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Fourth Technical Session

Wednesday morning, 7 June, 1950

Mr J. Brinch Hansen in the Chair
The following two Papers were introduced by the Authors and submitted for discussion.
On the motion of the Chairman, the thanks of the Conference were accorded to the Authors.



Methods for the determination of the shear D&s 1935, les laboratoires de recherches hydrau-
strength of cohesive soil have been in process of liques et de m6canique des sols annexes a 1’E.P.F.
development since 1935 in the Laboratory for Soil (Zurich) ont Btudie les methodes de determination
de la resistance au cisaillement des sols coherent%
Mechanics at the Federal Institute of Technology Ces mcthodes sont caractCrides par l’emploi com-
in Zurich, and the combined use of the ring shear bin& de l’appareil de cisaillement rotatif et de
apparatus and the triaxial apparatus has been I’appareil triaxial. Si l’on rcpartit la resistance au
specially studied. Through a division of the shear cisaillement en une part due B la cohesion et une
strength in friction and cohesion, and based on part due au frottement, on dcmontre, par dee
essais de traction et des essais de cone, que la part
tensile tests and cone tests with artificially con-
de la cohesion est a peu pr&s proportionnelle B la
solidated samples, it is proved that the cohesive pression de consolidation. Lorsqu’il n’y a pas de
part increases linearly with the pressure. For con- pression interstitielle, la relation entre r&istance au
ditions without stressed pore water the relationship cisaillement et pression de consolidation (ligne-a)
between shear strength and consolidation pressure est mise en parallble avec la relation entre resistance
au cisaillement et teneur en eau. Les circonstances
(a-line) is set up in parallel to the relationship
particulieres lors d’essais de cisaillement a l’etat
between shear strength and water content. The d&charge sont Ctudiees sur la base du changement
special conditions which must be observed during de volume pendant l’essai. En outre la notion de
shear tests with relieved samples are dictated by tension de cisaillement residuehe est introduite
the change in volume which takes place during the comme complement de la r&stance au cisaillement.
test. As a complement to the shear strength the Les relations th6oriques ont et6 control&s par
residual shear stress is introduced. une s&e d’essais et on a not6 les &arts. 11 y a une
concordance satisfaisante entre les resultats dormes
Through a number of tests. the theoretical re- par les 6chantillons consolid& par une pression
lationships are investigated and deviations estab- axiale et par une pression hydrostatique dune part
lished. The results of ring shear and triaxial et par les essais avec l’appareil de cisaillement
apparatus tests carried out with confined and rotatif et l’appareil triaxial d’autre part. Lor~qu’il
y a pression laterale active l’ essai triaxial donne de
hydrostatically consolidated samples show a satis-
bons rcsultats m&me pour de faibles hauteurs de
factory confirmation. It is proved that for active
lateral pressures the triaxial test gives reliable
L’application pratique des bases ex@rimentales
values even for very small heights of the sample. est expode pour le problbme de la stabilite des talus
The practical applications of the test results d’un barrage. Les mouvements de rampement qui
are demonstrated by calculation of the stability precedent la rupture y jouent un role particuliere-
of a dam slope. Special attention is drawn to the ment important et sont en relation Ctroite avec
l’apparition de ruptures progressives. L’introduc-
creep before failure, which is again related to the
tion de la tension de cisaillement r6siduelle permet
progressive failure. The introduction of the re- d’app&ier de faGon simple le degr~ de dcurit6 du
sidual shear stress makes it possible to estimate, in talus en tenant compte de la rupture progressive,
a simple way, the stability for the progressive failure. resp. de la formation de surfaces de glissement.

