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76 vues19 pagesMechanical Behaviour of a Natural Soft Clay

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76 vues19 pagesMechanical Behaviour of a Natural Soft Clay

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Ge

L . C A L L I S TO a n d G . C A L A B R E S I The results of an experimental study on the mechanical behaviour of the natural soft clay found at Pisa are discussed. Triaxial and true triaxial stress path-controlled tests were carried out, in which the soil was subjected to a variety of drained stress paths, each starting from the in situ stresses. The stress-strain behaviour was observed to be substantially non-linear from the very beginning of the loading process. The observed results are interpreted using concepts of hardening plasticity. The inuence of the damage produced in the clay microstructure during loading is evaluated through a normalization technique. A comparison between the behaviour of the natural and the reconstituted clay is also presented. The results of the true triaxial tests show strength anisotropy. In both the triaxial and the true triaxial tests, the observed stiffness was found to depend strongly on the direction of the stress path. , nous pre sentons les re sultats Dans cet expose tude expe rimentale sur le comportement d'une e canique de l'argile tendre naturelle trouve e me gion de Pise. Nous avons effectue des dans la re essais de contrainte triaxiale et de contrainte elle a trajectoire contro le e, essais au triaxiale re te soumis a une varie te cours desquels le sol a e es, chacune de trajectoires de contrainte draine partir des contraintes in situ. commenc ant a que le comportement conNous avons observe formation e tait substantiellement non trainte-de aire depuis le commencement du processus line de charge. Nous appliquons des concepts de durcissante pour interpre ter les re sulplasticite s. Nous e valuons l'inuence des de tats observe ts inige s a la microstructure de l'argile ga ce a une technique de pendant la charge gra normalisation. Nous comparons aussi le comportement de l'argile naturelle et de l'argile recon e. Les re sultats des essais triaxiaux re els stitue vidence une anisotropie de re sisont mis en e tance. Dans les essais triaxiaux tout comme dans els, il est apparu que la les essais triaxiaux re observe e de pendait fortement de la dirigidite rection de la trajectoire de la contrainte.

A number of experimental data obtained on reconstituted isotropically consolidated clays allowed the Cambridge Group to formulate a unied framework, namely critical state soil mechanics, for the mechanical behaviour of such clays (Roscoe et al., 1958; Schoeld & Wroth, 1968). Since then, much effort has been put into the formulation of constitutive relationships, mostly based on hardening plasticity, that are capable of accurately modelling the behaviour of clayey soils subjected to both monotonic and cyclic loading (e.g. Scott, 1984; Burghignoli et al., 1991). However, such models are still largely based on experimental results obtained on reconstituted clays. Most geotechnical engineering problems deal with natural soils, and it is well known that the

Manuscript received 17 December 1996; revised manuscript accepted 15 December 1997. Discussion on this paper closes 6 November 1998; for further details see p. ii. University of Rome `La Sapienza'.

INTRODUCTION

mechanical behaviour of natural clays can differ substantially from the behaviour of reconstituted clays, due to the depositional conditions and postdepositional events that have occurred to the natural clayey deposit. Since the 1970s, many authors have attempted to use the notion of hardening plasticity in order to describe the mechanical behaviour of natural soft clays. It has been observed that natural clays, when subjected to changes in effective stress, show a rather stiff behaviour, while the stress vector remains within a domain in stress space, the boundary of which is called the `yield locus' (e.g. Mitchell, 1970; Wong & Mitchell, 1975; Crooks & Graham, 1976). For instance, Mitchell (1970) performed a series of tests in the triaxial cell, applying different effective stress paths to lightly overconsolidated undisturbed samples; yield conditions were assumed to correspond to more or less abrupt changes in stiffness, observed along different stress paths. In this perspective, the yield locus was seen as a boundary between stress states that cause a relatively stiff, pseudo-elastic behaviour, and stress 495

496

states inducing large deformability. Thus, the concept of yielding was not directly related to the onset of irreversible (that is, plastic) strains, but rather to the occurrence of a substantial decrease in stiffness. Therefore, the notion of yield locus for such clays can be regarded as an extension of the traditional concept of `preconsolidation pressure' to stress conditions more general than those associated with one-dimensional compression. Although strains of natural clays for stress states contained within the yield locus have frequently been regarded as elastic (e.g. Wong & Mitchell, 1975; Graham et al., 1983) it is now clear that linear elasticity is only a rough approximation to the pre-yield behaviour of such soils. Plastic (irreversible) strains have been observed for stress changes much smaller than those required to reach the yield locus (e.g. Smith et al., 1992), and non-linearity has been evidenced even for very small strains. However, the assumption of linear elasticity within the yield locus may still be useful, depending on the particular clayey soil examined, and on the peculiarities of the engineering problems relating to soil. In this paper we present the mechanical behaviour of the natural soft clay found at Pisa, as observed in stress-path controlled triaxial and true triaxial laboratory tests. Such tests allowed observations of the response of the clay to a large variety of stess paths, and are therefore regarded as valuable in extending the knowledge of the mechanical behaviour of natural clayey soils. The behaviour of the natural soil was also contrasted with that of the reconstituted clay. In interpreting the experimental results, the concept of yielding, as discussed above, has been used. Plasticity and critical state concepts are often referred to; elasticity is also used in discussing the observed stiffness of the clay. In neither case is it intended that the `true' mechanical behaviour is either plastic or elastic. Plasticity and elasticity theories are used as tools in order to interpret the results and to suggest possible ways to model the clay behaviour.

SOIL DESCRIPTION

the Laval University (La Rochelle et al., 1981). In order to reduce the effect of soil heterogeneity and to test samples that were subjected to the same stress history in the eld, tests on natural clay were performed on two almost contiguous samples (18A and 19B) retrieved from the same borehole between depths of 123 and 128 m. At this depth, the values of the overconsolidation ratio (OCR) determined through oedometer tests, vary between 15 and 2 (Rampello et al., 1996). Some of the tests described in this work were performed on reconstituted clay; this was prepared using sample 29B, which was similar in grading and index properties to samples 18A and 19B, but was retrieved from 18131833 m below ground level. The reconstituted clay was prepared by thoroughly mixing the clay with distilled water, to a water content equal to 15 times the liquid limit wL . The slurry was then consolidated in a large oedometer up to a vertical effective stress of 200 kPa, and subsequently allowed to swell up to OCR 1X5. The material was then extruded from the oedometer, and the clay samples were trimmed and set up in the cell. Some physical and index properties of the tested samples are listed in Table 1. The clay has a content in calcium carbonate of about 10%; the clayey minerals are mostly vermiculite and illite, with a small percentage of kaolinite. The undrained shear strength is about 50 kPa, and the critical state angle of friction, found in triaxial tests carried out by Rampello et al. (1996), is about 268.

