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Normally consolidated samples of kaolin have Des khantillons normalement consolid&s de kaolin

been tested in two direct simple shear apparatuses. ont eti! test& dans deux appareils pour mesurer le

The first apparatus is specially instrumented with cisaillement simple direct. Le premier appareil

load cells in the horizontal boundaries to investi- etait Cquipi! de cell&s de chargement aux limites

gate the uniformity of the stresses acting on the horizontales afin d’bvaluer l’uniformiti! des con-

samples. The internal deformations and strains are traintes auxquelles les 6chantillons ont Ct6 soumis.

determined using radiographic techniques. The Les d6formations internes ont 6te d&termi&es i

radial stress is determined from membranes rein- I’aide de techniques radiographiques, tandis que la

forced with resistance wire. The second apparatus contrainte radiale fut obtenue P partir de mem-

is a standard commercially available device sup branes arm&es de fil de r&stance. Le deuxicme

plied by Geonor. The stresses and strains are appareil etait un modele normal commercialisi!

shown to be uniform in the central region of the fourni par Geonor. On dbmontre que les d&forma-

sample, away from the vertical boundaries, until tions et les contraintes sont uniformes jusqu’l la

failure. Values of the stress and strain variables rupture dans la zone centrale de l’&chantillon 1 dis-

determined from the central region are representa- tance des limites verticales. Les valeurs des vari-

tive of a uniform simple shear deformation in plane ables de d&formation et de contrainte determink

strain. In all tests the samples fail by developing i partir de la zone centrale repri?sentent une d&for-

approximately horizontal ruptures. Values of the mation d cisaillement simple uniforme en dbforma-

shear modulus and shear strength estimated from tion plane. Dans tous les essais les echantillons se

the average stresses in the Geonor apparatus rompe par suite de ruptures approximativement

underestimate, by approximately lO%, the simple horizontales. Les valeurs du module de cisaillement

shear values. et de la r&stance 1 la rupture au cisaillement Cva-

h&s P partir des contraintes moyennes dans

I’appareil de Geonor sousestiment les valeurs de

KEYWORDS: clays; shear tests. cisaillement simple d’environ 10%.

a constant z shear stress

C” undrained shear strength zf peak shear stress

d diameter 3x shear stress

G shear modulus #J’ friction angle

h height

4 plasticity index

KO coefficient of earth pressure at rest INTRODUCTION

V specific volume The first direct simple shear device was report-

WL liquid limit ed by Kjellman (1951). This device was produced

X distance to subject soils to uniform deformations and was

x shear distortion, yyx intended as an improvement on the shear box

Y shear strain test. This apparatus was modified by Bjerrum &

EV volumetric strain Landva (1966) so that undisturbed samples could

I. slope of the compression curve be tested. It was found that the strengths mea-

u normal stress sured in simple shear tests gave better agreement

fJr radial stress with the strengths determined from vane tests,

0” vertical stress and from the back analysis of some failures, than

0°C vertical stress after consolidation the strengths measured in triaxial tests. This has

created much interest in simple shear tests, which

have since become standard laboratory tests.

As a standard test the direct simple shear test

* University of Cambridge. has apparent advantages over the triaxial test;

25

26 AIREY AND WOOD

samples are relatively easy to set up and consoli- has been designed (Budhu, 1979; Airey, 1984) so

dation takes place rapidly because of the small that the samples are surrounded by an array of

sample height. From a test involving consoli- load cells. Budhu (1984) has shown that non-

dation and constant volume shearing the com- uniform stresses and strains develop in mono-

pression response, the past maximum pressure, tonic loading of sands and grow with cycling.

the shear modulus and the undrained shear Budhu concluded that the data were too unreli-

strength can be estimated. It is also the only stan- able either to validate mathematical models or to

dard soil test that is capable of applying rotations produce useful empirical relations. A comparison

of the principal stress axes. These rotations occur of the uniformity of stress for sands and clays by

in the majority of field situations and have been Airey & Wood (1984) has shown that the uni-

shown by Symes, Gens & Hight (1984) to lead to formity is much improved for the more plastic

a reduction in strength. Despite the useful data clay samples, and it has been suggested that the

and apparent attractions of simple shear devices results from simple shear tests on clay can be pre-

the significance and suitability for design of the sented with more confidence than the results from

parameters determined from these tests have been sand tests.

