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Title: Tip Resistance Of A Miniature Cone Penetrometer Using Triaxial Apparatus For Clean And Silty Sand
Authors: Raju, K V S B
Advisors: Kumar, Jyant
Keywords: Sand Mecahanics
Soil Mechanics
Cone Penetrometers
Sand - Cone Penetration
Clean Sand
Silty Sand
Sandy Soils
Tip Resistance
Miniature Cone
Cone Penetration Tests (CPT)
Submitted Date: Jun-2008
Series/Report no.: G22435
Abstract: The static cone penetration tests are quite extensively used for carrying out in-situ geotechnical investigations both for onshore and offshore sites especially where the soil mass is expected to comprise of either soft to medium stiff clays or loose to medium dense sands. The wide use of the cone penetration tests (CPT) in geotechnical engineering has resulted in a great demand for developing necessary correlations between the cone penetration resistance and different engineering properties of soils. The successful interpretation of the cone penetration test data depends mainly on the various empirical correlations which are often derived with the help of a controlled testing in calibration chambers. The calibration chambers have been deployed in various sizes (diameter varying from 0.55 m to 2.10 m) by a number of researchers. It is quite an expensive and time consuming exercise to carry out controlled tests in a large size calibration chamber. The task becomes even much more difficult when a sample comprising of either silt or clay has to be prepared. As a result, most of the reported cone penetration tests in calibration chambers are mainly performed in a sandy material. Taking into account the various difficulties associated with performing tests in large calibration chambers, in the present study, it is attempted to make use of a miniature static cone penetrometer having a diameter of 19.5 mm. This cone was gradually penetrated at a uniform rate in a triaxial cell in which a soil sample of a given material was prepared; the diameter of the cone was intentionally chosen smaller so that the ratio of the diameter of the cell to that of the cone becomes a little larger. Two different diameters of the cells, namely, 91 mm and 140 mm, were used to explore the effect of the ratio of chamber (cell) size to that of the cone size. In addition, the rate of penetration rate was also varied from 0.6 mm/minute to 6.0 mm/minute (the maximum possible rate for the chosen triaxial machine with the larger cell) to examine the effect of the rate of the penetration of the miniature cone on the tip resistance. By using the chosen experimental setup, a large number of static miniature cone penetrometer tests were carried out on four different materials, namely, (i) clean sand, (ii) sand with 15% silt, (iii) sand with 25% silt, and (iv) sand with 15% fly ash. The cone tip resistance for each material was obtained for a wide range of three different relative densities. The effective vertical pressure (σv) for the tests on different samples was varied in between 100 kPa and 300 kPa. The variations of the tip resistance with axial deformation in all the cases were monitored so as to find the magnitude of the ultimate tip resistance. In contrast to the standard cone, the diameter of the piston shaft was intentionally kept a little smaller than that of the cone itself so as to restrict the development of the piston resistance. For each cell (chamber) size, two different sizes of the pistons were used to assess the resistance offered by the penetration of the piston shaft itself. It was noted that the resistance offered by the chosen piston shaft is not very substantial as compared to that of the cone tip itself. Most of the experimental observations noted from the present experiments were similar to those made by the penetration of the standard size cone in a large calibration chamber. The ultimate tip resistance of the cone was found to increase invariably with an increase in the magnitude of σv. An increase in the relative density of the soil mass leads to an increase in the value of qcu. For the same range of relative densities, an addition of fly ash in the sample of sand, leads to a considerable reduction in the magnitude of qcu. Even with the addition of 25% silt, the values of qcu were found to become generally lower as compared to clean sand and sand added with 15% silt. An employment of a larger ratio of the diameter of the cell to that of the miniature cone leads to an increased magnitude of qcu. An increase in the penetration rate from 0.6 mm/min to 6.0 mm/min, was found to cause a little increase in the magnitude of qcu especially for sand added with fly ash and silt. The effect of the penetration rate on the results was found to increase continuously with a reduction in the rate of penetration. At higher penetration rates, in a range closer to those normally employed in the field (20 mm/sec), it is expected that the rate of penetration of the cone will not have any substantial effects on the magnitude of qcu for clean sands. The magnitude of qcu obtained in this thesis at different values of σv for all the cases with the use of the miniature cone were compared with the two widely used correlations in literature. It is found that except for dense sands, in most of the cases, the present experimental data lie generally in between the two correlation curves from literature; for dense sands the measured values of qcu were found to be significantly lower than the chosen correlation curves. It was noted that with the use of the miniature cone penetrated in a given sample prepared in a triaxial cell, it is possible to obtain reasonably an accurate estimate of the tip resistance of the standard cone especially for loose to medium dense states of all the materials. Further, from the analysis of all the tests results, it was noted that approximately a linear correlation between qcu/σv and soil friction angle (φ) for different chosen materials exists provided the dependency of the φ on the stress level is taken into account. As compared to the standard cone penetrometer which is usually employed in the field, the miniature cone used in this study is expected to provide a little conservative estimate, of the tip resistance of the standard static cone penetrometer with reference to the different materials used in this study on account of the facts that (i) there is a reduced area behind the cone, (ii) the ratio of the diameter of the calibration chamber (cell) to that of cone is not very high, (iii) the chosen size of the cone is smaller than the standard cone, and (iv) the chosen penetration rate is much smaller than the standard rate of penetration. Further, in the case of clean sand, an attempt has also been made in this thesis, with the help of a number of direct shear tests at different stress levels, to generate an expression correlating peak friction angle, critical state friction angle, relative density of sand and vertical effective stress. A correlation has been generated with the help of which, the value of peak dilatancy angle can be obtained from the known values of peak friction angle and critical state friction angle. In confirmation with the available information in literature, this exercise on clean sand has clearly indicated that a decrease in the magnitude of vertical effective stress leads to an increase in the values of both peak friction angles and peak dilatancy angles.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2005/715
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering (civil)

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