EXPERIMENTAL APPARATUSES AND PROCEDURES

The soil tested comes from the upper clayey deposit found below the Tower of Pisa, in the depth range 104208 m. Soil samples were retrieved along a borehole located south-west of the Tower, using the large-diameter tube sampler developed at

The tests discussed here were carried out using two pieces of equipment: a stress-path triaxial cell, located at the University of Rome `La Sapienza', and a true triaxial apparatus, located at the Geotechnical Engineering Research Centre (GERC) of the City University, London. The triaxial cell is similar to the one devised by Bishop & Wesley (1975). As the cell is computer controlled, fully automated, feedback-controlled stress path tests can be done (Toll & Ackerley, 1988). Axial displacements were measured externally, and corrections were applied to take into account the compliance of the internal load cell. Pore pressures were measured at the base and at midheight of the specimen, in the latter case using a pore pressure probe (Hight, 1982). Drainage was

Table 1. Physical and index properties of the tested samples Specimen 18B 19A 29B Depth: m 12281248 12611281 18131833 w0 : % 60 62 57 wL : % 731 806 742 I p: % 408 492 427 CF: % 65 65 66 CaCO3 : % 99 104 92

497

allowed from the base and the top of the specimen (i.e. no radial drains were used). The true triaxial apparatus (TTA) was designed by Dr. P. I. Lewin of the City University, London; it has been briey described by Abbiss & Lewin (1990); Fig. 1 shows a schematic layout of the apparatus. The cell is of the exible boundary type rst developed by Ko & Scott (1967), allowing three independent principal total stresses to be applied on the three mutually orthogonal pairs of faces of a 60 mm cubic specimen. The TTA (Fig. 1) is made of a brass frame, externally closed by six Perspex walls. The total stresses are applied to the specimen by pressurizing the gaps formed by the walls and by six rubber membranes. The membranes are hat-shaped, with the rim of the hat clamped between the brass frame and the Perspex walls. Next to the rim, the membranes have a concertina section, which is intended to reduce any restraint offered by the wall of the membrane. The membranes carry in their central part a 14 mm steel pin, which is taken through the cell wall so that displacements of the centre of each face of the specimen can be conveyed to an external displacement transducer. Drainage channels are provided by three sets of small holes drilled into orthogonal sections of the brass frame. These channels are joined together so that any drainage emerges at a single corner of the frame, where a drainage valve is mounted. Drai-

nage from the specimen is allowed by connecting the drainage channel to three faces of the sample by means of Terram lter strips. Operation of the apparatus is completely automated, and is controlled in feedback through a personal computer.

TESTING PROGRAMME

The testing programme consisted of eight triaxial tests and seven true triaxial tests on the natural clay, plus ve triaxial tests on the reconstituted clay. Cylindrical samples for triaxial tests were cut with their axes parallel to the vertical direction in the eld (Fig. 2(a)). Similarly, cubic true triaxial test samples were oriented in such a way that one of the principal directions of stress was parallel to the vertical direction (Fig. 2(b)). Throughout the paper the assumption is made that cross-anisotropy, with a vertical principal axis of isotropy, is the maximum possible degree of anisotropy for both the natural and the reconstituted samples in their initial conditions. This hypothesis is related to the one-dimensional stress history of the clay. All the samples were reconsolidated, along path ABO in Fig. 3, to the in situ stress state O. The in situ horizontal effective stress 9 h0 was evaluated by carrying out stress-controlled K 0 compression tests to the in situ vertical effective stress 9 a0 (Callisto, 1994), as well as using the empirical

Perspex wall and side-plate

Membrane

Sample

Filter paper

498

(vertical direction) a

(vertical direction) a a , a

h2 , h2 h1 , h1 h h (a) h1 (b) h2

A90,R90 80 A135

A60,R60 A30,R30

200 A60,R60

q: kPa

40

A180 O B 40 A 80

a : kPa

A0,R0

O 100 A135 A280 B A180 A Diagonal (isotropic conditions) 0 0 100 2 h : kPa 200 O (octahedral plane through O)

120

160

p: kPa

A315,R315 40 A280

relationship for evaluating K 0 proposed by Mayne & Kulhawy (1982). Stresses at point O ( 9 a 113X5 kPa and 9 h 75X5 kPa) were maintained for 40 h; thereafter the volumetric strain rate was found to be less than 0X002%ah. Volumetric strains observed after reconsolidation were generally less than 15%. From point O, drained probing tests were performed, with rectilinear stress paths having different orientations in stress space. In Fig. 3, stress paths for the triaxial tests are depicted in the qp9 plane. Tests are labelled with a prex `A' or `R', referring to natural and reconstituted samples, respectively, followed by the relevant value of angle in Fig. 3. The triaxial stress paths p are replotted in Fig. 4 in Rendulic plane 9 2 9 a, h ; here, the trace of the octahedral plane 0 , passing through point O, is marked by a bold broken line. Each stress point lying on 0 is characterized by the same value of the mean effective stress p9 0 88X2 kPa acting in the eld. In the true triaxial tests, stress paths were all contained in plane 0 ; these are shown in Fig. 5, where an octahedral

T120

h2

499

view of the principal stress space is shown. True triaxial tests are labelled with the prex `T', followed by the relevant value of angle in Fig. 5. Although tests marked T, were not actually performed, the hypothesis of cross-anisotropy implies that soil response along such paths may be obtained from that observed in the corresponding `T' paths, by interchanging the directions h1 and h2. All tests were carried out under stress-controlled conditions. In tests A0, A30, A135, A180, A315, R0, R30 and R315 (where changes in p9 were greater than or equal to the corresponding changes in q), the rate of variation in the mean effective stress was equal to 1 kPaah. In the remaining tests, a rate of variation in the deviatoric stress equal to 1X5 kPaah was applied. In the nal stages of tests A60, A90, A280, R60 and R90 the control was switched to the axial displacement, using an axial strain rate of 0X1%ah. During the early stages of test T180, the pressure supply at GERC failed, so that only a small part of stress path T180 was actually carried out (up to s % 0X12%). Also, at the end of test T30 it was observed that opposite faces of the specimen were no longer parallel, and this occurrence was ascribed to an inclusion of organic matter in the clay. Therefore, deformations measured during such tests were judged to be unreliable. However, the stress state at failure observed in such tests was found to be consistent with results from the other tests done using the TTA.

120 100 80

q: kPa

10

12

14

120 100 80

q: kPa

10

Fig. 6. Comparison between results obtained in the TTA and in the triaxial apparatus COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TRIAXIAL AND TRUE TRIAXIAL RESULTS

In Fig. 6(a) a comparison is presented between the results obtained in the axisymmetric test T0 and in test A0b; this latter test was performed in the triaxial cell, on the same sample (18B) used in test T0, following the same constant p9 stress-path. It can be seen from Fig. 6(a) that only in the early stages of the tests, up to deviatoric strains s of about 1%, do the q versus s curves for the two tests coincide; at larger strains the curves diverge, showing different values of the shear strength. Specically, the shear strength measured in the triaxial cell is smaller by about 24% than that measured in the TTA. If a logarithmic scale is used for the strains (Fig. 6(b)) it can be seen that the same curve is indeed described by samples T0 and A0b for s , 1%. Differences in the values of the shear strength were also observed by Ko & Scott (1967) when testing a medium dense sand in a triaxial cell and in their exible boundaries TTA. They reported an angle of internal friction of 3858 for a constant p9 test carried out in the triaxial cell, and in excess of 468 for the same test carried out in the TTA.

Green (1967), Bell (1968) and Arthur & Menzies (1968) argued that the difference in shear strength observed by Ko & Scott (1967) was possibly due to a constraining action of the metal frame surrounding the specimen, while Ko & Scott (1968) ascribed the phenomenon to the non-uniform stress distribution imposed in the conventional triaxial apparatus at the ends of the specimen. More recently, differences in the shear strength of a natural soft clay measured in the triaxial cell and in a TTA with exible boundaries have been reported by Boudali (1995). The shear strength obtained by Boudali in the TTA was greater than that observed in the triaxial cell, by as much as 1012%. Possible explanations for this anomaly put forward by Boudali (1995) include non-uniformity in the stress state applied by the rigid platens of the conventional triaxial apparatus, and the oneto-one shape of the TTA sample, which does not facilitate the development of slip surfaces. To investigate the latter point, constant p9

500

triaxial tests were carried out on two samples of Pisa clay, retrieved from a depth range 1383 1403 m. Test 21BN was performed on a specimen with the conventional 2:1 height/diameter ratio and with rough ends, whereas test 21BR was carried out on a 1:1 specimen with lubricated ends. Specimen 21BN failed along well-dened slip surfaces, as is always the case with Pisa clay tested along a p9 p9 0 path. For specimen 21BR, the development of the usual slip surfaces was not kinematically possible, and the deformation pattern at failure appeared to be more uniform. The resulting stressstrain curves are shown in Fig. 7. It is evident that, although the initial part of the q versus s curves are very similar (for s , 1%), the strengths measured in the two tests are quite different, and the difference is consistent with that observed in Fig. 6, where results from the TTA and the conventional triaxial apparatus are compared. It was therefore inferred that the geometry of the TTA does not allow the development of slip surfaces, which were never clearly observed on TTA samples, and therefore causes the samples to fail in a different mode. It is worth mentioning at this stage that Lewin & Allman (1993) compared results from triaxial tests performed on reconstituted normally consolidated Bothkennar clay with results from TTA tests carried out using the same apparatus described herein. The comparison proved satisfactory, in terms of both shear strength and pre-failure deformability. The hypothesis can be made that the tendency of the reconstituted clay sample used by Lewin & Allman to develop slip planes was less signicant. As a consequence of the comparison shown in Fig. 6, it is concluded that results obtained on the conventional triaxial cell and in the TTA used in this study can be directly compared only for deviatoric strains smaller than about 1%. None the less, results of TTA tests for strains in excess of 1%

will be discussed as well, as they are seen to form a consistent set of data for the mechanical behaviour of the clay.

FAILURE IN THE TTA APPARATUS

The failure envelope determined from TTA tests is shown in Fig. 8 by the bold line. For comparison, the failure curves resulting from the Mohr Coulomb and the Lade & Duncan (1975) failure criteria are also plotted; these match the strengths in triaxial compression. The experimental failure envelope is symmetrical about the 9 a axis because of the hypothesis of cross-anisotropy. Still, it is not endowed with sixfold symmetry, as it should be for an isotropic material. The shear strength observed in triaxial compression is in fact higher for 9 h1 9 h2 than for 9 a 9 h1 or 9 a 9 h2. In triaxial extension, the strength for 9 h1 9 h2 appears to be lower than that for 9 a 9 h1 and 9 a 9 h2 . As a consequence, both the MohrCoulomb and the Lade & Duncan (1975) criteria, tted in triaxial compression to the experimental data, underpredict the shear strength for loading directions in the range of (0, 1208), and overpredict it for in the range of about (1208, 1508). Therefore, the clay is cross-anisotropic with respect to the strength, since a rotation of 908 of the principal stress directions with respect to the specimen produces a change in shear strength. Similar deviations from six-fold symmetry were observed by Kirkgard & Lade (1993) for the failure envelope of a natural soft clay obtained from undrained true triaxial tests.

