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VISCOUS EFFECTS ON THE SHEAR YIELDING CHARACTERISTICS OF

SAND
Hasbullah Nawir 1
Fumio Tatsuoka 2
and Reiko Kuwano 3
ABSTRACT
Viscous aspects of the stress-strain behaviour of sand under general stress conditions were evaluated by
performing special drained triaxial compression tests on relatively dense Toyoura sand. The yield
characteristics of sand were identified by applying unload/reload cycles under otherwise monotonic loading
at a constant strain rate. It is shown that the yield stress observed is significantly affected by viscous effects
associated with changes in the strain rate or creep deformation or both not only along a fixed stress path with
a single stress variable, but also in a two-dimensional stress space of triaxial compression. It is argued that it
is necessary to take into account viscous effects in the constitutive modeling for sand.
Keywords: Viscous effect, yield point, yield loc i.

INTRODUCTION
In the framework of the classical elasto-plastic approach, several different shapes of yield locus
on the stress plane for large-scale yielding of sand have been proposed based on experimental
observations by different researchers. Tatsuoka and Ishihara (1974), among others, performed a
series of special triaxial compression tests to evaluate the shear yielding characteristics of Fuji
River sand. In their tests, to obtain the shear yield loci, a sequence of unloading and reloading were
applied at respectively different confining pressures and this procedure was repeated during
otherwise monotonic loading. On the other hand, effects of loading rate and its change on the
stress-strain behaviour as well as creep deformation and stress relaxation could be significant,
particularly when approaching the failure state, even with air-dried sand and saturated sand under
fully drained conditions (e.g., Tatsuoka et al. 2000, 2001). A constitutive model has been proposed
to simulate such viscous effects (Di Benedetto et al. 2002; Tatsuoka et al. 2002). It seems, however,
that any study on the viscous effects on the shear yield characteristics of sand by a systematic
experimental scheme has not been performed. This issue was studied in the present study.

Dept. of Civil Eng., Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Jl. Ganesha 10 Bandung, Indonesia, formerly
Graduate Student, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tokyo, Japan. E-mail: hasbi@geot.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp
2 Dept. of Civil Eng., University of Tokyo, Japan. E-mail: tatsuoka@geot.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp
3 Publics Works Research Institute, Independent Administrative Institution, Japan E-mail: kuwano@pwri.go.jp

TEST PROCEDURES
Medium dense rectangular-prismatic specimens (18.0 cm
in height and 11.0 cm 11.0 cm in cross-section: Fig.1) of
Toyoura sand with void ratios of 0.685 - 0.700 were prepared
by the air-pluviation method using four sieves with an
opening of 1.0 mm while adjusting the flow rate of air-dried
sand particles. A pair of 12 cm-long vertical LDTs (local
deformation transducers) and four pairs of 8 cm-long lateral
LDTs were used to locally measure axial and lateral strains.
To avoid an interaction with the lateral LDTs, the vertical
LDTs were set on 7 mm-wide vertical belts that were made
by trimming off the corners of the specimen. Each pair of
lateral LDTs was set at one and two thirds of the specimen
Fig. 1 Test specimen
height on the four lateral surfaces of the specimen. A series of
drained tests were performed in an automated way by using a
precise gear system driven by a servo-motor (Tatsuoka et al. 1994; Santucci de Magistris et al.
1999) together with an electrical pneumatic transducer for the cell pressure control. After the
specimen was saturated, it was isotropically consolidated to v ' (effective vertical stress)=
h ' (effective horizontal stress)= 30 kPa and then subjected to loading along respectively specified
stress paths under triaxial compression stress conditions. A wide variety of stress path and creep
loading were applied either keeping constant or changing h ' during otherwise monotonic
loading at a constant strain rate. Viscous effects on the shear yielding characteristics of Toyoura
sand were evaluated by applying unload/reload cycles first in the case of single independent stress
variable and then on the triaxial compression stress plane.
TEST RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Shear yielding with a single stress variable
Figs. 2a, 3b and 4a show the measured stress paths from the first three tests, in which
unload/reload cycles were applied at different h' values. As each sequence of unloading and
reloading was applied at a constant h' , both p ' = ( v '+ 2 h ')/3 and q = v ' h ' changed
during unloading and reloading. Despite the above, the yielding observed is due primarily to shear
yielding, as shown below. Compression (volumetric) yielding is not discussed in this paper. In
addition, although the stress amplitude in each unload/reload cycle exceeded the stress range for
elastic deformation, it was not so large to induce noticeable irreversible shear strains that would
largely alter the microstructure produced by respective previous stress history.
In the first test (Fig. 2), a sequences of primary loading, unloading and reloading were applied at
a constant h' along each of stress paths 2-5, 7-10, 12-15, 17-20 and 22-25, while keeping the
absolute value of axial strain rate constant, equal to &0 = 0.080 %/min (the basic axial strain rate).
The specimen was not aged at the maximum deviator stress qm immediately before unloading. Fig.
2b shows the q - ir relations from this test, where ir is the irreversible shear strain equal to the
total shear strain minus the elastic shear strain evaluated by the hypo-elastic model defining the
elastic deformation for strains less than about 0.001 % (Hoque and Tatsuoka 1998). It may be seen
from Fig. 2b that along the respective reloading stress-strain curve, a clear yield point can be
defined at the same shear stress level as the one from which unloading was started, so q y (the yield
2

