, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 155-165

Swelling pressure–suction relationship of heavily compacted bentonite–sand mixtures

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Abstract

This paper presents results of an experimental work to determine a relationship between swelling pressure and suction of heavily compacted bentonite–sand mixtures. For comparison, tests were also carried out on heavily compacted bentonite specimens. A series of swelling pressure tests were performed using multi-step constant-volume method where suction of the specimens tested was reduced in a stepwise manner toward a zero value. The suction reduction was induced using vapor equilibrium and axis-translation techniques. It is shown that compacted specimens did not exhibit any collapse upon suction decrease and exhibited maximum swelling pressures at zero-equilibrium suction. The development of swelling pressure with decreasing suction of the specimens showed threshold suctions below which a further reduction in suction yields an increase in the swelling pressure of the same magnitude. The magnitude of threshold suction was found to be a function of bentonite content in compacted specimens.