Mechanical behavior of an unsaturated clayey silt: an experimental and constitutive modelling study Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper reports an experimental study and subsequent constitutive modelling focused on the stress-strain and volumetric responses during deviatoric stress application of a partially saturated clayey silt. The material was statically and isotropically compacted at constant water content towards a pre-defined pre-consolidation stress. A series of strain-controlled triaxial compression tests on a state of the art device and isotropic experiments are presented and discussed. The triaxial tests started at the same stress state (i.e., identical matric suction and mean net stress) and were conducted at the same constant suction. Several stress paths under isotropic conditions (i.e., dryingwetting, loadingunloading, and wettingdrying) were followed to induce different overconsolidated states before shearing the specimens. The test results are initially interpreted using the elastoplastic Barcelona Basic Model (BBM). Independent tests were selected to determine the model parameters associated with the volumetric behavior of the soil. The BBM was not able to capture the dilatant behavior observed during shearing. An enhancement of the BBM is proposed in this work, which includes both, a more general hardening law and sub-loading concepts. The main capabilities and limitations of the original BBM and the enhanced model are discussed and compared. The modified BBM was able to handle the dilatancy observed in the experiments and provided a more realistic description of the experimental stress-strain response.

published proceedings

  • Canadian Geotechnical Journal

altmetric score

  • 1.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Romero, E., Snchez, M., Gai, X., Barrera, M., & Lloret, A.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Romero, Enrique||S├ínchez, Marcelo||Gai, Xuerui||Barrera, Mauricio||Lloret, Antonio

publication date

  • January 1, 2019 11:11 AM