the subject of much discussion (e.g. Saada & Having accepted that direct simple shear tests

Townsend (1981), La Rochelle (1981) and Vucetic produce data of reasonable quality the question

& Lacasse (1982)). arises as to how the data can be related to the

The apparatus has been particularly criticized results obtained from other laboratory tests. This

because it cannot impose uniform stresses on the is of interest because the design procedures for

soil samples. In direct simple shear tests only the many field problems (e.g. estimating the shaft

average shear stress T, the average normal stress a resistance of piles) are based on results from tri-

and in some special tests the average radial stress axial tests, but the soil response often bears more

cr are measured on the boundaries (Fig. l(a)). The resemblance to simple shear. Unfortunately it is

relation between these stresses and the stresses on difficult because the principal stresses cannot be

a soil element deformed in simple shear, shown in determined; only the normal and shear stresses

Fig. l(b), has been investigated by theoretical on the horizontal boundaries are measured and it

analysis and by experiment. The results of theo- is not possible to construct a Mohr’s circle of

retical analyses using linear elastic test samples stress. The possible stress states at failure for nor-

(e.g. Lucks, Christian, Brandow & Hoeg (1972), mally consolidated clays have been considered by

Wright, Gilbert & Saada (1978) and Shen, Sadigh Ladd & Edgers (1972), Randolph & Wroth (1981)

& Hermann (1978)) have given conflicting pic- and Wroth (1984). The postulate of de Josselin de

tures of the degree of uniformity of stress. Lucks Jong (1971), that failure might be associated with

et al. (1972) showed that over 70% of the sample vertical rupture planes of maximum stress

was uniformly stressed whereas Wright et al. obliquity, gives good agreement with the reported

(1978) found that the stresses varied throughout data. Mohr’s circle of stress will then appear as

the test specimen and concluded that simple shear shown in Fig. 2, and the stress ratio r/a at failure

devices cannot claim to yield either reliable will be given by

stress-strain relations or absolute failure values.

However, results from tests conducted with real T sin 4’ cos 4’

-=

soils at different height-to-diameter ratios by 0 1 + sin’ f$’

Vucetic & Lacasse (1982) have shown that the

non-uniformities do not affect the measured soil where 4’ is the limiting friction angle. Additional

behaviour. support for this postulate has been claimed from

An accurate picture of the stress non- the results obtained by Borin (1973) from a

uniformities for real soils can only be obtained by special simple shear device in which cuboidal

direct experimental observation. To achieve this samples were completely surrounded by load cells

an instrumented circular simple shear apparatus so that the stress state could be completely

/ //c%

(a) (b)

Fig. 1. Stresses acting on test samples: (a) in the direct simple shear apparatus; (b)

in simple shear

DIRECT SIMPLE SHEAR TESTS ON CLAY 27

APPARATUS

The Geonor apparatus used in these tests is

shown schematically in Fig. 3. The apparatus

accepts cylindrical samples 80 mm in diameter by

approximately 15 mm high. The sample is sur-

rounded by a rubber membrane which is rein-

forced by a helical wire winding having

20 turns/cm. The wire has a diameter of 0.15 mm

and a Young’s modulus of 1.55 x lo6 kg/cm’.

The reinforcement is intended to keep the cross-

sectional area constant and thereby to force the

sample to deform in simple shear. The total

Fig. 2. Mohr’s circle for failure with vertical rupture normal and shear loads are measured by proving

planes

rings and the displacements of the top boundary

by dial gauges. Corrections to the proving ring

readings have been made to allow for friction in

defined. However, Airey, Budhu & Wood (1985) the bearings and for the shear resistance of the

have shown that the ruptures that do develop are reinforced membranes.

approximately horizontal and have questioned The instrumented circular simple shear appar-

the assumptions on which de Josselin de Jong’s atus (CSSA), shown schematically in Fig. 4, is in

postulate is based. principle identical with the Geonor apparatus.

