Stress-strain Relationship in Homogeneous and Two-layered Triaxial Test Specimens


The stress-strain relationship of a homogeneous specimen, obtained from triaxial compression test, allows to determine stiffness parameters for numerical-method based analyses in common geotechnical software. Stiffness parameters are defined as the ratio of stress to strain along an axis. However, when a heterogeneous specimen is tested, the equivalent elastic modulus that represents a simplification of the nonlinear behavior is complex. This paper presents a study intended to contribute to the debate about the degree to which conventional soil mechanics approaches can be applied to layered specimens. Triaxial compression tests were carried out on both homogeneous and two-layered specimens under a low effective confining pressure of 30 kPa. The triaxial apparatus was chosen since the applied stress and specimen boundary conditions are well defined, and the repeatability of the test method is good. The behavior of both specimens was studied in terms of the stress-strain relationship and stiffness. The main differences were crucial to understanding the composite soil-aggregate interaction, which is discussed and compared. The results indicate that the interface between composite soil and aggregate is important to keep the stability of the layer of aggregate over the soft composite soil, and practical methods of achieving that are suggested.

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