Effect of sample-preparation method on critical-state behavior of sands

Abouzar Sadrekarimi, Scott M. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is well-known that specimen-preparation method and the resulting sand fabric significantly affect sand behavior. In many cases, the fabric and behavior of reconstituted sand samples do not represent those of in-situ deposits. Therefore, understanding the influence of specimen preparation and sand fabric on its behavior, particularly at the critical state, is important for relating the behavior of laboratory reconstituted specimens to in-situ soil response. In this study, the effect of sand fabric and specimen-preparation method on the shearing behavior of three sands is studied using ring-shear tests. Ring-shear tests are used to reach large shear displacements and determine critical states, particularly for dense sand specimens. Moist tamping and air pluviation are used to prepare the specimens. The results indicate that the shearing behavior of sand in ring-shear tests is not only affected by the specimen-preparation method (i.e., sand fabric), but also by particle damage and compressibility. However, these mechanisms do not affect the critical states at which particle rearrangement and damage are complete and the initial sand fabric is completely erased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeotechnical Testing Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Critical state
  • Fabric
  • Particle damage
  • Ring shear
  • Sand
  • Specimen-preparation method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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