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Viscous Effects on Penetrating Shafts in Clay

by Mahajan, Sandeep Prakash.

Abstract (Summary)
When a rigid shaft such as a jacked pile or the sleeve of a cone penetrometer penetrates soil, the soil mass at the shaft tip fails. This failed soil mass flows around the shaft surface and creates a disturbed soil zone. The soil in this zone, which is at a failure or critical state (CS), flows and behaves like a viscous fluid. During continuous penetration, the shaft surface is subjected to an additional viscous shear stress above the static shear stress (interfacial solid friction). The total resistance on the shaft in motion is due to the static and viscous shear components. Current methods of calculating the penetration resistance in soils are based on static interfacial friction, which determine the force required to cause failure at the shaft-soil interface and not the viscous drag. The main aim of this research is to understand the viscous soil resistance on penetrating shafts in clays. This research consists of two components. First, a theoretical analysis based on creeping flow hydrodynamics is developed to study the viscous drag on the shaft. The results of this analysis reveal that the size of the CS zone, the shear viscosity of the soil and velocity of the shaft influence the viscous drag stress. Large increases in viscous drag occur when the size of the CS zone is less than four times the shaft radius. 13 Second, a new experimental procedure to estimate the shear viscosity of clays with water contents less than the liquid limit is developed. Shear viscosity is the desired soil parameter to estimate viscous drag. However, there is no standard method to determine shear viscosity of clays with low water contents (or Liquidity Index, LI). Soils can reach CS for water contents in the plastic range (LI < 1) and exhibit viscous behavior. The fall cone test is widely used to interpret the index (liquid and plastic limit) and strength properties of clays. In this study the existing analysis of the fall cone test is reexamined to discern the viscous drag as the cone penetrates the soil. This reexamination shows that the shear viscosity of clays with low water contents (LI < 1.5) can be estimated from timepenetration data of the fall cone. Fall cone test results on kaolin show that the shear viscosity decreases exponentially with an increase in LI. The results of this research can be used to understand practical problems such as jacked piles in clays, cone penetrometer sleeve resistance and advancement of casings in soil for drilling or tunneling operations. 14
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School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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