Date of Award
Master of Science
The liquefaction resistance of undisturbed soil samples collected from a selected location in Carbondale, Southern Illinois was evaluated by conducting cyclic triaxial tests. Index property tests were carried out on the sample for identification and classification of the soil. Cyclic triaxial tests were conducted on undisturbed sample after saturation, undisturbed sample at natural water content and remolded samples prepared by compaction in the lab. The results were used to evaluate the effect of saturation and remolding on liquefaction resistance of the local soil. Effect of effective confining pressure on dynamic properties of soil (Young's Modulus and Damping ratio) was also studied. Forty five stress controlled cyclic triaxial tests were performed. Three different values of initial effective confining pressure (5 psi, 10 psi and 15 psi) were used and cyclic stress ratio was varied from 0.1 to 0.5 in order to apply different cyclic shear stresses. The results show that the cyclic load resistance of soil decreases as a result of remolding. Saturated undisturbed samples show increase in resistance to liquefaction with increase in initial confining pressure. Remolded samples were prepared by compaction in the lab keeping unit weight and water content equal to that of undisturbed samples. Remolded samples show increase in liquefaction resistance with increase in confining pressure. Undisturbed samples at natural water content show increase in resistance to develop axial strain with increase in confining pressure. Both the rate of excess pressure development and axial strain development increase significantly as a result of remolding. While investigating the effect of saturation of undisturbed samples on liquefaction resistance of soil, interesting observations were made. The excess pressure buildup rate was faster in case of saturated undisturbed samples compared to that in samples with natural water content. On the other hand, rate of strain development was significantly high in case of sample with natural water content compared to that in saturated sample. Also, results obtained from cyclic triaxial tests on saturated undisturbed samples were compared with results obtained from similar tests on Ottawa Sand (Lama 2014) sample. The comparison shows that the saturated undisturbed soil samples of the selected local soil have very high resistance to liquefaction both in terms of initial liquefaction and development of 2.5% and 5% axial strain. Modulus of Elasticity and damping ratio were studied as important dynamic properties of soil. Young's Modulus was observed to decrease significantly at higher strain levels for all three types of samples. Young's modulus increased with increase in effective confining pressure, the effect of confining pressure being large at low strain level and almost insignificant at higher strain level. Damping ratio was highest in undisturbed sample at natural water content and smallest in remolded sample and damping ratio for saturated undisturbed sample falls in between. The damping ratio did not show any definite correlation with strain and confining pressure at lower strain level. But, for strain higher than 1% double amplitude axial strain, damping ratio significantly decreases with increase in strain. Damping ratio increases with increase in confining pressure as observed at high strain for all samples.
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