Failure envelopes This study Lade & Duncan MohrCoulomb 120 100 80 21BR 60 21BN T90 a , y: kPa 140 T0 T30 T60

q: kPa

h2

h1 100 T150

Fig. 7. Effect of the shape of the specimen on the results obtained from constant p9 triaxial tests

501

A30

Triaxial tests In each triaxial test carried out on the natural clay, stress states at yield were identied through a technique similar to that used by Mitchell (1970) and by Graham et al. (1983), i.e. by locating the points at which the experimental stressstrain curves showed a marked bend. Since, for Pisa clay, yielding turned out to be a gradual phenomenon, care was used in identifying the start of yielding. The graphical technique used for this purpose has been described in detail by Callisto & Calabresi (1995); it consists basically in locating the yield strains at the intersection of the rectilinear extrapolations of the pre- and post-yield portions of the stressstrain curves (Fig. 9). As the curves were non-linear from the early stages of each test, some subjectivity was unavoidable in locating the yield points. Nevertheless, in some tests the pore pressure measured at the midheight of the samples showed, on reaching the yield stresses, small, though abrupt, changes, thus providing some additional condence in positioning the yield points. The q versus s and p9 versus v curves obtained from the triaxial tests on the natural samples and the corresponding yield points are shown in Figs 10 and 11. The yield locus located from the triaxial tests results is plotted in the qp9 plane in Fig. 12(a); roughly elliptic in shape, it is not symmetric about the p9 axis. In Fig. 12(a) the contours of equal specic strain energy W are also plotted. W is dened as W ( 9 (1) a da 2 9 h d h )

q: kPa

A135 40 0 O A0 A180

A90

40 A280 80 8

Fig. 10. Plot of q versus s obtained from triaxial tests on natural Pisa clay

4 2 0 2 v: % A280 4 6 8 10 12 0 100 200 300 Yield points A60

A315 A0

A30

p: kPa

Fig. 11. Plot of p9 versus v obtained from triaxial tests on natural Pisa clay

Yield point

where the integral is calculated along each stress path, from the in situ stress point up to the point representing the current stress state. This was done in order to check the hypothesis that the strain energy at yield is constant (Crooks & Graham, 1976). In fact, it can be seen that this is not the case for Pisa clay, since the yield locus crosses several strain energy contours. Therefore, strain energy at yield appears to depend on the stress path direction; this has also been shown for eastern Canadian clays by Tavenas et al. (1979). Also shown in Fig. 12(a) are the directions of the plastic strain increment vectors, plotted both at yield and at a reference state W 4 kJam3 . The directions of the vectors were determined by assuming isotropic elastic behaviour for stresses inside the yield locus, and constant elastic para-

Effective stress

Stress at yield

502

100 (a) Yield locus O

In Fig. 12(b) the yield points, plotted in the ( e, log p9) plane, were tted using a logarithmic curve: (2) e 2X01 0X15 log10 p9

0.1

W contours

200

p: kPa, p v

The coefcient 015 of the logarithmic term in equation (2) is very close to the swelling index proposed by Calabresi et al. (1993) for the upper clay deposit at Pisa. Therefore, if behaviour is to be interpreted in terms of classic critical state concepts, it can be assumed that the yield locus in Fig. 12(a) lies on an `elastic wall'. True triaxial tests The stressstrain curves observed in the true triaxial tests are shown in Fig. 13 in terms of the length of the stress path plotted against the deviatoric strain s . The curves show an extremely smooth and gradual transition towards failure, so that a bilinear construction, like that shown in Fig. 9, is of little use to locate yielding. However, a closer inspection of the curves in Fig. 13 reveals that the curvatures of the different stressstrain curves can be related to the length of the stress path required for each specimen to fail. Specically, when a long stress path is required to reach the failure envelope (as for tests T120 and T150), the corresponding stress-strain curve is very smooth and the yield conditions, detected as the bending of the curve, appear to occur separately from failure. Conversely, if the stress path length at failure is relatively short (as in tests T60 and T0), the stressstrain curve shows a sharper bend, at a stress state very close to that causing failure.

T150 T120

q: kPa, p s

Cs 0.15

1.6 (b) 0 100 p: kPa 200

Fig. 12. Yield locus plotted in the qp9 plane (a) and in the ep9 plane (b)

meters after yield. Increments of plastic strain were calculated by subtracting from the increments of total strain the corresponding increments of `elastic' strains; these were evaluated using the tangent moduli at yield (see Stiffness, below). In Fig. 12(a) some discrepancies from normality can be observed, especially for tests A90 and A280, although the general picture seems consistent with an associated plastic ow.

100 Assumed yield points

80 T90 T60

a y: kPa

T0

60 LSP: kPa

T0

40

T60 T90

20

40

120 T120

x: kPa

T150

h2 12

0 0

6 s: %

10

Fig. 13. Stressstrain curves obtained in true triaxial tests. LSP, length of stress path

a , y: kPa 140 T0 T30 a, y: % T60 60 O 1% 40 T90 4 20 40 120 T90 12 T60 8 16 T30 20 T0

503

120

2 4 3

x: kPa

0 T180 4 8 h2 12 16 T150 4 8 12 16 T120

T120

x: %

T150

h2

h1

Fig. 14. Shear strain contours in the octahedral plane, for 1 , s , 10%

This point can be substantiated by looking at the contours of equal shear strain plotted in Fig. 14; here, shear strains range from 1% to 10% and the contour spacing is 1%. In such a plot the distance between the contours, taken along the stress paths, is proportional to the slope of the stressstrain curves, while the rate of variation in such a distance is proportional to the curvature. The contour plot shows that, along paths such as

Fig. 16. Projection of the strain paths on to the octahedral plane of strains

s

T60 and T0, the contours become suddenly very close to each other (i.e. the stressstrain curvature is pronounced) in a zone near the failure envelope, whereas for paths like T120 and T150 the distance between the contours decreases in a very gradual fashion, and the maximum curvature can be identied long before the failure envelope is attained. A possible way of dening conventionally a yield envelope is to associate yielding with a certain arbitrary value of the deviatoric strain (e.g. Alawaji et al., 1990). In Fig. 14 the s 4% contour has been highlighted, and it is possible to see that this contour satises the requirement of

a , y: kPa, p h1 140 T0 T60 60

100

40

40 20

120 T120

x: kPa

T90

40

20

40

120 T120 h2 , p h2

T150

Fig. 15. Comparison between the s 4% contour and the yield locus obtained by interpolating the stress strain curves with parabolas

