Settlements in unsaturated granular soils induced by changes in saturation and suction
Institute of Geotechnical Engineering and Construction Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Hamburg, Germany
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this contribution the hydro-mechanically coupled behaviour of a sand is experimentally investigated with the focus on settlements induced by changes in degree of saturation and suction. This phenomenon, referred to as collapse behaviour, is attributed to rearrangements of the grain skeleton due to changing capillary effects on wetting of the soil. For the experimental investigation of the collapse behaviour of a medium coarse sand cyclic drying-wetting tests are performed under oedometric conditions. In the test set-up a sand specimen, subjected to a constant small vertical stress, is cyclically dried and wetted by volume control of the pore water, whereas matric suction is measured using a tensiometer implemented to the specimen loading plate (topcap tensiometer). The test procedure, originally designed to investigate the hysteretic nature of the soil-water characteristic curve of the sand, allows to measure the one dimensional volume change of the specimen as evoked by the applied hydraulic paths under constant net stress. By varying the specimen void ratio the impact of density on the collapse behaviour can be assessed. The test data is important for the development of a mechanical constitutive model which can take the volume change behaviour due to suction changes into account.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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