shear stress) qm . In this and the other two tests, to evaluate shear yield loc i on the q-p plane,
unload/reload cycles were applied changing the p value after unloading while before reloading in
each cycle . This issue is discussed in the next section.
In the second test (Fig. 3), unload/reload cycles were applied along stress paths 5-8, 9-13, 15-18
and 20-23. Each unload/reload cycle was applied also at a constant h' while reloading was made
at an axial strain rate that was different by a factor 12.5 or 1/10 from the one before unloading. The
specimen was not aged at the maximum stress state before unloading. The yield points denoted
along the reloading stress-strain relations in Fig. 3b, which were obtained as the points of
maximum curvature along each stress -strain curve in the full-log plot. It may be seen by comparing
Figs. 2b and 3b that as the strain rate during reloading becomes higher than the one before
unloading, the yield stress level q y along the respective fixed stress path becomes larger when
compared the value under otherwise the same conditions, and vice versa. The effects of such a
strain rate change as above on the yield stress increases with the increase in the difference between
the strain rates before unloading and during reloading.
In the third test (Fig. 4), along the stress paths 8-10 and 18-20, a creep test was performed for
five hours at the maximum stress points before unloading, while reloading was made at the same
strain rate and confining pressure as those before unloading. It may be seen that by creep loading at
the maximum stress state immediately before unloading, the yield stress q y becomes larger when
compared the value under otherwise the same conditions.
The results shown above indicate that and the yield deviator stress q y is not unique when the
stress path during the previous loading history is the same, unlike what the classical elasto-plastic
theory predicts, but their relative magnitude is affected by viscous effects during the strain history
until and at the yielding point. It is necessary therefore to account for the viscous effects when
accurately predicting the yielding characteristics of sand.
It may also be seen from Figs. 3b and 4b that after the shear yield point has been passed during
reloading, the stress value somehow overshoots the original primary stress-strain relation that
would have been obtained if an unload/reload scheme had not been applied. This fact shows that
the viscous effects decay with the increase in the (irreversible) strain (Di Benedetto et al. 2002:
Tatsuoka et al. 2002).
1400

1400

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

1000

Initial stress-state:
'v = 3 0 k P a
'h = 3 0 k P a

800

18
13

20

1200

24

15

10 14
8
16 17

19
21

22

600
Loading sequence

400

0
0

9
11 12

35
4

200

a)

23

Deviatoric stress, q(kPa)

1200

25

Test 1:
e0 = 0.696

6
1

200

1000

800

400

600

13

10

12 11

Fig. 2 a) Stress path; and b) relationships between q and

ir

7 6

4
21

Mean effective principal stress, p' (kPa)

22 21
19
1716

800

15

14

400

b)

24

18

600

Absolute value of v =
.
( v) 0 = 0 . 0 8 0 % / m i n u t e

25

20

Initial stress state:


'v = 3 0 k P a
'h = 3 0 k P a

200

23

Test 1:
e0 = 0.696

I r r e v e r s i b l e s h e a r s t r a i n , ir ( % )

for normal loading.