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In the development of soil mechanics the discussion about shearing strength forms an
important leitmotiv (Skempton, 1949. Tiedemann, 1937. Hvorslev, 1937). In spite of a
steady improvement in laboratory methods for determining shear strength, complete clarilica-
tion of this problem has not yet been obtained. This is due to the extremely complex nature
of this soil property, shear strength depending on a number of other properties, for example,
permeability and compressibility. In this Paper an account is given of the methods for
testing cohesive soil, adopted at the Soil Mechanics Laboratory annexed to the Federal
Institute of Technology in Zurich. In previous publications (Haefeli, 1936, 1944, 1946,
1946. Shaerer, 1946, 1946. Schaad, 1946) developments up to 1946 have been described ;
therefore only the latest progress will be considered.
This novel development has been considerably advanced by contributions from Mr L.
Bjerrum, who is at present working on a detailed investigation of the shear strength of soils.
Our Laboratory has adopted a number of new aspects resulting from his investigations, and
his contributions to our knowledge of the z3g.i
shear strength are partly taken into consider-
ation in this Paper.
-AXiil tollion I bnrolidation
Since 1936 an endeavour has been made to
II Consolidation
combine the use of the ring-shear apparatus
and the triaxial machine, based on the view
that the two apparatuses supplement each
other. For tests in an open drained system
with disturbed or artificially compacted
samples, the ring shear apparatus is suitable.
For tests in the closed undrained system
-that is, with no alteration in water content
during the shearing process-the triaxial ap-
paratus is preferred, since undisturbed or
artificially compacted samples can be used.
In the second part of the present Paper
the theoretical basis for the treatment of Tonsils bwngth of clay samples, conmolidated
shearing strength is formulated and discussed. in oedomekr, plotted as a function o! the con-
solidation presmlre
In order to control this basis a further number
of ring-shear and triaxial-shear tests were performed with artificially consolidated clay.
Part III deals with the test results at present available and Part IV gives some outlines for
the practical application of the theory.


If a clay slurry is consolidated under a gradually increasing load, the clay will become
denser, resulting in higher compression strength, higher tensile strength, higher shear strength,
cohesion, and higher modulus of compressibility. The higher the range of pressure the less
pronounced is the linear increase of the above-mentioned firmness figures and the pressure.
If, however, only a small pressure range is considered-which is often sufficient for practical
purposes-the proportionality between the consolidation pressure and the magnitude of the
above-mentioned mechanical sires provides a working hypothesis for application in practice.
Lack of accuracy may thereby be compensated by simplicity.
As an example of the above relationships, the tensile strength of a saturated clay, determined
in the centrifugal machine, is plotted in Fig. 1 as a function of the consolidation pressure ai ;
the tensile stress acting in the direction of the parallel orientation of the clay structure caused
by the consolidation pressure (Haefeli, 1939,1944,1946,1946. Schaerer, 1946,194&X Schaad,

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1948). It may be observed that the above-

described direct proportionality between tensile
strength and consolidation pressure can be
confirmed approximately by the test results.
In this connexion it may be noted that the
influence of capillary pressures is not exactly
Another criterion of the existence of this
direct proportion can be found by the aid of
cone-tests, the tests being carried out on soil
remoulded at the liquid limit and consolidated
in the oedometer. If the penetration of the
90-degree cone with a weight of 1 kilogram is
measured, the limiting pressure gb can be calcu-
lated as the specific stress on the cone area.
Fig. 2 shows the limiting pressure of a tile
clay (No. 4000) consolidated in the oedometer
under different pressures (beginning at the liquid
limit) ranging from 0.5 to 16 kilograms per square
centimetre. The ratio of the limiting pressure
to the consolidation pressure is approximately
1.50. For the same soil the ratio of the shearing
strength to the consolidation pressure was found
to be 0.27 ; therefore it can be concluded that
the limiting pressure is a measure for the shear
Water content 0, limiting pressure 0, and
strength, giving values 5-6 times higher than
tensile strength 0, plotted against consolid-
ation pressure those for the shearing strength. The cone test
Water content and tensile strength after can, consequently, be applied to an approximate
consolidation in oedometer,O. determination of the pre-consolidation pressure
Water content after consolidation by hydro- or the shearing strength. The ratio of the limit-
static pressure,V .
ing pressure to shearing strength has moreover
a certain inttirest for judging the load-bearing capacity of a clay with known shearing
The above examples show the importance of the relationships between shearing strength
and consolidation pressures and between shearing strength and water content. It is presumed
that consolidation starts with a material remoulded at the liquid limit and that it depends
only on the major principal stress.


