Analysis of the suction evolution during direct shear test in a silty sand soil

Omar Al-Emami, Gabriela M. Medero, Fernando A. M. Marinho, Melis Sutman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Shear strength of soils is one of the essential parameters for analysing and solving divers geotechnical problems (e.g. the bearing capacity of shallow footings pile foundations, slope stability and earth embankments). In this study, a series of conventional large-scale (300 X 300 mm) direct shear tests were carried out on saturated and constant water content silty sand specimens at ei = 0.6 and 1.0 tested under applied vertical stresses of 100, 200, or 400 kPa to investigate the influence of matric suction on the shear strength characteristics of the tested material. A loading steel cap was modified to allow the direct measurements of the matric suction using two commercial available Equitensiometer suction probes (EQ3). The experimental program indicated that, for both studied void ratios, the obtained shear strength of specimens under constant water content is found to be distinctly greater than those obtained from saturated samples. The results showed that the samples compacted at ei = 1.0 exhibited collapse behaviour during saturation stage, whereas same samples did not show any volume change during stabilisation stage when tested under constant water content condition. The study results also showed that the matric suction reduction during consolidation stage depends on initial void ratio of the tested samples as well as the level of applied vertical stress. Moreover, the matric suction evolution during shearing process of both studied void ratios specimens decreased with increasing the level of applied vertical stress.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4th European Conference on Unsaturated Soils (E-UNSAT 2020)
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Energy
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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