The Effects Of Non-Plastic and Plastic Fines On The Liquefaction Of Sandy Soils
The presence of silt and clay particles has long been thought to affect the behavior of a sand under cyclic loading. Unfortunately, a review of studies published in the literature reveals that no clear conclusions can be drawn as to how altering fines content and plasticity actually affects the liquefaction resistance of a sand. In fact, the literature contains what appears to be contradictory evidence. There is a need to clarify the effects of fines content and plasticity on the liquefaction resistance of sandy soils, and to determine methods for accounting for these effects in engineering practice.
In order to help answer these questions, a program of research in the form of a laboratory parametric study intended to clarify the effects which varying fines content and plasticity have upon the liquefaction resistance of sandy sands was undertaken. The program of research consisted of a large number of cyclic triaxial tests performed on two sands with varying quantities of plastic and non-plastic fines. The program of research also examined the applicability of plasticity based liquefaction criteria and the effects of fines content and plasticity on pore pressure generation. Lastly, a review of how the findings of this study may affect the manner in which simplified analyses are performed in engineering practice was made.
The results of the study performed are used to clarify the effects of non-plastic fines content and resolve the majority of the inconsistencies in the literature. The effects of plastic fines content and fines plasticity are shown to be different than has been previously reported. The validity of plasticity based liquefaction criteria is established, the mechanism responsible for their validity is explained, and a new simplified criteria proposed. The effects of fines content and plasticity on pore pressure generation are discussed, and several recommendations are made for implementing the findings of this study into engineering practice.