Parameter variability of undrained shear strength and strain using a database of reconstituted soil tests

Mair E W Beesley, Paul J Vardanega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
453 Downloads (Pure)


During construction, the mobilisation of undrained shear strength must be limited to avoid soil failure. Soil strains must be controlled to avoid compromising structural serviceability. To assess foundation performance by strength mobilisation, an understanding of soil strains at various levels of strength mobilisation is required. In practice, ground investigation data is often limited, and assessment of the expected variation of stress-strain and undrained shear strength is improved with empirical correlations calibrated with a database. The new database RFG/TXCU-278 contains data of 278 consolidated-undrained triaxial tests on reconstituted fine-grained soil samples compiled from the literature. Analysis of the database to evaluate the variability of undrained strength ratio (cu /σ'v0) and a reference shear strain with shear mode is undertaken in this paper. The new database provides evidence that shear strain (like undrained shear strength) is sensitive to the consolidation (isotropic or K0) and shear mode (triaxial compression or extension) applied in the test. For the materials included in the database, the strength mobilisation parameters obtained from a triaxial compression test can be used to predict the corresponding triaxial extension parameters to a reasonable accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1247-1255
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number8
Early online date12 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Databases
  • Stress-strain
  • Fine-grained soils


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