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# Critical-State Soil Mechanics

For Dummies
Paul W. Mayne, PhD, P.E.
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0355
www.ce.gatech.edu
Email: paul.mayne@ce.gatech.edu

2006

PROLOGUE
Critical-state soil mechanics is an effective stress framework

## In its simplest form here, we consider only shear-induced

loading.

We merely tie together two well-known concepts: (1) onedimensional consolidation behavior, represented by e-log v
curves; and (2) shear stress-vs. normal stress ( v) from
direct shear box or simple shearing.

## Herein, only the bare essence of CSSM concepts are presented,

sufficient to describe strength & compressibility response.

## Critical State Soil Mechanics (CSSM)

Experimental evidence provided by Hvorslev (1936; 1960, ASCE); Henkel
(1960, ASCE Boulder) Henkel & Sowa (1961, ASTM STP 361)

## Mathematics presented elsewhere, including: Schofield & Wroth (1968);

Burland (1968); Wood (1990).

OCR)

## Constitutive Models, include: Original Cam-Clay, Modified Cam Clay, NorSand,

Bounding Surface, MIT-E3 (Whittle, 1993) & MIT-S1 (Pestana) and others
(Adachi, Oka, Ohta, Dafalias)

## "Undrained" is just one specific stress path

Yet !!! CSSM is missing from most textbooks and undergrad & grad curricula
in the USA.

One-Dimensional Consolidation
Sandy Clay (CL), Surry, VA: Depth = 27 m
1.0

vo'=300 kPa

Void Ratio, e

0.9

p'=900

Cr = 0.04

kPa

0.8

## Cs = swelling index (= Cr)

0.7

cv = coef. of consolidation
D' = constrained modulus

0.6

## Ce = coef. secondary compression

Cc = 0.38
k hydraulic conductivity

0.5
1

10

100

1000

svo'
(kPa)
v

10000

## Direct Shear Test Results

s
Direct Shear Box (DSB)

CC

NC
CSL

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CSL

## Effective stress v'

Shear stress

Log v'
CSSM Premise:
All stress paths fail
on the critical state
line (CSL)

NC

c=0

CSL
tan '

CC

e0
ef

NC

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

NC
CSL

CSL

## STRESS PATH No.1

NC Drained Soil
Given: e0, vo, NC (OCR=1)
Drained Path: u = 0
Volume Change is Contractive:

Shear stress

Log v'

vo

c=0

max = c + tan

CSL
tan'

vo

CC

e0

NC

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

NC
CSL

CSL
vf

vo

Log v'

## Given: e0, vo, NC (OCR=1)

Undrained Path: V/V0 = 0
+u = Positive Excess
Porewater Pressures

Shear stress

## STRESS PATH No.2

NC Undrained Soil

CSL
tan'

maxcu=su

vf
vo

NC
CSL

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CC

## DSS: su/ voNC = sin

Shear stress

su/ vo = constant

CSL

## Effective stress v'

Log v'
Note: All NC undrained
stress paths are parallel
to each other, thus:

NC

CSL
tan'

CS
NC

Void Ratio, e

CC

OC
NC
CSL

CSL

Log v'

## Effective stress v'

p'

Overconsolidated States:
e0, vo, and OCR = p/ vo
where p = vmax = Pc =
preconsolidation stress;
OCR = overconsolidation ratio

CSL
Shear stress

Void Ratio, e

tan'

p'

CS

NC

Void Ratio, e

e0

OC
NC
CSL

CSL

vo'

vf'

Log v'

## Stress Path No. 3

Undrained OC Soil:
e0, vo, and OCR
Stress Path: V/V0 = 0
Negative Excess u

Shear stress

Void Ratio, e

CC

CSL
u

vo'

tan
'

CS

NC

Void Ratio, e

e0

OC
NC
CSL

CSL

vo'

Log v'

## Stress Path No. 4

Drained OC Soil:
e0, vo, and OCR
Stress Path: u = 0
Dilatancy: V/V0 > 0

CSL

Shear stress

Void Ratio, e

CC

tan
'

vo'

## Critical state soil mechanics

Initial state: e0, vo, and OCR = p/vo
Soil constants: , Cc, and Cs ( = 1-Cs/Cc)
For NC soil (OCR =1):

For OC soil:

Theres more !

NC
e0
ep

CS

p'

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CC

NC

OC

CSL

CSL

## 1. OC State (eo, vo, p)

2. Project OC state to NC
line for equivalent stress, e
e = Cs log(p/vo)
e = Cc log(e/p)

3. e = vo OCR[1-Cs/Cc]

Shear stress

vo'

p'

CSL
tan
'

su

at e
suOC = suNC
vo'

e '

Stress v'

## Critical state soil mechanics

Previously: su/vo = constant for NC soil
On the virgin compression line: vo = e
Thus: su/e = constant for all soil (NC & OC)
For simple shear: su/e = sin
Equivalent stress: e = vo OCR[1-Cs/Cc]
Normalized Undrained Shear Strength:
su/ vo = sin OCR
where = (1-Cs/Cc)

Yield Surfaces
NC

NC

Void Ratio, e

Void Ratio, e

CSL

OC

OC

p'
CSL

p'

## Yield surface represents

3-d preconsolidation

Quasi-elastic behavior
within the yield surface

CSL

Shear stress

Log v'

## Cavity Expansion Critical State Model for Evaluating

OCR in Clays from Piezocone Tests

O CR

qT ub
1

2
1 .9 5 M 1 v o '

where M = 6 sin/(3-sin)
and

= 1 Cs/Cc

fs
ub
qc qT

0.8

1/

## Critical state soil mechanics

Initial state: e0, vo, and OCR = p/vo
Soil constants: , Cc, and Cs ( = 1-Cs/Cc)
Using effective stresses, CSSM addresses:

NC and OC behavior