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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 12, Number 4, April 2017 , pages 707-721

Experimental study on the consolidation of saturated silty clay subjected to cyclic thermal loading
Bing Bai and Xiaoying Shi

    The objective of this paper is to experimentally study the consolidation of saturated silty clay subjected to repeated heating-cooling cycles using a modified temperature-controlled triaxial apparatus. Focus is placed on the influence of the water content, confining pressure, and magnitudes and number of thermal loading cycles. The experimental results show that the thermally induced pore pressure increases with increasing water content and magnitude of thermal loading in undrained conditions. After isothermal consolidation at an elevated temperature, the pore pressure continues to decrease and gradually falls below zero during undrained cooling, and the maximum negative pore pressure increases as the water content decreases or the magnitude of thermal loading increases. During isothermal consolidation at ambient temperature after one heating-cooling cycle, the pore pressure begins to rise due to water absorption and finally stabilizes at approximately zero. As the number of thermal loading cycles increases, the thermally induced pore pressure shows a degrading trend, which seems to be more apparent under a higher confining pressure. Overall, the specimens tested show an obvious volume reduction at the completion of a series of heating-cooling cycles, indicating a notable irreversible thermal consolidation deformation.
Key Words
    silty clay; magnitudes of thermal loading; isothermal consolidation; pore pressure; water content
School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, 100044, P.R. China.

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