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# Critical-State Soil Mechanics

For Dummies

## Civil & Environmental Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0355
www.ce.gatech.edu
Email: paul.mayne@ce.gatech.edu

2006
PROLOGUE
Critical-state soil mechanics is an effective stress framework
describing mechanical soil response
In its simplest form here, we consider only shear-induced
We merely tie together two well-known concepts: (1) one-
dimensional consolidation behavior, represented by e-log v
curves; and (2) shear stress-vs. normal stress ( v) from
direct shear box or simple shearing.
Herein, only the bare essence of CSSM concepts are presented,
sufficient to describe strength & compressibility response.
Critical State Soil Mechanics (CSSM)
Experimental evidence provided by Hvorslev (1936; 1960, ASCE); Henkel
(1960, ASCE Boulder) Henkel & Sowa (1961, ASTM STP 361)
Mathematics presented elsewhere, including: Schofield & Wroth (1968);
Burland (1968); Wood (1990).
In basic form: 3 material constants (', Cc, Cs) plus initial state (e0, vo',
OCR)
Constitutive Models, include: Original Cam-Clay, Modified Cam Clay, NorSand,
Bounding Surface, MIT-E3 (Whittle, 1993) & MIT-S1 (Pestana) and others
(Adachi, Oka, Ohta, Dafalias)
"Undrained" is just one specific stress path
Yet !!! CSSM is missing from most textbooks and undergrad & grad curricula
in the USA.
One-Dimensional Consolidation
Sandy Clay (CL), Surry, VA: Depth = 27 m
1.0
vo'=300 kPa
p'=900 kPa
0.9
Cr = 0.04
Void Ratio, e

## Cs = swelling index (= Cr)

0.7
cv = coef. of consolidation
D' = constrained modulus
0.6
Ce = coef. secondary compression
Cc = 0.38
k hydraulic conductivity
0.5
1 10 100 1000 10000

v
Effective Vertical Stress,
svo' (kPa)
Direct Shear Test Results

v v

CSSM for Dummies
CC

Void Ratio, e
Void Ratio, e

NC NC

CSL CSL

CSL

## Shear stress tan '

CSSM Premise:
All stress paths fail
on the critical state
line (CSL)
c=0
Effective stress v'
CSSM for Dummies
CC
Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e
e0
e NC
NC
ef
CSL CSL

vo
Log v' Effective stress v'
CSL
max = c + tan
Shear stress
STRESS PATH No.1 tan'

NC Drained Soil
Given: e0, vo, NC (OCR=1)
Drained Path: u = 0
Volume Change is Contractive: c=0
vol = e/(1+e0) < 0 vo
Effective stress v'
CSSM for Dummies
CC
Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e
e0
NC
NC
CSL
CSL
vf vo Effective stress v'
Log v' CSL
STRESS PATH No.2 tan'
Shear stress
NC Undrained Soil u
maxcu=su
Given: e0, vo, NC (OCR=1)
Undrained Path: V/V0 = 0
+u = Positive Excess vf
Porewater Pressures vo
Effective stress v'
CSSM for Dummies
CC

Void Ratio, e
Void Ratio, e

NC NC

CSL CSL

## Log v' Effective stress v'

CSL
Note: All NC undrained Shear stress
tan'
stress paths are parallel
to each other, thus:
su/ vo = constant

## DSS: su/ voNC = sin

Effective stress v'
CSSM for Dummies
CC

Void Ratio, e
Void Ratio, e

CS OC
NC NC

CSL CSL

## Effective stress v'

Log v' p'
CSL
Overconsolidated States: Shear stress tan'
e0, vo, and OCR = p/ vo
where p = vmax = Pc =
preconsolidation stress;
OCR = overconsolidation ratio
Effective stress v' p'
CSSM for Dummies
CC

Void Ratio, e
Void Ratio, e

e0
OC
CS NC
NC

CSL CSL

## vo' vf' Log v' Effective stress v'

CSL
Stress Path No. 3 Shear stress tan
Undrained OC Soil: u '

## e0, vo, and OCR

Stress Path: V/V0 = 0
Negative Excess u
vo' Effective stress v'
CSSM for Dummies
CC

Void Ratio, e
Void Ratio, e

e0
OC
CS NC
NC

CSL CSL

## vo' Log v' Effective stress v'

CSL
Stress Path No. 4 Shear stress tan
Drained OC Soil: '

## e0, vo, and OCR

Stress Path: u = 0
Dilatancy: V/V0 > 0
vo' Effective stress v'
Critical state soil mechanics
Initial state: e0, vo, and OCR = p/vo
Soil constants: , Cc, and Cs ( = 1-Cs/Cc)
For NC soil (OCR =1):
Undrained (vol = 0): +u and max = su = cu
Drained (u = 0) and contractive (decrease vol)

For OC soil:
Undrained (vol = 0): -u and max = su = cu
Drained (u = 0) and dilative (Increase vol)

Theres
Theresmore
more!! Semi-drained,
Semi-drained,Partly
Partlyundrained,
undrained,Cyclic..
Cyclic..
Equivalent Stress Concept
CC

Void Ratio, e
NC
Void Ratio, e

e0
OC NC
e CS
p' p'
ep

CSL CSL

## 1. OC State (eo, vo, p) CSL

2. Project OC state to NC Shear stress tan
'
line for equivalent stress, e
su
e = Cs log(p/vo) at e
e = Cc log(e/p) suOC = suNC
3. e = vo OCR[1-Cs/Cc]
vo' e ' Stress v'
Critical state soil mechanics
Previously: su/vo = constant for NC soil
On the virgin compression line: vo = e
Thus: su/e = constant for all soil (NC & OC)
For simple shear: su/e = sin
Equivalent stress: e = vo OCR[1-Cs/Cc]

## su/ vo = sin OCR

where = (1-Cs/Cc)
Undrained Shear Strength from CSSM
Undrained Shear Strength from CSSM
Porewater Pressure Response from CSSM
Yield Surfaces
NC NC
CSL

Void Ratio, e
OC
OC
Void Ratio, e

p'

CSL

Log v'
CSL

## Yield surface represents Shear stress

3-d preconsolidation

Quasi-elastic behavior
within the yield surface

## Normal stress v'

Port of Anchorage, Alaska
Cavity Expansion Critical State Model for Evaluating
OCR in Clays from Piezocone Tests

1/
1 qT ub
O CR 2
1 .9 5 M 1 v o '
where M = 6 sin/(3-sin)
and = 1 Cs/Cc 0.8

fs

ub

qc qT
Critical state soil mechanics
Initial state: e0, vo, and OCR = p/vo
Soil constants: , Cc, and Cs ( = 1-Cs/Cc)
Using effective stresses, CSSM addresses:
NC and OC behavior
Undrained vs. Drained (and other paths)
Positive vs. negative porewater pressures
Volume changes (contractive vs. dilative)
su/vo = sin OCR where = 1-Cs/Cc
Yield surface represents 3-d preconsolidation