Empirical Damping Constants for Sands and Clays

by Harry M. Coyle, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. Civ. Engrg.; Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX,
Gary C. Gibson, Grad. Res. Asst.; Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 3, Pg. 949-965

Document Type: Journal Paper


The results of a laboratory investigation of the damping properties of saturated sands and clays of relatively high plasticity are reported. An effort is made to relate these damping properties to common physical properties of the soils tested. A series of dynamic (impact) and static tests were performed on a variety of sand and clay soils. The sands varied in grain size and grain shape, and the clays varied in plasticity and moisture content. Velocity of sample deformation, peak dynamic loads, and peak static loads were measured so that damping constants for the soils could be evaluated. A mathematical model in current use which describes soil action at the point of a pile is examined. The model is used in wave equation studies of piling behavior. A modification of this model is made in order to achieve a constant damping value over the full range of loading velocities. Damping constants are evaluated for all soils tested. The damping constant is related to void ratio and effective angle of internal shearing resistance in sands, and moisture content and liquidity index in clays.

Subject Headings: Clays | Soil water | Damping | Saturated soils | Dynamic loads | Plasticity | Mathematical models | Empirical equations

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