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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 4, Number 4, December 2012, pages 251-262

Taming of large diameter triaxial setup
Asha M Nair and G. Madhavi Latha

    Triaxial tests are essential to estimate the shear strength properties of the soil or rock. Normally triaxial tests are carried out on samples of 38 mm diameter and 76 mm height. Granular materials, predominantly used in base/sub-base construction of pavements or in railways have size range of 60-75 mm. Determination of shear strength parameters of those materials can be made possible only through triaxial tests on large diameter samples. This paper describes a large diameter cyclic triaxial testing facility set up in the Geotechnical Engineering lab of Indian Institute of Science. This setup consists of 100 kN capacity dynamic loading frame, which facilitates testing of samples of up to 300 mm diameter and 600 mm height. The loading ram can be actuated up to a maximum frequency of 10 Hz, with maximum amplitude of 100 mm. The setup is capable of carrying out static as well as dynamic triaxial tests under isotropic, anisotropic conditions with a maximum confining pressure of 1 MPa. Working with this setup is a difficult task because of the size of the sample. In this paper, a detailed discussion on the various problems encountered during the initial testing using the equipment, the ideas and solutions adopted to solve them are presented. Pilot experiments on granular sub-base material of 53 mm down size are also presented.
Key Words
    triaxial test; laboratory study; cyclic test; large scale testing; installation.
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India

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