Consolidation at Constant Rate of Strain

by Anwar E. Z. Wissa, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; MIT, Cambridge, MA,
John T. Christian, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; MIT, Cambridge, MA,
Edward H. Davis, Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Sydney, Sydney, Australia,
Sigurd Heiberg, (A.M.ASCE), Civ. Engr.; Norwegian Geotech. Inst., Oslo, Norway; formerly, Res. Asst., MIT, Cambridge, MA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 10, Pg. 1393-1413

Document Type: Journal Paper


A new general purpose consolidometer for studying the one-dimensional consolidation behavior of soils is described. The test specimen can be loaded incrementally, as in the conventional test, at a constant rate of stress, or at a constant rate of strain. The apparatus can also be used to measure residual pore pressures and swell pressures during back pressure saturation at constant volume. Pore pressures are measured at the impervious base, and free drainage occurs from the top surface. A general solution to the consolidation equation is derived for conditions of constant rate of strain assuming constant cv. While particular solutions are given for both a linear soil having constant mv and a nonlinear soil with constant Cc, it is shown that for most purposes the linear solution is sufficiently accurate for interpreting constant rate of strain (CRSC) test results. The CRSC test is shown to be a simpler and much faster method for measuring the consolidation characteristics of soils than is the conventional test.

Subject Headings: Consolidated soils | Pore pressure | Load tests | Dynamic pressure | Soil tests | Strain rates | Pressure measurement | Linear functions

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