Granular Matter

, 20:8 | Cite as

Investigation on shear modulus and damping ratio of transparent soils with different pore fluids

  • Gangqiang Kong
  • Hui Li
  • Gui Yang
  • Zhaohu Cao
Original Paper


Transparent soil, manufactured with transparent granular particles and pore fluid with matching refractive index, used to mimic the behavior of natural saturated soil, is widely used in visualization model tests. The properties of transparent soils are not only affected by granular particles’ characteristics, but also influenced by pore fluids’ characteristics. However, the researches focused on the dynamic properties of transparent soil influenced by pore fluids are relatively rare in the literature. In this paper, the dynamic shear modulus and damping ratios of transparent soils manufactured by fused quartz and three different pore fluids (mixed oil, calcium bromide \((\hbox {CaBr}_{2})\) solution, and sucrose solution) were measured through a series of resonant column tests and dynamic torsional shear tests. The laboratory tests on dry fused quartz specimens were also carried out for comparative analysis. It is found that the transparent soils have a certain similar dynamic behaviors as those of natural soil, and the values of dynamic shear modulus and damping ratios are influenced by pore fluids. With the test results, transparent soil manufactured by fused quartz and mixed oil shows a great potential as a substitute for natural sand and is expected to be widely used in dynamic model tests.


Transparent soil Shear modulus Damping ratio Resonant column tests Dynamic torsional shear tests 



The research was financially supported by the National Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51478165, 51306080), and the fundamental research funds for the central universities of China (Nos. 2013B31814, 2017B12114). We are grateful to Dr. JiLiang Li from Purdue University Northwest-Westville Campus for his help in English paper writing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors state that this article has no conflict of interest with anybody or any organizations.


