Over the last few decades, the particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique has become an interesting tool used to measure displacements in the field of experimental mechanics. This paper presents a procedure to interpret PIV displacements, measured following an Eulerian scheme, with the purpose of providing accumulated displacements, velocities, accelerations, and strains on points representing physical particles. Strains are computed as the gradient of displacements. When compared with other standard procedures already published, the presented methodology is especially well suited to interpret large strains. The basis of the procedure is to map displacement increments measured through PIV analysis on the subset (or patch) centres into numerical particles that are defined as portions of the moving masses whose deformation is analyzed. The implementation of the method is explained in detail, highlighting its simplicity. The procedure can be used as a post-processor of currently available PIV software packages. The methodology is first applied to synthetic cases of rectangular samples in which known displacements are imposed and also to a sandy slope failure experiment involving large displacements. The method reproduces satisfactorily the recorded images.
Wang, C.; Sadeghi, H.; Hossen, B.; Chiu, C.F.; Alonso, E.; Baghbanrezvan, S. Canadian geotechnical journal Vol. 53, num. 8, p. 1258-1269 DOI: 10.1139/cgj-2015-0364 Data de publicació: 2016-08 Article en revista
A laboratory testing program was conducted to investigate the effects of microstructure on the water retention curve (WRC) and wetting–drying induced volume change in loess. The axis translation and vapor equilibrium techniques were adopted to control suction in the range of 0–400 kPa and 4–140 MPa, respectively. Hysteresis in the WRC of loess was observed for the entire range of suction studied. Compared to re-compacted loess, intact loess exhibits a more pronounced hysteresis in the suction range below 20 kPa, which can be explained by the ink-bottle pore neck effect or constricted pores. The hypothesis is supported by microstructural evidence of mercury intrusion porosimetry and scanning electron microscopy tests. However, re-compacted loess exhibits larger hysteresis than intact loess for suctions above 30 kPa. A conceptual model was introduced, which links WRC to the corresponding pore-size density (PSD) function. Regarding volume change, more noticeable drying-induced shrinkage, but yielding at a lower suction, was observed for re-compacted loess. This is consistent with the compression test results. Stress has a significant effect on change of PSD and constricted macropores leading to a shift in the main wetting curve and a less pronounced hysteresis. Intact loess exhibits a stress-dependent wetting-induced collapse and drying-induced shrinkage.
A viaduct in a high speed railway line experienced severe heave of its central pillars as a result of deep expansion of an anhydrite rock. Bridge pillars were founded on pile groups which experienced vertical heave displacements as well as lateral displacements and rotations. A semi-analytical solution for the response of a pile group under loading and arbitrary located soil expansion was developed integrating fundamental solutions for the elastic half-space. The procedure was first validated and then applied to explain the recorded behaviour of the pile groups. The deep expansion was identified from independent surface heave and continuous extensometer readings. Group rotations were well predicted. Observed tensile fissures at the cap-pile contact were explained by the calculated forces and moments on the piles.
Mechanical and water retention behaviour of unsaturated soils is investigated in the context of two well established coupled constitutive models, each of which is formulated in terms of a different set of stress state variables or constitutive variables. Incremental relationships describing the volume change and variation of the degree of saturation are derived for each model. These incremental relationships are used to simulate a set of experimental tests on compacted Speswhite kaolin previously reported in the literature. Six individual tests, involving isotropic compression and various forms of shearing, are analyzed in the context of the incremental forms developed, and the model predictions are then compared against experimental results. The results show that, although each constitutive model uses a different set of constitutive variables and a different scheme for coupling mechanical and water retention behaviour, the two sets of model predictions are similar and both sets provide a reasonable match to the experimental results, suggesting that both models are able to capture the relevant features of unsaturated soil behaviour, despite expressing the constitutive laws in different ways.
A virtual calibration chamber was developed using a three-dimensional (3D) discrete element method (DEM) to perform cone penetration tests (CPTs) on a discrete analogue of Ticino sand. The macroscale response of the DEM model was previously shown to be in good quantitative agreement with that of analogous physical models. In the current study the performance of the model at meso and microscale levels of resolution is examined. The microscale response is examined using particle displacements and contact force distributions. The mesoscale behaviour is examined using stress and strain fields obtained through appropriate averaging and interpolating procedures. Four CPTs are examined at the steady-state penetration stage. The effects of radial boundary conditions, initial stress state, initial average density, and particle rotational inertia are examined. The ability of the micro and mesoscale data to identify and explain the relevant mechanisms underlying the significant differences in the macroscale response of the models is discussed. Comparisons with similar phenomena observed in physical tests are also highlighted.
