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50th INDIAN GEOTECHNICAL CONFERENCE

50th
IGC
17th 19th DECEMBER 2015, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Venue: College of Engineering (Estd. 1854), Pune, India

COLLAPSE BEHAVIOR OF CLAY SOIL UNDER ONE-DIMENSIONAL (1D)


COMPRESSION CONDITION

C. Choudhury1, T.V. Bharat2

ABSTRACT

Collapsible soils are widely distributed in most parts of the world mainly in arid and semi-arid region.
These soils exhibit a large volume change upon wetting at different stress states, thus posing potential
threat to the structures built on them. A sound understanding of the behavior of collapsible soils is
required for safe and cost effective solutions for geotechnical applications. A detailed study on the
collapse behavior of kaolinite soil under one-dimensional compression condition is carried out in this
paper. Soil samples are tested at different inundation stress following single oedometer technique. The
collapse potential (CP) are measured for each inundation stress. The effect of inundation stress on
collapse potential is presented..

Keywords: Collapsible soils, open structure, behavior, volume change, understanding, constitutive model,
experiment.

1
Choudhury Chinumani1, Civil Engineering, IIT Guwahati, Guwahati, India, chinumani@iitg.ernet.in
2
Tadikonda Venkata Bharat, Civil Engineering, IIT Guwahati, Guwahati, India, tvb@iitg.ernet.in
50th INDIAN GEOTECHNICAL CONFERENCE

50th
IGC
17th 19th DECEMBER 2015, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Venue: College of Engineering (Estd. 1854), Pune, India

COLLAPSE BEHAVIOR OF CLAY SOIL UNDER ONE-DIMENSIONAL (1D)


COMPRESSION CONDITION

Chinumani Choudhury (Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, chinumani@iitg.ernet.in)


Tadikonda Venkat Bharat (Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, tvb@iitg.erner.in)

ABSTRACT: Collapsible soils are widely distributed in most parts of the world mainly in arid and semi-arid
region. These soils exhibit a large volume change upon wetting at different stress states, thus posing potential
threat to the structures built on them. A sound understanding of the behavior of collapsible soils is required
for safe and cost effective solutions for geotechnical applications. A detailed study on the collapse behavior
of kaolinite soil under one-dimensional compression condition is carried out in this paper. Soil samples are
tested at different inundation stress following single oedometer technique. The collapse potential (CP) are
measured for each inundation stress. The effect of inundation stress on collapse potential is presented..

INTRODUCTION studied by controlling the pH and concentration of


Engineering problems related to collapsible soils the pore-fluid [24].
are found in arid and semi-arid regions. These soils
exhibit volume change upon wetting, even under The present study was on the influence of initial
low normal stress leading to severe damage to the stress state on the collapse behaviour of kaolinite
engineered structures built on them. Rain water clay in the oedometer test set-up . The influence of
precipitation, capillary water from the foundation aforementioned factors on the collapse potential
soils, and flooding/ponding of water may cause (CP) of soil sample was detailed.
changes to the moisture content of the soils leading
to collapse [19]. Collapsible soils are generally Theoretical background
associated with an open structure formed by sharp One dimensional oedometer tests were carried out
grains, low initial density, low natural water according to ASTM-D5333-03 [2], to find out the
content, low plasticity, relatively high stiffness and collapse potential at predetermined normal
strength in the dry state, and often by particle size stress/inundation stress (I.S.). The test method
in the silt to fine sand range [22]. However, it was consisted of placing the kaolinite clay specimen at
observed that unsaturated soils undergo collapse natural water content in a consolidometer;
under due to additional factors such as the stress subjecting the specimen to a predetermined normal
state [4,18,21]. The collapse behavior of stress; and inundating the specimen with tap water
compacted cohesive soils depends on the to induce the collapse.
percentage of clay fraction, initial water content,
initial dry density, compaction procedure, and the Curve 1-2 of Fig. 2 shows strain resulting from
fabric [1,9,10,12,13,16,17,18,23,25]. Other loading the sample at air dry condition. Line 2-3
mechanisms associated with the collapse are shows the collapse strain resulting from sample
reported elsewhere [2,5,6,7,10,13,14,20]. Fabric of inundation at 200 kPa.
clay is one of important influencing factors on the
collapse behavior. The influence of fabric on the
sediment volume and liquid limit of soil is earlier
C.Choudhury, T.V. Bharat

