussion

As described in previous chapters, direct shear tests, shear vane testa and ccn-
tri fuge cone penetra tion tests have been carried out (or t he investigation of th e
st rength behaviour of kaolin and kaolin-silt mixtu re un der various sr rees condit ions.
The test results indicate that the measured undrained shear eue ngth of soils is al-
Ced ed by stress level and histo ry, soil type an d test met hod . Some comparison and
discussion of the test resul ts are presented below.

6.1 Stren gth of Kaolin a n d Kaolin- Silt Mixture

From direct shear tests, the strength parameter Q of the kaolin-silt mixt ure is
greate r than that of the kaolin; the value oCt he strength parameter fJ oCthe kaolin
is greater than tbat of the mixtur e, M shown in Table 6.1. Using Equat ion (4.2) and
Equat ion (4.3), t he ccmpa rlscn of shear st rength or the kaolin a nd the kaolin-silt
mixtu re is shown in Figure 6.1. It can be seen that the undrained shear st rength
or th e K-S mixt ure is greater than t hat or pure kaolin at all OCR levels.

From the vane tests , it can be seen again that for t he kaolin, the 0 value is

Table 6.1: St rength Pa rame ters of Kaolin and K-S

Soil Type Q P Test Method

Kaolin 0.238 0.441 Direct Shear Test
0.167 0.707 Valle Test
Kaolin-Silt 0.330 0.370 Direct Shear Test
0.253 0.657 Vane Test

~ 0. 8

_ .- . - Kaolin-Sill

~ 0 .6
~ 0 .4
. ,
Overconsolidation Ratio, OCR

Figu re 6.1: Comparison of St rength of Kaolin and K· S from Direct Shear Tests

~ 1 ... Kaolln -SII
~O .8
~ O.6
~O .4

60 .2

, 10
Overconsolidat ion Ralio , OCR

Figure 6.2: Compa rison of St rength or Kao lin and J<-S from Vane Tests
smaller and the fJ value is grea ter tha n that of the 1,- 5 m ixture ill! shown in Tab le

6.1. Using Equa tion (4.8) and Equation (4.9 ), comp aris on of t lL!' lilrengt h of the

two soils from t he vane teste , as shown in FigUI'C 6.2, indirutc a 1 1 1i~L th e str cngt h of

the K-S mixtu re is greate r than that of the kaolin.

Th e shear strength of kaolin from vane tests , as expressed by Equ at ion ('1.8), is

compared with the resul ts of Nunez (1989), Bolto n cl al. (1993) und Spr ingma n

(1989) as she wn in Figure 6.3. It can be seen t hat t he st rengt h determined from the
vane tests of thi s study is the lowest at all overconsolidatio n levels. The differe nce

between th e st rength of thi s study and t he strengt h obtained by Holton d al. (1993)

is small. However, th e shear stren gth obtained by Spring man ( 1989) is much higher.

especially at higher OCR levels.

• 6 10
Ove rconsolidatIon Ra llo, OCR

Figure 6.3: Comparison or Shear Strength of Kaolin from Vane Tests

6.2 D irect Shear a nd Van e R esults

The lest data shown in Table 4.1, Table 4.2, Table 4.4 and Table 4.5 indicate

that the observed d renstb of both kaoUnan d K·S from direct abear tC!ltiDt;diffm
from that obtained from shear vane test ing. Figure 6.4 and Figure 6.5 .how the
st rength compa risons of the two test methods using equatioI! (4.2) , equation (4.3),
equ ation (1.8) and equation (4.9) respectively. It is obvicus th at at low OCR levels,
th e shear stre ngth of the two soils obt ained by the d irect shear tests i, greater thaD
t hat from the shear vane tests; at high OCR values. the sheer st rengt h obtained
{COIll tile van e tests becomes grea ter than the strengt h from t he direct shear tcete.
Direct shea r testing produces a greater value of th e atrenglh pa ramete r Q and a
smaller value of Ii than those from shear vane tesling.