100

T150

504

80 0 1 2 3 4 v : % 5 6 7 8 9 10 (a) 0 120 160

p : kPa 200 240

90 280 320 360 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 0 90

q: kPa

6 s: % (d)

10

12

80 0 1 2 3 4 v: % 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

120

160

p : kPa 200

p : kPa

240 280 30 320 80 0 1 2 v: % 3 4 60 5 6 100 120 140

(b)

(e)

160 140

120

100 120

q: kPa

80 60 40 20 0 30

q: kPa

60 40

100

80

60

4 s: % (c)

20 0

8 s: % (f)

12

16

20

Natural Reconstituted

p : kPa

80 0 1 2 3 v: % 4 5 6 7 8 (g) 315 120 160 200 240 280 40 20 0 20 40

505

q: kPa

Fig. 18. (opposite and above) Comparison between results of triaxial tests done on natural and reconstituted clay

being close to the failure envelope for tests with a short path to failure, and quite far from it for tests with a relatively long path to failure. An alternative way of dening yield points on the curves in Fig. 13 is that used by Yong & McKyes (1971), which basically consists of nding the intersection of two parabolas interpolating the initial and nal part of each curve. The yield points marked in Fig. 13 were in fact located using this procedure, although it should be noted that this method is affected by strong subjective judgement. Fig. 15 shows a comparison of the yield locus located in this way and the s 4% contour. It can be seen that the two curves are quite similar to each other: differences are observed in the part of the curves mapped through tests T120 and T150, for which yield conditions are very difcult to locate anyhow. It is clear that yield loci shown in Fig. 15 are quite loosely dened, their relevance lying in proposing a possible shape for the initial yield locus of Pisa clay in the octahedral plane. Figure 16 shows a view of the octahedral strain plane, on which the deviatoric strain paths have been drawn. (Strain path T30 is showed by a dashed line because, as mentioned above, strains observed in such a test are not entirely reliable.) Arrows indicate the directions of the corresponding stress paths. As a general result, strain paths and stress paths have different directions from the very beginning of each test, and this shows that the preyield behaviour is not isotropic elastic. However, stress and strain paths are parallel for test T0; this is also true for the initial part of test T180 which, having been prematurely interrupted at s 0X12%, is hardly visible in Fig. 16. The occurrence that stress paths T0 and T180, endowed with axial symmetry about the 9 a axis, yield strain paths with

the same symmetry, is consistent with the hypothesis of cross (transverse) anisotropy. The angle formed by each deviatoric strain path with the corresponding stress path appears to increase with angle , up to 608, and to decrease for . 608, attaining lower values as approaches 1808. Figure 17 shows the directions of the strain increment vectors at yield and at failure. Elastic strain increments were not subtracted from the total strain increments, since it was not possible to use isotropic elasticity for describing the pre-yield behaviour, as the stress and strain paths are not parallel. It can be argued, however, that elastic strains should be much smaller than plastic strains for stress paths directed as those in Fig. 5. The strain increment vectors in Fig. 17 seem to be approximately normal to both the yield and the failure curve. However, a signicant deviation from normality can be seen for test T60, in which the deviatoric strain path (Fig. 16) shows a kink as the stress path approaches failure.

HARDENING AND DESTRUCTURATION

Behaviour of the natural and the reconstituted soils The stressstrain behaviour observed in the natural clay was compared with that observed in the reconstituted soil, comparing pairs of tests with identical stress paths (see Fig. 3). As the reconstituted clay had been given a slight overconsolidation ratio, some substantial changes in the mechanical behaviour were expected on reaching the yield locus of the reconstituted soil. The results (Fig. 18) show that this was not always the case. Let us dene as `deviatoric' those stress paths for which changes in the deviatoric stress q are greater

506

than changes in p9, and as `spherical' those paths for which the reverse applies. It can be seen from Figs 18(d,e,f ) that along the deviatoric paths ( 908 and 608) the stressstrain curves of the reconstituted clay show marked bends, and the behaviour is qualitatively similar to that of the natural soil. Conversely (Fig. 18(a,b,c)) along spherical paths ( 08 and 308) the behaviour of the reconstituted clay is quite different from that of the natural soil; the initial portions of the stressstrain curves are similar for the two materials, but, as the stress paths proceed, the reconstituted soil does not show substantial decreases in stiffness the way the natural clay does, and yielding, as dened in the previous sections, does not seem to be a clearly visible phenomenon. Stress paths with 3158 are neither deviatoric nor spherical paths, since absolute changes in q are equal to changes in p9. For such paths (Fig. 18(g,h)) the stressstrain curves of the reconstituted clay show some signicant decrease in stiffness, although not quite as much as that occurring for the natural soil. Evidence of destructuration in oedometer tests In Fig. 19, the odeometer compression curve for the natural clay is compared with that for a reconstituted sample and with the sedimentation compression curve (SCC) of the upper clayey deposit at Pisa. The SCC (Terzaghi, 1941) describes the compression of a soil element within the deposit, due to the increase in weight of the overlying material as deposition continues. The SCC can be found by plotting the relationship between the natural void ratio and the in situ vertical effective stress for samples retrieved from

1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2

different depths in a homogeneous deposit (Skempton, 1970); to this purpose, the deposit should be normally consolidated, in the sense that the soil has never been subjected to greater effective stresses than those acting at the present time. The implicit assumptions in this procedure are that the increases in effective stress are the dominant cause of the compression of the clay, and that interparticle bonds, essentially of tixotropic origin, develop gradually during deposition, while factors such as cementation, cold-welding, coalication, etc., play a minor role. The SCC for the Pisa deposit was determined by interpolating, using a logarithmic curve, the full circles shown in Fig. 19, which represent the natural void ratio of Laval samples retrieved from the strata labelled B1 and B3 by Calabresi et al. (1993), that is, from depths of 104139 and 159208 m. The SCC is then described by the equation e 2X72 0X49 log10 9 (3) v The slope of the SCC (equation (3)) is assumed to represent the compressibility of the upper clayey deposit at Pisa. (Decrease of the overconsolidation ratio (OCR) with depth within the deposit led Calabresi et al. (1993) to the hypothesis that some mechanical overconsolidation in the deposit could have been due to supercial erosion. If this hypothesis held true, the deposit could not be strictly regarded as normally consolidated in the sense mentioned above. However, Callisto (1996) showed that, by taking into account the OCR distribution with depth deduced from this hypothesis, the resulting changes in the slope of the SCC is negligible.) Uncertainties in the evaluation of the SCC are related to the scatter in the distribution of the void ratio values within the deposit and to the extrapolation of equation (3) to stresses larger than those for which the equation was obtained. Using results from the investigations carried out in the late 1960s at Pisa, and correcting the void ratios to allow for small changes in the Atterberg limits with depth, Skempton (1970) published a SCC for the Pisa deposit which has, for all practical purposes, the same slope as the one presented in Fig. 19, but spans a larger effective stress interval. This provides some additional condence on the SCC described by equation (3). Figure 19 shows that the post-yield odeometer compression curve of the natural clay is initially very close to the SCC, but is characterized by greater compressibility: the compression index Cc is about 13, whereas the value of Cc for the SCC from equation (3) is 049. Thus, the compressibility estimated for the deposit during the sedimentation is lower than that observed in the laboratory for the natural clay, since in the latter case loading is carried out using much higher stress rates than

