Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 2123–2131 | Cite as

Effect of particle shape of glass beads on the strength and deformation of cemented sands

  • Yang XiaoEmail author
  • Zhengxin Yuan
  • Jia Lin
  • Jinyu Ran
  • Beibing Dai
  • Jian Chu
  • Hanlong Liu
Short Communication


Few studies have focused on the influence of particle shape on the mechanical properties of cemented sand. To address this lack of information, this study investigated the influence of the cement content and particle shape on the strength and deformation of cemented sand based on a series of unconfined compression tests of mixed specimens. Cemented specimens were prepared with cement contents ranging from 4 to 8% and different mixing ratios of angular glass beads (AGBs) and rounded glass beads (RGBs). A shape parameter (overall regularity \( O_{\text{R}} \)) was proposed to quantitatively evaluate the shape of the particles. Mixed specimens were examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis to illustrate the properties of the bonds with different mixing ratios of AGBs and RGBs. The test results indicated that the strength and stiffness increased as the cement content increased and the \( O_{\text{R}} \) decreased. The trend of particle shape on the strength and stiffness was found to be independent of the cement content. The SEM images showed that the effective cementation area between angular particles is larger than that between rounded particles and that between angular and rounded particles, which resulted in increased strength and stiffness of the cemented sand.


Cemented sands Overall regularity Particle shape Stiffness Unconfined compressive strength 

List of symbols

\( D_{\hbox{min} }^{\text{F}} \) and \( D_{\hbox{max} }^{\text{F}} \)

Feret minimum and maximum diameters, respectively (Unit: mm)

\( P_{\text{eq}} \) and \( P_{\text{r}} \)

Perimeters of the equivalent circle and the particle, respectively (Unit: mm)

RGBs and AGBs

Rounded glass beads and angular glass beads, respectively


Unconfined compression tests

\( G_{\text{s}} \)

Specific gravity

\( C_{\text{X}} \)


\( A_{\text{R}} \)

Aspect ratio

\( S_{\text{C}} \)


\( O_{\text{R}} \)

Overall regularity

\( \sigma_{\text{u}} \)

Unconfined compressive strength (Unit: MPa)

\( \varepsilon_{\text{f}} \)

Strain at failure

\( E_{50} \)

Secant modulus (Unit: MPa)

\( \varepsilon_{1/2} \)

Strain corresponding to half of \( \sigma_{\text{u}} \)



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from the 111 Project (Grant No. B13024), the National Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51509024, Grant No. 51678094 and Grant No.51578096), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 106112017CDJQJ208848) and the Special Financial Grant from the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2017T100681).


