Volume 39, N. 3

September-December 2016

Shear Strength and Stiffness Degradation of Geomaterials in Cyclic Loading


Volume 39, N. 3, September-December 2016 | PDF (16 downloads)


Cyclic loading on civil structures can lead to a reduction of strength and stiffness in the loaded materials. The lifespan of many cyclically loaded structures such as wind turbines, high-speed train tracks and bridges strongly depends on the foundation. The soils and rocks in the foundation can be subjected to cyclic loads from natural and human sources. In order to evaluate the fatigue behaviour of geomaterials, this paper presents static and cyclic triaxial test results for several geomaterials. It was concluded that cyclic loading on different geomaterials can cause different types of effects. The shear strength of cohesionless crumbled limestone increases during cyclic loading; while for cohesive materials, such as gypsum and mortar, the strength decreases. The strength decrease can be seen as a degradation of the cohesion. The most significant factor in the cohesion reduction was found to be the number of applied cycles. It was also noticed that the friction angle for sands does not reduce under cyclic loading. A fatigue limit was not found for cohesive geomaterials; neither a dependence of the strength reduction on the cyclic loading ratios.

Keywords: geomaterials, cyclic loading, fatigue, foundation, strength reduction, stiffness reduction,

Submitted on November 25, 2015.
Final Acceptance on November 27, 2016.
Discussion open until April 28, 2017.
DOI: 10.28927/SR.393273