e

1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 10

Oedometer test, natural clay Oedometer test, reconstituted clay 100 a : kPa 1000

Fig. 19. One-dimensional compression tests on natural and reconstituted clay, and the sedimentation compression curve of the deposit for comparison

507

A135 A90 A60

those resulting from sedimentation (Leonards & Altschaef, 1964). (For the clayey deposit at Pisa, Skempton (1970) has given an estimate of the rate of deposition of about 2X5 ma1000 yr, corresponding to a vertical effective stress rate of about 0X002 kPaayrX) The resulting increase in compressibility can be ascribed to a progressive change in the microstructure of the clay, that is, to destructuration (Leroueil et al., 1979; Burland, 1990). Effects of destructuration on the compressibility appear similar to those caused by reconstituting the clay, since the compression curve of the natural clay is seen to converge with that of the reconstituted clay, as the vertical effective stress increases. SBS and destructuration in triaxial tests Commonly, in critical state models the hypothesis is made that plastic hardening is only volumetric, the hardening law being linked to the compressibility of the clay. This results in a unique relationship between effective stress components and void ratio (the state boundary surface (SBS)), which the soil obeys after yield has occurred (see e.g. Schoeld & Wroth, 1968). As a consequence, by normalizing the stresses with respect to an `equivalent' pressure determined on the compression curve at the current void ratio, the normalized stress paths should describe a unique surface, which separates attainable from unattainable states. For a natural clay, the question arises as to which of the compression curves in Fig. 19 should be used in normalizing the stress paths, that is, in describing volumetric hardening. Smith et al. (1992) argued that the compression curve of a natural clay should not be used for normalizing data, since it merely represents a transition from the sedimentary state (identied by the SCC) to the reconstituted (destructured) state. They chose to normalize their triaxial stress paths, carried out on Bothkennar clay, with respect to equivalent pressures read from the compression curve of the reconstituted clay, which was assumed to represent the `intrinsic' (i.e. structure independent) compression properties of the clay. In studying the behaviour of Pisa clay, Callisto & Calabresi (1995) normalized the stress paths with respect to the equivalent mean effective stress p9 SCC , determined from the SCC of Fig. 19, using a K 0 value of 067; they obtained the normalized plot shown in Fig. 20. In this gure it is possible to identify a boundary to the attainable states. Most of the normalized stress paths, however, once having touched this envelope, bend and point inwards, rather than describe a single surface. Hence it is not possible to locate a proper SBS in the normalized plane in Fig. 20, and the boundary to all

A30

Tens ion

A0

q/p SCC

0.4

0.8

1.2

1.6 p /p SCC

W 2 kJ/m3

Yield locus A280

possible states was termed the `initial SBS'. Such a boundary coincides with the normalized yield locus only in the portion mapped by tests A60 and A30, while elsewhere the initial SBS lies beyond the yield locus. It is possible to regard the SCC as the compression curve that the soil would describe if it were allowed to keep its interparticle arrangement and bonds, i.e. if no disruption of its microstructure were caused by too fast a loading, or by stress paths signicantly different from those followed during sedimentation. The fact that in the normalization presented in Fig. 20 no unique SBS is obtained signies that the SCC cannot describe volumetric hardening for the clay; this circumstance is seen as a signal that substantial changes are taking place in the microstructure of the clay. Consequently, points from which the normalized paths are re-directed towards the inside of the yield surface can be regarded as marking the onset of destructuration. This is thought to be a way to dene destructuration in a quantitative, although conventional, way. Remarkably, as pointed out by Callisto & Calabresi (1995), the onset of destructuration is seen to occur at a nearly constant value of the specic strain energy ( W 2X0 kJam3 ). This is shown in Fig. 20, in which the contour W 2X0 kJam3 is superimposed on the destructuration envelope, and suggests that destructuration could be associated with a threshold energy value. It is worth mentioning that, although the only normalization discussed here is the one shown in Fig. 20, other normalizations were attempted for the triaxial stress paths, in which the equivalent pressure was calculated using either the normal compression curve of the natural clay or that of the reconstituted clay (Callisto, 1996). In neither

508

12000 10000 8000

case was a unique SBS obtained. This occurrence suggests that plastic volumetric strains alone are not sufcient to describe hardening, i.e. a unique SBS could exist only in a space containing, in addition to the stress components, one or more hardening parameters in which the plastic deviatoric strains should be incorporated as well (e.g. Kavvadas, 1994; Muir Wood, 1995).

