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Title: Tensile testing of soils : a literature review
Authors: United States. Assistant Secretary of the Army (R & D)
Al-Hussaini, Mosaid M.
Townsend, Frank C.
Keywords: Soil stress
Soil tests
Tensile stress
Soil mechanics
Shear strength
Plastic properties
Soil testing
Soil tests
Literature review
Publisher: Soils and Pavements Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Miscellaneous Paper
Abstract: Tensile stresses may exist in many engineering structures, such as rigid and flexible pavements, and within dams and embankments. The existence of tensile stresses in these structures is not harmful; however, these stresses generate tensile strains and if the failure tensile strain is exceeded, the integrity of the structure might be threatened. Most previous research concerned with the behavior of materials under tensile stress has been conducted on brittle materials, such as concrete and rock, while materials such as soils have received little or no attention. Three factors can be considered as the major contributors to this neglect: (A.) stability analysis and design practice assume soil to resist compression and shear only, (B.) lack of adequate theory which can describe soil behavior under tension with reasonable accuracy, and (C.) reliable testing devices which can impose and measure tensile stress and strain have not yet been developed. While information on the tensile behavior of soils is lacking, there exists a relatively large amount of data on the tensile strength of brittle materials as discussed in this report. The study indicates that three standard testing techniques generally are used to estimate tensile strength: (A.) direct tensile test; (B.) flexure or beam test; and (C.) indirect or split tensile test. Other methods are equally important but have not been accepted as standard testing methods. Some of these methods are: (1.) ring tensile or hollow cylinder test; (2.) cohesiometer test; (3.) double punch test; and (4.) centrifugal force test. The two primary theoretical bases for the above-listed tensile testing methods are: (A.) linear elastic theory in which the tested material is considered to obey Hooke's law from the beginning of the test until failure; and (B.) theories of plasticity in which the material is considered to be a rigid plastic that obeys certain flow rules. The purposes of this study were two-fold : first, to examine these testing methods with respect to assumptions used in the analytical formulations and to evaluate their applicability to engineering materials and their advantages and their shortcomings; and secondly, to propose and develop testing methods and techniques for determining the characteristics of soil under tensile stress. The study showed that present tensile testing methods for soft materials (especially soil), besides being very limited, are inadequate. After examining many testing methods, it appears that an improved version of the ring or hollow cylinder test may provide the most promising approach to studying the behavior of soils under tension.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Miscellaneous Paper

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