Relation between shearing strength and consolidation pressure.-For unstressed pore water
the relation between shearing strength and normal pressure, u, can be illustrated by a line,
designated as the a-line (Fig. 3). Approximately, this line can be assumed straight, passing
through the origin and cutting the abscissa-axis at the angle & of apparent internal friction.
In reality it is not a question of friction only, but a sum of a friction r and a cohesion c : I
s=r+c . . . . . . . . . . . (1)
From previous tests it may be assumed that the’friction increases linearly with the
normal pressure, and the cohesion with the consolidation pressure ; that is :
rcu.tan4, . . . . . . . . . . (2)
where & denotes the true angle of internal friction.
An exact division of the total shearing strength in friction and cohesion, as made in 1937 by

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Hvorslev and in recent years by Skempton (1943) and Bjerrum (195(I), is of fundamental
importance for the understanding of shearing strength (Terzaghi, 1936). Since 1935 the
Zurich Soil Mechanics Laboratory has been working to the same end. (Haefeli, 1933, 1944,
1946, 1946. Schaerer, 1946, 1946. Schaad, 1948.)
Cohesion may be assumed to be governed by the adhesion of the absorbed water fihns,


Water content,
after hcarinq.

Normal rtrcsr-


Water content and shear resistance plotted as a function

. of normal pressure

which surround the individual grains. The proportional increase of cohesion with the
consolidation pressure can thus be explained by the increase in the contact area or, more
generally, by the more pronounced influence of the molecular forces.
In a drained system, as is the case in slow shear tests, the major principal stress acting in

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the moment of failure, is identical with the consolidation pressure. The shear strength can
thus be expressed either by the normal pressure u or by the consolidation pressure uI
s=o.tan~,=u~.tan~~ . . . . . . . . (3)
The geometrical relationships between the three angles +,, #d, and 6 are illustrated in Fig. 4
in such a way that, if two of them are known, the third is given by the diagram.

Relationshi+ be#ween shearing sttmgth ad water co&e&.-Between water content and

consolidation pressure aI there exists, for normal clay, a simple relationship which is shown
in Fig. 5 by the line $fi
+I=Ad, =Aw,lo&& . . . . . . . . . . (3)

Aw~==q.A.~w, +;); 7-1 . . . . . . . . . .

A, is the coefficient of compressibility and denotes the specific settlement due to the augmen-
tation of the consolidation pressure from u = 1 kilogram per square centimetre to u = e = 2.72
kilograms per square centimetre.

A - - .0.434

where C, denotes compression index (Terzaghi and Peck, 1948).

lr ,# void ratio for u = 1 kilogram per square centimetre.

On the other hand, the shearing strength is proportional to the consolidation pressure, and
for this reason the shearing strength can be expressed as a function of water content (Rutledge,
1947). This expression must, according to Fig. 5, be :

. . _. .

where s denotes shearing strength of the normally consolidated clay.

I, comparison pressure = 1 kilogram per square centimetre.
A: ), alteration in water content caused by change in consolidation pressure from
o = 1 kilogram per square centimetre to u = i kilograms per square
Awe’, ,, alteration in water content caused by an increase of the consolidation pressure
from u = 1 kilogram per square centimetre to a = e = 2.72 kilograms
per square centimetre.

The relationship between shearing strength and water content (#.) is thereby fixed by aid
of two values, the first of which can be determined in the oedometer (Awe), and the second
approximately in the ring-shear or triaxial apparatus (+d). With the assumption made above,
the horizontal distance between the two parallel lines GI and @, will be A - B = log, tan #,j.
With a sample consolidated at a certain pressure, the state of which is represented by the
point E of the line +r (Fig. 5), two different points of the shear line ‘&acan be obtained : the
point F by draining the test during the shear process (open system) and the point D in the
undrained or closed system (constant water content).

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-6 0 AND W(s)
Water content a6 a function of consoIidd0n
pressure (&I), shear rdstance (‘&), and
residuaI &tear StmqYth (OR)

Alteration in cmolidatiota and water content by slow shear tests in an open or drained system-
As already proved by Hvorslev and the Author, for materials with a straight a-line a consolida-
tion and a water-content alteration during the slow shear tests can be observed, the magnitude
of which can be considered as a constant for the same material. Using equation (3) and
introducing the coefficient of compressibility A,, the above value can be expressed by the
angles 4, and ‘$d.

