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Shear strength of a fibre-reinforced clay at large shear displacement when subjected to different stress histories
journal contributionposted on 23.03.2018, 00:00 by Mehdi Mirzababaei, A Arulrajah, S Horpibulsuk, M Aldava
The topic of fibre-reinforced soil has been introduced and studied increasingly in the past few decades. However, the shear strength response of fibre-reinforced clay soils with different initial void ratio values when subjected to large shear displacement has not been explored in the literature. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the shear strength responses of fibre-reinforced clay soils when remoulded with relatively small and large initial void ratio and subjected to large shear displacement. In order to exclude the composition variability of the fibre-reinforced samples when subjected to various normal effective stresses, a series of multi-stage reverse drained direct shear test was undertaken with four reverse cycles of ±7 mm, ±7 mm, ±7 mm and +14 mm to achieve an accumulative horizontal shear displacement up to 56 mm that is 93% of the sample dimension. The first stage of the testing programme was carried out on soil samples consolidated at normal effective stress of 600 kPa and unloaded to 50 kPa, followed by 4 shear cycles at normal effective stresses of 50, 100 and 200 kPa, respectively. The results of these tests confirmed significant effective stress ratio improvement with fibre reinforcement, even at large shear displacement to the fourth cycle. However, the rate of improvement decreased with normal effective stress and initial void ratio. Based on the experiments carried out in this study, the optimum fibre content to increase the shear strength of the clay soil with initial void ratio of 0.64 was found to be 0.25% with 140%, 81% and 23% increase in the stress ratio over that of the unreinforced soil at normal effective stresses of 50, 100 and 200 kPa, respectively. The second stage of the testing programme was conducted on a set of samples consolidated and sheared at normal effective stresses of 50, 100 and 200 kPa, respectively. The optimum fibre content was found to be related only to the initial void ratio of the soil, irrespective of the stress history of the soil and the applied normal effective stress. The shear stress ratio of the fibre-reinforced clay soils at large shear displacement was found to be relatively independent of the stress history of the soil. For all soil samples tested in this study, the stress ratio at 200 kPa normal effective stress was found to remain between 0.45 and 0.60.