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Large-scale direct shear test system for testing partially frozen soils

Large-scale direct shear test system for testing partially frozen soils

International Conference on Permafrost, Proceedings 4(Pages 1205-1210

The design and construction of offshore earth-fill structures in the arctic environment requires the determination of mechanical properties of the construction material under appropriate thermal conditions. Salt-water saturated materials exhibit a zone of partially frozen soil at the frozen/unfrozen soil interface. To define the critical failure surface and governing shear strength in this zone, the effects of partial freezing on the mechanical behavior, as a freezing front advances, must be well understood. A large-scale direct shear apparatus was developed to test the shear strength of a soil sample through an undisturbed partially frozen inter-facial zone. The specimen is instrumented with thermistors to provide the capability to monitor the thermal regime as the partially frozen zone progresses toward a predetermined shear plane in a 30 cm deep sample. A sample preparation system was designed to provide a specimen having a reproducible thermal condition while thermal and mechanical disturbance during handling is minimized.--Modified journal abstract.

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