It is evident that simple shear test data cannot Minor modifications have been made to the

easily be related to the data obtained from other CSSA described by Budhu (1984) to enable ‘wet’

apparatuses. However, the results are directly rel- samples of clay to be tested. The test samples are

evant to many field situations; Aas (1980) has 110 mm in diameter by 20 mm high. Resistance

reported that the strength of clay in thin failure wire with a diameter of 0.18 mm and a Young’s

zones can be usefully studied in simple shear tests, modulus of 1.38 x lo6 kg/cm2 has been used to

and Ladd (1973) has reported that the strengths reinforce the rubber membranes. By connecting

estimated from back analyses of embankment the wire into one arm of a Wheatstone bridge

and slope failures give good agreement with the circuit the radial stress can be determined. Five

strengths measured in simple shear tests. load cells are arranged in the shape of a cruciform

In this Paper the results from two tests con- in each of the horizontal boundaries as shown in

ducted in an instrumented simple shear apparatus Fig. 5. For each load cell the vertical force, the

on samples of normally consolidated kaolin are eccentricity of the vertical force and the shear

reported in detail. The results from the instru- force can be determined. These measurements

mented apparatus are compared with the results enable a picture of the stress distribution on the

from two similar tests in a standard Geonor top and bottom boundaries to be built up. It has

direct simple shear device. Before presenting the been found that the greatest departures from the

results the apparatus and test procedure are average stress occur at the ends of the principal

explained. third (see Fig. 5) for which the normal stress dis-

Lever arm

Vertical loading

platlorm

Prowng

;=I \

28 AIREY AND WOOD

Loa-, , _ _

+ To burette

Fig. 4. Circular simple shear apparatus

Geonor apparatus, load cells have been provided

to measure the total vertical and horizontal loads

(see Fig. 4).

The tests reported here were conducted on

samples of speswhite kaolin (I,, = 31; wL = 69;

clay fraction, 80%) consolidated one dimension-

ally to a vertical stress of 88 kPa from a slurry

mixed at a water content of 120%. The soil was

extruded from the consolidometer and trimmed

Fig. 5. Arrangement of load cells in the CSSA

to fit the required apparatus. The shear tests were

performed with constant deformation rates of

0.03 mm/h for the CSSA and 0.1 mm/h, the

tribution is estimated by fitting the measured slowest rate available, for the Geonor apparatus.

normal forces and eccentricities to a quintic poly-

nomial of the form RESULTS

0 = a, + n,x + a2 x2 + us x3 + a4x4 + us x5 The behaviours observed in a constant load

and a constant volume test are reported. Before

where a,, a,, . . . , a5 are constants, 0 is the normal the shear phase of the tests all the samples were

stress and x is the distance. consolidated one dimensionally to the desired

The pattern of internal deformations has been stress level and the behaviour during this phase of

investigated by radiography. A combination of the tests is reported first.

lead shot and lead thread markers has been

placed in a central plane of the samples, as shown

in Fig. 6, to determine the strain uniformity and Consolidation

Figure 7 shows a comparison of the specific

to check on the existence of ruptures. The dis-

volume v-vertical effective stress 6,’ responses in

placements of the top and bottom boundaries are

one-dimensional compression for a sample con-

measured by linear variable differential trans-

solidated from a slurry in a large oedometer, a

ducers (LVDTs) and the drainage leads are con-

sample in the CSSA and a sample in the Geonor

nected to a burette to measure volume changes.

apparatus. The slopes 1 of the compression

curves are 0.20, 0.18 and 0.19 respectively. By

using any of the standard methods a reasonable

estimate of the past maximum stress of 88 kPa

can be obtained for the samples in the simple

shear apparatus. For this remoulded clay the

compression behaviour can be determined to an

Fig. 6. Initial position of lead shot and lead thread acceptable accuracy from the simple shear appar-

markers atus.

DIRECT SIMPLE SHEAR TESTS ON CLAY 29

- a = 0.0 ’

_-_ (r = 0.1

0 Oedometer

0 CSSA

“tE 200 / 7 ,_’ - - “Ly-_‘,

A Geonor

y 100,’

2.6

0

i \

OY

s 2.4- 100

/’

,/ -.

2oom - -,_

I/

,/

3

2-2- 300 1

for a constant load test

2.0.

20 50 100 200 500

satisfactory value of K, to be determined. If,

ov: kN/m’ however, the ratio of membrane-to-soil stiffness is

too small, very low K, values and highly non-

Fig. 7. Comparison of the compression responses deter-

mined from three apparatuses

uniform normal stress distributions can result

(Airey & Wood, 1984).