2000

Test 2
e0 = 0 . 6 8 6

1400

2 123

1200

27
16

1000

18

26

28

22
24

25

1 11 3 1 7
20
19
12
6 8 14 15

800
600

7
9

10

400
3
4

200
1

Test 2
e0 = 0.686

30

400

600

800

1000

23

21

2 8 27
22
25 24

18

1000

16
1 1 13
6

17

20 19

1 5 14

8
12

500

7 10 9
3
30

5 4

.
0 = 0.080 %/minute

200

26

1500

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

: . v = 0

1 6 0 0 7 - 8 , 1 0 - 1 1 , 1 7 - 1 8 a n d 2 0 - 2 1 : v = 12.5 0

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

29

29

1800 2-3, 25-26, and 28-29

a)

2000

5 - 6 , 1 2 - 1 3 , 1 5 - 1 6 a n d 2 2 - 2 3 : v = ( 1 / 1 0 ). 0

12

b)

1200

Irr.shear strain,

Eff. mean principal stress, p' (kPa)

ir

(%)

Fig. 3 a) Stress path; and b) relationships between q and for loading at different strain rates.
ir

1600
28

Test 3
e0 = 0.700

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

1000

Creep 1
(5 hours)

800

18 2 0
19
1315
21
1 0 14
8
16 17

24
26

27

22

9
11 12

400

Creep 2
(5 hours)

1000
Creep 1
(5 hours)

800
600

30

25
23

1200

600

15
13
14

29

24
2 0 27 2 6

18

19
22 21
16
17
10

8
9

12 11

400
3 5
6
1

0
0

200

.
0 = 0.080 %/minute

200

200

a)

23 25

Creep 2
(5 hours)

1200

28

Test 3
e0 = 0.700

1400
29

Deviatoric stress, q

1400

1600
30

400

600

800

4 76
12

b)

1000

Eff. mean principal stress, p' (kPa)

Irr. shear strain,

5
ir

= v

6
ir

ir

- h ( % )

Fig. 4 a) Stress path; and b) relationships between q and for loading with creep.
ir

Shear yielding with two stress variables


In addition to those described in Figs. 2, 3 and 4, four other tests were performed to define the
shear yield loci on the q - p plane of triaxial compression. In these and other similar tests, after
primary loading up to a certain maximum stress point (m), the shear stress was unloaded at the
same constant 'h , as stress path 2-3-4 in Fig. 5a. Then, the p value was increased at a decreased
constant shear stress q, as stress path 4-5. Finally, reloading was started at a larger 'h , as stress
path 5-6. Fig. 5b shows the result from a test in which the axial strain rate during, primary loading,
unloading and reloading was the same. A pair of corresponding maximum stress point and shear
yielding point forms a segment of shear yield locus. It may be seen that the shear yield locus
expands as the shear yield level increases. Tatsuoka (1980) showed that, for Fuji River sand, each
shear yield locus corresponds to a respective irreversible shear strain.
Three other tests were performed also by following stress paths similar to those shown in Fig.
5a to evaluate the viscous effects on the shear yield loci on the q - p plane. Fig. 6 shows results
from a test in which the strain rate during reloading was either larger or smaller than the one before
unloading at a lower 'h , while the specimen was not aged at the maximum stress state
4

immediately before unloading. Fig. 7 shows results from another test in which the strain rate
during reloading was the same as the one before unloading (at a lower 'h ), but the specimen was
aged for five hours at the maximum stress state immediately before unloading. Fig. 8 shows results
from the last test performed in the present series of test, in which combined effects of both factors
(strain rate change and creep deformation) on the shear yield loci on the q - p plane described
above were evaluated using a single specimen. That is:
a) the specimen was aged for five hours at the maximum stress state immediately before
unloading (point 3) while reloading was started from point 5 (at a higher 'h ) at a strain rate
higher by a factor of 10 than the one during primary loading (up to point 3);
b) reloading was started from point 8 at a strain rate lower by a factor of 1/100 than the one during
primary loading (up to point 6) without ageing at point 6;
c) reloading was started from point 11 at a strain rate higher by a factor of 10 than the one during
primary loading (up to point 9) with ageing at point 9 for five hours; and
d) the same loading history as above was applied from point 15.
2000

2000

1800

21

21

Test 4
e0 = 0.697

18

1600

1600
0 = 0 . 0 8 0 % / m i n u t e

1400

15
19

1200
12

1000

Deviatoric stress, q(kPa)

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

20

17

16
9

800

10
6

600

400

14

13
11

15

1200
12

Yield point

17 16

800

14 13
1011

600

8 7
3

200

5
22

20 19

1000

400

1 2

18

1400

200

a)

Test 4
e0 = 0.697

1800

200

400

600

b)
800

1000

5 4

22

1 2

1200

Eff. mean principal stress, p' (kPa)

Irr. shear strain, ( % )


ir

Fig. 5 a) Stress path; and b) relationship between q and for normal loading.
ir

1800

1800
1600

0 = 0.080 %/minute

15

12

1000

1 2 . 5 ( v ) 0
16

9
14
13
1 0 11
6
.
1 2 . 5 ( v ) 0
.
( v ) 0
7 8

600
400

.
( v )0

200

17
.
( v) 0

1000

Yield point

13

.
( v) 0

18

.
1 2 . 5 ( v )0

800

15 1 4
6

12 1 1

600
400

8 7

.
( v ) 0

200

1 2 . 5 ( v ) 0

400

600

800

Fig. 6 a) Stress path; and b) relationship between q and

1,2

Mean principal stress, p' (kPa)


ir

Test 5
e0 = 0.689

54

1000

17

b)
200

.
1 2 . 5 ( v )0

1 2

16

1200

3
4

.
1 2 . 5 ( v ) 0

( v )0

1200

800

1400

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

19

1600

1400

a)

18

Test 5
e0 = 0.689

ir

Irr. shear strain, ( % )

for loading with different strain rate.

10

1800

1800
18

Creep 3
(5 hours)

1600

Creep 2
12
(5 hours)

1000

16

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

15

1200

17

800

13
10 11

Creep 1
(5 hours)

600

1 7 16

Yield point

800

9
14 13
6

Creep 1
(5 hours)

600

11 10

8 7

400

Test 6
e0 = 0.692

3
5 4

200

0 = 0.080 %/minute

200

400

600

800

1000

0 = 0 . 0 8 0 % / m i n u t e

1,2

b)

Eff. mean principal stress, p' (kPa)

Fig. 7 a) Stress path; and b) relationship between q and

ir

Shear strain, ( % )

10

11

for loading with creep.

1400

1400

1000

15

Creep 2
(5 hours)
12
9

800

13
10 11

600

Creep 1
(5 hours)

400

3
4

200
1

0
0

100

200

Stress path
8-9
2-3, 11-12
5-6, 14-15

300

400

14

500

:
:
:

700

800

12
9

800

Yield point

14 13
6

1 1 10

600
8 7

Creep 1

400

200

5 4

b)

900

Creep 2

1000

Axial strain rate


. = ( 1 / 1 0 ) .
0
.v .
v= 0
. = 1 0 .
v
0

600

15

Test 7
e0 = 0.691
.
0 = 0.080 %/minute

1200

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

Test 7
e0 = 0.691
.
0 = 0.080 %/minute

1200

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

12

1000

15

Creep 2
(5 hours)

1200

Test 6
e0 = 0.692

200

14

400

a)

18

1400

1400

a)

Creep 3
(5 hours)

1600

1-2

Mean principal stress, p' (kPa)

ir

Irreversible shear strain, ( % )

10

Fig. 8 a) Stress path; and b) relationship between q and for loading with different strain rates and
creep.
ir

2000

1.04

1800

Measured segments of
shear yield locus

1400

0.96

s = ln(q y/q m)/ln(p'y/p'm)

Deviatoric stress, q (kPa)

1600

1200
1000
800
600
400

Estimated shear yield loci


(with viscous effects)

200
0

With creep

1.00

200

400

600

800

1000 1200

0.92
With axial strain rate
.
.
increase, from 0 to 12.5 0

0.88
0.84

Normal loading
(constant strain rate)

0.80
0.76

With axial strain rate


decrease,
.
.
from 12.5 0 to 0

0.72
0.68

1400

200

Mean principal stress, p' (kPa)

400

600

800

1000 1200 1400 1600

Mean principal stress, p'2 (kPa)

Fig. 10 Viscous effects on the power of s

Fig. 9 Yield locus segments from all the tests.

It may be seen from Figs. 6b, 7b and 8b that similar ly to the trend seen in Fig. 5b, the q value
increases with the increase in the p value along each segment of shear yield locus. It may also be
seen that the shear yield stress is affected by the strain history. That is, when the strain rate during
reloading is higher and lower than the value before unloading , the yield shear stress becomes
respectively higher and lower than the value under otherwise the same condition. In addition, the
yield shear stress becomes higher also by ageing at the maximum stress state. Finally, the effects of
these factor above are additive to each other.
To represent the observed shear yield loci, the following equation was assumed:

Fst ( ij , s , &s , hs ) =

q / pa
X st (s , &s , hs ) = 0
( p '/ pa ) s

(1)

where pa is the reference pressure (98 kPa in the present case); X st ( s ,&s , hs ) is the shear
hardening function, which is a function of the shear hardening parameter s with positive values
of X st / s ; & s = s / t ; hs is the parameter representing the effects of strain history on the
viscous effects on the shear hardening; and s is the power, which is constant for each shear yield
locus, which may or may not be lower than unity depending on the viscous effects on the concerned
yield locus. In the simplest approximation, s could be the irreversible shear strain ir = vir hir .
In a more general framework, the stress path-independent modifie d irreversible shear energy could
be employed as s (Peng et al. 2002). Fig. 9 summarizes the segments of shear yield locus defined
from the tests described in this paper and other similar tests. Then, the value of s for each
segment was obtained as:

s = log(qm / qy )/log( p 'm / p ' y )

(2)

where the subscripts m and y denote the maximum stress point and the shear yield point. The s
values are plotted against the p value at the respective shear yield point (Fig. 10). It may be seen
that the s value for the shear yield locus segments for which the strain rate is the same before
unloading and during reloading is rather independent of p (and q/p), while it is equal to around
0.84 . On the other hand, the value of s is not unique for the other tests due to viscous effects: i.e.,
it becomes larger and smaller than 0.85as the strain rate during reloading becomes respectively
larger and smaller than the value before unloading, and it increases by creep immediately before
unloading. In Fig. 9, a set of shear yield loci according to Eq. 1 with s = 0.84 are depicted, which
are in accordance with the measured ones allowing for some deviations due to different viscous
effects.
The yield loci free from viscous effects could be represented in a similar form with Eq. 1 as:

Fs f ( ij , s ) =

q / pa
X sf ( s ) = 0
( p '/ pa ) s
7

(3)

where X sf ( s ) is the inviscid shear hardening function, which is a function of only s for the
monotonic loading case. In this way, a constitutive model for sand that has been proposed to
simulate the viscous effects for the case of single stress variable (Di Benedetto et al. 2002;
Tatsuoka et al. 2002) could be extended to simulate the viscous effects under more general stress
conditions as observed in the present study.
CONCLUSIONS
From the experimental results presented above, it can be concluded that the shear yielding
characteristic s of sand could be considerably affected by viscous effects. It is necessary therefore
to take into account the viscous effects in modeling the yielding characteristics of sand.
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