4, . . . (5)
Settlement before failure :

A, = A, . (log, or - log,, u) = A;. log,, = A, . log,

[ 1

Alteration in water content :

Aw, = &(log& - log>) = Awe. log,


In the former paragraphs only those shearing processes were considered in which the
major principal stress is equal to the consolidation pressure. Below, failure conditions will
be considered when the major principal stress is either higher or lower than the consolidation

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Shearing Strevzgth in a closed or undrained system with pore-water pressure (right-hand for T,
Fig. 6).-The dependence between shearing strength and normal pressure is, in the closed
system with pore-water pressures, given in Fig. 6 by the horizontal c-line. Since the c-line cuts
the Mohr’s circles, the shearing strength must be somewhat less than half the difference
between the major and minor principal stresses ; that is,
s -_ =I - WI
cos l& . .
2 ’
which must be taken into consideration in triaxial tests.
On the other hand, if in the closed system the shearing strength is determined as a function
of the consolidation pressure o,, a straight line, the d-line, will be found, cutting the abscissa
axis at the angle +,+ This line is identical with the shearing line found in the ring shear
apparatus by quick tests (+a = +W). (Terzaghi and Peck, 1948).

Shearing strength of the relieved material (left-hand for T).-For the shear strength a re-
loading will be effective only if the major principal stress, which may be present during the
shear, is lower than the consolidation pressure ; that is, if (I < uI (Fig. 6).
If, during the relieving and subsequent shearing the condition of constant volume and
water content is exactly fulfilled, the cohesion will be unaltered, and the shearing strengths will
consequently form a straight line, the b-line, which makes an angle r& with the horizontal
axis. Since these conditions can scarcely be real&d, the b-line is of more theoretical im-
portance, first as an ideal limiting condition and secondly as tangent to the Mohr’s circle at
the point T.
In reality, the shearing strength depends, for a given consolidation pressure and equal
reloading, on the special test conditions ,* that is, on whether the tests are carried out below
or over water, as quick or slow tests, etc.

-_________ __---_---- _.___.!z;r_________

Shear resistance plotted agfCn6t normal preaeura for open syclbm (a-line).
and closed eystem (c-line)

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If in the ring-shear apparatus slow tests under water are carried out with considerably
relieved samples after a complete. swelling, a rising of the sample is observed before faihue,
as stated by Hvorslev. Figs 7 illustrate an attempt to explain this phenomenon.
With much relief in the ring-shear apparatus, the ccefhcient of the pressure at rest will be
higher than 1, conditioned by the horizontal confinement. The horizontal pressure u will,
in this case, be the major principal stress (q,J In such a case it may then happen that
during the shearing process a decrease of the major principal stress will occur. This is
expressed in Figs 7 by the two stress circles (4 and 5), representing the begimring and the
end of the shear test, intersecting. The result is a small rise of the sample surface (Fig. 8)

+________ct__ ____ 4 i i
c_‘-oi. __--___-+._- .____

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which, however, occurs only in the case of much relief ; for smaller reloadings a settlement will
take place, the magnitude of which will increase the less the sample is relieved. Analogously,
with the critical porosity, introduced by Casagmnde (1935) and the critical normal pressure
for sands mentioned by Terzaghi and Peck (EM), there exists a critical reloading pressure ok
or a critical ratio 0, : oI for which the sample retains its volume unaltered during the shear
test (Fig. 8, point K-Hvorslev 1937). In this special case constant cohesion or constant
water content occurs during the test.
The relationship between shearing strength and water content given by equation 4 for
primary loading is invalid for relieved conditions. In Fig. 5 the dependence between shearing
strength and water content for this case is illustrated diagrammatically by the two dotted
arrows. For a given water content the shearing strength will thus decrease with increasing
consolidation pressure.
If, on the other hand, the failure condition is brought about by an increment of the forces
above water-that is, with the entire effect of the capillary pressures-an envelope to the
failure conditions is obtained, as shown in Fig. 8 by the line T, - C*. This condition
arises in the tensile test, the compression test, and the test of pure shear, during which the

I Nol-lnol r1nJs.u

1,-c* : ~~~ple,~~~doonab~watar(cap~ affect)
T,C: relievedmample, shear test done below water (swelliq and

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lateral deformations are unconfined. The line T, - C* is nearly horizontal, as assumed in
the + = o analysis.


