Shear stress-strain-time behaviour of clays

G. Mesri, A. Castro, E. Febres-Cordero, D. R. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Shear stress-strain-time models for soils were examined in terms of undrained triaxial compression tests, with pore water pressure measurement, using reconstituted specimens of kaolinite and Cucaracha shale. Multiple-step constant load and constant rate of deformation tests were performed. The testing variables included final equal all-round consolidation pressure (100-800 lb/in2), overconsolidation ratio (1-8) and the magnitude of the first load increment (20-82% in terms of shear stress level). Additional constant load test data reported in the literature were analysed. The parameters of an exponential stress-strain model were expressed and interpreted in terms of the parameters of the hyperbolic stress-strain model. The parameters of both models can be expressed in terms of the undrained modulus to undrained shear strength ratio Eu/su and the axial strain at failure εf. The creep parameter λ which controls time or strain rate effects was correlated with Eu/su. It appears that any soil has a potential total strain at any shear stress level, and that λ is directly related to the magnitude of the remaining strain. A large value of Eu/su means a small strain at any small time. Therefore as Eu/su increases, the remaining strain and thus λ increase. Alternative combinations of the hyperbolic stress-strain and either power strain-time or power strain-strain rate relationships are suggested as possible creep models for the analysis of field problems and interpretation of laboratory tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-552
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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