Acquisition of a Vardoulakis-Type Plane Strain Device for Advanced Testing of Soils
Evans, T. Matthew
Nguyen, Yen Nhi Amy
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Plane strain loading conditions are present in many transportation-related geostructures, such as long embankments and behind retaining walls. However, the mechanical properties of soils are not typically characterized in plane strain compression. This is due not to lack of interest but because whereas direct shear and axisymmetric (conventional triaxial) compression equipment is nearly ubiquitous in geotechnical laboratories, plane strain devices are relatively more rare, primarily because of their complexity and expense. This report documents the acquisition, set-up, and trial testing of a Vardoulakis-type plane strain device in the Oregon State University geotechnical laboratory. The device was acquired “used” and “as-is,” and significant effort was involved in developing, installing, and testing it. The device is now fully functional. This report serves to document the effort, present sample test results, provide a users’ manual, and outline procedures for data collection and reduction.