By residual shearing stress is meant the specific friction, which remains in the sliding
surface after complete retarding of the shearing operation. Experiments under similar con-
ditions were first made with snow, when the value 0 was found for the residual shearing stress
-an expression of the complete plasticity of that material (Haefeli, 1939). In 1938
corresponding tests were made with clay, using the ring shear apparatus, which had been
fitted with a dynamometer as retarding device (Figs 9). (Haefeli, 1939, 1944, 1946, 1948.
Schaerer, 1946, 1948. Schaad, 1946.)
With the definition given above, it must be noted that the residual shearing stress is not
identical with the minimum shearing strength present immedia;tely after rupture. The latter
is dependent on the pore-water pressure occurring at rupture because of sudden settlement
(disturbance of structure in the sliding surface). The residual shearing stress on the other
hand, is measured only some time after rupture actually occurs ; that is after motion (settle-
ment and transverse displacement) has quite ceased and the pore water is relieved of pressure.
This shearing stress therefore expresses only the weakening of the material through the
formation of sliding surfaces. Any renewed increase in shearing strength which may after-
wards occur-for instance because of thixotropy, is consequently not considered in the.
residual shearing stress (Hvorslev, 1937).
The practical importance of the residual shearing stress lies in its adoption when criticizing
questions of stability. The relation between the residual shearing stress and the shearing
strength is then of special interest :

=s-“;a+ts5!h, . . _ . . . - (8)
tan +R
Since III the case of the residual shearing stress we are dealing with a specific friction,
which still remains after loss of cohesion in consequence of the formation of sliding surfaces,
the question must be investigated as to whether the angle +n may be identified with the angle
& of the true internal friction.
For a constant value of +n, the dependence of the residual shearing strength on the water
content can, according to Fig. 5, be represented in an analogous manner as for the shearing
strength (straight line @n).


The test materials used were clays with’the characteristics shown in Table 1. The older
tests of 1942 and 1945 were supplemented by new tests, all samples being packed into the
different consolidation appliances at the liquid limit.

Table 1
Co&l&ah of the materials wed for the t%ate

No. Designation of Test f: . P: A,: YJ

the material year per cent. perucAt. per cent. per cent. per %nt.

B, Residual clay 1942 76.6 34.7 41.9 2.74 ’ 42-9

1632 Brick clay 1945 55.7 22.9 32.8 ;:; 2.72 31.4
4000 Brick clay 1950 41.1 16.6 24.5 7.4 2-69 26.5

f = liquid limit ; a = plastic limit ; p = plasticity index.

A, = coefficient of compressibility ; yI = specific gravity of the solid substance.
w = water content for n = 1 kilogram per square centimetre (prepared at liquid limit).

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The test series were carried out by Mr H. Huggler, civil engineer, and the following ap-
paratus was used : oedometer, cone-test apparatus, rotary tensile-strength testing apparatus,
ring shearing apparatus and triaxial apparatus. On the suggestion of Mr Bjerrum the con-
solidation of the triaxial test samples was carried out in a special big water tank, allowing
consolidation under a hydrostatic pressure of up to 16 kilograms per square centimetre. The
results of the tests are illustrated in Figs 16-16 and may be summarised as follows :
(1) The final water contents obtained, on the one hand in the oedometer and on the
other hand with compression on all sides, agreed very well (Figs 2 and 13). Thus,
at least within the scope of the test conditions, the assumption is confirmed that
the first chief stress is decisive for the consolidation.

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(2) The deviations found in each of the five tests in the ring shearing apparatus reached
at the most about 5 per cent. In the case of materials not filled in at the liquid
limit, a remarkable decrease of the angle +# was found in the region of the u-line
when the normal stress increased from 1 to 4 kilograms per square centimetre.
The decrease amounted to about 18 per cent in the case of clay 1632, and to about
15 per cent. for clay B, (Figs 10).
(3) The change in water content Aw,, measured in the ring shearing apparatus with clay
4000 during the slow shearing of primarily consolidated samples (u-line), agrees
with the calculated value (Equation 6 and Fig. 11). The settlements observed
when shearing display the characteristic run illustrated in Fig. 8. In the case of

4.0 1.486 0.971
4.0 1.480 0970
1.470 OaS
::; 1.488 0.972
4.0 1.474 oa9
Average 1.480 0970

