The stress-strain and strength characteristics of Portaway Sand
Despite the large number of modifications proposed to the standard Cam-clay models over the last three decades, the critical state concept has been much less successful for modelling sand behaviour. This thesis is concerned with understanding the stress-strain and strength characteristics of Portaway sand, a quartz sand, and the validity of several recently developed critical state models formulated in terms of the state parameter concept. The laboratory investigation consisted of the evaluation and modification of two triaxial systems and 83 triaxial tests performed under monotonic and cyclic loading conditions. Emphasis has been placed on assessing the applicability of critical state theory and state parameter concept to sands. Portaway sand was chosen in this research work because it is a typical granular material for which the deformation behaviour can be obtained and used to verify the newly developed constitutive models. The critical state model concerned is known as CASM developed by Yu (1995, 1998). CASM is a relatively simple model because it only requires seven model constants, five of which are the same as those used in the modified Cam-clay model. Three extensions of CASM referred to as CASM-b, CASM-d and CASM-c were developed recently based on the combined hardening concept and the bounding surface plasticity theory. These enable the smooth transition of stiffness, phase transformation and cyclic behaviour to be simulated. For the first time, a simple procedure for determining all the model parameters from triaxial results has been established. The validities of the theoretical assumptions introduced in the new models are critically assessed in light of results obtained from both element testing and numerical modelling. In general, the overall stress-strain behaviour of Portaway sand observed in triaxial tests under various stress paths is well captured by the models.