STIFFNESS

K: kPa

6000 4000 2000 0 0 60 120 180 240 : deg. (a) 300 360

In this section, the stiffness of Pisa clay, determined for small stress increments starting from the in situ stresses, is discussed. To this purpose, the tangent shear and bulk moduli, dened as if the soil were an isotropic elastic material, were used. However, it has been argued previously that the clay can undergo irreversible deformations, even for very small stress increments; in addition, the mechanical behaviour may be anisotropic. Therefore, elastic moduli should be regarded as a tool with which to conventionally describe the soil stiffness, while it is not intended that, even for very small stress increments, the clay behaves in a purely elastic manner. Stiffness in the triaxial tests Figure 21 shows the values of the tangent bulk and shear moduli K and G, determined as K G d p9 dv dq 3 ds

12000 10000

G: kPa

30

90

150

330

30

Fig. 21. Bulk and shear tangent moduli, determined in triaxial tests on natural clay, plotted as a function of the stress path direction . The direction of the reconsolidation path is shown by the arrow

(4)

plotted against the direction of the stress path (see Fig. 3), for three different values of the stress path length LSP (5, 10 and 20 kPa). The corresponding volumetric and shear strains were in the range of 00103%, depending on the stress path direction. For a xed value of , values of K and G are seen to diminish as LSP increases, thus evidencing a non-linear behaviour starting from very small stress increments. For a constant value of LSP the moduli depend substantially on the stress path direction. The bulk modulus K (Fig. 21(a)) is maximum for 1808, while the shear modulus G is maximum for 3158 (Fig. 21(b)). The dependence of K and G, for a xed stress path length, on the direction of the stress paths can be interpreted either in terms of coupled elasticity, or as evidence of plastic behaviour, even for very small stress increments. The former interpretation has been discussed by, for instance, Graham & Houlsby (1983), who proposed a form of cross-anisotropic elasticity

restricted to triaxial conditions. If the behaviour shown in Fig. 21 is to be interpreted through such a model, then the quantities K and G calculated through equations (4) and shown in Fig. 21 should be regarded as `equivalent' moduli. According to Graham & Houlsby (1983), the `equivalent' moduli Keq and Geq are given by 3 K G J 2 3 G J (d qad p9) 4 5 1 3 K G J 2 Geq 3 K J (d p9ad q) K eq

(5)

The parameters of the model are K , G and J, while Keq and Geq are not material parameters, as they depend on the stress path direction d qad p9. In addition, d qad p9 tan , and hence K eq and Geq in equation (5) are periodic functions of , the period being 1808 (see e.g. Wheeler & Houlsby (1994)). It can be seen from Fig. 21 that the observed variation of K and G with does not show a period of 1808; for instance, the values of K ( 08) and G ( 908) are very different from the values of K ( 1808) and G ( 2708), respectively. Therefore, it appears that

509

T0 T60

the dependence of K and G on the stress path direction cannot be satisfactorily interpreted in terms of cross-anisotropic elasticity; the interpretation of such a dependence in terms of plastic behaviour appears more promising. A comparison between the tangent moduli of the natural and the reconstituted soil, for LSP 10 and 20 kPa, is shown in Fig. 22, in which the stiffness of the reconstituted clay for small increments seems to be in fair agreement with that of the natural clay. During test A90, the shear wave velocity in the sample was measured using the bender elements technique (Viggiani, 1992). The shear modulus G0 at the in situ stress state, calculated from the shear wave velocity, is equal to 23 MPa. This value is much larger than those shown in Fig. 21, since the maximum shear strain in a bender element test, occurring near the transmitter, can be estimated to be smaller than 0001% (Dyvik & Madshus, 1985). Stiffness in the true triaxial tests Figure 23 shows the contours of equal shear strains in the octahedral plane, for 0X1% , s , 1%. In this plot, the distance of a contour from point

a , y: kPa 80

40 O

1.0 0.3 0.2 0.1%

T90

60

20

20

T120 x: kPa 60

h1 40

T180

T150

h2

Fig. 23. Shear strain contours in the octahedral plane, for 0X1 , s , 1%

6000 4000 2000 0 0 60 120 180 240 : deg. (a) 300 360

O, gauged along a stress path, is a measure of the increment in the deviatoric stress required in order to produce a xed shear strain, and is therefore proportional to the secant shear stiffness of the soil at a given strain. It can be seen from Fig. 23 that such a distance varies with the stress path direction, being minimum for 0 and maximum for 1808, thus suggesting a signicant dependence on the stiffness on the stress path direction. This point can be emphasized by looking at the tangent shear modulus plotted as a function of . For general stress conditions, as q and s are both non-linear functions of the stress and strain components respectively, the tangent shear modulus G is calculated as 1 G 3 2

2 2 2 1a2 [(d 9 a d 9 hl ) (d 9 hl d 9 h2 ) (d 9 h2 d 9 a) ] [(da dhl )2 (dhl dh2 )2 (dh2 da )2 ]1a2 (6)

K: kPa

10 000 8000

G: kPa

30

90

150

270

330

30

Fig. 22. Comparison between tangent moduli of the natural and the reconstituted clay

In Fig. 24, G is plotted against the stress path direction for LSP 5, 10 and 20 kPa; such values of LSP correspond to shear strains in the range 000805%. This plot shows that G is highly dependent on : it increases progressively as the stress path deviates from the conditions of triaxial compression ( 0), and reaches a maximum under the conditions of triaxial extension ( 1808). For 0 the values of G are approximately equal to those observed in the triaxial test A90 (see Fig. 21(b)), as it should be, since tests T0 and A90 followed identical stress paths. The non-linearity of the observed behaviour is evi-

510

18 000 15 000 12 000 LSP 5 kPa 10 kPa 20 kPa

18000 15000 12000

G: kPa

G: kPa

Fig. 24. Variation in the tangent shear modulus G as a function of the direction of the stress path in the octahedral plane . The direction of the reconsolidation path is shown by the arrow

Fig. 25. Comparison of the experimental G versus curve (for LSP 5 kPa) with the curve predic- ted using a cross-anisotropic elastic model

denced by the rapid decrease in G along a single stress path (i.e. for a constant value of ) as LSP increases. As discussed for the triaxial tests, the dependence of G on the stress path direction can be interpreted in terms of anisotropic elasticity or in terms of plastic behaviour. Cross-anisotropic elasticity for the true triaxial tests can no longer be described by the three-constants model proposed by Graham & Houlsby (1983) (see above). A cross-anisotropic model is characterized by ve parameters that, assuming that the direction of material symmetry is vertical, can be chosen as follows: the Young's moduli in the vertical and horizontal directions Ea and Eh, the horizontal horizontal and horizontalvertical Poisson ratios hh and ah, and the horizontalvertical shear modulus Gah . The latter modulus links shear strains between the vertical and horizontal directions to the corresponding shear stresses; such shear strains and stresses are not applied in the TTA, so that no values of Gah can be deduced for the present tests, and the relevant parameters of the model reduce to four. If the behaviour shown by Fig. 25 is to interpreted in terms of cross-anisotropic elasticity, then the values of G calculated using equation (6) must be regarded as `equivalent moduli', G no longer being a material parameter. By inserting the stressstrain relationships for a cross-anisotropic elastic material in equation (6) and using the following parameters: Ea 5000 kPa hh 0X2 Ea 4 Eh (7)

