The effect of manner of loading on the consolidation of clay
Tai, Mehmud Issa
Thompson, William J.
Master of Science
The study described herein comprises a combined experimental/ theoretical investigation to ascertain the effect of the manner of loading on the one-dimensional consolidation behavior of a saturated remolded silty clay from the Houston area. It is established that the rates of consolidation under intermittently- or uniformly-applied loading are significantly lower than predicted on the basis of theoretical considerations assuming elastic structural deformation behavior which accurately accounts for the consolidation behavior under instantaneously-applied loading. It was assumed that this retarded behavior under gradual loading was due to viscoelastic structural deformation, and a viscoelastic structural model representation involving a transient viscosity was accordingly developed. It is also established that the volume change sustained during consolidation under a given total load is independent of the manner in which the load is applied, within the limits of the means of loading employed in the tests. From the practical standpoint, it is established that the determination of the rate of settlement of a structure, which is due to the consolidation of the soil underlying that structure, should be based on laboratory tests involving loading applied in a gradual manner, as in the construction, rather than the conventional instantaneously-applied loading.