Condition of failw for shear strcnqth CWW, O-7j

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greatly relieved samples (4-5 kilograms per square centimetre) slight rising
occurred,as had been observed and explained by Hvorslev (Figs 11 and 12).
(4) For relieved material, consolidated at 4 kilograms per square centimetre, unconfined
compression and tensile tests were carried out in the triaxial apparatus above
water; showing a slight inclination of the envelope TI - C* (courbe ilrtrinsique.
Fig. 11).
(5) The line #r shown in Fig. 13, which represents the dependence of water content on
consolidation pressure for clay 4006, shows a certain deviation from the theoretical
straight line when pressures exceed 4 kilograms per square centimetre. This
anomaly is probably due, to a certain extent, to a systematic error in determining
the direct water content in heavily consolidated samples (disturbance by swelling).
(6) The straight line Q8 given in Fig. 13, which represents the relation between shearing
strength and water content for clay 4666, shows that the shearing strengths
determined without relieving, either in the triaxial apparatus or in the ring
shearing apparatus, agree well with those calculated from theoretical principles.
Only values measured during the relieved ring shearing tests show the expected
deviation (Fig. 5).

water content, and volume chaqp
plottedagednatnornmlpreu9ro (day4ooo: neealmo
Fio. 8)

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Nga 12

S = 0.388 kilogram per square centimetre

SE = 0.293 kilogram per square centimetre
= 0.755 = Aa
W, = 23.6 per cent.
hl = 13.734 millimetres
As =-lm= - 1.11 per cent.
W, denotes water content at end
hr ., height of sample (for consolidation pressure :
(I = 1 kg. per sq. cm.).

S = O-463 kilogram per square centimetre

SR = 0.430 kilogram per square centimetre

‘-!! = 0.928 =

W, = 25.3 per cent.

b = 13.489 millimetres

As* = lF$ = + 4.1 per cent.

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Changes in volume aad height of sample during shear test (material 4000)
Top : rise of t$e relieved sample surface during shear process (consolidation pressure = 4 kg. per sq. cm., normal pressure
during shear bst = 0.5 kg. par eq. cm.)
Bottom:,inOp~~~tem(CO~s~datiOnpre~~~ = 4kg.par = normal pressure).

(7) In agreement with theoretical considerations the two straight lines G1 and G8
mentioned above are practically parallel for clay.4000. The point of intersection
A of the straight line U$ with the horizontal line w = w1 gives tan +d = 0-n.
This value of tan +d corresponds to the result obtained in the ring shearing ap-
paratus (Fig. 11). By plotting the constant change’in water content Aw,, two
corresponding points of the two lines or, and c?&for drained shear processes are
obtained. For an individual material 4000, the consolidation of which started
with the liquid limit, some agreement between the theory based on a simple
hypothesis and the results of the tests has been determined, but may not yet
be assumed to be generally applicable.
(8) The definition of the residual shearing stress and of its experimental determination
requires further restriction and exact definitions. Tests hitherto made with
Fig. 13
cl+ = AW, = AW.. 1og.b

Water oontant a8 a fnnction oi consolidation pmaaurC (@I) and ahear rcmmallco (OS). Ring-
ahcar apparatus,c : biaxial apparatum,A. (Material 4000 : sea Ng. 6)

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Fig. 14

0.70 0.w _*O’P 0.90 O’% I’0

RAnoA,. FOR u. 1 KC. RR IO. CM.

Ratio hR between residual shear stress and shear rm&$tance as

a f’unction of liquid limit

about thirty different kinds of soil gave the loose connexion illustrated in Fig. 14
between the ratio A, on the one hand (ratio between residual shearing stress and
shearing strength, determined for Q = 1 kilogram per square centimetre) and the
liquid limit on the other hand.
In the relieved state of the material, An will be smaller the more the material is relieved
before shearing, or the greater the cohesion part of the shearing strength that disappears
when the sliding surfaces form. The question whether the angle +n can be identified with
the angle +r of the true internal friction remains open.


