Stress Path Method

by William T. Lambe,


Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 6, Pg. 309-331


Document Type: Journal Paper

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Abstract: The stress path method for solving stress-strain problems in soil mechanics is described and illustrated. The novel feature of this method is that it integrates present knowledge into a generalized approach to stress-strain problems. It consists of: (1) Portraying with stress paths or stress-strain curves, or both, the conditions within one or more elements in the soil of the actual field structure; and (2) selecting soil tests and analytical techniques consistent with the field stress paths or stress-strain curves, or both. The stress path method facilitates a recognition and an understanding of the fundamentals of the field problem and thereby indicates the appropriate components of the solution from those available. The method obviously does not avoid such difficulties as the shortcomings of present stress distribution theories and the great variability and complexities of soil. The roles of these difficulties in a particular field problem are better realized through use of this method, and it assists—not replaces—the critical role of engineering judgment.

Subject Headings: Stress strain relations | Soil stress | Stress analysis | Soil analysis | Curvature | Field tests | Stress distribution

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