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Hydromechanical behaviour of two unsaturated silts: laboratory data and model predictions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Agostino Bruno


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© Canadian Science Publishing. All rights reserved.This paper presents the results from a campaign of unsaturated and saturated isotropic tests performed on two compacted silts of different coarseness, namely a clayey silt and a sandy silt, inside triaxial cells. Some tests involved an increase or a decrease of mean net stress at constant suction or an increase or a decrease of suction at constant mean net stress. Other tests involved an increase of mean net stress at constant water content with measurement of suction. During all tests, the void ratio and degree of saturation were measured to investigate the mechanical and retention behaviour of the soil. The experimental results were then simulated by the bounding surface hydromechanical model of A.W. Bruno and D. Gallipoli (2019. Computers and Geotechnics, 110: 287–295. doi:10.1016/j.compgeo.2019.02.025), which was originally formulated to describe the behaviour of clays and clayey silts. Model parameters were calibrated against unsaturated tests including isotropic loading stages at constant water content with measurement of varying suction. Loading at constant water content is relatively fast and allows the simultaneous exploration of large ranges of mean net stress and suction, thus reducing the need of multiple experiments at distinct suction levels. Predicted data match well the observed behaviour of both soils, including the occurrence of progressive yielding and hysteresis, which extends the validation of this hydromechanical model to coarser soils. Specific features of the unsaturated soil behaviour, such as wetting-induced collapse, are also well reproduced.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bruno AW, Gallipoli D, Mendes J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Canadian Geotechnical Journal

Year: 2022

Volume: 59

Issue: 6

Pages: 837-846

Print publication date: 01/06/2022

Online publication date: 28/08/2021

Acceptance date: 31/07/2021

ISSN (print): 0008-3674

ISSN (electronic): 1208-6010

Publisher: Canadian Science Publishing


DOI: 10.1139/cgj-2021-0170


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