Cyclic behavior of interface shear between carbonate sand and steel


The shear properties of carbonate sand and structure interface are of significance for the engineering construction. The parallel paper (Rui et al. in Acta Geotech, 2020) focuses on the monotonic behavior of the interface between carbonate sand and steel. In this paper, by a series of shear tests on the interface between carbonate sand and steel, the evolutions of interface strength during cyclic interface shear were investigated. Further, the influences of cyclic amplitude, particle size, surface roughness and normal stress on the sand–steel interface shear behavior were discussed. Using a kind of transparent ring, the particle movements near the interface were observed to explain the mechanism during cyclic interface shear. The experimental results show that the shear zone appears near the interface, and is mainly composed of crushed fine particles and original particles. With lower steel roughness condition, the volume contraction is dominant in cyclic interface shear, while the dilation and contraction occur alternatively for higher roughness, which leads to higher interface shear strength. Compared with monotonic shear, the thickness of shear zone after cyclic shear is relatively small. Cyclic interface shear can lead to more fine particles, but less is embedded into the interface. It is found that under cyclic shearing, the interaction between particles and steel is enhanced, which is the main factor for promoting the interface strength, so interface strength in cyclic shear is higher than that in monotonic shear.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17
Fig. 18
Fig. 19
Fig. 20
Fig. 21
Fig. 22
Fig. 23
Fig. 24
Fig. 25
Fig. 26


  1. 1.

    API (2000) 2A-WSD recommended practice for planning, designing and constructing fixed offshore platforms-working stress design. In: Twenty

  2. 2.

    Coop MR, Sorensen KK, Freitas BT, Georgoutsos G (2004) Particle breakage during shearing of a carbonate sand. Geotechnique 54(3):157–163

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Datta M, Gulhati SK, Rao GV (1982) Engineering behavior of carbonate soils of India and some observations on classification of such soils. Geotech Propert Behavior Perform Calcareous Soils 777:113–140

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    DeJong JT, Frost JD (2002) A multisleeve friction attachment for the cone penetrometer. Geotech Test J 25(2):111–127

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    DeJong JT, Randolph MF, White DJ (2003) Interface load transfer degradation during cyclic load: a microscale investigation. Soils Found 43(4):81–93

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Dejong JT, Westgate ZJ (2009) Role of initial state, material properties, and confinement condition on local and global soil-structure interface behavior. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 135(11):1646–1660

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Dietz MS, Lings ML (2006) Post peak strength of interfaces in a stress-dilatancy framework. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 132(11):1474–1484

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Donna AD, Ferrari A, Laloui L (2016) Experimental investigations of the soil–concrete interface: physical mechanisms, cyclic mobilization, and behaviour at different temperatures. Can Geotech J 53(4):659–672

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Dove JE, Frost JD (1999) Peak friction behaviour of smooth geomembrane-particle interfaces. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 125(7):544–555

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Fakharian K, Evgin E (1997) Cyclic simple-shear behavior of sand-steel interfaces under constant normal stiffness condition. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 123(12):1096–1105

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Frost JD, Hebeler GL, Evans TM, DeJong JT (2004) Interface behaviour of granular soils. In: Proc. Earth and Space Conf., Houston, TX, pp 65–72

  12. 12.

    Hasanlourad M, Salehzadeh H, Shahnazari H (2008) Dilation and particle breakage effects on the shear strength of calcareous sands based on energy aspects. Int J Civ Eng 6(2):108–119

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Ho TYK, Jardine RJ, Anh-Minh N (2011) Large-displacement interface shear between steel and granular media. Geotechnique 61(3):221–234

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Holmes A (1978) Principles of physical geology. Sunbury-on-Thames, Nelson, London, p 730

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Hyodo M, Aramaki N, Itoh M, Hyde AFL (1996) Cyclic strength and deformation of crushable carbonate sand. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 15(5):331–336

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Hyodo M, Hyde AFL, Aramaki N (1998) Liquefaction of crushable soils. Geotechnique 48(4):527–543

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Kishida H, Uesugi M (1987) Tests of the interface between sand and steel in the simple shear apparatus. Geotechnique 37(1):102–106

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Lings ML, Dietz MS (2005) The peak strength of sand-steel interfaces and the role of dilation. Soils Found 45(6):1–14

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Martinez A, Frost JD (2018) Undrained behavior of sand-structure interfaces subjected to cyclic torsional shearing. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 144(9):04018063

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Mortara G, Ghionna M, Ghionna VN (2007) Cyclic shear stress degradation and post-cyclic behavior from sand-steel interface direct shear tests. Can Geotech J 44(7):739–752

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Pra-ai S, Boulon M (2017) Soil-structure cyclic direct shear tests: a new interpretation of the direct shear experiment and its application to a series of cyclic tests. Acta Geotech 12(1):107–127

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Rao KSS, Allam MM, Robinson RG (1998) Interfacial friction between sands and solid surfaces. Geotech Eng 131(2):75–82

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Rui SJ, Wang LZ, Guo Z, Cheng XM, Wu B (2020) Monotonic behavior of interface shear between carbonate sands and steel. Acta Geotech.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Sadrekarimi A, Olson SM (2009) A new ring shear device to measure the large displacement shearing behavior of sands. Geotech Testing J 32(3):197–208

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Salem M, Elmamlouk H, Agaiby S (2013) Static and cyclic behavior of North Coast calcareous sand in Egypt. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 55:83–91

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Shahnazari H, Rezvani R (2013) Effective parameters for the particle breakage of calcareous sands: an experimental study. Eng Geol 159(9):98–105

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Sharma SS, Ismail MA (2006) Monotonic and cyclic behavior of two calcareous soils of different origins. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 132(12):1581–1591

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Wang XZ, Jiao YY, Wang R, Hu MJ, Meng QS, Tan FY (2011) Engineering characteristics of the calcareous sand in Nansha Islands. South China Sea Eng Geol 120(1):40–47

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Wang XZ, Wang X, Jin ZC, Meng QS, Zhu CQ, Wang R (2017) Shear characteristics of calcareous gravelly soil. B Eng Geol Environ 76(2):561–573

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Wei HZ, Zhao T, He JQ, Meng QS, Wang XZ (2018) Evolution of particle breakage for calcareous sands during ring shear tests. Int J Geomech 18(2):04017153

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Yang ZX, Jardine RJ, Zhu BT, Foray P, Tsuha CHC (2010) Sand grain crushing and interface shearing during displacement pile installation in sand. Geotechnique 60(6):469–482

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Zhang XY, Hu W, Scaring G, Baudet BA, Han W (2018) Particle shape factors and fractal dimension after large shear strains in carbonate sand. Geotech Lett 8:73–79

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    DeJong JT, White DJ, Randolph MF (2006) Microstructure observation and modelling of soil-structure interface behavior using PIV. Soils Found 46(1):15–28

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Marks B, Einav I (2011) A cellular automaton for segregation during granular avalanches. Granul Matter 13(3):211–214

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Marks B, Einav I (2015) A mixture of crushing and segregation: the complexity of grainsize in natural granular flows. Geophys Res Lett 42(2):274–281

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to acknowledge the supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51779220, 51939010), the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LHZ19E090003, LY15E090002), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology with the research project in the fields of high-tech ships ([2016]22) and the Key Research and Development program of Zhejiang Province (2018C03031). All these supports are acknowledged.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zhen Guo.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Rui, S., Wang, L., Guo, Z. et al. Cyclic behavior of interface shear between carbonate sand and steel. Acta Geotech. (2020).

Download citation


  • Carbonate sand
  • Cyclic shear
  • Interface strength
  • Particle breakage
  • Steel
  • Shear zone