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Micro-macro approach of dilatancy phenomenon in remoulded clays - Study of the behaviour under saturated and unsaturated conditions

Abstract : The complex nature of clay has aroused great interest of researchers in its mechanical behaviour and microstructure. The objective of this research is to examine the influence of triaxial stress paths on the mechanical behaviour of remoulded clay and the mechanisms that occur at the microstructural level. The dilatancy phenomenon is particularly investigated considering a given stress level reached by following different stress paths. In the second part, this research focuses on the influence of suctions on the mechanical behaviour. For the saturated remoulded clay, the dilative behaviour at a given stress level, reached by following two different stress paths was analysed in detail. The influence of stress levels was also examined in this research. The microstructural analysis was conducted at different scales by means of different methods. The macroscopic results of saturated clay show that, at a given stress level, the volumetric behaviour greatly depends on the stress path. In the case of overconsolidated clay, the dilatancy is activated especially when triaxial shearing is performed following the purely deviatoric stress path. At the microscopic level, the results highlight five modes of particle orientation that could be activated under triaxial loading. The results also reveal that the appearance of dilatancy phenomenon in highly overconsolidated remoulded clay may be attributed to the tortuous arrangement of clay particles, the opening of micropores, and the formation and opening of mesocracks. For the unsaturated remoulded clay, the studies were performed through many macroscopic and mesoscopic tests on Kaolin K13 clay and a kaolinite-montmorillonite mixture. The evolution of suctions was measured using hygrometers placed near the upper and lower ends of clay specimens. The results show that, at a high suction level, the deviatoric stress of unsaturated clay increases to a peak and then decreases down to a residual value. The shear strength of unsaturated clay generally increases with increasing mean stress and suction. However, in the high suction tests, the development of cracks during drying led to the inhomogeneity of the specimens and thus resulted in relatively small shear strengths
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 2:28:49 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:54:00 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02127042, version 1


Qian-Feng Gao. Micro-macro approach of dilatancy phenomenon in remoulded clays - Study of the behaviour under saturated and unsaturated conditions. Géotechnique. Université de Lorraine, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018LORR0257⟩. ⟨tel-02127042⟩



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