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compacted rockfill material from triaxial and

torsional simple shear tests

Nario Yasuda, Norihisa Matsumoto, Ryo-ichi Yoshioka, and Mitsuhiko Takahashi

Abstract: This report investigates the dynamic strength of materials by cyclic loading triaxial and torsional simple shear

testing in the laboratory. The effect of cyclic number, shear strain, relative density, confining pressure, and initial shear stress

on dynamic strength is investigated. The dynamic strength obtained by cyclic loading tests is compared with the static strength

obtained by monotonic loading tests. The results show that during an undrained cyclic loading test, an increase in cycle

number is accompanied by increasing axial strain and a rapid buildup of the pore-water pressure to between 90% and 100% of

the confining pressure, but that liquefaction or flow failure does not occur. The cyclic shear stress ratio increases as (1) the

relative density becomes higher, (2) the mean principal stress declines, and (3) the initial shear stress rises, and these

tendencies conform qualitatively to the results of research on dense sand. The cyclic shear stress ratio obtained from a

torsional simple shear test is smaller than that obtained from a triaxial test, regardless of the mean principal stress or initial

shear stress.

Key words: rockfill materials, large-scale triaxial test, large-scale torsional simple shear test, cyclic loading, monotonic

loading, undrained strength.

Résumé : Cet article examine la résistance dynamique des matériaux grâce à des essais cycliques de chargement triaxial et des

essais de cisailement simple en torsion. On a étudié l’influence du nombre de cycles, de la déformation de cisaillement, de

l’indice de densité, de la pression de confinement et de la contrainte de cisaillement initiale sur la résistance dynamique. On

compare les valeurs obtenues dans les essais de chargement cyclique avec la résistance statique développée dans des essais

monotoniques. Les résultats indiquent que pendant un essai de chargement cyclique non drainé, l’augmentation du nombre de

cycles s’accompagne d’une déformation axiale plus grande et conduit à une accumulation rapide de la pression intersitielle qui

atteint entre 90 et 100% de la pression de confinement sans que la liquéfaction (rupture par écoulement) n’intervienne. Le

rapport de contrainte de cisaillement cyclique augmente lorsque (1) l’indice de densité devient plus élevé, (2) la contrainte

moyenne principale diminue et (3) la contrainte de cisaillement initiale augmente. Ces tendances confirment qualitativement

les études sur les sables denses. Le rapport de contrainte de cisaillement cyclique obtenu dans les essais en torsion est plus

petit que celui qu’on observe au triaxial, quelque soient les contraintes principales moyennes ou les contraintes de cisaillement

initiales.

Mots clés : remblai rocheux, essai triaxial à grande échelle, essai de cisaillement simple en torsion à grande échelle,

chargement cyclique, chargement monotonique, résistance non drainée.

[Traduit par la rédaction]

Introduction

at Lower Van Norman Dam during the 1971 San Fernando

Embankment dams are generally classified into two types: Earthquake (Jennings 1971). In this dam, the body had not

earthfill dams and rockfill dams. In the past, the foundations or been compacted by heavy construction machines. Instead, the

bodies of earthfill dams have sometimes liquefied during hydraulic filling method was used, in which the body materials

earthquakes. A liquefaction of the dam body itself took place of the dam are conveyed through pipes together with water, so

that the grain size of the body materials is restricted by the

Received May 30, 1996. Accepted January 24, 1997.

inside diameter of the water pipes and by the water flow. Also,

because the dam body is not compacted firmly by this method,

N. Yasuda. Filldam Division, Dam Department, Public the resulting density of the dam body materials is very low.

Works Research Institute, Ministry of Construction Asahi 1, The body of rockfill dams consists mostly of coarse-grained

Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, 305, Japan. granular materials, and no rockfill dam has ever been damaged

N. Matsumoto. Dam Engineering Center, Mesonic 39 Mori by an earthquake. It is considered that well-compacted coarse-

Bld., Azabudai 2–4–5, Minato-Ward, Tokyo, 106, Japan.

R. Yoshioka. Shimz Corporation, Kami-bisei, grained granular materials do not generally suffer from lique-

Memuro-Town, Kasai-Gun, Hokkaido, 082–03, Japan. faction under earthquake loads because of their high density,

M. Takahashi. Engineering Section, Engineering tight interlocking between the grains, good drainage, etc. In

Department, Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction the case of dense sand, the pore-water pressure builds up by

Co., Ltd., Ginza 8–21–1, Chu-oh Ward, Tokyo, 104, Japan. cyclic loading as strain accumulates; however, the sand does

358 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 34, 1997

materials consisted of hard and high-quality gabbro. The gabbro

rocks were compacted for about 300 s by an electric hammer

Table 1. Physical properties of materials. and indicated a grain breakage of 5%, as shown in the compac-

tion curve in Fig. 1. The dynamic strengths of the materials

Specific gravity Gs 2.933

used here were therefore influenced only slightly by grain

Water content w 0.54 (%) air dry

breakage during the cyclic shear tests.

Maximum void ratio emax 0.5969

The test specimens used for the cyclic triaxial test were

Minimum void ratio emin 0.142

30 cm in diameter and 60 cm in height. Those used for the

Maximum grain size Dmax 63.5 mm

cyclic torsional shear test were hollow cylindrical specimens

Coefficient of uniformity Uc 30

with an external diameter of 80 cm, an internal diameter of

Dry density of specimen ρd 2.46, 2.53 g/cm3

40 cm, and a height of 80 cm (Yasuda and Matsumoto 1993).

The physical properties of the test materials are shown in Table 1.

The grain size distribution curve of the specimens is shown in Fig. 2.

not suffer the flow failure, but enters a condition of cyclic The maximum grain size was set at 63.5 mm as shown in

mobility (Castro 1975). Dense coarse-grained granular mate- the figure, which is about one fifth of the diameter of speci-

rials are thought to behave like dense sand. In a cyclic loading mens used in monotonic loading tests carried out so far. The

test of rockfill materials with relative densities of more than figure also shows the grain size distribution curve of the test

85%, the materials do not show flow failure even when excess specimens for the body materials of Oroville Dam, on which

pore-water pressure occurs, reducing the effective stress to Banerjee et al. (1979) carried out an undrained cyclic loading

zero; rather, they enter the cyclic mobility condition with strain test. It is almost the same as the grain size distribution curve

accumulation. of the material used in our test. According to Banerjee et al.

In this study, the dynamic strength properties of rockfill (1979), in material of D50 = 9.5 mm, the ratio of membrane

materials were investigated by examining the number of cycles penetration resulting from the material passing through the

and the induced strain. membrane, CRM (CRM = εvm/εv, where εvm is the change of

The seismic coefficient method has been used to assess the amount in membrane penetration, and εv is the swelling

seismic design of embankment dams, with the static strength amount of the specimen skeleton) is 0.18–0.30 for a material

of rockfill materials obtained from monotonic loading triaxial with D50 = 9.5 mm. Therefore, 90% of the shear stress ratio

tests in the laboratory. To achieve a more rational application (τd + τs)/σ′m when the pore-water pressure reaches 100% in each

of the seismic design method for embankment dams, it is neces- test is adopted as compensated data for membrane penetration.

sary to clarify the relationship between the dynamic and static Banerjee et al. also pointed out that the compliance caused

strengths of materials. by the pore-water pressure gauge was fairly small in the speci-

This paper outlines the results of cyclic loading tests for men, with a diameter of 12 in. (about 30 cm). Therefore, no

well-compacted rockfill materials, and describes the various compensation was made in our tests for the compliance either.

factors (number of cycles, amount of strain, relative density, With regard to the compliance due to nonsaturation of the

initial confining pressure, initial shear stress) that affect the specimen, Martin et al. (1978) reported on its relationship with

dynamic strength properties of dense rockfill materials. the degree of saturation of a specimen consisting of silica sand.

