Evaluation of the hydraulic conductivity of saturated, fine-grained soils using a small-size centrifuge

Kamil Kayabali, Tugce Baser, Mehmet C. Balci, Ersin Kolay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Measurement of the hydraulic conductivity of fine soils following standard methods often requires long durations. Centrifuges have been used in geotechnical applications to shorten test durations, including hydraulic conductivity tests. The aim of this investigation is to develop a practical method to infer the hydraulic conductivity of saturated, fine-grained soils using a centrifuge consolidation apparatus. Mixtures of clay and sand were employed to assess this technique over a wide spectrum of hydraulic conductivities. Specifically, conventional falling-head permeameter and centrifuge consolidation tests were carried out on 15 mixtures. The centrifuge tests involved spinning saturated soil specimens at increasing increments of angular velocity. Each increment was applied for 10 minutes during which the resulting axial strain was measured. The procedure to determine the hydraulic conductivity (k) from a centrifuge test is based on an empirical, log-linear relationship between k and axial strain during consolidation. Because the proposed technique dramatically shortens the required testing time from many days to only two hours, the proposed method may be a useful alternative for estimation of the hydraulic conductivity of saturated, fine-grained soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2383-2395
Number of pages13
JournalElectronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering
Volume18 L
StatePublished - Sep 24 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • Centrifuge consolidation
  • Falling head
  • Fine-grained soils
  • Hydraulic conductivity
  • Miniature centrifuge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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