The effect of anisotropic elasticity on the yielding characteristics of overconsolidated natural clay
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Quantitative application of elastoplastic theory to the yielding behaviour of natural soils has always been uncertain. Part of the reason is that the theory was developed for reconstituted materials with isotropic structure, in contrast to natural soils that are usually anisotropic. The approach considered in this study assumes that pre-yielding behaviour is governed by the theory of linear anisotropic elasticity and that yield loci in the mean effective stress ( p') - deviator stress (q) plane are aligned approximately along the coefficient of earth pressure (K-0) line. The assumption of a rotated yield locus associated with anisotropic elastic behaviour within the state boundary surface indicates that the elastic wall within the state boundary surface is inclined. The form of the state boundary surface has been determined mathematically in terms of anisotropic elastic and Cam-Clay soil parameters. Stress path tests were conducted on samples of Belfast Upper Boulder Clay removed from a depth of 28 m below ground surface. Good agreement was found between predicted and measured yield loci. The study also examined the influence of subsequent isotropic compression on the yielding characteristics of the natural clay. The indications are that the anisotropy developed during deposition disappears when the sample is loaded to a stress level at least twice the stress generated during the original deposition process. The methods developed in the paper have also been applied to test results reported previously on Winnipeg clay, and good agreement was obtained.