Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 1–19 | Cite as

Changes in permeability of sand during triaxial loading: effect of fine particles production

  • Sadok Feia
  • Jean Sulem
  • Jean Canou
  • Siavash Ghabezloo
  • Xavier Clain
Research Paper


Various mechanisms can affect the permeability of dense unconsolidated sands: Volumetric dilation can lead to permeability increase, whereas strain localization in shear bands may increase or decrease the permeability depending on the state of compaction and on the level of grains breakage inside the band. To investigate these various mechanisms, an experimental study has been performed to explore the effect of different factors such as grain size and grain shape, confining pressure, level of shear, stress path, and formation of one or several shear bands on the permeability of dense sands under triaxial loading. The experimental results show a reduction of permeability during the consolidation phase and during the volumetric contraction phase of shear loading, which can be related to the decrease of porosity. The experimental results also show that, depending on the confining pressure, the permeability remains stable or decreases during the volumetric dilation phase despite the increase of total porosity. This permeability reduction is attributed to the presence of fine particles, which result from grains attrition during pre-localization and grains breakage inside the shear band during the post-localization phase.


Fine particles production Permeability Sand Shear band Stress path 



The authors gratefully acknowledge TOTAL for supporting this research. They wish also to thank Irina Andria-Ntoanina, Sara Assandi and Pierre-François Marty for their assistance in the experimental program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sadok Feia
    • 1
  • Jean Sulem
    • 1
  • Jean Canou
    • 1
  • Siavash Ghabezloo
    • 1
  • Xavier Clain
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Navier, CERMES, Ecole des Ponts ParisTechUniversité Paris EstMarne la ValléeFrance

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