seen that the observed and predicted values of the shear moduli are in good agreement for 0 , , 908. However, for 908 , , 1808 the two curves in Fig. 25 diverge, the response of the cross-anisotropic elastic model being symmetric about the direction 908. Hence, also for the true triaxial results, interpretation of the pre-yield response through a cross-anisotropic elastic model is not entirely satisfactorily, since such a model is capable of reproducing the observed behaviour only for a limited range of stress path direction. Such behaviour should probably be interpreted in terms of plasticity. In this sense, the occurrence that in both the triaxial and the true triaxial tests the lowest stiffness is observed for stress path directions close to that of the reconsolidation path (indicated in Figs 21 and 24 by arrows, 71X68 and 08), seems to evidence a possible effect of the previous stress history of the samples on their behaviour for small stress increments. Results qualitatively similar to those shown in Figs 23 and 24 were obtained analytically by Darve et al. (1995) through their incrementally non-linear model.

CONCLUSIONS

ah 0X2 hh

the values of Geq shown in Fig. 25 are obtained. In the same gure, the values of G observed for LSP 5 kPa are plotted for comparison. It can be

Different aspects of the mechanical behaviour of the natural soft clay found at Pisa were observed through drained stress path controlled tests, performed both in the triaxial cell and in the true triaxial apparatus. A direct comparison between the results obtained in the two apparatus in testing a sample along the same constant p9 path showed that the shear strength measured in the triaxial cell is smaller by about 24% than that measured in the true triaxial apparatus. However, for deviatoric strains smaller than 1% the results obtained in the two apparatus were quite consistent. The failure envelope obtained from the true triaxial tests showed that the clay is cross-anisotropic with respect to the shear strength properties.

511

The MohrCoulomb and Lade & Duncan (1975) criteria, if tted to the experimental data in triaxial compression with 9 h1 9 h2 , overestimate the shear strength in triaxial compression with 9 a 9 h1 or 9 a 9 h2. Yielding of natural Pisa clay was found to be quite a gradual phenomenon, so that a somewhat arbitrary procedure was needed in order to locate the yield locus. Specically, the yield locus was identied with some reliability in the triaxial plane, using the procedures outlined previously, while it was rather loosely dened in the octahedral plane, where two tentative, slightly different yield loci were proposed. It was seen that in the octahedral plane plastic ow is essentially associated, whereas some deviations from normality were observed in the triaxial plane. In the triaxial tests on the natural clay, specic strain energy at yield was found to depend on the direction of the stress path. For the natural clay it was not possible to obtain a unique state boundary surface by normalizing the triaxial stress paths with respect to an equivalent pressure, probably because of the occurrence of signicant changes in the microstructure of the clay. Normalization of the stress paths with respect to the equivalent mean effective stress read from the sedimentation compression curve at the current void ratio allowed the denition of a destructuration locus. Destructuration was seen to occur when a nearly constant value of the specic strain energy was reached. The stiffness of the clay was conventionally quantied by means of `elastic' tangent moduli. Shear and bulk moduli were observed to decrease along a single stress path, because of non-linearity, and to depend strongly on the direction of the stress path. Neither for axisymmetric stress paths, nor for stress paths lying on the octahedral plane, were the variations of the tangent moduli with the stress path direction entirely consistent with the hypothesis of cross-anisotropic elastic behaviour; however, such hypothesis allowed the observed behaviour to be described for a limited range of stress path directions. Plasticity-based models, which can take into account irreversible strains occurring for stresses within the yield locus, could better describe the observed behaviour.

NOTATION E Young's modulus G shear modulus K bulk modulus K 0 coefcient of earth pressure at rest LSP p length of stress path 2 2 2 ( ( 9 a 9 a0 ) ( 9 h1 9 h10 ) ( 9 h2 9 h20 ) ) 1 p9 mean effective stress ( 3( 9 a 9 h1 9 h2 )) p9 mean effective stress in axisymmetric conditions ( 1 a 2 9 h )) 3( 9 equivalent mean effective stress determined on p9 SCC the sedimentation compression curve at the current void ratio q deviatoric p stress invariant 2 2 ( 1a 2[( 9 a 9 h1 ) ( 9 h1 9 h2 ) ( 9 h2 2 1a2 ) 9 a) ] q deviatoric stress invariant in axisymmetric conditions ( ( 9 a 9 h )) W strain energy per unit volume ( ( 9 a d a 9 h1 d h1 9 h2 d h2 )) x , y coordinates of strain point in the octahedral plane of strain (distances from the origin in the octahedral plane are set equal to s ) x , y coordinates of stress point in the octahedral plane of stress (distances from the origin in the octahedral plane are set equal to q) direction of a true triaxial stress path in the octahedral plane s deviatoric p strain invariant ( ( 2a3)[( a h1 )2 ( h1 h2 )2 ( h2 a )2 ]1a2 ) s deviatoric strain invariant in axisymmetric conditions ( 2 3(a h )) v volumetric strain (a h1 h2 ) v volumetric strain in axisymmetric conditions (a 2 h ) 9 effective normal stress components direction of a triaxial stress path in the qp9 plane Poisson's ratio

Subscripts

0 relative to the in situ state a vertical direction in the eld, or axial direction in the triaxial apparatus eq equivalent modulus h horizontal direction in the eld, or radial direction in the triaxial apparatus h1, h2 two mutually orthogonal directions in the eld, or two principal directions in the true triaxial apparatus p plastic component

Superscripts

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors are indebted to Dr P. I. Lewin, who kindly made available the true triaxial apparatus and his own considerable experience. Dr R. N. Taylor allowed one of us (L.C.) to work in the laboratory at GERC. Dr S. Rampello revised the manuscript and helped with fruitful discussions.

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