A measurement of the radial stress during one-

dimensional compression permits the coefticient

Constant load test

of earth pressure at rest, K,, to be estimated.

Fig. 8 shows the variation in radial stress cr with The normal and shear stress distributions on

vertical stress eV for a typical test. A straight line the top and bottom boundaries of the principal

third, at different shear distortions (a = y,J, are

with K, = 0.69 is drawn for comparison; this is

the average value obtained at Cambridge by shown in Figs 9 and 10 respectively. Changes in

several researchers from a variety of apparatuses. the normal stress distribution during shear occur

After the preconsolidation pressure has been only near the ends of the sample. As expected the

exceeded experience suggests that K, should be shear stress distribution is rather less uniform

because of the lack of shear stress on the vertical

constant but the data appear to show K, increas-

faces of the sample. A detailed examination of the

ing. This behaviour can be attributed (Airey,

load cell data (Airey, 1984) shows that small shear

1984) to small lateral deformations of the rein-

stresses are generated as a result of the lateral

forced membranes, deformations which are

incompatible with the intended K, condition of deformations of the reinforced membrane during

no lateral strain. For this clay the ratio of mem- consolidation. The influence of these membrane

brane stiffness to soil stiffness was sufficient for a deformations appears to decrease as the sample

approaches failure. The effects of the small mem-

brane deformations are unlikely to influence the

- +_zr--_--__

50

I---- -

100

t

Fig. 8. Variation in radial stress daring consolidation for a constant load test

30 AIREY AND WOOD

rupture planes

it is suggested that over 50% of the sample is uni-

formly stressed. CSSA sample core

It is the intention of simple shear apparatuses CSSA average

GKJn0r

to apply a uniform simple shear deformation to

the test samples under conditions of plane strain.

To verify this, lead shot were placed in two per-

02 0.3

pendicular vertical planes, normal and parallel to

the direction of shear. Only the sample core may Fig. 13. Comparison of stress ratio-shear distortion

be considered to deform under plane strain condi- behaviour from the CSSA and Geonor apparatuses

tions, as small out-of-plane movements, greatest

near *the reinforced membrane, were detected.

the sample, can give a misleading picture of the

(The central plane, parallel to the shear direction,

is a plane of symmetry for which no out-of-plane true state of strain.

It has been found that the stresses and strains

movements are expected.) The shear and volu-

in the sample core (see Fig. 5) of a clay specimen

metric strains were uniform throughout the

tested in the circular simple shear apparatus are

region of the lead shot grid up to a shear distor-

both uniform and representative of a sample

tion of 25%. At this stage a localization of soil

undergoing simple shear deformations in a state

response occurred and most of the subsequent

of plane strain, provided that ruptures do not

deformation was concentrated in thin rupture

zones. The orientation of the rupture planes develop in the sample. In the Geonor apparatus it

is not possible to determine the simple shear

shown in Fig. 11, has been discussed by Airey

behaviour directly because only the average

et nl. (1985). After the ruptures have formed, the

stresses on the boundaries are measured. Fig. 13

reinforced membranes become distorted and inca-

shows a comparison of the stress ratio r/a-shear

pable of enforcing the boundary conditions

distortion CL responses determined from the

required for uniform simple shear deformation.

sample core of the CSSA and from the average

Fig. 12 shows a comparison of the volumetric

stresses for the CSSA and Geonor apparatus.

strain &,-shear distortion c( responses calculated

(Tests on normally consolidated samples at differ-

from the displacements of the lead shot and from

ent normal stresses gave similar ~/a-a responses.)

the boundary displacements, and the volumetric

The average stress ratios mobilized in the two

strains calculated from the burette measurements.

apparatuses are practically identical. This is not

For the initial stage of uniform shearing there is

surprising as the height-to-diameter ratios h/d of

good agreement between the strains determined

the CSSA and Geonor samples were approx-

by the three methods; however, after ruptures

imately the same and equal to 0.17. Vucetic &

develop, strains determined from the boundary

Lacasse (1982) have reported similar responses

displacements, assuming uniform deformation of

from samples with h/d ratios varying between

0 0.14 and 0.32. The average stress ratios are lower

0 than the ‘simple shear’ stress ratio throughout the

0.1 0 0

test; there is a difference of 8% between the peak

values. The volumetric strain-shear strain

0

0.08 responses determined from the two apparatuses

I

were identical until ruptures developed. Radio-

graphs taken at the end of the test in the Geonor

apparatus revealed a similar pattern of ruptures

to that observed in the larger CSSA.

