Thermal Gradient–Dependent Strain Behavior of Contacted Soil Specimens Subjected to Freeze–Thaw


Soil specimens were initially prepared by freezing with a thermal gradient (Fnonuni) and then thawing under uniform temperature (Tuni), then the strain behaviors of which using digital processing technique (DPT)–aided unconfined compression on contacted specimens were investigated. Although the specimen treated under Fnonuni - Tuni exbihted a strength over 1.8 times higher and a specimen scale–based (S–) lateral strain over 0.3 times smaller than that treated under freeze–thaw with uniform temperatures Funi - Tuni, it exhibited a relatively greater local scale–based (L–) strain level under identical S–axial strain, and dominated the deformation process of the specimen assembly. The characteristic of L–strain relationship between top and bottom specimens under Fnonuni - Tuni and specimens under Funi - Tuni approached identical when S–axial strain exceeded a threshold corresponding to the peak strength. Further, an asymmetric L–strain gradient at two sides of the fractured surface in specimens was observed, and it was more evident in specimens treated under Fnonuni - Tuni. These test data and observations obtained have been validated by detailed comparisons with previous studies, and contribute to build a constitutive model considering nonlocal variable and thus improve the settlement prediction precision of the thawed soils.

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The authors appreciate the assistance from Dr. Yuanhai Li in digital processing technique. The authors are grateful to the 111 Project of China (Grant No.B14021) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51304209), for the financial support.

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Correspondence to Xiaodong Zhao.

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Zhao, X., Lv, Z. & Sun, H. Thermal Gradient–Dependent Strain Behavior of Contacted Soil Specimens Subjected to Freeze–Thaw. KSCE J Civ Eng 24, 770–777 (2020).

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  • Thermal gradient
  • Freeze–thaw
  • Heterogeneity
  • Strain behavior
  • Thaw settlement