Comparison of Stress-Dilatancy Theories

by George J. W. King, Lectuer; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Liverpool, Liverpool, England,
Edward A. Dickin, Lectuer; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Liverpool, Liverpool, England,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 5, Pg. 1697-1714

Document Type: Journal Paper


The stress-dilatancy theories of Rowe (1962) and of Newland and Allely (1957) are considered. A more precise derivation of Newland and Allely's volume change equation is given and subsequently both this and their stress equation are shown to be identical with those of Rowe. It is thus demonstrated that Rowe's principle of minimum incremental energy and the conventional Mohr-Coulomb principle adopted by Newland and Allely represent the only difference in the theories. The theories are compared by considering the results of both triaxial compression and plane strain compression tests. It is shown: (1) that differences in interpretation of test results by the two theories are never sufficient to allow distinction between the theories; and (2) that neither theory predicts observed behavior in plane strain compression. An alternative interpretation of the results of plane strain compression tests is given which casts some doubt on the validity of the final assumption made in either theory for all but dense packings in triaxial compression. The practical significance of differences arising from applciation of stress-dilatancy theories to problems involving the stability of dilatant masses is briefly considered.

Subject Headings: Compression tests | Triaxial tests | Plane strain | Comparative studies | Compression | Volume change | Compressive strength | Dilatancy

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