Granular Matter

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 567–578 | Cite as

Shear wave velocity of granular mixtures of silica particles as a function of finer fraction, size ratios and void ratios

  • H. ChooEmail author
  • S. E. Burns
Original Paper


This experimental investigation quantified the shear wave velocity \((V_{s})\) of granular packs composed of large grains mixed with small quantities of finer grains, up to the critical fines content (\(FC^{*}\)). Bender element tests were performed on 112 mixtures to quantify the variation of \(V_{s}\) with fines content (FC), particle size ratio, and void ratio. When FC was less than \(FC^{*}\), the shear wave velocity decreased with increasing FC, due to the reduction in interparticle contacts between large grains. In addition, the observed reduction in packing stiffness was more apparent as the size difference between the two particles increased. Most notably, the results of this study demonstrated that \(V_{s}\) of granular mixtures of two different silica particles with \(FC <FC^{*}\) was best expressed in terms of intergranular void ratio when finer particles were treated as void space, as opposed to the global void ratio.


Granular mixture Shear wave velocity Critical fines content Intergranular void ratio Size ratio Bender element test 



Partial funding for this work was provided by Georgia Institute of Technology. The authors wish to thank Dr. Carlos Santamarina, Dr. David Frost, and Dr. Paul Mayne for their insightful comments throughout the course of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural EngineeringKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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