The majority of reported direct simple shear

tests have been conducted to determine, among

Fig. 12. Comparison of strains calculated from external other things, the undrained shear strength. It has

and internal measurements not proved possible to perform truly undrained

DIRECT SIMPLE SHEAR TESTS ON CLAY 31

undrained simple shear response is normally

investigated by performing drained tests at con-

stant volume. The changes in vertical stress that

are seen should correspond (Airey & Wood, 1986)

to the pore pressures that would be measured in

an undrained test. For there to be similarity

between the undrained and the constant volume

tests the apparatus has to impose a uniform

deformation with no volume change. The internal 1001

strains determined from the lead shot mesh Fig. 15. Shear stress distributions on the principal third

showed that the shear strains were uniform and for a constant volume test

the volumetric strains zero up to a shear distor-

tion of ll%, at which point localization of the determined from the sample core stresses and the

deformation occurred. The shear distortion, ll%, boundary displacements. The shear stress r-shear

at localization was significantly less than the strain y curves determined from the average

shear distortion, 25%, at which localization boundary measurements and from the sample

occurred in the constant load test, and the core are compared in Fig. 16. As for the constant

rupture orientation was closer to the horizontal load test the average shear stress underestimates

direction. Good agreement was again obtained the simple shear stress by about 8%. From the

between the shear strains determined from the stress-strain curves values of the shear modulus

internal and boundary displacements. After the G can be estimated. Values of the secant shear

ruptures had formed, the constant volume condi- modulus normalized by the peak shear stress rr at

tion was only maintained in an overall sense, the 50% mobilized shear strength (G&r) are 130 for

rupture planes compressed and the intact soil the sample core and 125 for the average stresses.

dilated slightly. Clearly the behaviour determined Because the average peak shear stress is lower

from the direct simple shear apparatus after than the sample core value the shear modulus

rupture should be analysed as a boundary value should be underpredicted by about 10% when

problem; it no longer represents constant volume determined from standard direct simple shear

simple shear. tests. However, it was found that the Geonor

The normal and shear stress distributions on apparatus gave G,,/r, = 220, which is a signifi-

the principal third during a constant volume test cantly higher value than had been measured in

are shown in Figs 14 and 15 respectively. The the CSSA. This difference is thought to have been

reduction in the normal stress during the shear caused by small horizontal displacements (less

test is apparent and it can be seen that this does than 0.01 mm) between the measuring point and

not result in any marked decrease in the degree of the sample in the Geonor apparatus.

uniformity of the normal stress, as only small A unique stress ratio r/c-shear strain y

regions near the ends of the sample see stresses response has been found (Airey, 1984) for nor-

that are much different from the average values. mally consolidated kaolin before rupture. This is

The shear stress distribution is similar to that

observed for the constant load test with the great-

est stress on the sample core.

Provided that ruptures have not formed, the

constant volume simple shear response may be

Y

Fig. 14. Normal stress distributions on the principal Fig. 16. Stress-strain responses determined from the

third for a coorstant volume teat CSSA

32 AIREY AND WOOD

0.4- .. .._. considered in turn.

,..... _,_----

,...;.> *l

Uniform shearing

/ It is intended with all laboratory tests that the

behaviour of a test sample should be representa-

/

tive of a point in the ground. This can only be

$ 0.2

o’3: // true if the stresses and strains are uniform, a

0.1

Ii -..’

---

CSSA sample core

Geonor

requirement that no laboratory test yet devised

can completely satisfy. The uniformity of stress

and strain in the simple shear apparatus is argu-

ably better than in a standard triaxial apparatus

I used with rough ends. In triaxial tests consider-

I able bulging of the samples occurs as the tests

0 0.1 0.2 0.3

Y approach failure, and the stresses and strains

cannot be uniform throughout. Results obtained

Fig. 17. Stress ratio-&ear strain responses from COO- from triaxial tests, however, do not receive the

stant volume tests

same degree of suspicion that meets results from

simple shear tests. A comparison of triaxial tests

compared with the stress rat&shear strain on clay with and without frictionless ends by

