Analysis of mobilized stress ratio of gap-graded granular materials in direct shear state considering coarse fraction effect

X. S. Shi, Kai Liu, Jianhua Yin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Weathered rockfill materials, characterized by a mixture of soil matrix and rock aggregates, are widely distributed in mountainous areas. These soils are frequently used for subgrade or riprap in engineering practice, and the mobilized shear strength is crucial for analyzing the displacement and stability of these geo-structures. A series of direct shear tests are performed on a gap-graded soil with a full range of coarse fraction. The behavior of gap-graded soils is analyzed, and a simple model is proposed for the evolution of mobilized stress ratio during direct shearing process based on mixture theory. The change of inter-aggregate configuration is incorporated by introducing a structure variable which increases with coarse fraction and decreases approximately linearly with the overall horizontal shear strain in double logarithmic plot. It reasonably reflects a gradually transformation from a matrix-sustained structure into an aggregate-sustained one with the increase of coarse fraction. The model has four parameters, and at least two direct shear tests need to be done for the calibration. Validation of the model is done by using the test data in this work and those from the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1801-1814
Number of pages14
JournalActa Geotechnica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Direct shear tests
  • Gap-graded soils
  • Mixture theory
  • Mobilized stress ratio
  • Volume average scheme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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