Repeated loading of fine grained soils for pavement design
The primary aim of this research was to investigate the behaviour of a clay subjected to a loading regime similar to that experienced by a road subgrade under traffic loading in Great Britain. The material used was Keuper Marl. The samples were anisotropically consolidated in a triaxial apparatus from a slurry which allowed careful control over the stress history and produced uniform samples. The samples were fully instrumented and the apparatus was capable of applying repeated axial and radial stresses. The test programme was designed to investigate the resilient and permanent response of the samples to a variety of stress pulse magnitudes and time periods. The main conclusions were: i) The material exhibited a marked stress softening. ii) The mean normal effective stress remained constant under a variety of total stress paths over the range of frequencies tested. iii) The resilient response was found to depend on the magnitude of the applied stress pulse and the mean normal effective pressure, and to be independent of the preconsolidation pressure. iv) The material exhibited significant thixotropy. A smaller parallel series of tests was carried out on compacted triaxial samples of three clays (Keuper Marl, Gault clay and London clay) in a simple pneumatic repeated load triaxial rig. The test programme was designed to investigate the resilient response of the samples over a range of repeated deviator stresses. The suction moisture content relationship for each clay was established, and the resilient response of the clay was found to be controlled by the magnitude of the stress pulse and the suction. A series of California Bearing Ratio tests was carried out on compacted samples of the three clays, and on anisotropically consolidated samples of Keuper Marl, to allow a comparison to be made between the resilient modulus and CBR. A review of previous work is presented.