  1. 1.
    Amini Y et al (2014) Shear strength–dilation characteristics of cemented sand–gravel mixtures. Int J Geotech Eng 8:406–413Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Asghari E et al (2003) Triaxial behaviour of a cemented gravelly sand, Tehran alluvium. Geotech Geol Eng 21:1–28Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Belkhatir M et al (2011) Laboratory study on the liquefaction resistance of sand-silt mixtures: effect of grading characteristics. Granul Matter 13:599–609Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cardoso R (2016) Porosity and tortuosity influence on geophysical properties of an artificially cemented sand. Eng Geol 211:198–207Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chang TS, Woods RD (1992) Effect of particle contact bond on shear modulus. J Geotech Eng 118:1216–1233Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chen Q, Indraratna B (2014) Shear behaviour of sandy silt treated with lignosulfonate. Can Geotech J 52:1180–1185Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cho G-C et al (2006) Particle shape effects on packing density, stiffness, and strength: natural and crushed sands. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 132:591–602Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Clough GW et al (1979) Silicate-stabilized sands. J Geotech Eng Div 105:65–82Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Consoli NC et al (2003) Behavior of plate load tests on soil layers improved with cement and fiber. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 129:96–101Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Consoli NC et al (2010) Parameters controlling tensile and compressive strength of artificially cemented sand. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 136:759–763Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Coop MR, Atkinson JH (1993) The mechanics of cemented carbonate sands. Geotechnique 43:53–67Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dadda A et al (2019) Characterization of contact properties in biocemented sand using 3D X-ray micro-tomography. Acta Geotech 14:597–613Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Du Y-J et al (2013) Stress–strain relation and strength characteristics of cement treated zinc-contaminated clay. Eng Geol 167:20–26Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fernandez. aL, Santamarina JC (2001) Effect of cementation on the small-strain parameters of sands. Can Geotech J 38:191–199Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Flores-Berrones R (2011) Internal erosion and rehabilitation of an earth–rock dam. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 137:150–160Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Greene BH et al (2010) Evaluation of seepage, internal erosion, and remedial alternatives for east branch dam, elk county, pennsylvania. Environ Eng Geosci 16:229–243Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hafid H et al (2016) Effect of particle morphological parameters on sand grains packing properties and rheology of model mortars. Cem Concr Res 80:44–51Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hashemi M, Nikudel MR (2016) Application of dynamic cone penetrometer test for assessment of liquefaction potential. Eng Geol 208:51–62Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hashemi SS et al (2014) Shear failure analysis of a shallow depth unsupported borehole drilled through poorly cemented granular rock. Eng Geol 183:39–52Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Huang JT, Airey DW (1998) Properties of artificially cemented carbonate sand. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 124:492–499Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Indraratna B et al (2011) Assessing the potential of internal erosion and suffusion of granular soils. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 137:550–554Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Indraratna B et al (2013) Estimating the rate of erosion of a silty sand treated with lignosulfonate. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 139:701–714Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ismail Ma et al (2002) Effect of cement type on shear behavior of cemented calcareous soil. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 128:520–529Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jiang M et al (2017) Investigation of influence of particle characteristics on the non-coaxiality of anisotropic granular materials using DEM. Int J Numer Anal Methods 41:198–222Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ladd RS (1978) Preparing test specimens using undercompaction. Geotech Test J 1:16–23Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lee M-J et al (2010) Evaluation of deformation modulus of cemented sand using CPT and DMT. Eng Geol 115:28–35Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lehane BM, Guo F (2017) Lateral response of piles in cemented sand. Geotechnique 67:597–607Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Li YR et al (2013) Ring shear tests on slip zone soils of three giant landslides in the three gorges project area. Eng Geol 154:106–115Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Li Z et al (2017) Experimental characterization and 3D DEM simulation of bond breakages in artificially cemented sands with different bond strengths when subjected to triaxial shearing. Acta Geotech 12:987–1002Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lo SR, Wardani SPR (2002) Strength and dilatancy of a silt stabilized by a cement and fly ash mixture. Can Geotech J 39:77–89Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Maghous S et al (2014) A theoretical–experimental approach to elastic and strength properties of artificially cemented sand. Comput Geotech 62:40–50Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Marri A et al (2012) Drained behaviour of cemented sand in high pressure triaxial compression tests. Geomech Geoeng 7:159–174Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Pei X et al (2017) Experimental case study of seismically induced loess liquefaction and landslide. Eng Geol 223:23–30Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Porbaha A et al (1998) State of the art in deep mixing technology. Part II: applications. Proc Inst Civ Eng Ground Improv 2:125–140Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rahimi M et al (2016) Bounding surface constitutive model for cemented sand under monotonic loading. Int J Geomech 16:04015049Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rattley MJ et al (2008) Uplift of shallow foundations with cement-stabilised backfill. Proc Inst Civ Eng Ground Improv 161:103–110Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Reddy KR, Saxena SK (1992) Constitutive modeling of cemented sand. Mech Mater 14:155–178Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Rios S et al (2013) On the shearing behaviour of an artificially cemented soil. Acta Geotech 9:215–226Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rousé PC et al (2008) Influence of roundness on the void ratio and strength of uniform sand. Geotechnique 58:227–231Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Sadrekarimi A, Olson SM (2012) Effect of sample-preparation method on critical-state behavior of sands. Geotech Test J 35:548–562Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Salifu E et al (2016) Application of microbially induced calcite precipitation in erosion mitigation and stabilisation of sandy soil foreshore slopes: a preliminary investigation. Eng Geol 201:96–105Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Schnaid F et al (2001) Characterization of cemented sand in triaxial compression. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 127:857–868Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Schneider CA et al (2012) Nih image to imagej: 25 years of image analysis. Nat Methods 9:671–675Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sharma SS, Fahey M (2003) Evaluation of cyclic shear strength of two cemented calcareous soils. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 129:608–618Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Sharma SS, Fahey M (2003) Degradation of stiffness of cemented calcareous soil in cyclic triaxial tests. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 129:619–629Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Sharma V, Kumar A (2017) Influence of relative density of soil on performance of fiber-reinforced soil foundations. Geotext Geomembr 45:499–507Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Silva dos Santos AP et al (2010) High-pressure isotropic compression tests on fiber-reinforced cemented sand. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 136:885–890Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Toll DG, Ali Rahman Z (2017) Critical state shear strength of an unsaturated artificially cemented sand. Geotechnique 67:208–215Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Vatsala A et al (2001) Elastoplastic model for cemented soils. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 127:679–687Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Wadell HA (1932) Volume, shape, and roundness of rock particles. J Geol 40:443–451Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Wang YH, Leung SC (2008) A particulate-scale investigation of cemented sand behavior. Can Geotech J 45:29–44Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Wang YH, Leung SC (2008) Characterization of cemented sand by experimental and numerical investigations. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 134:992–1004Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Wu K et al (2017) Shear mechanical behavior of model materials samples by experimental triaxial tests: case study of 4 mm diameter glass beads. Granul Matter 19:65–76Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Xiao Y, Desai CS (2019) Constitutive modeling for overconsolidated clays based on disturbed state concept. I: theory. Int J Geomech. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Xiao Y, Desai CS (2019) Constitutive modeling for overconsolidated clays based on disturbed state concept. II: validation. Int J Geomech 00:00. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Xiao Y et al (2014) Strength and deformation of rockfill material based on large-scale triaxial compression tests. II: influence of particle breakage. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 140:04014071Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Xiao Y et al (2014) Strength and deformation of rockfill material based on large-scale triaxial compression tests. I: influences of density and pressure. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 140:04014070Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Xiao Y et al (2018) Stress–strain-strength response and ductility of gravels improved by polyurethane foam adhesive. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 144:04017108Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Xiao Y et al (2019) Unconfined compressive and splitting tensile strength of basalt fiber-reinforced biocemented sand. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Xiao Y et al (2019) Strength and deformation responses of biocemented sands using a temperature-controlled method. Int J Geomech. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Xiao Y et al (2019) Effect of particle shape on stress–dilatancy responses of medium-dense sands. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 145:04018105Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Xiao Y et al (2019) Particle breakage and energy dissipation of carbonate sands under quasi-static and dynamic compression. Acta Geotech. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Xu L et al (2018) The mechanics of a saturated silty loess and implications for landslides. Eng Geol 236:29–42Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Yang J, Luo XD (2015) Exploring the relationship between critical state and particle shape for granular materials. J Mech Phys Solids 84:196–213Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Yang J, Luo XD (2017) The critical state friction angle of granular materials: does it depend on grading? Acta Geotech 12:1–13Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Yang J, Wei LM (2012) Collapse of loose sand with the addition of fines: the role of particle shape. Geotechnique 62:1111–1125Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Yang ZX et al (2008) Quantifying and modelling fabric anisotropy of granular soils. Geotechnique 58:237–248Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Yates K et al (2018) A review of the geotechnical characteristics of loess and loess-derived soils from Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand. Eng Geol 236:11–21Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Yi Y et al (2016) Laboratory modelling of t-shaped soil–cement column for soft ground treatment under embankment. Geotechnique 66:85–89Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Yu F (2017) Particle breakage and the drained shear behavior of sands. Int J Geomech 17:04017041Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Zhao S et al (2016) Discrete element method investigation on thermally-induced shakedown of granular materials. Granul Matter 19:11Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Zhao S et al (2017) Particle shape effects on fabric of granular random packing. Powder Technol 310:175–186Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Zhao S et al (2018) Shear-induced anisotropy of granular materials with rolling resistance and particle shape effects. Int J Solids Struct 150:268–281Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Zhao S et al (2018) Three-dimensional voronoi analysis of monodisperse ellipsoids during triaxial shear. Powder Technol 323:323–336Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Zheng J, Hryciw RD (2015) Traditional soil particle sphericity, roundness and surface roughness by computational geometry. Geotechnique 65:494–506Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Zhou W et al (2013) Influence of particle shape on the behavior of rockfill using a three-dimensional deformable DEM. J Eng Mech 139:1868–1873Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Xiao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Zhengxin Yuan
    • 1
  • Jia Lin
    • 4
  • Jinyu Ran
    • 1
  • Beibing Dai
    • 5
  • Jian Chu
    • 6
  • Hanlong Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Coal Mine Disaster Dynamics and ControlChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of New Technology for Construction of Cities in Mountain AreaChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Geotechnical EngineeringUniversity of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria
  5. 5.Research Institute of Geotechnical Engineering and Information Technology, School of EngineeringSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  6. 6.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations