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357

Undrained monotonic and cyclic strength of


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

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

Fig. 1. Compaction test. Fig. 2. Grain size distribution curve.

a central core located in the central part of Japan. The rockfill


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:

© 1997 NRC Canada


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.

triaxial testing method, Japanese Geotechnical Society Standard


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

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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.

anisotropic consolidation condition, the amplitude of the cy-


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.

Pore-water pressure occurrence


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.

© 1997 NRC Canada


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%).

Fig. 9. Shear stress ratio versus number of cycles of loading


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

Stress and strain


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

© 1997 NRC Canada


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.

Yunoki et al. (1982) on the dependence of the cyclic shear


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

© 1997 NRC Canada


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.

Dynamic strength properties by cyclic torsional simple


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%

© 1997 NRC Canada


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.

in a smaller number of cycles, than with σ′m = 0.1 MPa. This


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

© 1997 NRC Canada


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.

ratios from torsional simple shear tests are almost equal to


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%.

© 1997 NRC Canada


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.

cycles increases, the strain increases, with the pore-water pres-


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.
erated considering the stability of embankment dams and simi- Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, ASCE,
101(GT6): 551–569.
lar structures, the dynamic strength is even greater and the Hyodo, M., Murata, S., Yasuhuku, N., Fujii, T., and Tanimizu, H.
dynamic strength in the anisotropic consolidation condition is 1989. Dynamic strength of saturated sand subjected to initial static
estimated to significantly exceed the drained strength. shear. The 24th Japan National Conference on Soil Mechanics and
Foundation Engineering, Japanese Society of Soil Mechanics and
Conclusion Foundation Engineering, pp. 797–800. [In Japanese]
Hyodo, M., Murata, S., Yasuhuku, N., Konami, G., and Tanimizu, H.
The following results were obtained by cyclic loading tests 1990. Effects of relative density for undrained cyclic shear strength
carried out on well-compacted rockfill materials: of anisotropic consolidation sand. The 25th Japan National Confer-
(1) In the undrained cyclic loading test, as the number of ence on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Japanese

© 1997 NRC Canada


Yasuda et al. 367

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© 1997 NRC Canada