A chemo-elastic-plastic model for unsaturated expansive clays

Xiaoqin Lei, Henry Wong, Antonin Fabbri, Ali Limam, Yung Ming Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Clays are widely used as sealing materials in various geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering applications. These clays are usually unsaturated and are sensitive to chemical composition of the saturating solutions. During their service period, various mechanical, chemical, and hydraulic loading conditions, usually coupled with each other, can be encountered. It is necessary to use a chemo-elastic-plastic unsaturated model to account for these coupled loading paths and simulate the possible behaviours of these clays in their realistic engineering context. In this paper, based on the thermodynamic framework (Lei et al., 2014) for unsaturated expansive clays, the chemo-elastic-plastic model developed by Loret et al. (2002) for saturated homoionic expansive clays is extended to the general unsaturated case. From a theoretical analysis, it is shown that this model is sufficient to simulate the typical behaviours under various mechanical, chemical, and hydraulic loading conditions. The model is then validated against available experimental data of oedometer tests concerning purely mechanical and mixed chemo-mechanical loadings under controlled matric suction on reconstituted Boom Clay mixed with NaNO3solution. Reasonably accurate estimates of quantitative responses of these complex coupled geochemical loading paths can be obtained, thus giving us a preliminary insight on chemo-hydro-mechanical coupled behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-378
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2016


  • Chemo-mechanical coupling
  • Double structure
  • Elastic-plasticity
  • Expansive clay
  • Unsaturated soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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