Effect of Grain Crushing and Grain Size on the Evolution of Water Retention Curves

Y. D. Zhang*, J. S. Park, S. Gao, A. Sonta, B. Horin, Giuseppe Buscarnera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper complements existing datasets about the interplay between grain breakage and water retention behavior. Crushable granular materials characterized by finer and coarser initial grading compared to previous investigations (Gao et al. 2016) have been tested to obtain new evidences of hydro-mechanical coupling. High pressure oedometric compression tests are performed on two types of granular materials (Q-ROK sand and glass beads). After crushing, samples are transported and reconstituted to Tempe cells to evaluate their soil water retention curve (SWRC). In agreement with previous studies, the results show a clear correlation between the suction air-entry value (sAEV) and the degree of grain breakage. The co-evolution of grain size distribution (GSD) and SWRC have been interpreted by the unsaturated breakage mechanics model. Although it is shown that the model satisfactorily reproduces most of the results, a critical assessment of the model simulations is used to indicate possible enhancements of its performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-278
Number of pages11
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 301
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event2nd Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils: Fundamentals, PanAm-UNSAT 2017 - Dallas, United States
Duration: Nov 12 2017Nov 15 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of Grain Crushing and Grain Size on the Evolution of Water Retention Curves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this