Simple Techniques for the Implementation of the Mechanics of Unsaturated Soils into Engineering Practice

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Title: Simple Techniques for the Implementation of the Mechanics of Unsaturated Soils into Engineering Practice
Authors: Oh, Won Taek
Date: 2012
Abstract: Over the past 50 years, several advancements have been made in the research area of the mechanics of unsaturated soils. These advancements can be categorized into two groups; (i) development (or improvement) of testing techniques (or apparatus) to determine the mechanical properties of unsaturated soils and (ii) development of (numerical, empirical or semi-empirical) models to estimate the variation of mechanical properties of unsaturated soils with respect to suction based on the experimental results. Implementation of the mechanics of unsaturated soils in conventional geotechnical engineering practice, however, has been rather limited. The key reasons for the limited practical applications may be attributed to the lack of simple and reliable methods for (i) measuring soil suction in the field quickly and reliably and (ii) estimating the variation of mechanical properties of unsaturated soils with respect to suction. The main objective of this thesis research is to develop simple and reliable techniques, models or approaches that can be used in geotechnical engineering practice to estimate sol suction and the mechanical properties of unsaturated soils. This research can be categorized into three parts. In the First Part, simple techniques are proposed to estimate the suction values of as-compacted unsaturated fine-grained soils using a pocket penetrometer and a conventional tensiometer. The suction values less than 300 kPa can be estimated using a strong relationship between the compressive strength measured using a pocket penetrometer and matric suction value. The high suction values in the range of 1,200 kPa to 60,000 kPa can be estimated using the unique relationship between the initial tangent of conventional tensiometer response versus time behavior and suction value. In the Second Part, approaches or semi-empirical models are proposed to estimate the variation of mechanical properties of unsaturated soils with respect to suction, which include: - Bearing capacity of unsaturated fine-grained soils - Variation of bearing capacity of unsaturated fine-grained soils with respect to matric suction - Variation of initial tangent elastic modulus of unsaturated soils below shallow foundations with respect to matric suction - Variation of maximum shear modulus with respect to matric suction for unsaturated non-plastic sandy soils (i.e. plasticity index, Ip = 0 %) In the Third Part, approaches (or methodologies) are suggested to simulate the vertically applied stress versus surface settlement behavior of shallow foundations in unsaturated coarse-grained soils assuming elastic-perfectly plastic behavior. These methodologies are extended to simulate the stress versus settlement behavior of both model footings and in-situ plates in unsaturated coarse-grained soils. The results show that there is a reasonably good comparison between the measured values (i.e. soil suction, bearing capacity, elastic and shear modulus) and those estimated using the techniques or models proposed in this thesis research. The models (or methodologies) proposed in this thesis research are promising and encouraging for modeling studies and practicing engineers to estimate the variation of mechanical behavior of unsaturated soils with respect to matric suction.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23533
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-6222
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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