• 6 10
OverconsolidatIon Rati o, OCR

Figure 6.4: Shear St rength of Kaolin from Direct Sheer and Vane Tests

: 1
~O .8

>0 .6

°0 4 6 10
Over conso l1datlon Ra tio, OCR
Figure 6.5: Shear Strengt h of K-S from Direct Shear and Vane Teste

T he difference in etrengthe from direct shear and VA.D.e tests may be ma.inly due to
st ress anisotropy of the soils. As mentioned in chapter 4, the vane testing assumes
t hat the soils are consolidated under isot ropic ~t ress conditions (vertical stress is
equal to leteral stress). It is known, however, that when a soil is consolidated
under Ko conditions, t he efrec~ive lateral stress (".~) is smaller than the effective
vertical stress (0':) in normally consolidated or lightly overconsclidated soils, while
for heavily overconsolidated soi l ~ , O'~ is greater than 0': (Wroth , 1975). In other
words, for normally consolidated or lightly overconsolidated soils, Ko is smaller t han
I, while for heavily overconeoiideted sells, Ko is greater than 1.

Equation (4.5) indicates that in an isotropica.1ly consolidated soil, when the vane
height is greater than one third or the diameter, M. , t he resisting moment of shear
force of the side of the soil cylinder in Equation (4.4) is greater than 2Mc of t he
two ends or the soil cylinder. That is, in vane testing, the lateral stress is a more
important factor influencing t he test results than the vertical stress.

T herefore, for soilsconsolidated under K o conditions, compared with direct shear

testing, vane testing produces a smaller undrained shear stre ngth of normally con-
solidated or lightly cverccneclldeted soils and a greater undrained shear strength
of heavily cverconsclidated soils. Mayne and Kulhawy (1982) relates Ko of soil to
OCR using
K. = (1 - ,;n,;)(OCR)"' " (6.1)

where ~' t he effect ive internal friction angle or the soil.

T he value of 4>' ofthe kaolin is 230 (Al-Tabbaa, 1987). For Ko=l , Equat ion (6.1)

yields OCR = 3.6, which means that when OCR is greate r than 3.6, the kaolin in this
st udy is heavily overconsclidated. Th is result is surprisingly in accordance with the
data shown in Figure 6.4, in which the two curves of (~ /"':) • OCR relations of the
kaolin from direct shear test ing and vane tellting also intersect a t an OCR value of
approximately 3.6.

The two curves of the K·S mixture in Figure 6..5inte rsect at a lower OCR value
of approximately 2.5 They would be expected to intersect at an OCR value higher
tha n 3.6 ar eordiug t o Equation (6.1) because the ~' value of the K·S mixtur e should
be greate r than 23· ( t he l ' valueof the kaolin). However the data shown in Figure
6.5 also indicates that compared with direct shear testing, vane testing produces a
smaller shear st rength of the K·S mixt ure at low OCR levels but yields a greater
strength at higher OCR levels.

6.3 Comparison of CPT Results with Direct Shear

and Vane Result s

Cb...pter 5 has presented the data of the tip resistances of 4 typical cone pen-
etrati on tests in centrifuge (L214, L230, L240, and L243) and the corresponding
undrained shear st rengths obtained from the tip resistances (qo) using Equat ion
(5.1). It is known that to obtain a reliable c, value, N. in Equation (5.1) must
he properly selected. According to the results of Almeida and Parry (1983) and
Francescon (1983), the values of N. are calculated using Equation (5.2) in this stu dy
for obtainin g c.. from measured q. results.

In order to check the reliability of Equation (5.2) for the calculation of N. ,

· 20 -cone

- - vane

· 40
.. . \ \ . _ . - shaarboll

'. \
~ ·80 " \
-100 \
20 40 60 80 100
Shear Stre ngth (kPa )

Fig ure 6.6: Com par ison of Strengths from CP T, Direct Shear and Vane Tests

the average tip resistance, as shown in Figure 5.14, of the 4 typical cone tests
mentio ned ab ove are used to make compa rison wit h the direct shear and vane result s.

The effective vertica l stress obtained from Equatio n (5.3) is shown in Figure 5.19

and the average OCR value Iro-n Equation (5.4) is shown ill Figure 5.20. T he
shea r stre ngth from cone tests shown in Figure 6.6 are calculated from CPT da ta

in F igure 5.14 using Equat ion (5.1) and Equation(5.2); the c... values from direc t
ehear teets an d vane tests were predicted using Equat ion (4.3) And Equation (4.9)
respectively; From Figure 6.6, it can be seen that the shear st rength de te rmined

from cone pe netration tests falls between the oth er lwo tests but it is closer to t he

str e ngth fro m direct shear tests, The resu lts indicate that N~ values from Equatio n

(5.2) are acce pta ble.

30 r------~--------

Dlrectshoa r tes t
Equa tio n (6.3)
Z' O o 0 Vane sheer test

~. Equati on (6.4)

-llE-llE..)IE-llE~ojI( lIi! Jlel(- -

_ -J<-'"

o L-----~-;----~
4 10 ' 13
Overconso lidation Ratio , OCR

Figu re 6.7: N e Values from Direct Shear and Vane Testa

6.4 Correlation of N, from Direc t Shear a nd Vane


Equa t ion (5.2) has bee n used for the calc ulation of COliC factor N, in ord er to

convert cone tip resistance to undrained shear strength using Equation (5.1). To
calculate an Ne value corresponding to the d irect shear and valle results, Equa tion
(5.1) can be expressed as


where 0""0 is the tota l vertica l st ress.

For th e qc data shown in Figure 5.14, t he values of 0":, O"UQ and OCR ca n be
calculated (Figure 5.19) and t he value of c.. can be predicted using Equation (4.3)
from direct shear tests or Equation (4.9) from vane shear tests, hence the values t)(

30,.--- - - - -- - - - - -----,
Equatlon ( S.2)
Equal/on (6.3)
~ 20 Equation (6.4)

j,0~ - - _- ;~ --
~ - -
- - -- - - -- - --

~OO 10' 10'

OVllrconsolid allon Ra llo , OC R

Figure 6.8: ComparisoD of Nc Value! for K·S

Ne can be obtained, u ShO.....D in Figure 6.7. It can be seen from Figure 6.7 th at
the N e values (rom direct , hu r tests may be exp ressed &S

Ne := 7.2 + 1.9/n(OC R ) (6.3)

The Ne value! (rom vane . heu test. may be approximately expressed I.ll

N. = 10.1- 0.9<1.(OeR) (6.4)

while the above two equations are less re liable when t he OCR ls smaller t han ..

due to the lack of te! t data from t he cent rifuge CPT. Th e N e values in F igure 6.7

obt ained from vane shea r tests appea r not to increas e wit h OCR, which is not in

agreement with th e results shown in Figure 5.U. T h is discrepan cy may be becau se

Equ at ion (4.9) used to calcul ate the eheer st rengt h wu obta ined from vane te , ts

when OCR:::;a while th e qe values are {rom cone tests when OCR~5 . Mean while,

as discussed above in th is cha.pter, Equa.tion (4.9) may overestimate the undrained
shear strengt h of soils.

The comparison of Equat ion (5.2), Equation (6.3) and Equation (6.4) is . hOWD
in Figure 6.8. It can be seen tha.t Equation (5.2) is c105eto Equation (6.3) obtained
from direct shear tests ; the difference between Equat ion (6 .4) and Equat ion (1).2) is
greater . However, the Nc values from these three equat ions are qui te close.

Chapter 7

Summary and Conclusions

In order to determine the strength behaviour of a kaolin and a K·S mixt ure, a.
IICries of direct shear tests, shear vane tests and centrifuge cone penet ration tests

were conducted. The direct shear tests on both the kaolin and the K·S mixtu re
were carried out under vertical stresses of 50 to 250 kPa with OCR levels ranging

from 1 to 8. For the shear vane tests, the two soils were prcoonsolidated under
a vertical stress of 400 kPa and were sheared at OCR levels ranging from 1 to 8.
Centrifuge cone penetration tests were conducted only all the K-S mixture. After
being consolidated under a vertical stress of 400 kPa and being unloaded to zero
total vertical stress, the soil specimens were tested in a centrifuge at 50 gravities.
Based on the test results and discussions in this thesis, the following conclusions can
be drawn:

1. The undrained shear strength of clays can be determined by direct shear tests,
shear vane tests or cone penetration tests. The measured sheer strengths of the two
~Oj]5 in this study are related to many factors including soU type, stress and OCR
levels, stress history and test method.

2. In both direct shear a nd shear vane testing, the undrained shear st rength o(
the kaolin and the K·S mixtu re can be expressed as

= o(OCR)'

• Compared with the K-S mixture, kaolin has a smaller value ot the parameter a
and a greater value of the parame ter {j in both direct shear tests and shear tests.
At the same stress and OCR levels, the undrained shear strengt h of the K·g mixture
is greater than that o( pure kaolin. This indicates tha t silt mixed wit h kaolin will
provide a stronger material than kaolin alone.

3. The differencein the test results (rom direct shear tests and vane tests may be
mainly caused by the stress anisotropy of the soils. Theoretical analyses as well as
tes t results (rom the kaolin and the K·S mixture indicate that (or clays consolidated
under K~ conditions, t he undrained shear strength dete rmined (rom direct shear
tests is in agreement with the streng th from shear vane tests only when the soil
vertical stress is approximately equal to the lateral stress (K~=l) .

4. For normally consolidated or lightly overconsolldatedsoils, the st rength from

direct shear tests is greater tha n that from shear vane tests; the lower the OCR
value, the greater the difference of the st rengths from t he two test methods. For
heavily overconsolidated days , the st rength determined from direct shear tests is
less than t hat (rom shear vane testllj the higher the OCR value, the greater the
difference of the streng ths from the two test methods. Compared with direct shear
test ing, shear vane test ing may yield a smaller undrained shear strength of normally
consolidated or lightly overconeolidated days and may yield a greatci st rength of

heav ily overconso lidated d ays.

5. The shear vane resu lts of the kaolin under repeat ed consoli d""io n loading

ind ica te that the repeated loa ding yi elds a greater parameter Q and a smaller p.
The un drained shear st rength of the kaolin under repeated loading is higher than the

st rength under first consolida tion loadi ng. Th e ratio of t he strength of the soil under

repeated load ing to the stren gt h at first loading decreases with overconsol idation

rati o (OCR); it is 1.46 when OCR= 1 and is only 1.04 when OCR=6 .

6. In centrifu ge cone penetration tes ts on the K·S mixtu re, the cone tip resistance

is rela ted to soil dept h, wate r t able level, desiccat ion of soil dur ing centrifuge flight

and water migration from the backfilled clay. The phenomenon of desiccatio n in

cent rifuge flight is significant; it results in an increase ill shear strength of the 90il
near the surface of the spec imens .

7. T he selectio n of the cone factor Ne is very impo rtan t for de terminin g the

shear str ength of soils using CPT data. The value of Ne , which is exp ressed by

equa t ion (5.2), increases with OCR. Th e cone tip resist an ce (qe) of the tested soil

can be converted to undr ain ed shea r st rength using eq uation (5.1) and equat ion

(5.2) . The undrained shea r strength of a K·S mixture specimen interp reted from

CPT data falls be twee n the strengths predicted by the rela tionships from the data

of di rect shear tests and shea r vane tests.

8. The Ne value exp ressed by Equat ion (5.2) h as been compared with Equation

(6.3) correlated from d irect shear tests and Equatio n (6.4) from vane shear tests and

th e result s are qui te close.

9. It should be mentioned th at repea ted loading in centrifuge tes ting may be a
factor which could affed test results . Th e specimens prepared for th e cent rifuge cone
te sts were preconsolidated under vertical stress of 400 kPa and then were unloaded to
zero total vertical st ress. During centrifuge testing, the specimens were consolidated
again under etressee due to self-weigbt of th e soil at 50 gravitie3. Alt hough the depth
of specimen was net great er than 205 mrn an d the consolidation st ress during
cent rifuge flight was much lower than 400 kPa , the effect of repeated loadi ng is still
worthy to be studied.


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Appendix A

Factors for Area Correction in

Direct Shear Tests

The area of the sheer surface in d irect shear test changes during t he process of
sample shearing. The initial area of the surface is a perfect circle with a diameter of
D. The final shear surface, however, becomes smaller with its shear displacement
of S. Figure 8 .1 shows t he area of the shear surface before and a fter t he specimen
is sheered. From this figure, t he finel area of the shear surface (area.abed) can be
calculated using the following equation :

A..kd = 2(A..~ - A"....,)

= 2(~H8 - (~)'t'"(~))
= i (D 29 - 2S2tan{~»
where, cos(l) = !.
The area correction factor k is defined as
k = '1(.0 / 4, (A.I)
Figur e A.l : Area Chan ge or Spec imen durin g Shearing

In t he direct shea r tes ta int roduced in Cha:, ter 4, tile diamet er ot t be direct shear ,

D, W&II 61.8mm , t he she.v displacement S waa dominated by th e time elapsed (rom

the beginnin g of th e shearin g, which was

5 _ 1.261
- 60 (A.2)

where I iJ the elapsed sheariDg time an d 1.26refe rs to tbe ehear rate or 1.26 mm/min.

The shear displacement and the area correction fACto r k ecrreepceding to different
elepeed shear timelllare t;iveo in Tabl e B. 1.

Table A.1: Factors rN Area Correction
, S k
20 0.42 1.0087
40 0.84 1.0176
60 1.26 1.0267
60 1.68 1.0359
100 2.10 1.0452
120 2.52 1.0.548
140 2.94 1.0645
160. 3.36 1.0744
180 3.78 1.0846
200 4.20 1.0948

Appendix B
Records of Cone Tip Resistance
during CPT


I ·60

· 80

· t OO


200 400 600 800 1DOD 1200

Cone tip resistance (k Pa)

Figure B.l : Cone Tip Resistance of LI03 and LI04


1. 60

: -80



200 120(

Figure 8.2: Cone T ip R.e"i1!t/.lIlce of LIOSand L107

· 2•

I ·6 0

· 80

·10 0


200 400 600 800 1000

Cone tip resl,lan ce (kPa)

Figure B.3: ConeTip Resistanceof LI09


I -60
:t · 80


· 120

200 400 600 800 1000

Cone tlp ru lslanc8 (kPa)

Figure 8 .4: Cone Tip Resistance of Ll 12 a nd Ll 14

.. L1 16

I ·60

"ci" · 80

·10 0

· 120

2GOO 3000 4CO O 5000

Cone tip re sletanee (kP a)

Figure B.5: Cone Tip Resistan ce of L113 and L116

I · 60

~ ·80


., ..•. '---~ --~-----~-----'

200 400 600 800 1000
Con , lip resill anclit (kPa)
Figure B.6: Cone Tip Resistance of L1l 5 a nd L118

·2 0


I · 60

~ -80



200 400 600 800 1000

Cone Upres istan ce (kPI )

Figu re B.7: Cone T ip Resistance 01Lt l9

!- ·80


-1 4 00----2~0-
0- 400 600
Cone Upfe l lslance (kPa)

Figure B.8: Cone Tip Resistance 01 L208 and L209


I -60


·1 00

· 120


Figure B.9: Cone Tip Resistance of L210 and L211

· 20

·. 0

I ·60

~ ·80


· 120


FigureB.IO: Cone Tip Reeietence or L212 and L216


I .se
i' ·80

· 100

· 120

200 400 600

Cone tip re sistance (kPa)

Figure B.ll : Cone T ip Resistance orL213 and L217

·4 0

I ·60

. 80 L223



100 200 300 400 500 eee

Cone tlp res lslance (kPal

Figure 8 .12: Cone Tip Resistl\.llceor L221 and L223

· 2e

I ·60

: ·80



100 200 300 .. 00 500 s••

Cone tip tesls tanee (kPal
Figure 8 .13: Cone Tip Re!li8tance or L224 and L225


I · 60




. 14 0 _'----~--~---~---..J
o 200 ..00 600 800
Cone tip r.,l.tanee (kPal
Figure 8.14: Cone Tip Resistance of L226 and 12 29

· 20


I · 60
~ · 80


100 200 300 400 500 600

Cone tip resistance (kPal
F igure 8.15: Cone Tip Resistance of L227



I -60

g. -00


100 2 00 300 4 00 500 600

Can. lip resistance (kPa)

Figure 8 .16: Cone Tip Resist ance of L234 and L237


I ·60
.£ l236
: -80

· 10 0


.14°0 100 200 300 400 500 600

Cone tlp fellstan ce (kPa)
Figure B.l1 : Cone Tip Resistance or L236 and L238


-' 0
I · 60

· 80


·12 0

-.. O.OL-- - - :200

= - - -400
= - --,=------,J
600 soo
Cone tip f8$lllanee (kPa)

Figure B.18: Cone Tip Resistanceof L239 and L242

Appendix C

LDT Results during

Consolidation of Large Tub II

_0 .5 -. ,. . . . . / \/ ". ...! LDT#2
E . r: ,
~0 .4

iO .3

~0 .2

(/)0 .1

0 s 10 15 20
Square Root ofTlme (Minutes)

Figure C.I: Surface Settlemen t of Tra nsect B-B


E' 0 .4 I' .
,1 _ \I~' I""\/''' ' ' '1/
LOU2 1
s , \ 1\ \ .1' , \ 1
e LDU1
iO ,3

~ ,
~O .2 ,
~ ,
00 .1 ,
0 s 10 15 20
Squaro Root 01Time (Minutes)

Figure C.2: Surface Settlement of Transect e·c