Characteristics of structural loess strength and preliminary framework for joint strength formula

Article English OPEN
Rong-jian Li ; Jun-ding Liu ; Rui Yan ; Wen Zheng ; Sheng-jun Shao (2014)
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • Journal: Water Science and Engineering (issn: 1674-2370)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3882/j.issn.1674-2370.2014.03.007
  • Subject: structurally intact loess | remolded loess | tensile strength | shear strength | stress path | failure envelope of principal stress (Kf line) | strength failure envelope | joint strength formula | River, lake, and water-supply engineering (General) | TC401-506

The strength of structural loess consists of the shear strength and tensile strength. In this study, the stress path, the failure envelope of principal stress (Kf line), and the strength failure envelope of structurally intact loess and remolded loess were analyzed through three kinds of tests: the tensile strength test, the uniaxial compressive strength test, and the conventional triaxial shear strength test. Then, in order to describe the tensile strength and shear strength of structural loess comprehensively and reasonably, a joint strength formula for structural loess was established. This formula comprehensively considers tensile and shear properties. Studies have shown that the tensile strength exhibits a decreasing trend with increasing water content. When the water content is constant, the tensile strength of the structurally intact soil is greater than that of remolded soil. In the studies, no loss of the originally cured cohesion in the structurally intact soil samples was observed, given that the soil samples did not experience loading disturbance during the uniaxial compressive strength test, meaning there is a high initial structural strength. The results of the conventional triaxial shear strength test show that the water content is correlated with the strength of the structural loess. When the water content is low, the structural properties are strong, and when the water content is high, the structural properties are weak, which means that the water content and the ambient pressure have significant effects on the stress-strain relationship of structural loess. The established joint strength formula of structural loess effectively avoids overestimating the role of soil tensile strength in the traditional theory of Mohr-Coulomb strength.
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