From what has already been said, it will be seen that the shearing tests were in the first
place intended to determine the angle +a of apparent friction (thereby friction and cohesion
are included), and the angle +, of true internal friction. The combined adoption of ring-
shearing and triaxial apparatus serves this purpose.
Since 1948, on the suggestion of Mr Bjerrum, the Soil Mechanics Laboratory at Zurich has
intensified his endeavour to investigate exactly the relations between shearing strength and
consolidation pressure (oi) on the one hand, and between shearing strength and water content
on the other hand. The application of these new methods to practical cases has led to simpler
and clearer solutions than the methods formerly adopted.
If, in the case of consolidation of the disturbed material, a start is made from the liquid
limit, with all-round or hydrostatic consolidation pressure, not only homogeneous but
also isotropic samples are obtained, and for them the angle 4, at the inclination of the
surfaces of rupture can be checked (Fig. 15).
On undisturbed samples the compressive strength is determined with unhindered lateral
extension. In addition, triaxial tests are made in the region with pore-water pressure. When

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ah active, continually increasing lateral pressure and constant vertical pressure are applied,
the triaxial test gives perfect results, even when the height of the sample is only half its
diameter (Fig. 17). Qn the other hand, triaskl tests on undisturbed and disturbed samples,
using controlled stress and active lateral pressure, were applied to study the creep
phenomena in connexion with the measurement of the viscosity, q, as a function of stress
conditions (Fig. 18). To that purpose the following relation was established (Haefeli-
Schaerer, 1946) :
f% (04- %J ;a=-. a . . . . . . ,(Ql
‘1 =I.* 2a dt
where m. denote the Poisson ratio fyr plastic compression and a the vertical strain velocity
of the samgk For 9+ = 2 (no dramage, constant volume) equation (9) becomes identical
with the fonnufa given by Geuze and Tan Tjong Rie (1950). For longduration tests special
creep apparat:uses are necessary.

Strain curve of P clay cylinder, consolicded at 4 kg. per sq. CM.

.ActiveIa~pmss~s bycoxdaatvertiolrlpressum

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N -.----. .--.
t -------
-t i
! %
: c


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Therefore, also when judging relieved soils, the greatest care should be taken and any cleavage
should be considered. If there is much cleavage, it is, strictly speaking, only ,possible to
calculate with the residual shearing stress. The difference between residual shear@ stress
and shearing strength will be the greater, the more .the material has been pie-loaded.
Finally a practical case will be explained in order to illustrate how a consideration of the
residual shear strength influences the stability calculation. Fig: 22 shows the upstream
slope of an earth dam constructed of a cohesive core material, zone 1, and the cohesionless
permeable zones 2,3, and 4. As a first approximation tl e maximum water level is admitted
as decisive for the consolidation ; that is, all the intere&d zones are subject to uplift. The
most unfavourable case is then the sudden draw-down of the water level, the safety factor
being defined as the ratio between the sum of the possible shear strengths along the sliding
surface and the sum of the active shear forces.
The calculation of the shear strength in the cohesionless zones 2-4 can,be made from the
equation s = u . tan 4, where a denotes the normal stress on the sliding surface for lowered
water level. The determination of the normal stress is-itself a vast problem, which may
result in different solutions, dependent on conception of the failure process and the producing
As stated above, the consolidation pressure for maximum water level, which can be assumed
approximately equal to the overburden pressure (or = yl’ ‘.k) is decisive for the shear strength
of the cohesive material. In this equation y,” denotesthe average unit weight of the soil below
water. Consequently we have, after equation (3),
Py,“.k. tan+, . . . . . . . . . . (10)
The rise of pore pressure is.thereby taken into account since. in the zone of draw-down, the
active shearing forces are calculated without uplift and the &earing strengths, on the
contrary, for full uplift.
Taking the progressive failure into consideration, the shear strengths have to be reduced
according to the ratio tan 4n : tan (bd. In our example for cohesionless material this ratio
was taken as 0%. Cn principle an analogous, but numerically larger reduction of the shear
strength is applied to the cohesive materials, for which the difference between residual and full
shear strength is more pronounced. In the above example a reduction of 20 per cent. is used.
By the consideration of the progressive failure it is also possible to translate the problems
to pure friction, the shearing strength of the cohesive zone being calculated as the product of
normal stress and coefficient of friction.
In Fig. 22 the safety factor for one given sliding surfau+calculated according to the above
described methods-is plotted as a function of the stage in water level during the draw-down.
It is directly seen that a calculation of the progressive failure for this example results in only
small reductions of the safety factors, the cohesionless materials prevailing.
Fig. 22 shows, moreover, that for each sliding surface there exists a critical draw-down of
the water level, &, for which a minimum value of N, results. Inversely another very dangerous
sliding surface corresponds to each stage of the lowered water level. During the draw-down the
decisive slip surface consequently shifts down and simultaneously changes the shape. For
a most critical stage of the water level an absolute minimum value of the safety factor
will be reached. (Gruner and Haefeli, 1934). Normally this minimum value does not torte-
spond to a full draw-down, but may occur for an essentially higher stage of the lowered
water level.

