Evolution of Soil Pore Structure and Shear Strength Deterioration of Compacted Soil under Controlled Wetting and Drying Cycles

Turrakheil, Kanishka S., Samran Ali Shah, Syed and Naveed, Muhammad ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0923-4976 (2024) Evolution of Soil Pore Structure and Shear Strength Deterioration of Compacted Soil under Controlled Wetting and Drying Cycles. Preprints.

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The study investigates the evolution of soil pore structure and shear strength deterioration in compacted clayey soil under controlled wetting and drying (wd) cycles, which are expected to become more frequent due to climate change. Thirty soil samples were compacted at optimal moisture content and 90% of maximum dry density. These samples were then subjected to 0, 1, 5, 10, and 15 controlled wd cycles from saturation to the wilting point, and volumetric changes were recorded during each cycle. After the wd treatment, the soil samples were scanned using X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) at 50 μm resolution and then sheared under unconsolidated-undrained and consolidated-undrained conditions in a triaxial test. Significant shrinkage and swelling of soil samples were observed during wd cycles, with average volumetric strain fluctuating between +12% at saturation and -5% at the wilting point. X-ray CT visualisation and analysis revealed higher porosity, more prominent pores and increased pore length in soil samples with increasing wd cycles. Both undrained and effective soil shear strength markedly decreased with increasing wd cycles. CT-derived macroporosity and pore length were significant predictors of the soil's undrained and effective shear strength when exposed to wd cycles. The findings emphasise the considerable impact of climate change, specifically wd cycles, on clayey soil, highlighting the need for consideration in the design of earth-based infrastructure.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.20944/preprints202406.0692.v1
Keywords: Clayey soil; wetting and drying cycles; undrained and effective shear strength; X-ray computed tomography
Subjects: Construction and engineering
Depositing User: Muhammad Naveed
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2024 09:35
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2024 09:45
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/12055


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