Development of instrument for wetting-drying cycles of expansive soil under simulated loads and experimental research

  • Jun-gui Dong South China University of Technology
  • Guo-yuan Xu South China University of Technology
  • Hai-bo Lv Guilin Uinversity of Technology
  • Jun-yan Yang Guilin Uinversity of Technology
Keywords: expansive soil, wetting-drying cycles, instrument, loads, shear strength,


The alternating effect of rainfall and evaporation in nature causes great damage of the shear strength of expansive soil.In order to study the effect of wetting-drying cycles under actual loads on the strength of expansive soil,an instrument has been developed in this paper,and its test errors has been verified as well.With the help of this instrument,after 0~6cycles under 0kPa, 5kPa, 15kPa, and 30kPa were carried out, direct shear tests were performed for those samples.The results showed that the instrument could accurately control the water content (within 1%) and could simulate the actual circulation of different depths.Wetting-drying cycle has a significant impact on the cohesion although the internal friction angle was not sensitive to the cycles.Additional parametric study found that the decrease of shear strength could be attributed to cracks caused by wetting-drying cycles.The existence of loads effectively restricts the shrinkage crack and the attenuation of shear strength,which especially greatly inhibits the attenuation of cohesion.In addition, sample density was limited by loads,which also narrowed the attenuation of shear strength to a certain extent.

Author Biographies

Jun-gui Dong, South China University of Technology
Geotechnical engineering
Guo-yuan Xu, South China University of Technology
Geotechnical engineering
Hai-bo Lv, Guilin Uinversity of Technology
Geotechnical engineering
Jun-yan Yang, Guilin Uinversity of Technology
Geotechnical engineering


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