Cyclic Triaxial Strength of Standard Test Sand

by Marshall L. Silver, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Materials Engrg., Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Circle, Chicago, Ill.,
James H. Wilson, Lab. Dir.; Woodward Clyde Consultants, Oakland, Calif.,
Julio E. Valera, (M.ASCE), Project Engr.; Dames & Moore, San Francisco, Calif.,
Frank C. Townsend, (A.M.ASCE), Research Engr.; U.S. Army Corps of Engrs., Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.,
Drew A. Tiedemann, (A.M.ASCE), Research Civ. Engr.; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colo.,
Kenneth L. Lee, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Univ. of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.,
Richard S. Ladd, (A.M.ASCE), Lab Dir.; Woodward Clyde Consultants, Clifton, N.J.,
Clarence K. Chan, (M.ASCE), Research Engr.; Univ. of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 5, Pg. 511-523

Document Type: Journal Paper


A cooperative cyclic triaxial strength test program was performed by eight university, government, and consulting laboratories to define the cyclic strength characteristics often called the liquefaction potential or cyclic mobility of a standard test sand. Other laboratories may check the adequacy of their cyclic triaxial test equipment and testing procedures by duplicating the results of these tests. It was found that a good degree of agreement for cyclic soil strength values could only be achieved among different laboratories when proper attention was given to the following testing details: (1) Great care must be taken in measuring specimen dimensions and weight to accurately calculate specimen dry weight; (2) tested specimen dry weights must be within 0.5 pcf (8 kg/m²) of the specified value; (3) specimen preparation techniques must not deviate from the specified method; and (4) a smooth periodic loading wave form, such as a sine wave, should be used for testing.

Subject Headings: Triaxial tests | Soil strength | Load tests | Soil tests | Cyclic strength | Cyclic tests | Sandy soils | Soil liquefaction

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