Table. 1 Physical properties of Kaolinite


Particle size distribution
1
2 Medium sand (2-0.425 mm) 0
e0
Fine sand (0.425-0.075 mm) 0
void ratio

Silt size (0.075-0.002 mm) 28


e
Clay size (< 0.002 mm) 72
Atterberg limits (%)
3
Liquid limit 36
Plastic limit ND
4 Plasticity index -
USCS Classification CL
P
Vertical stress (kPa)
Experimental results
Fig. 1 Typical collapse potential test result [14]
Laboratory collapse tests were conducted on air
dry sample. The clay specimen at the air-dried state
normal stress. Line 3-4 shows the collapse strain
was statically compacted in an oedometer ring to
resulting from the loading curve of a saturated
an initial dry density of 1.253 g/cc. The range of
sample. Collapse potential under a given
normal stresses used for the study was 0800 kPa
inundation stress was estimated using (14)
except one test conducted to a maximum
CP =
e
100 (1) inundation stress was 1600 kPa. Tap water was
1 + e0
used as inundating fluid. The pH of the tap water
where CP is the collapse potential, e is the change was 7.41.
in void ratio due to inundation, and e0 is the void
ratio before inundation at the inundation stress. Fig. 3-8 showed the laboratory test results. The
compressibilitys of the unsaturated clay specimens
Materials and methods were observed to be smaller than their saturated
In this study commercially procured kaolinite was counterparts. Fig. 3 showed the collapse test result
used. Hydrometer analysis was performed using under the 50 kPa inundation stress.
the ASTM standard test method [3] to determine 1.2
the particle-size distribution of the kaolinite. The
grain size distribution curve of kaolinite was 1.1

shown in Fig.2. The soil specimen consisted of 1


28% silt, and 78% clay.
void ratio

0.9

100 0.8
90
0.7
80
Percentage finer (%)

70 0.6
60
0.5
50
5 50 500
40
vertical stress (kPa)
30 Fig. 3 Void ratio vs. normal stress (inundation
20 stress 50 KPa)
10
0 The specimen showed a noticeable amount of
0.0001 0.001 0.01 0.1 collapse settlement due to the water inundation.
Particle size (mm)
The collapse potential was measured to be 6.97%.
Fig. 2 Gradational characteristics of Kaolinite
The specimen was consolidated further under the
50th INDIAN GEOTECHNICAL CONFERENCE
50th
IGC
17th 19th DECEMBER 2015, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Venue: College of Engineering (Estd. 1854), Pune, India

increasing normal stress until the maximum 1.2


consolidation pressure i.e., 800 kPa. The specimen 1.1
was unloaded to the initial seating load in stages as
shown in the Fig. 3. 1

void ratio
0.9
1.2
0.8
1.1
0.7
1
0.6
void ratio

0.9
0.5
0.8 5 50 500

Vertical stress (kPa)


0.7
Fig. 5 Void ratio vs. normal stress (inundation
0.6 stress 200 kPa)
0.5 1.2
5 50 500
Vertical stress (kPa) 1.1
Fig. 4 Void ratio vs. normal stress (inundation 1
stress 100 kPa)
Void Ratio

0.9

Fig. 4 showed the test results under a 100 kPa 0.8


inundation stress. The observed collapse potential
was 11.32 which was higher than the previous case 0.7

50 kPa. The soil also showed a considerable 0.6


amount of consolidation after the additional load
0.5
increment.
5 50 500
The laboratory test results for 200 kPa, 400 kPa, Vertical stress (kPa)
and 800 kPa inundation stress are presented in Fig. Fig. 6 Void ratio vs. normal stress (inundation
5, Fig. 6, and Fig. 7, respectively. The collapse stress 400 kPa)
potential at these inundation stresses were
measured to be 14.47%, 16.45%, and 20% 1.2
respectively. It was observed that the collapse
1.1
potential was increasing exponentially with the
inundation stress. The consolidation settlements 1
also continued due to additional applied load
void ratio

0.9
increments in all the cases.
0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5
5 50 500
Vertical stress (kPa)
C.Choudhury, T.V. Bharat

