Sample size choices for XRCT scanning of highly unsaturated soil mixtures
School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham, UK
a Corresponding author: Charles.email@example.com
Highly unsaturated soil mixtures (clay, sand and gravel) are used as building materials in many parts of the world, and there is increasing interest in understanding their mechanical and hydraulic behaviour. In the laboratory, x-ray computed tomography (XRCT) is becoming more widely used to investigate the microstructures of soils, however a crucial issue for such investigations is the choice of sample size, especially concerning the scanning of soil mixtures where there will be a range of particle and void sizes. In this paper we present a discussion (centred around a new set of XRCT scans) on sample sizing for scanning of samples comprising soil mixtures, where a balance has to be made between realistic representation of the soil components and the desire for high resolution scanning, We also comment on the appropriateness of differing sample sizes in comparison to sample sizes used for other geotechnical testing. Void size distributions for the samples are presented and from these some hypotheses are made as to the roles of inter- and intra-aggregate voids in the mechanical behaviour of highly unsaturated soils.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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