Modified Bromhead Ring Shear Apparatus

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Courtesy of ASTM International

The main factor affecting the drained residual strength measured in the Bromhead ring shear apparatus is the magnitude of wall friction developed along the inner and outer circumferences of the confined specimen. The magnitude of wall friction increases with the depth of the remolded specimen, and thus the plane of least wall friction occurs at or near the soil/top porous stone interface. As the top porous stone settles into the specimen container, the wall friction influencing the shear plane increases, causing an increase in the measured residual strength. A new specimen container is proposed for the Bromhead ring shear apparatus that allows a remolded specimen to be overconsolidated and precut prior to drained shearing. This minimizes settlement of the top platen and the horizontal displacement required to reach a residual strength condition. As a result, a multistage test can be conducted without excessive settlement and thus wall friction occurring in the new specimen container. The use of a multistage test significantly reduces the time required to establish a drained residual failure envelope. The use of an overconsolidated and precut specimen also provides a better simulation of the field conditions that lead to a large post-peak decrease in drained strength in clayshales, claystones, and mudstones, and residual strengths that are in excellent agreement with field case histories.

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