Fig. 7 Void ratio vs. normal stress (inundation potential. A similar observation was made in the
stress 800 kPa) literature on natural clayey sand obtained from
eight different locations in Jordan [5,18] which is
To understand the influence of inundation stress on reproduced in Fig. 10. As observed in the literature
the collapse potential beyond 800 kPa, an [16] the collapse potential is maximum at some
inundation stress of 1600 kPa was used on a critical value of inundation stress corresponding to
duplicate sample. The test results were shown in a given compaction moisture content and dry
Fig. 8. The collapse settlement at this stress state density. The collapse potential decreases with
was observed to be less the corresponding increasing inundation stress similar to the
settlement under the 800 kPa inundation stress. The observation made in this work. It was reasoned
collapse potential was measured to be 11.69%. [25] that the development of flocculent fabric at the
particle level due to the net attractive forces in the
1.2 clay-water system under increased interaction, the
strength of the clay specimen increases at the
1.1
particle level. It is possible that at very high
1 inundation stress (1600 kPa in this study), the net
inter-particle attractive forces were increased
void ratio

0.9
causing the development of flocculated fabric. The
0.8 resultant collapse potential was less.
0.7
30
0.6
Collapse Potential (%)

25
0.5
5 50 500 20
Vertical stress (kPa)
Fig. 8 Void ratio vs. normal stress (inundation 15
stress 1600 kPa) 10

The collapse potential data for different inundation 5


stresses were presented in Table 2 and Fig. 9.
0
0 500 1000 1500 2000
Discussion Inundation stress (kPa)
The response of the kaolinite due to wetting
induced loading under different applied normal Fig. 9 Collapse potential versus inundation stress
stresses was observed. The soil samples were
inundated at different normal stresses and the Table 1 Values of collapse potential
corresponding collapse potentials were reported. It I. S. (kPa) CP (%)
was observed that the collapse potential of the soil 50 6.970
increased with the increase in the inundation stress 100 11.32
until a critical normal stress and the collapse 200 14.47
potential decreased with the inundation stress 400 16.45
beyond. The increase in the collapse potential with 800 20.00
the inundation stress was reasoned out to due to 1600 11.69
the decrease in the negative pore water pressure at
the contact points during the inundation which
caused grain slippage and distortion [6]. Therefore,
the grain slippage and distortion was more at high
normal stress which resulted in high collapse
50th INDIAN GEOTECHNICAL CONFERENCE
50th
IGC
17th 19th DECEMBER 2015, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Venue: College of Engineering (Estd. 1854), Pune, India

2.5 2. ASTM D5333-03, standard test method for


measurement of collapsible soil.
2 3. ASTM D422-63(2007), Standard test method
for particle-size analysis of soils.
1.5 4. Barden, L., McGown, A. and Collins, K.
e/es

(1973), The collapse mechanism in partly


1 saturated soil, Engineering Geology,
Amsterdam, 7, 49-60.
0.5 5. Basma, A. and Tuncer, E. (1992), Evaluation
and Control of Collapsible Soils, Journal of
0
Geotechnical Engineering., 118(10), 1491
0 500 1000 1500 2000 1504.
Inundation stress (kPa) 6. Burland, J. B. (1965), Some aspects of the
mechanical behaviour of partially saturated
Fig. 10 Inundation stress vs. normalised void ratio soils, In Moisture equilibria and moisture
changes beneath, Sydney: Butterworths, 207-
278.
7. Casagrande, A. (1932), The structure of clay
and its importance in foundation engineering,
J. Boston Soc. of Civ. Engrs., 19(4), 168-209.
8. Dudley, J. H. (1970), Review of Collapsing
Soils, Journal of Soil Mechanics and
Foundation Division, 96, 925947.
9. Estabragh, A.R., Javadi, A.A., and Boot, J.C.
(2004), Effect of compaction pressure on
consolidation behaviour of unsaturated silty
soil, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 41(4),
540-550.
Fig. 11 Effect of inundation stress on collapse 10. Hodek, R. J., and Lovell, C. W. (1979), A new
potential [after (18) and (5)] look at compaction processes in fills., Bull.
Assoc. of Engrg. Geol., 16(4), 487499.
CONCLUSION 11. Holtz, W. G., and Hilf, J. W. (1961),
The kaolinite soil underwent collapse due to Settlements of soil foundations due to
saturation. The collapse potential increased with saturation. Proc. 5th Internation Conference on
the inundation stress due to grain slippage and Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering,
distortion. The collapse potential was maximum at 673679.
some critical inundation stress and decreased with 12. Houston, W. N., Mahmoud, H. H., and
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forces at the particle level. for partial wetting collapse determination,
ASCE, Geotechnical Special Publication (39),
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