  1. 1.
    Serrano, R.F., Iskander, M., Tabe, K.: 3D contaminant flow imaging in transparent granular porous media. Geotech. Lett. 1(3), 71–78 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    An, Z.F., Krueger, P.S., El Shamy, U.: Direct velocity and shear-stress measurements in shear-induced erosion of a particle bed. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 739–751 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hover, E.D., Ni, Q., Guymer, I.: Investigation of centerline strain path during tube penetration using transparent soil and particle image velocimetry. Geotech. Lett. 3(2), 37–41 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sun, J.L., Liu, J.Y.: Visualization of tunneling-induced ground movement in transparent sand. Tunn. Undergr. Space Technol. 40, 236–240 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ezzein, F.M., Bathurst, R.J.: A new approach to evaluate soil-geosynthetic interaction using a novel pullout test apparatus and transparent granular soil. Geotext. Geomembr. 42, 246–255 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bathurst, R.J., Ezzein, F.M.: Geogrid and soil displacement observations during pullout using a transparent granular soil. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 673–685 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Black, J.A.: Centrifuge modelling with transparent soil and laser aided imaging. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 631–644 (2015)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ferreira, J.A.Z., Zornberg, J.G.: A transparent pullout testing device for 3D evaluation of soil-geogrid interaction. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 686–707 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sui, W.H., Qu, H., Gao, Y.: Modeling of grout propagation in transparent replica of rock fractures. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 765–773 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gao, Y., Sui, W.H., Liu, J.Y.: Visualization of chemical grout permeation in transparent soil. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 774–786 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kashuk, S., Mercurio, S.R., Iskander, M.: Methodology for optical imaging of NAPL 3D distribution in transparent porous media. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 603–619 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Siemens, G.A., Mumford, K.G., Kucharczuk, D.: Characterization of transparent soil for use in heat transport experiments. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 620–630 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Black, J.A., Tatari, A.: Transparent soil to model thermal processes: an energy pile example. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 752–764 (2015)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wallace, J.F., Rutherford, C.J.: Geotechnical properties of LAPONITE RD. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 574–587 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Iskander, M., Bathurst, R.J., Omidvar, M.: Past, present, and future of transparent soils. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 557–573 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Iskander, M., Lai, J., Oswald, C., Mainnheimer, R.: Development of a transparent material to model the geotechnical properties of soils. Geotech. Test. J. 17(4), 425–433 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Iskander, M., Liu, J., Sadek, S.: Transparent silica gel to model the geotechnical properties of sand. Int. J. Phys. Modell. Geotech. 2(4), 27–40 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhao, H.H., Ge, L.: Investigation on the shear moduli and damping ratios of silica gel. Granul. Matter 16, 449–56 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Liu, J., Iskander, M.: Modelling capacity of transparent soil. Can. Geotech. J. 47(4), 451–460 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ni, Q., Hird, C.C., Guymer, I.: Physical modelling of pile penetration in clay using transparent soil and particle image velocimetry. Geotechnique 60(2), 121–132 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ahmed, M., Iskander, M.: Analysis of tunneling-induced ground movements using transparent soil models. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 137(5), 525–535 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Iskander, M.: Modeling with Transparent Soils, Visualizing Soil Structure Interaction and Multi Phase Flow, Non-intrusively. Springer, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ezzein, F.M., Bathurst, R.J.: A transparent sand for geotechnical laboratory modeling. Geotech. Test. J. 34(6), 1–12 (2011)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Guzman, I.L., Iskander, M., Suescun-Florez, E., Omidvar, M.: A transparent aqueous-saturated sand surrogate for use in physical modeling. Acta Geotechnica 9, 187–206 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Carvalho, T., Suescun, E., Omidvar, M., Iskander, M.: A nonviscous water-based pore fluid for modeling with transparent soils. Geotech. Test. J. 38(5), 805–811 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cao, Z.H., Liu, J.Y., Liu, H.L.: Transparent fused silica to model natural sand. Pan-Am CGS Geotechnical Conference (2011)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Zhao, H.H., Ge, L., Luna, R.: Low viscosity pore fluid to manufacture transparent soil. Geotech. Test. J. 33(6), 1–6 (2010)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    ASTM, Standard D 2488: Standard practice for description and identification of soils (Visual-manual procedure). Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA (2009)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    ASTM, Standard D 4015: Standard test methods for modulus and damping of soils by resonant-column method. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA (2007)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    ASTM, STP 1213: Dynamic geotechnical testing II. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA (1994)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Georgiannou, V.N., Tsomokos, A., Stavrou, K.: Monotonic and cyclic behavior of sand under torsional loading. Geotechnique 58(2), 113–124 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Stokoe, K.H., II Darendeli, M.B., Andrus, R.D., Brown, L.T.: Dynamic soil properties: Laboratory, field and correlation studies. In: Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, vol. 3, pp. 811–845, Lisbon, Portugal (1999)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Borden, R.H., Shao, L., Gupta, A.: Dynamic properties of piedmont residual soils. J. Geotech. Eng. 122(10), 813–821 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Rowe, P.W.: Theoretical meaning and observed values of deformation parameters for soil. In: Parry, R.H.G. (ed.) Stress-Strain Behavior of Soils, Proceedings of Roscoe Memorial Symposium, pp. 143-194. Cambridge University, CA (1971)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Chung, R.M., Yokel, F.Y., Drnevich, V.P.: Evaluation of dynamic properties of sands by resonant column testing. Geotech. Test. J. 7(2), 60–69 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rollins, K.M., Evans, M.D., Diehl, N.B., Daily, W.D.: Shear modulus and damping relationships for gravel. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 124(5), 396–405 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Seed, H.B., Idriss, I.M.: Soil moduli and damping factors for dynamic response analysis. Report No. EERC 70–10, Earthquake Engineering Research Centre, University of California, Berkeley, CA (1970)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Vucetic, M., Dorbry, R.: Effect of soil plasticity on cyclic response. J. Geotech. Eng. 117(1), 89–107 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Zhang, J.F., Andrus, R.D., Juang, C.H.: Normalized shear modulus and material damping ratio relationships. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 131(4), 453–464 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Seed, H.B., Wong, R.T., Idriss, I.M., Tokimatsu, K.: Moduli and damping factors for dynamic analysis of cohesionless soils. J. Geotech. Eng. 112(11), 1016–1032 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ishibashi, I., Zhang, X.J.: Unified dynamic shear moduli and damping ratios of sand and clay. Soils Found. 33(1), 182–191 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Civil and Transportation EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations