Experimental study of clay deformability in terms of initial fabric and soil-water potential
The energy of a clay-water system can be expressed as a function of its characteristic water retention curve, which represents the relationship between its water content and its total soil-water potential or soil-suction, where the latter is the difference between the free energy of the water in the soil and that of pure water in a free surface condition. Hence, the work required to remove an infinitesimal quantity of water from the soil is a measure of the combined effects of the forces holding the water in the soil, and, with the exception of cementation bonds, it can be considered to include implicitly the effects of the fundamental interaction forces that influence the deformation characteristics of the soil. The total soil-water potential of a soil varies with its water content, mineralogy, solutes present in the pore water, and soil fabric, as well as other parameters of the system. Soil fabric is taken herein to represent the geometrical arrangement of clay particles and their associated interparticle distances. This work is directed toward providing some indication of (a) the effect of fabric on the soil-water potential of a kaolinite clay and (b) the relationship between initial soil-water potential and the deformation characteristics of the soil.
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