According to them, there is no problem in the compliance

when Skempton’s B value is 0.95 or more. We therefore set

Specimen preparation and test procedure

the B value at 0.96 or more in this study. The four relative

The sample used in the tests was taken from the quarry site of densities, Dr, of the specimens were 60%, 70%, 85%, and 95%.

the Sagurigawa Dam, which is a 100 m high rockfill dam with The cyclic loading tests were performed as follows:

Yasuda et al. 359

Fig. 3. Definition of dynamic strength: (a) isotropic conditions, Fig. 4. Time histories of deviator stress, axial strain, and pore-water

(b) anisotropic conditions. pressure for undrained cyclic triaxial tests under isotropic

consolidation conditions.

No. T541.

When the residual strain is assumed to be the strain that

defines the dynamic strength of a specimen, it is impossible to

define the dynamic strength where no residual strain occurs in

the cyclic loading test without initial shear stress. In view of

this inconvenience, when there is no initial shear stress, the

strain defining the dynamic strength of the specimen is defined

(1) A confining pressure of 19.6 kPa was applied to a speci- to be equal to the single amplitude of strain by halving the

men in order to release the vacuum pressure inside the specimen. strains on both sides of the amplitude of strain in the isotropic

(2) Carbon dioxide gas at a pressure of 4.9 kPa was passed test consolidation and the peak strain in the anisotropic test

through the specimen for 24 h in order to replace the air void. condition where the strain remains in the direction of the com-

This procedure enhances the specimen’s saturation degree be- pression side, as shown in Fig. 3. In this study, the strain in the

cause carbon dioxide is far more soluble in water than air. static stage is not considered and the cyclic shear stress ratio

(3) When the replacement was complete, prepared deaerated is calculated by the following formula:

water was passed through the specimen three times for 24 h to

ensure the saturation. τd + τs

[1]

(4) The saturation degree of the specimen was checked by σ′m

Skempton’s B value. Only specimens whose B value was 0.96

or higher were used in this study. where τd is cyclic shear stress, τs is initial shear stress, and σ′m

(5) The specimen was consolidated until the change in its is initial effective mean principal stress, (σ′1 + 2σ′3)/3. The

volume reach 0.05%/min or less. Cyclic loading tests on it stress ratio in terms of total shear stress ratio (τd + τd)/σ′m im-

were then started. The consolidation of a specimen took an plies a combination of drained and undrained shear.

average of about 45 min.

The tests were carried out in undrained conditions, using Dynamic strength properties of rockfill materials

sinusoidal wave loads of a frequency of 0.1 Hz while control- obtained from cyclic triaxial tests

ling the stress. A back-pressure of 200 kPa was applied to the Figure 4 shows the time histories of stress, strain, and pore-

specimen. In each set of test conditions, three to four cyclic water pressure. Figure 5 shows a stress path recorded in the

loading tests were carried out by changing the cyclic shear rockfill material under isotropic consolidation conditions dur-

stress ratio. As a result of restrictions in the test equipment, ing undrained cyclic triaxial testing.

each test was terminated when the double amplitudes of strain Observing the time histories under isotropic consolidation

reached 10% or when the number of cycles reached 100. conditions, it can be seen that the amplitude of strain increases

The test data obtained were passed through a low-pass filter due to the cyclic loading, with residual strain showing a ten-

of 1.0 Hz to eliminate noise. The data were then digitized and dency to develop on the extension side. Pore-water pressure

converted into graphs with a personal computer. also rises accompanying the cyclic loading, reaching almost

100% of the confining pressure at a comparatively early stage

of the test, and later continuing at a fixed value. No abrupt rise

Dynamic strength of rockfill materials of the strain is seen here, as in the liquefaction test. Figure 4

The number of cycles, N, when the axial strain reaches a cer- shows the test results for the isotropic consolidation condition.

tain value is calculated as specified in the Undrained cyclic When an initial shear stress is applied to the specimen in the

360 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 34, 1997

Fig. 5. Stress path of rockfill materials for undrained cyclic triaxial Fig. 6. Axial strain versus number of cyclics of loading relationship

tests under isotropic consolidation conditions. for undrained cyclic loading tests under isotropic and anisotropic

consolidation conditions: (a) σ′1/σ′3 = 1.0, (b) σ′1/σ′3 = 1.5, (c)

σ′1/σ′3 = 2.0.

clic stress on the extension side tends to stop increasing at a

certain number of cycles, with an axial strain of fixed ampli-

tude being produced on the compression side. Pore-water pres-

sure reaches nearly 100% of the confining pressure, as in the

case of isotropic consolidation.