response determined from the Geonor apparatus Duncan & Dunlop (1968) showed that the tests

in Fig. 17. The corresponding stress paths, nor- on clay without frictionless ends underestimated

malized by the effective vertical stress after con- the stiffness and strength by, on average, 5% and

solidation, u,, , are shown in Fig. 18. The Duncan and Dunlop concluded that frictionless

response determined from the sample core after ends were only worthwhile for careful research

the ruptures develop is shown by dotted lines in work. The underestimation of the stiffness and

these figures to emphasize that this is no longer strength in simple shear by using the average

the simple shear response. The stress ratio is stresses is about lo%, which from a practical

increasing quickly when localization of the defor- viewpoint is not very significant. For research

mation occurs but the stress-strain curves are work the use of a single load cell in the centre of

fairly flat. Values for the normalized strength one of the horizontal boundaries has several

sr/c,, of 0.175 and 0.152 can be estimated from advantages: the simple shear behaviour can be

the sample core and from the average stresses determined directly, frictional forces in the bear-

respectively, a difference of 13%. ings can be neglected and no corrections are

necessary to allow for the stiffness of the mem-

branes. For the standard test, however, it would

DISCUSSION OF RESULTS be difficult to justify the added complexity associ-

An analysis of the behaviour of clays in the

ated with the use of such a load cell.

simple shear apparatus can be split into three

Provided that rupture planes do not develop in

parts. The first part is concerned with the behav-

the sample the stress-strain behaviour from direct

iour determined before ruptures develop when the

simple shear tests on clay can be presented with

stresses and strains in the samples are relatively

confidence.

uniform. The second part is concerned with the

To construct a Mohr’s circle of stress, the

conditions governing failure and the development

lateral stress 0,, must be estimated. For sands

of ruptures, and the final part with the behaviour

this has been achieved (e.g. Budhu (1979)) by

assuming coincidence of the principal axes of

0.21 -. CSSA sample core stress and strain increment; however, it has been

-.- Geonor shown by Borin (1973) that no such coincidence

exists for normally consolidated kaolin. The

radial stress measurements can provide an

approximate means of determining c,.. and differ-

ent assumptions have been made (Airey et al.,

1985; Prevost & Hseg, 1976; Youd & Craven,

1975) to enable this to be done. There is little to

I be gained by measuring the radial stress in stan-

0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 .o

“*VC dard tests; the estimated K, values are unreliable

Fig. 18. Normal&d stress paths from constant volume because of the lateral deformations of the mem-

tests branes and the estimated Q,, values can at best

DIRECT SIMPLE SHEAR TESTS ON CLAY 33

only give a qualitative guide to the differing the simple shear value it could underestimate

behaviour of different clays or in tests at different cJQ,, by a significant amount.

overconsolidation ratios. Constant load direct simple shear tests have

been criticized by La Rochelle (1981) because they

Failure give the same failure envelope as shear box tests.

It has been found that the clay samples strain Shear box tests conducted by Airey (1984) on

uniformly until a shear distortion of 11% in con- normally consolidated samples of speswhite

stant volume tests and 25% in constant load tests kaolin gave 7/a = 0.31 compared with 7/a = 0.3

when localization of the deformation occurs. This in simple shear. If only the failure conditions are

clearly represents a failure of the test samples; the of interest there is little advantage in performing

test results after ruptures have developed are no direct simple shear tests. The constant load

longer representative of a point in the ground. simple shear test has the advantage that the

Wroth (1984) has suggested that failure in simple stress-strain behaviour before failure can be

shear tests should be associated with conditions investigated.

of maximum stress obliquity; however, the forma-

tion of ruptures is more often associated with

peak conditions which are known to depend on Post failure

the test type and procedure. Very different post-failure behaviours are

Although it has been shown that failure in obtained from the constant load and constant

direct simple shear tests should be associated with volume tests.

the development of ruptures it is not easy to The stress ratio r/u-shear distortion c( response

detect them. The stress-strain curves are flat and for a constant load test taken to large deforma-

the stress ratio is increasing rapidly when rupture tions is shown in Fig. 19. Between shear distor-

occurs. For this reason failure in direct simple tions of 0.25 and 0.6 the stress ratio remains

shear tests is taken to occur when the shear stress approximately constant. During this phase of the

reaches a peak. Because the stress-strain curves test further rupture planes develop, approx-

are fairly flat near the peak it is difficult to esti- imately parallel to the initial rupture plane. Even-

mate the stress ratio 7/c at failure, but values of tually the deformation becomes concentrated in a

the normalized strength 7&,, are little affected. single rupture and the shear stress begins to drop.

