Strength and Deformation Characteristics of Unsaturated Fine-Grained Tailings Soil Under Variable Moisture Content

  • Jianjun DongEmail author
  • Guofeng Zheng
Conference paper


Previous research has not analysed the strength and deformation of unsaturated fine-grained tailings soil under variable moisture content. This paper discusses individual tests for the compressibility, direct shear strength and triaxial strength of fine-grained tailings soil, under those variable moisture content. The experimental results showed that: (1) With an increase in specimen moisture content, resistance to vertical deformation gradually declined and reached a minimum at saturation; (2) The cohesion of unsaturated fine-grained tailings soil tended to decrease with an increase of moisture content, and had an obvious peak. The angle of internal friction decreased as moisture content increased, exhibiting an approximately inverse linear relationship; (3) Moisture content exhibited a very obvious effect on the stress and strain characteristics of unsaturated fine-grained tailings soil. Under the same confining pressure, as moisture content increased, the axial stress which was applied on the specimen declined, and its ultimate strength was also reduced. As moisture content declined, the specimen damage type changed from strain hardening to strain softening. With an increase of moisture content, the volumetric strain of the specimens initially increased then decreased. Presumably, the volumetric strain should peak when the moisture content reaches an optimum level.


Deformation Experimental study Moisture content Strength Unsaturated fine-grained tailings soil 



The National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51479023), the Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province, China (Grant No. 201602349), the Education Department of Liaoning Province, China (Grant No. L2014126) and the Liaoning Technical University, China (Grant No. 13-1061) supported this research.


  1. Fan, P.F., Hu, G.S.: Study on Test of the Dynamic Properties About the Fine-grained Tailings Soil. Dissertation Chang’an University, Xi-an, China (2011)Google Scholar
  2. Yin, G.Z., Yang, Z.Y., Wei, Z.A., Tan, Q.W.: Physical and mechanical properties of YangLa-copper’s tailings. J. Chongqing Univ. 30(9), 117–121 (2007). (Natural Science Edition)Google Scholar
  3. Wu, X.G., Wang, B., Xiang, H.H., Zhou, Y.X.: Research and application of the large strain consolidation of saturated fine-grained tailings in tailings reservoir. Metal Mine 392(2), 53–56 (2009)Google Scholar
  4. Qiao, L., Qu, C.L., Cui, M.: Effect of fines content on engineering characteristics of tailings. Rock Soil Mech. 36(4), 923–927 (2015)Google Scholar
  5. Wickland, B.E., Wilson, G.W., Wijewickreme, D.: Hydraulic conductivity and consolidation response of mixtures of mine waste rock and tailings. Can. Geotech. J. 47(4), 472–485 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Jeeravipoolvarn, S., Scott, J.D., Chalaturnyk, R.J.: 10 m standpipe tests on oil sands tailings: long-term experimental results and prediction. Can. Geotech. J. 46(8), 875–888 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dimitrova, R.S., Yanfu, E.K.: Undrained strength of deposited mine tailings beds: effect of moisture content, effective stress and time of consolidation. Geotech. Geol. Eng. 29, 935–951 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Pi, Q.H., Yang, C.H.: Test Study and Application on Fines Content and Confining Pressure Influence the Mechanical Properties of Tail Silty Sand. College of Resources and Environment Science of Chongqing University, Chongqing, China (2012)Google Scholar
  9. Qin, H.Y., Liu, H.L., Gao, Y.F., Dai, P.F.: Research on strength and deformation behavior of coarse aggregates based on large-scale triaxial tests. Rock Soil Mech. 25(10), 1575–1580 (2004)Google Scholar
  10. Deng, T.H., Zhu, J.W., Cao, Y.J.: Experimental study on shear strength of tailing materials. West-China Explor. Eng. 23(2), 10–16 (2011)Google Scholar
  11. Wijewickreme, D., Sanin, M.V., Greenaway, G.R.: Cyclic shear response of fine-grained minetailings. Can. Geotech. J. 42(5), 1408–1421 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Zhang, Y.X., He, J.G., Guo, Z.S.: Study on tailings accumulation characteristics of high tailings dam. China Molybdenum Ind. 34(5), 8–12 (2010)Google Scholar
  13. Geremew, A.M., Yanful, E.K.: Laboratory investigation of the resistance of tailings and natural sediments to cyclic loading. Geotech. Geol. Eng. 30, 431–447 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Zhang, B.: Dynamic Properties of the Saturation Tailing and Dynamic Stability Analysis of the Tailing Dam. Dissertation Shijiazhuang Tiedao University, Shijiazhuang, China (2012)Google Scholar
  15. Wang, J.P., Ling, H.I., Mohri, Y.: Stress-Strain behavior of a compacted Sand-Clay mixture. Soil Stress Strain Behav. Meas. Model. Anal. 11(2), 491–502 (2006)Google Scholar
  16. Shao, L.T., Guo, X.X., Liu, G., Liu, X.: Application of digital image processing technique to measuring specimen deformation in triaxial test. Rock Soil Mech. 36(S1), 669–684 (2015)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, School of Mining TechnologyLiaoning Technical UniversityHuludaoChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial EquipmentDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina
  3. 3.Department of Engineering MechanicsDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina

Personalised recommendations