The effective stress path shifts to the side of decreasing

mean effective stress as the pore-water pressure rises, finally

looping along the failure line, as in the behavior of dense sand.

The results of undrained cyclic shear tests of rockfill mate-

rial are outlined below.

Induced strain

Figures 6a–6c show the relationship between the number of

cycles and the amount of strain induced. As the cycle number

increases, the amount of strain also increases. It can be seen

that about 100 cycles of loading do not cause any liquefaction

in rockfill materials, as seen in loose sand. The figures show

that strain develops rapidly at a large cyclic shear stress ratio.

In Figs. 6b–6c, which show the test results for the anisotropic

consolidation condition, the axial strain in some cases reaches

5% due to necking of the specimen on the extension side.

Figure 7 shows the relationship between the axial strain and

the pore-water pressure ratio. As the strain increases, the pore-

water pressure ratio (∆u/σ3) rises, peaking at a strain of about

1.0% and later leveling off at a certain value. The maximum

value of the pore-water pressure ratio is 0.9–1.0, whether the

material is consolidated initially under isotropic or anisotropic

consolidation conditions. It tends to approach 1.0 at higher

confining pressure, but actually reached 1.0 in only a few

cases. Tests for saturated sand showed that the pore-water

pressure varies depending on whether the principal stress is

reversed or not during the shear test: the pore-water pressure

ratio becomes smaller when the initial shear stress is large and sand, according to Hyodo et al. 1989). The pore-water pressure

the principal stress is not reversed due to the anisotropic con- ratio was 0.9 or more, even in the case of anisotropic consoli-

solidation (the pore-water pressure ratio is 0.3–0.5 in dense dation of a principal stress ratio of 2.0.

Yasuda et al. 361

Fig. 7. Pore-water pressure versus axial strain relationship for Fig. 8. Shear stress ratio versus axial strain relationship for

undrained cyclic loading tests under isotropic and anisotropic undrained cyclic loading tests under isotropic and anisotropic

conditions: (a) σ′1/σ′3 = 1.0, (b) σ′1/σ′3 = 2.0. consolidation conditions (σ′1/σ′3 = 1.0, 2.0, σ′m = 0.39 MPa, Dr = 85%).

relationship for undrained cyclic loading tests under isotropic and

anisotropic consolidation conditions.

Figure 8 shows the relationship between the cyclic shear stress

ratio and axial strain at a certain number of cycles. In a com-

parison between the isotropic and anisotropic consolidation

conditions (σ′1/σ′3 = 2.0), the cyclic shear stress ratio required loading tests for the specimen in an anisotropic consolidation

to reach the same strain under anisotropic consolidation condi- state of σ′1/σ′3 = 2.0 at N = 5–10, almost the same axial strain

tions is about two times as large or more. In the case of dense of 1.5% is produced with the same shear stress ratio of

sand, the larger the initial shear stress, the larger the cyclic 1.25 = (τd + τs)/σ′m. In short, if the reference strain for the un-

shear stress ratio required to reach a certain strain (Taniguchi drained strength is set at 1.5%, almost the same shear stress

et al. 1985). This corresponds to the tendency described in this ratio is required at N = 5–10 in the cyclic loading tests as in the

paper. Figure 8 also shows the relationship between shear monotonic loading tests.

