Development of Models for the Prediction of Shear Strength of Swelling Clays

Accurate prediction of the shear strength of swelling clays is critical for the design of infrastructure. Damage caused to U.S. infrastructure by swelling clays is estimated to be about $13 billion per year. Overestimation of strength can lead to failures, and underestimation can lead to an increase in project cost. Due to the small size of the clay particles and the nature of clay minerals, molecular interactions between the clay and fluids strongly influence engineering properties. In this research, the authors investigate the role of molecular interactions on the shear strength of swelling clay. This understanding can lead to the development of robust capabilities for accurate prediction of the shear strength of swelling clays. In this interim report, the authors present the results from our ongoing work that include the findings of the role of molecular interactions on the swelling, compressibility and shear response of montmorillonite clay interlayer using molecular dynamics. Results from unconfined compression tests and nanoindentation tests on saturated samples at 0% swelling are presented, and experiments with increasing swelling are ongoing. The development of molecular-scale clay tactoid, clay aggregate, and coarse-grained models to evaluate interparticle shear responses are in progress.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    North Dakota State University, Fargo

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Fargo, ND  United States  58105

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Katti, Dinesh R
    • Katti, Kalpana S
    • Thapa, Keshab B
    • Faisal, H M Nasrullah
  • Publication Date: 2019-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Interim Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 80p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01743866
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC 19-406A
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC38; MPC-506; MPC-548; 69A3551747108
  • Created Date: Jun 24 2020 12:33PM