Rate of softening and sensitivity for weakly cemented sensitive clays

  • Received : 2014.02.07
  • Accepted : 2016.04.21
  • Published : 2016.06.25


The rate of softening is an important factor to determine whether the failure occurs along localized shear band or in a more diffused manner. In this paper, strength loss and softening rate effect depending on sensitivity are investigated for weakly cemented clays, for both artificially cemented high plasticity San Francisco Bay Mud and low plasticity Yolo Loam. Destructuration and softening behavior for weakly cemented sensitive clays are demonstrated and discussed through multiple vane shear tests. Artificial sensitive clays are prepared in the laboratory for physical modeling or constitutive modeling using a small amount of cement (2 to 5%) with controlled initial water content and curing period. Through test results, shear band thickness is theoretically computed and the rate of softening is represented as a newly introduced parameter, ${\omega}_{80%}$. Consequently, it is found that the softening rate increases with sensitivity for weakly cemented sensitive clays. Increased softening rate represents faster strength loss to residual state and faster minimizing of shear band thickness. Uncemented clay has very low softening rate to 80% strength drop. Also, it is found that higher brittleness index ($I_b$) relatively shows faster softening rate. The result would be beneficial to study of physical modeling for sensitive clays in that artificially constructed high sensitivity (up to $S_t=23$) clay exhibits faster strain softening, which results in localized shear band failure once it is remolded.


sensitive clay;shear band;strain softening;sensitivity;cemented soil;vane shear;strength loss


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