stress ratio and axial strain observed in the undrained mono-

tonic loading test for the specimen in the isotropic consolida- Dynamic strength

tion condition under a confining pressure of 0.39 MPa. In this Figure 9 shows the cyclic shear stress ratio curves at axial

monotonic loading test, the axial strain at the failure (maxi- strains, εa, of 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.5%, and 5.0%, indicating the rela-

mum shear stress ratio) of the specimen exceeded 6%. Under tionship between the cyclic shear stress ratio and the number

isotropic consolidation conditions, the required shear stress of cycles, N. The greater the number of cycles and the smaller

ratios for a certain strain are generally smaller in the cyclic the reference strain, the smaller the cyclic shear stress ratio

loading test than in the undrained monotonic loading test. On becomes. Furthermore, the shear stress ratio curves for the

the other hand, when comparing the undrained monotonic anisotropic consolidation condition tend to approach

loading tests under isotropic conditions and the undrained cyclic (τd + τs)/σ′m = 0.75. Comparing the isotropic and anisotropic

362 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 34, 1997

Fig. 10. Shear stress ratio versus initial mean principal stress Fig. 12. Shear stress ratio versus initial shear stress ratio

relationship for undrained cyclic loading tests with σ′1/σ′3 = 1.0 and relationship for Dr = 85% and 95%.

2.0, and Dr = 60%, 70%, 85%, and 95%.

Fig. 11. Shear stress ratio versus relative density of rockfill material

relationship for undrained cyclic loading tests with σ′1/σ′3 = 1.0 and 2.0.

stress ratio upon the confining pressure in dense sand.

Figure 11 shows the relationship between cyclic shear

stress ratio and relative density. As the density of the specimen

increases, the cyclic shear stress ratio increases by almost the

same increment at each axial strain level in the isotropic con-

solidation condition for the relative densities of 85% and 95%.

In the anisotropic consolidation condition, when εa of 2.5% is

defined as the reference strain, the cyclic shear stress ratio

increases noticeably as the density increases. The cyclic shear

stress ratio increases only slightly, and the difference in the

cyclic shear stress ratio for accumulation of a certain strain

within 20 cycles is also small for the relative densities of 60%

and 70%. It is therefore thought that there is no great difference

in the cyclic shear stress ratio for the crushed rockfill material

used here, while the interlocking effect of particles is great at

high relative densities but small at low relative densities. The

test results of Tanaka et al. (1987) are also plotted in Fig. 11.

consolidation conditions, the cyclic shear stress ratios are two Figure 12 shows the influence of the initial shear stress on

to three times greater under anisotropic consolidation conditions. the cyclic shear stress ratio under anisotropic consolidation

In Fig. 10, the cyclic shear stress ratios at the 20th cycle to conditions. In the rockfill material at relative densities of more

reach a shear strain of 1.0%, SR20, were first obtained from the than 85% under anisotropic consolidation, the greater the prin-

cyclic shear stress curves in specimens with relative densities cipal stress ratio (initial shear stress), the greater the cyclic

of 60%, 70%, 85%, and 95%. Their relationship with the initial shear stress ratio. A similar relationship in coarse-grained

mean principal stress is then shown in the figure. In the speci- granular materials was reported by Yasuda et al. (1989). With

mens with relative densities of 85% and 95%, the cyclic shear regard to sand, the influence of the initial shear stress has been

stress ratios of the specimen with the larger relative density are discussed by many researchers (Lee and Seed 1967; Vaid and

1.5–2.0 times larger under both the isotropic and anisotropic Chern 1983; Kokusho et al. 1981). Seki et al. (1989) and

consolidation conditions. It can be seen from the figure that Hyodo et al. (1990) reported that the cyclic shear stress ratio

the lower the σ′m, the greater the cyclic shear stress ratio, indi- increases as the initial shear stress increases in the case of sand

cating that the ratio is dependent on the confining pressure. At at high relative densities that does not show any softening

the lower relative densities of 60% and 70%, however, the behavior. Concentrating on εa = 1.0%, the greater the relative

cyclic shear stress ratios are low and do not appear to depend density, the greater the cyclic shear stress ratio, and the curves

on the initial mean principal stress. One reason for this is are generally convex in an upward direction. The figure also

thought to be the decrease in the friction between particles shows the test results on pebbles by Banerjee et al. (1979). These

caused by crushing at their points of contact, as suggested by test results are lower than those carried out by the present authors

Yasuda et al. 363

Fig. 13. Time histories of shear stress, shear strain, and pore-water Fig. 14. Undrained cyclic torsional simple shear test.

pressure for cyclic torsional simple shear tests under isotropic

consolidation conditions.

Fig. 15. Time histories of shear stress, shear starin, and pore-water

pressure for a cyclic torsional simple shear test under anisotropic

consolidation conditions.

under the same conditions. The main reason for this is thought

to be the difference in the particle shape of angular rock, which

leads to differences in the state of grain interlocking and thus

ultimately affects the results.

shear tests

In the actual stress and strain state inside an embankment dam

during an earthquake, the shear stress fluctuates in the dam

body due to irregular cyclic loading by the earthquake. This

can be approximated by simple shear deformation with a vary-

ing direction in the principal stress. In the cyclic triaxial test,

the strain state is different from the actual one because the

directions of the principal stresses are fixed as lateral and per-

pendicular with an axisymmetric deformation condition. A cy-

clic torsional simple shear test better reproduces the in situ

stress and strain state experimentally.

Figure 13 shows the time histories of shear stress, pore-

water pressure, and shear strain obtained from the cyclic tor-

sional simple shear test for the specimen under isotropic principal stress of 0.1 MPa. The test results agree with each

consolidation. While the pore-water pressure reaches its final other very well.

value after two or three cycles with the effective stress ap- With regard to the stress inside an embankment dam body,

proaching 0, the structure of the specimen is not lost with the the principal stress ratio, σ′1/σ′3, ranges from 1.0 to 2.0 accord-

gradual increase of shear strain. In contrast to the triaxial test ing to a buried earth pressure cell, indicating that the aniso-

under isotropic consolidation, the strain that accumulates in tropic condition is predominant near the center of the dam

one direction is nearly zero and does not develop on the ex- body. Shear force acts on the dam body under this stress con-

tension side. As the buildup of pore-water pressure is also dition during an earthquake. Figure 15 shows the time histories

different, its maximum value reaches 100% of the initial ef- of shear stress, shear strain, and pore-water pressure for a con-

fective confining pressure. However, the specimen does not solidation stress ratio, σ′1/σ′3 = 1.7. The shear strain has no

show flow failure as seen in the liquefaction test, with strain gradual tendency to increase in contrast to the isotropic con-

gradually increasing. solidation condition. Also, in this test, where σ′m is 0.1 MPa

There have been no previous studies using a large-scale and σ′3 is 0.08 MPa, the maximum pore-water pressure reaches

torsional simple shear test apparatus to examine the dynamic 0.064 MPa.

strength properties of rockfill materials. In this study, to con- Figure 16 shows the relationship between the cyclic shear

firm the repeatability of the test, cyclic loading tests were carried stress ratio and the number of loading cycles in a consolidation

out for specimens under the same consolidation and loading stress ratio ranging from 1.0 to 2.0 with a shear strain of single

conditions. Figure 14 shows the cyclic loading tests carried out amplitude of 1.0%. At any consolidation stress ratio, when the

for two such specimens concerning three cyclic shear stress same cyclic shear stress ratio is applied, test values with

ratios under isotropic consolidation with an effective mean σ′m = 0.39 MPa reach a single amplitude of shear strain of 1.0%

364 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 34, 1997

Fig. 16. Shear stress ratio versus number of cyclicof loading Fig. 17. Effects of initial shear stress on the relationship between

relationship under isotropic and anisotropic consolidation shear stress ratio and number of cycles of loading: (a) σ′m = 0.1 MPa,

conditions. (b) σ′m = 0.39 MPa.

indicates a dependence of the confining pressure. With regard

to the influence of the consolidation stress ratio, the test results

at σ′m = 0.39 MPa and consolidation stress ratio of 2.0 show

that a certain strain is reached in almost the same number of

cycles as in the isotropic consolidation state, showing a ten-

dency similar to that for σ′m = 0.1 MPa.

In this study, the initial shear stress was set below the shear

stress at failure by carrying out a monotonic loading test in

advance.

Figure 17a shows the influence of initial shear stress, τs, at

σ′m = 0.1 MPa with peak shear strain, γp, as a parameter. The

influence of τs on cyclic shear stress and the number of cycles

for each γp is smaller than the case of σ′m = 0.39 MPa, as is

shown in Fig. 17b. Figure 17b shows the relationship between

the cyclic shear stress ratio and the number of loading cycles

by which the peak shear strain, γp, reaches 1.0% at σ′m = Comparison between triaxial and torsional simple shear

0.39 MPa, with initial shear stress, τs, as a parameter. When tests

τs is smaller than 0.1 MPa, the relationship between τs and the The torsional simple shear test is thought to better reproduce the

shear stress ratio (τd + τs)/σ′m is not clear, but at τs = 0.25 MPa, in situ stress and strain relationship in comparison with other test

the shear stress ratio is clearly greater than in the case where methods. To carry out a test for coarse-grained granular materials,

τs is less than 0.1 MPa. Figures 18a and 18b show the mono- the scale of the testing apparatus must be increased. On the other

tonic and cyclic loading test results. In the cyclic loading test, hand, the triaxial test, which does not reproduce the in situ stress

the numbers of cycles were one and five. In the case with one and strain situation accurately, is commonly used because the test

cycle and τs less than 0.1 MPa, as τs increases, the stress–strain is easier to conduct than the torsional simple shear test. This paper

relationship in the cyclic loading test is below the relationship clarifies the effect of the differences in the testing methods on the

in the drained monotonic loading test, but at τs = 0.25 MPa, dynamic strength properties.

the stress–strain relationship exceeds the stress in the drained The cyclic shear stress ratio measured by the torsional sim-

monotonic loading test. In the case with five cycles, the ple shear test, which approximates the stress state of the in situ

stress–strain relationship resembles the undrained monotonic ground, can be related to the cyclic shear stress ratio from the

loading test results, rather than the drained ones. The cyclic triaxial test using a compensation coefficient. Since

stress–strain relationship at τs = 0.25 MPa exceeds the stress Poisson’s ratio, ν, is 0.5 in an undrained test, shear strain, γ, is

in the drained monotonic loading test. This can be explained calculated from ν and axial strain, εa, according to the follow-

by the dilation of the specimen during the shear test. Specifi- ing equation

cally, when τs is smaller than 0.1 MPa, the specimen tends to

[2] γ = (1 + ν)εa

contract and the strain occurring during the cyclic loading test

is large, while at τs = 0.25 MPa, the specimen starts to dilate Figures 19a and 19b show shear stress ratio curves obtained

and the induced strain is small. from torsional simple shear and triaxial tests. The shear stress

Yasuda et al. 365

Fig. 18. Comparison of a cyclic and monotonic torsional simple Fig. 19. Comparison of cyclic triaxial and cyclic torsional simple

shear test: (a) σ′m = 0.39 MPa, N = 1; (b) σ′m = 0.39 MPa, N = 5. shear tests: (a) σ′m = 0.1 MPa, (b) σ′m = 0.39 MPa.

those from triaxial tests, although they are actually small under the initial shear stress acts on the specimen to cause volumetric

the isotropic consolidation conditions, with σ′m = 0.39 MPa. dilation. Tatsuoka et al. (1986), Yamashita et al. (1989), Nagase

Ishihara and Yasuda (1975) reported that the results of a et al. (1984), and Ochi et al. (1984) compared the results of a

triaxial test and a torsional shear test for loose Fuji sand cor- triaxial test and a torsional simple shear test for saturated sand,

responded to each other. In this study, the results of the tor- but did not make any clear comparisons of the shear stress ratio

sional simple shear test were below those of the triaxial test at between them.

σ′m = 0.1 MPa. In the case of rockfill material, however, the results of a

Figures 20a and 20b show the relationship between the torsional simple shear test are smaller than those of a triaxial

shear stress ratio at the 10th cycle to reach a certain strain, test, regardless of the amount of the mean principal stress and

SR10, and the initial shear stress, τs. SR10 in the triaxial test at initial shear stress.

σ′m = 0.1 MPa increases as the initial shear stress increases for

each peak strain. On the other hand, in the torsional simple Comparison between static strength and dynamic

shear test, SR10 shows no rising as the initial shear stress in- strength

creases. SR10 at σ′m = 0.39 MPa in the torsional simple shear The strength of a material varies depending on assumptions

test tends to increase as the initial shear stress increases in no concerning the shearing plane. In Fig. 21, a failure stress at an

reversal stress condition, particularly at τs = 0.25 MPa. Fig- angle of 45° to the direction of principal stress is assumed as

ure 20b also shows the relationship between the volumetric the shear strength on the lateral plane. The dynamic and static

strain, εv, and the shear stress, τ, in the monotonic loading strengths are then compared for Dr = 85%. The dynamic

torsional simple shear test at σ′m = 0.39 MPa. It can be seen strength was obtained by a triaxial test and defined as the value

that the specimen’s volume is contracted by the shear stress, after 20 cycles and with a reference strain of 2.5%. The static

and that it starts to dilate from around a shear stress of strength is defined by the maximum stress within an axial

0.25 MPa. In other words, a large SR10 can be expected when strain of 4.0%.

366 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 34, 1997

Fig. 20. Comparison of the relationship between SR10 and the initial Fig. 21. Comparison of strength from cyclic and monotonic loading

shear stress of cyclic triaxial and cyclic torsional simple shear tests: tests (triaxial).

(a) σ′m = 0.1 MPa, (b) σ′m = 0.39 MPa.

sure rising to almost 90–100%. However, no flow failure such

as liquefaction occurs.

(2) In the undrained cyclic triaxial test, residual strain de-

velops on the extension side under the isotropic consolidation

conditions.

(3) In the undrained cyclic loading test, as the number of

cycles increases, the pore-water pressure rises as strain accu-

mulates. The greater the relative density, the smaller the mean

principal stress, the greater the initial shear stress, the greater

the shear stress ratio. This tendency qualitatively corresponds

to that reported for dense sand.

(4) The shear stress ratio obtained from the torsional simple

shear test tends to be smaller than that from the triaxial test,

irrespective of the amount of the mean principal stress and

initial shear stress.

(5) In the torsional simple shear test, the smaller the mean

It can be seen that the dynamic strength is less than the static principal stress, the greater the shear stress ratio becomes. The

undrained strength obtained by the monotonic loading test. In shear stress ratio in the isotropic consolidation condition tends

comparison with the static drained strength, however, the dy- to be larger than that in the anisotropic condition. In addition,

namic strength in the anisotropic consolidation condition was when the initial shear stress causes the specimen to start dilat-

greater when the normal stress on the shearing plane was less ing, the shear stress ratio increases markedly.

than 0.49 MPa.

There is no criterion for the reference strain used to define

the dynamic strength. The strain should be set on the basis of References

the amount of deformation of the structure concerned. A ref-

erence strain of 2.5% was used to ensure the reliability of the Banerjee, N.G., Seed, H.B., and Chan, C.K. 1979.Cyclic behavior of

data in the cyclic loading test because only a restricted range dense coarse-grained materials in relation to the seismic stability

of strain can be measured due to the mechanism of the test of dams, UCB/EERC–79/13.

equipment. Consequently, when a strain of about 5.0% is tol- Castro, G. 1975. Liquefaction and cyclic mobility of saturated sands.

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101(GT6): 551–569.

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Foundation Engineering, Japanese Society of Soil Mechanics and

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Hyodo, M., Murata, S., Yasuhuku, N., Konami, G., and Tanimizu, H.

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(1) In the undrained cyclic loading test, as the number of ence on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Japanese

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neering, 104: 463–479.

Nagase, H., Ishihara, K., and Shinozaki, T. 1984. Cyclic torsional B Skempton’s B value

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19th Japan National Conference on Soil Mechanics and Founda- Dr relative density

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Gs specific gravity

National Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engi- N number of cycles

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and Foundation Engineering. Japanese Society of Soil Mechanics εa axial strain

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loadings. The 20th Japan National Conference on Soil Mechanics

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