Drum Centrifuge Studies of Over Consolidated Slopes

by Richard J. Fragaszy, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; San Diego State Univ., San Diego, Calif. 92182,
James A. Cheney, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Davis, Calif. 95616,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 7, Pg. 843-858

Document Type: Journal Paper


A method is presented for predicting the shear strength mobilized during undrained failure of model slopes in overconsolidated clay. Also long-term failure of model slopes in overconsolidated clay is described. A drum centrifuge was used to conduct these model studies of both short-term and long-term stability. To produce overconsolidated conditions, a kaolin slurry was consolidated in the centrifuge at an acceleration between 150 g and 420 g. After consolidation, the clay deposit was allowed to rebound and a 2-in. (50.8-mm) high, 60° slope was cut around the entire circumference of the drum. Short-term failure was produced by rapidly increasing the speed of the centrifuge until failure occurred. Long-term stability was investigated by maintaining an acceleration lower than that required to cause an undrained failure. In five long-term tests failure occurred after 1 to 8 hours of continous operation.

Subject Headings: Failure analysis | Overconsolidated soils | Slopes | Shear strength | Soil strength | Shear failures | Centrifuge models | Kaolin

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