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Project Details

Title:Development of Models for the Prediction of Shear Strength of Swelling Clays
Principal Investigators:Dinesh R. Katti and Kalpana S. Katti
University:North Dakota State University
Grant #:69A3551747108 (FAST Act)
Project #:MPC-548
RiP #:01875575
RH Display ID:15680
Keywords:clay, mechanical properties, microstructure, shear strength, simulation, swelling


Accurate prediction of the shear strength of swelling clays is critical for the design of roads, railway infrastructure, foundations, embankments, slopes, canals, erosion control, retaining walls, etc. The damage caused by swelling clays to the U.S. infrastructure is estimated to be of the order of about $13 billion per year (2009). Swelling clays are found in various parts of the United States and the world. Portions of North and South Dakota contain soils that have high swelling potential. Overestimation of strength parameters can lead to failures and underestimation can lead to significant increase in the cost of the project. Shear strength of soils with high swelling clay content can vary from high values when swelling is restrained to significant degradation in strength or even complete loss of strength due to swelling. The change in shear strength can also be seasonal. Fundamental strength parameters that define strength properties of soils are related to a variety of factors that include soil type, microstructural characteristics, fluid properties, mineralogy, saturation, etc. Reliable predictive tools that can accurately predict the shear strength of swelling clays are lacking. Our prior work on clays demonstrates the key role of molecular interactions on the evolution of microstructure and the macroscopic properties such as permeability, consolidation, and swelling pressure.

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NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050