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io8 R.. .HAPFEEQ

BJI~RRUY, L+&XO~, F;hndamentalconsiderations onthe shear.strength et soil. G&ecksdqrre. 2 : 209-Z@
QSAGRABDB,,& 19g,. Characte$stics of cohesionless soils affecting the stability of slopes and earth
tills. Bull; Hikiard Univ. Grad. Sch. Eng. No. 173, Soil A$ech. Series.’ No. 2. 32 pp.
GUEZE, E.d:Wi Ali and TAN TJ~?+G Km, 1950. The shearing properties of soils. CMschnique. 2: 141-181
GRUNER, H. E+-+d HAEFELI,!R., 1934. Beitrag, zur Untersuchung des physikalischen nnd statischen
Verhaltens koh&renter Bodenarten. (Testing the physical and static properties of cohesive so+.)
SchwizetiscW Bbuzeitung. ‘, 103 : 171-174, 1851188.
HAEFELI, R., 1938. Mechanische Eigenschaften von Lockergesteinen. (Mechanical properties of loose
stones.) SchweWr&he Bauxeitnng. 11 I : 299-303, 321325.
HAEFELI, R., 1939. Schneemechanik mit Hinweisen auf die Erdbaumechanik. (Snow mechanics and its
application to soil mechanics.) Dissertation E.T.H., Zurich.
HAEFELX. R., 1942. Spannungs-und Plastisitatserscheinungen der Schneedecke. (Stress and plasticity
of snow blanket.) Mitteilungen No. 2 der Versuchsanstalt fJr Wasserbau an &r E.T.H.
HABFBLI, R., 1944. Erdtiumechanische Probleme im Lichte der Schneeforschung. (Soil mechanics
problem in the light of experiments on snow.) M&&ilungen der Versuchsanstatt firr Wasserbau an dc*
.E.T.H.. Zurich., SJo.11.
HAB~.ELI, R., and SCEABRER. CH., 1946. Der Triaxialap rat. (The triaxial apparatus.) Mittci&rgea
de? Versuchsa+@lt fi?r Wasserbau nnd Erdbau ah’der l? .T.H.. Zurich. No. il.
HABFEU; R., 1948. Shearing strength and water content, a complement to the shearing theory. Proc.
Secmd Int. Con. Soil. iMe&. 3 : 3844.
HVORSLEV, M. J., 1937.. Uebei’ die’Fest.igkeitseigenschaften gestorter bindiger Bljden. (On the physical
properties of disturbed cohesive soils.) Ingeniervidenskabelige Sktifter. A. No. 45. 159 pp.
RU~LEDCE, P. C.. 1947. Triaxial shear research. Prog..Aep. of Soil Mech. Fact Finding Survey, U.S.
Waterw. Expt. Sta.
SCHAERER, CH., SCHAAD, W., and HABFELI; R., 1949. Contribution to the shearing theory. Proc. Se&d
fnt. Cmzf. Soil Me& 5 : 12-19.
SKB;PT;T~~A. W., 1948. A study of the gedtechnical properties of some post-glacial clays. G6oo(echniquc.

SKEM~TON A W., 1949. Alexandre Collin, a note on his pioneer work in soil mechanics. Cktechniqw.
1 21A2il:
-: ! --- ----
TERZAGH~, K., 1936. The shearing resistance of saturated soils and the angle between the planes of shear.
Pr&. First Int. Con, Soii Mech. 1 : 54-56.
TERZAGHI, K., and PECK, R., 1948. Soil mechanics in engineering practice. Wiley, New York. 566 pp.
TIEDBMANN, B., 1937. Uebei die Schubfestigkeit bindiger B6den. (On the shearing strength of cohesrve
soils.) Bautechnik. 15 : 400-403, 433-435.

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