Directional Shear Cell Experiments on a Dry Cohesionless Soil

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Courtesy of ASTM International

The directional shear cell has become an important tool for investigating anisotropic soil behavior, especially effects caused by rotation of principal stress directions during monotonic, cyclic, proportional, and nonproportional loading. This paper describes a newly developed directional shear cell and typical stress-strain response curves from two groups of experiments on a cohesionless soil where the principal stress directions either rotate discretely in a jump-like manner or continuously rotate at constant magnitude. It is shown that stiffness moduli are significantly reduced when principal stresses rotate with respect to the soil fabric and that substantial shear strains occur when principal stresses rotate while their magnitudes remain constant.

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