It has been suggested that the Mohr circle The drop in strength is thought to be associated

drawn in Fig. 2 gives a reasonable estimate of the with the alignment of the platey kaolin particles

failure stress state for normally consolidated in the rupture plane. Lupini (1981) has reported

clays. In view of the difficulty of estimating z/u at that large displacements of 200 mm are required

failure, and the doubts mentioned earlier about for the strength of speswhite kaolin to reduce to

the assumptions made to draw the Mohr circle, its residual value, but in the CSSA the greatest

the good agreement with the data reported by movement on a rupture was only 5 mm. Current-

Randolph & Wroth (1981) is surprising. It is clear ly available simple shear apparatuses cannot

nevertheless that the value of 7&r,, will in general impose the large deformations that are necessary

underestimate the normalized undrained shear if the residual strength is to be mobilized and

strength I&,, . Because the value of 7Jovc deter- since they do not force a concentrated rupture

mined from the Geonor apparatus underestimates zone they are not well suited for such investiga-

tions.

The post-failure behaviour in constant volume

tests is dependent on the orientation of the

rupture planes. For kaolin a horizontal rupture

eventually develops (coincident with one of the

no-extension directions), and the stress ratio 7/u

approaches a constant value. A constant volume

test on a slightly more plastic (IP = 35) Gault clay

(Airey, 1984) produced a different pattern of rup-

tures and a different post-failure response. The

ruptures emanated from the ends of the sample

associated with the greatest normal stress and

then petered out in the centre. The shear stress

continued to increase after the ruptures had

0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 developed. Wroth (1984) has noted the apparently

a greater strengths determined from direct simple

Fig. 19. Stress rstio-sbear distortion response from a shear tests for soils with plasticity indices greater

constant load test than 35, which can now be explained by the dif-

34 AIREY AND WOOD

0.4 - c&J,, 9 so the normalized shear strength deter-

mined from the average stresses may significantly

d underpredict the undrained shear strength in

h

0.2- simple shear. The value of 4’ estimated from the

constant volume tests at large shear distortions

: by assuming t/u = tan 4’ will be underestimated.

I \ The use of special reinforced membranes to

0 o-2 0.4 O-6 0.6 1.o

b/U”,,’ estimate the radial stress cannot be recommend-

ed. They can only be relied on to give a qualita-

Fig. 20. Normal&d stress path from an undrained test tive view, illuminating the differences between, for

(data from Gale (1981)) instance, samples with different overconsolidation

ratios.

ferent patterns of ruptures that develop for these Direct simple shear tests are commonly per-

soils. formed to determine the compression behaviour,

The constant volume condition is only main- undrained shear modulus and undrained shear

tained in an average sense after the ruptures strength of clays. The test gives a good estimate

develop and localized zones of compression and of the compression response and has the advan-

dilation can occur. In a truly undrained test there tage that consolidation takes place rapidly

will be different restraints and a different post- because of the small sample height. The measured

failure response might be expected. Fig. 20 shows shear moduli and undrained strengths will be less

the stress path obtained by Gale (1981) from an than the simple shear values, typically by lo%,

undrained simple shear test on a silty soil. In the thus providing conservative design parameters.

apparatus used by Gale the wire reinforcement

was replaced by an all-round confining pressure

and the influence of this on the results is unclear. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

None the less it shows the normal stress rising at The work described forms part of the investiga-

large strains in contrast with the falling normal tion into the simple shear behaviour of soils

stress seen in the constant volume test. which has been conducted at Cambridge. The

By assuming that the horizontal plane is a funding for the equipment has been provided by

plane of maximum stress obliquity at large defor- the Building Research Establishment who also

mations a value for the friction angle 4’ can very generously loaned their Geonor direct

be estimated from 4’ = tan- ‘(r/a). A value of simpIe shear apparatus for use in this research.

4’ = 22” was determined for kaolin, using the

sample core stress ratio, which is virtually identi-

cal with the value of 4’ = 22.5” obtained from REFERENCES

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