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Chapter 4:

SHEAR STRENGTH

OF SOIL

PREPARED BY

SHAMILAH ANUDAI@ANUAR

LESSON PLAN

SHEAR STRENGTH CONSOLIDATION

OF SOIL OF SOIL

WEEK 11 WEEK 14

15/11 & 17/11 6/12 & 8/12

WEEK 12 WEEK 15

22/11 & 24/11 13/12 & 15/12

29/11 & 1/12

CONTENT

Strength of different materials

strength strength strength

Complex

behavior

4

Shear Failure In Soil

The shear strength of a soil can be described as

its maximum resistance to shearing stresses.

When this strength is exceeded failure occurs

along planes in the soil mass called slip surfaces.

The shear strength of soil has two components :-

a) Frictional strength,

b) Cohesive, c

Influencing Factors on Shear

Strength

Soil Composition - mineralogy, grain size and

grain size distribution, shape of particles, pore fluid

type and content, ions on grain and in pore fluid.

Initial State - State can be describe by terms

such as: loose, dense, over-consolidated, normally

consolidated, stiff, soft, etc.

Structure - Refers to the arrangement of particles

within the soil mass; the manner in which the

particles are packed or distributed. Features such

as layers, voids, pockets, cementation, etc, are

part of the structure.

shear failure of soil

shear failure of soil

TYPES OF SOIL

FAILURE

Shallow slope stability failure shear failure of soil shear failure of soil

Drained condition

Occurs when there is no change in

pore water pressure due to external

loading

Pore water pressure can drain out of

the soil easily, causing volumetric

strains in the soil

Undrained condition

Occurs when the pore water pressure is unable to

drain out of the soil

Rate of loading is much quicker than the rate at

which the pore water pressure is able to drain out

of the soil

The tendency of soil to change volume is

suppressed

Clays have low hydraulic conductivity, hence most

often assumed to be under undrained during

loading or construction period in short term, and

the shear strength must be analyzed accordingly.

Isotropic confinement

Stress increment stress

Excess

pore

pressur

e

DRAINED UNDRAINED

Mohr-coulomb failure

criterion

without failure, under normal stress of .

Mohr-coulomb failure

criterion (cont)

Peak and Residual-Strength

Envelopes for clay

Graphical representation of

Mohr-Coulomb failure

criteria

Normal Case

Granular (non-cohesive) soil

Failure envelopes of

cohesion less soil

Saturated, plastic

clays

Shear stress, vs. effective stress,

Hence, use idealized linear function

a) intercept of the line is c

b) slope of the line is

Shear strength of saturated

sands & gravel

Shear strength of

saturated clays

Shear strength

evaluation

DIRECT SHEAR TEST

Normal

Top Platen load

Load cell to

Motor measure shear

Drive force

Porous

plate

Rollers

DIRECT SHEAR TEST (cont)

Only slow drained tests are performed in this

test. Shearing rate for clays must be chosen

to prevent excess pore pressures building up.

For sands and gravels tests can be performed

quickly.

Tests on sands and gravels are usually

performed dry. Water does not significantly

affect the (drained) strength.

If there are no excess pore pressures and as

the pore pressure is approximately zero the

total and effective stresses will be identical .

Advantages of Direct Shear

Test

Easy and quick test for sands and gravels

Large deformations can be achieved by reversing

shear direction. This is useful for determining the

residual strength of a soil.

Large samples may be tested in large shear boxes.

Small samples may give misleading results due to

imperfections (fractures and fissures) or the lack of

them.

Samples may be sheared along predetermined

planes. This is useful when the shear strengths

along fissures or other selected planes are required.

Disadvantages of Direct

Shear Test

Non-uniform deformations and stresses in the

specimen. The stress-strain behavior cannot be

determined. The estimated stress may not be those

acting on the shear plane.

There is no means of estimation pore pressures so

effective stresses cannot be determined from

undrained tests

Undrained strengths are unreliable because it is

impossible to prevent localized drainage without high

shearing rates.

In practice shear box tests are used to get quick and

crude estimates of failure parameters.

