Experimental study on the aging of sands

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Aging effects in sand, such as increases in cone penetration resistance with time after deposition and/or densification, are known to occur in the field, but the causes of these effects are not fully understood. A laboratory testing program was designed to study mechanisms responsible for aging effects under controlled conditions. The testing program included measurements of the small strain shear modulus, electrical conductivity, pore fluid chemistry, and minicone penetration resistance after different periods of aging. Two different sands were tested, and aging effects were evaluated for different combinations of relative density, temperature, and pore fluid composition. Increases in the small strain shear modulus were observed throughout most of the tests, and chemical analyses suggest that precipitation of carbonate and silica occurred in two tests. Despite these changes, there was no corresponding increase in the minicone penetration resistance with time in any of the tests. It is unlikely that precipitation of carbonate or silica is responsible for aging effects in sands; other possible mechanisms include arching due to dissipation of blast gases and redistribution of stresses through the soil skeleton. An additional possibility is that the boundary conditions imposed by the laboratory tests obscure changes in penetration resistance that would be measured had the volume of sand tested been much larger. The implications of these findings in terms of other published field and laboratory studies are discussed. © ASCE.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering