Effect of Particle Characteristic on Soil Strength

by Robert M. Koerner, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg. and Mech.; Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 4, Pg. 1221-1234

Document Type: Journal Paper


The effects of varying particle characteristics on the strength behavior of cohesionless soils are experimentally evaluated. Soil strength is measured on the basis of the angle of shearing resistance with dilatation removed. These cohesionless soils were laboratory prepared from single minerals under closely controlled conditions. It is shown that soil strength increases with increasing angularity and decreasing sphericity. There is an increase in strength with decreasing effective size particularly with sizes less than 0.06 mm. At a given relative density or void ratio the influence of different soil gradations has little effect on soil strength. An approximate relationship for the corrected angle of shearing resistance is formulated.

Subject Headings: Soil properties | Soil strength | Cohesionless soils | Shear resistance | Particles | Load and resistance factor design | Shear strength | Soil dilatancy

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