Direct shear test

Analysis of test results

Normal stress

Area of cross section of the sample

Shear stress

Area of cross section of the sample

displacement

32

Direct shear tests on sands

Stress-strain relationship

Shear stress,

Dense sand/

OC clay

f

Loose sand/

f NC clay

Shear displacement

Expansion

Change in height

of the sample

Shear displacement

Compression

33

Direct shear tests on sands

How to determine strength parameters c and

Shear stress,

Normal stress = 3

Normal stress = 2

Normal stress = 1

f2

f1

f3

Shear displacement

f

Shear stress at failure,

Normal stress, 34

Direct shear tests on clays

In case of clay, horizontal displacement should be applied at a very

slow rate to allow dissipation of pore water pressure (therefore, one

test would take several days to finish)

Overconsolidated clay (c 0)

Shear stress at failure,

Normal force,

35

Example 12.1

Direct shear tests were performed on

a dry, sandy soil. The size of the

specimen was 50mm x 50mm x

19mm. Test results as follows:

Test no. Normal Normal Shear Shear

force stress force at stress

(N) = failure at

(kN/m3) (N) failure

(kN/m3)

1 89 35.6 53.4 21.4

2 133 53.2 81.4 32.6

3 311 124.4 187.3 74.9

4 445 178 267.3 106.9

Exercise

A drained shear box test was carried out

on a sandy clay and yielded the following

results:

Determine the apparent cohesion and

angle of friction for the soil.

Example 12.2

Following are the results of four drained direct

shear tests on an overconsolidated clay

Diameter of specimen = 50mm

Height of specimen = 25mm

force (N) at failure, Shear force

Speak (N) Sresidual (N)

1 150 157.5 44.2

2 250 199.9 56.6

Determine

3 the350 257.6 for peak

relationships 102.9

shear

strength

4 (f) and

550 residual363.4

shear strength

144.5 (r)

Exercise

The following results were recorded

during shear box tests on specimens of a

sand compacted to the same initial

density :

Normal load (N) 110 216 324 432

Ultimate Shear load 66 131 195 261

(N)

Peak shear load (N) 85 170 253 340

of friction and the angle of dilation

Triaxial Test

Deviator Load

Confining

cylinder

Cell water

Rubber

O-ring Membrane

Seals

Porous Filter

Disc

Cell Pore Pressure

pressure and volume

change

Triaxial Test (cont)

Depending on whether drainage is allowed

or not during

i) initial isotropic cell pressure application

and

ii) shearing

There are 3 types of triaxial tests

i) consolidated drained (CD) test

ii) Consolidated undrained (CU) test

iii) Unconsolidated Undrained (UU) test

Consolidated Drained (CD)

Test (slow test)

Drainage valves OPEN during consolidation as well as

shearing phases.

Complete sample drainage is achieved prior to application

of the vertical load.

The load is applied at such a slow strain rate that particle

readjustments in the specimen do not induce any excess

pore pressure.

Since there is no excess pore pressure total stresses will

equal effective stresses.

Very slow shearing to avoid build-up of pore pressure

Can give the value of c and

c and can be used for analyzing fully drained situations

for long term stability of very slow loading )

Example 12.3

A consolidated-drained triaxial test was

conducted on a normally consolidated

clay. The results are as follows :

3 = 276 kN/m2

(d)f = 276kN/m2

Determine

a) Angle of friction,

b) Angle that the failure plane makes with the

major principal plane

Exercise

A drained triaxial compression test carried out

on three specimens of the same soil yielded the

following results :

Test no. 1 2 3

Cell pressure (kPa) 100 200 300

Deviator stress at failure 210 438 644

(kPa)

Draw the shear strength envelope and

determine the peak strength parameters, c and

p, assuming that the pore pressure remains

constant during the axial loading stage

Example 12.4

Refer example 12.3

A) Find the normal stress and the

shear stress f on the failure plane

B) Determine the effective normal

stress on the plane of maximum

shear stress

Solution refer page 453

Example 12.5

The equation of the effective stress

failure envelope for normally

consolidated clayey soil is f = tan

30. A drained triaxial test was

conducted with the same soil at a

chamber-confining pressure of 69

kn/m2. Calculate the deviator stress

at failure

Solution refer page 454

Example 12.6

The results of two drained triaxial test

on a saturated clay follow :

Specimen I :

3 = 70kN/m2

(d)f = 130kN/m2

Specimen II

3 = 160kN/m2

(d)f = 223.5kN/m3

Consolidated Undrained

(CU) Test

Apply and wait until the soil consolidates

3

Closed during the shearing phase. (Drainage and

consolidation is allowed to take place during the application

of the confining pressure 3).

