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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 28, Number 2, January25 2022 , pages 107-116

A hysteresis model for soil-water characteristic curve based on dynamic contact angle theory
Yan Liu and Xu Li

    The steady state of unsaturated soil takes a long time to achieve. The soil seepage behaviours and hydraulic properties depend highly on the wetting/drying rate. It is observed that the soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) is dependent on the wetting/drying rate, which is known as the dynamic effect. The dynamic effect apparently influences the scanning curves and will substantially affect the seepage behavior. However, the previous models commonly ignore the dynamic effect and cannot quantitatively describe the hysteresis scanning loops under dynamic conditions. In this study, a dynamic hysteresis model for SWCC is proposed considering the dynamic change of contact angle and the moving of the contact line. The drying contact angle under dynamic condition is smaller than that under static condition, while the wetting contact angle under dynamic condition is larger than that under static condition. The dynamic contact angle is expressed as a function of the saturation rate according to the Laplace equation. The model is given by a differential equation, in which the slope of the scanning curve is related to the slope of the boundary curve by means of contact angle. Empirical models can simulate the boundary curves. Given the two boundary curves, the scanning curve can be well predicted. In this model, only two parameters are introduced to describe the dynamic effect. They can be easily obtained from the experiment, which facilitates the calibration of the model. The proposed model is verified by the experimental data recorded in the literature and is proved to be more convenient and effective.
Key Words
    contact angle; hysteresis; rate dependent; soil-water characteristic curve; unsaturated soil
Yan Liu and Xu Li: Key Laboratory of Urban Underground Engineering of Ministry of Education, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China;
School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China

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