Unsaturated cemented soils are frequent both as designed materials and as naturally occurring layers. Both desiccation and cementation act separately as hardening mechanisms, but it is not clear how exactly their effects combine. Do they enhance one another? Are they mutually reinforcing? This study presents results from an experimental campaign aimed at answering these questions. Five different mixtures of soil (a granite saprolite) and cement (with cement contents in the range 0% to 7% on a dry weight basis) are tested in isotropic compression at four different water content levels. Initial void ratio is also controlled, using two initial compaction densities. Loading is performed at constant water content and suction is inferred from a set of water retention curves obtained from parallel psychrometric and pore-size distribution measurements. The range of yield stresses explored in this study covers almost two orders of magnitude and extends up to 7 MPa at suction values of up to 14 MPa. Both desiccation and cementation increase yield stress, but their effects are less marked when both act together, and therefore they are not mutually reinforcing.
This paper presents an experimental investigation aimed at studying the hydromechanical behaviour of a silty sand
from a steep slope in Ruedlingen in the northeast of Switzerland, where a landslide-triggering experiment was carried out. The
hydromechanical behaviour of the statically compacted Ruedlingen silty sand has been studied under saturated and unsaturated
conditions, beginning with different initial void ratios and water contents. The specimens were prepared in the laboratory using static compaction, to reproduce the mean dry density and mean water content expected in natural unsaturated in situ conditions, thus promoting specimen homogeneity and test repeatability. The choice of compaction parameters was supported by a detailed physical and microstructural investigation to produce laboratory specimens with a similar microstructure to that of the natural soil. The aim of the work was to characterize the mechanical behaviour of the soil at different gravimetric water contents in a triaxial stress path apparatus and to link the mechanical behaviour with the soil-water retention curve obtained under
suction-controlled conditions with different void ratios. Soil specimens with three different gravimetric water contents were
exposed to conventional isotropically consolidated drained and undrained stress paths for the water phase and to stress paths
simulating in situ anisotropic compression followed by a decrease of mean effective stress at constant axial load. The radial
deformation of the unsaturated specimens was measured with a laser device installed in a triaxial stress path cell. Results have been interpreted using a Bishop stress approach, evaluating the suction through the water retention curve. A simple equation has been proposed to model the compressibility behaviour of the soil tested, which depends on the parameter and the stress ratio. Possible unstable response along the stress path analysed has been investigated by means of second-order work and the validity of a unified framework has also been verified under unsaturated conditions.
This paper presents a study on suction control methodology using the vapour equilibrium technique. To reduce the time needed to reach equilibrium, humid air is forced to flow through the sample boundaries. An analysis of the physical process that occurs in the tested soil samples using a numerical approach is included. The test is numerically simulated and the key parameters of the process calibrated. A sensivity analysis of the unmeasured and variables is performed. It could be observed that forcing humid air to flow through the sample reduces the equalization time, but the results from the numerical simulations highlight that this flow must be carefully applied to avoid reaching, under steady-state conditions, a different suction than that whished for. When the circulation of air along the boundaries is slow, an increase in air velocity tends to increase the rate of suction changes in the sample. However, if the circulation of air increases over some limit, the flow conditions inside the soil control the development of process.
Although a number of constitutive models for unsaturated soils exist in the literature, some fundamental questions have not been fully answered. There are questions related to (i) the change of the yield stress with soil suction, (ii) modelling slurry soils, and (iii) the smooth transition between saturated and unsaturated soil states. This paper addresses these questions by proposing an alternative modelling approach. The paper first presents a volumetric model for unsaturated soils. This volumetric model is then used to derive the yield surface in the suction – mean stress space. Hysteresis associated with soil-water characteristic curves is then formulated in the same framework of elastoplasticity. It is shown that volume collapse during wetting and plastic shrinkage during initial drying are both direct results of a suction-dependent hardening law. The proposed model seems to be more flexible in modelling different types of unsaturated soils than most models in the literature. The model can be applied to soils that are dried or loaded from initially slurry conditions, for soils that have low to high air-entry values, and for compacted soils as well.
R.M. Quigley Award 2009 (to authors of the best paper published in the Canadian Geotechnical Journal in the preceding year)