Loading does not commence until the sample cases to drain

(or consolidate).

This test can simulates long-term as well as short-term

shear strength for cohesive soils if pore water pressure is

measured during the shearing phase.

Pore pressure develops during shear to measure

Also gives c and

Faster than CD test

Exercise

The following results were obtained from

undrained tests on specimens of a saturated

normally consolidated clay. Determine :

Cell pressure (kPa) 100 200 300

Ultimate deviator stress 137 210 283

(kPa)

Ultimate pore pressure 28 86 147

(kPa) stress parameters c and c

(a) the effective

(b) The critical state parameter M

Exercise

The following results were obtained

from undrained tests on specimens

of an overconsolidated clay :

Cell pressure (kPa) 100 250 400

Deviator stress at failure 340 410 474

(kPa)

Deviator pore pressure -42 64 177

Determine

(kPa) the effective stress

parameters c and p

Unconsolidated Undrained

(UU) Test (quick test)

Pore pressure develops during shear. Pore

pressure is not measured, thus is unknown

Analyse in terms of can gives the values of

Cu and u

3 and are applied fast so the soil does not

have time to consolidate

The test is performed with the drain valve

closed for all phases of the test ( water is not

allowed to drain)

For this test, = = 0

CD Test

CU Test

UU Test

Advantages of Triaxial Test

Easy to control drainage

Useful stress-strain data

Can consolidate sample

hydrostatically

Can simulate various loading

conditions

Disadvantages of Triaxial

Test

Apparatus more complicated than

other types of tests

Drained tests on fine grained soils

must be sheared very slowly

Unconfined compression

test

Axial compressive load applied to specimen until

it fails

Cross-sectional area at failure :

Af = A0 / 1-f

where Af = cross-sectional area of failure

A0 = initial cross-sectional (d2/4)

f = axial strain at failure

No lateral confinement, so 3 = 0

q u = P f / Af

where Pf = normal load at failure

Af = cross-sectional area at failure

Undrained shear strength :

su = Pf / 2Af

Vane Shear Test

Vane shear test is commonly

used to measure the shear

Torque and angular

strength and sensitivity of clay displacement scale

This test is useful when the

soil is soft and its water Handle to

content is nearer to liquid limitapply torque

such as clay. Sample

Vane

Suitable for determination of

in-situ undrained shear Laboratory vane test

strength of non-fissured fully

saturated clay

sensitivity

Advantages of Vane Shear

Test

Very rapid and

inexpensive

Disadvantages of Vane

Shear Test

Not applicable to soils with fissures,

silt seams, varves, other defects, or

less than 100% saturation

Sample disturbance not

systematically

accounted for

Worked Example

Worked Example

Using data given, compute shear

strength, s on

horizontal and vertical planes at Point

A,B and C

Solution

Point A

vertical

vertical effective stress, z = H u

z = [(17.0 x 3) + (17.5 x 1.1)] (9.8 x 1.1)

= 59.5 kPa

s = c + tan

= 10 + (59.5 tan 28o)

= 41.6 kPa

horizontal

horizontal effective stress, x = K z

x = (0.54)(59.5)

= 32.1 kPa

s = c + tan

= 10 + (32.1 tan 28o)

=27.1 kPa USING SIMILAR STEPS, COMPUTE FOR POIN

Solution (cont)

POINT B

Vertical : s = 57.2 kPa

Horizontal : s = 35.5 kPa

POINT C

Vertical : s = 68.1 kPa

Horizontal : s = 54.4 kPa

THANK

YOU FOR

YOUR

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