, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 503-519
Date: 04 Nov 2012

Energy approach to unsaturated cyclic strength of sand

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The mechanical response to cyclic loading of saturated cohesionless soils is usually investigated by means of effective stress method considering pore water pressure changes that lead to reduced strength and stiffness. On the other hand, the behavior of partially saturated sands is different from the behavior of saturated sand deposits. The development of negative pore water pressures in particular makes it difficult to estimate the behavior of partially saturated sands. The response of partially saturated sands, however, can be examined in a physically understandable manner by investigating their energy characteristics independently of pore pressure behavior. To establish a general framework for understanding the behavior of partially saturated sand, a total of 52 resonant column and dynamic torsional shear tests were conducted under undrained conditions. The effects of factors such as the amplitude of shear strain, relative density, saturation ratio and confining pressure on the dynamic characteristics of the sand and on energy dissipation were studied. The use of the energy concept in the evaluation of partially saturated soils is shown to be a promising method for the evaluation of the cyclic behavior of partially saturated sands.