Effect of particle cementation on the stifness of uniform sand as measured with stress wave velocities
MetadataShow full item record
Evaluation of the effect of particle cementation on the stiffness of uniform sand was carried out by measuring compression wave velocities (VP) and shear wave velocities (VS) on both clean and artificially cemented specimens. Piezoelectric transducers (PT) were used to perform the majority of the measurements. Shear wave velocity (VS), shear moduli (G) and material damping ratio (D) of clean and artificially cemented specimens were also determined using resonant column (RC) testing. Linear (shearing strains ≤ 0.001%) and nonlinear (shearing strains > 0.001%) behavior of the specimens were evaluated in the resonant column tests. The sand selected for this investigation is commonly known as Hickory sand, from the Hickory formation, western Llano uplift, Texas. This material was selected for its grain geometry and gradation; it consists of uniformly graded sand with rounded particles. The sand specimens were artificially cemented with a solution of hydrated sodium silicate and water. Sodium silicate is an alkaline compound obtained from the reaction of sodium hydroxide and silica. All artificially cemented specimens and uncemented hickory sand specimens were formed by pluviation through air. The microstructure of the specimens was visually assessed with images obtained from both optical and scanning electron (SEM) microscopes. These images confirmed that the procedure used to form artificially cemented specimens provides cementation around the contacts while some grain-to-grain contact appears to be preserved. Seismic and drained strength measurements on Hickory sand specimens were obtained from different cement concentrations and compared with results from clean sand specimens. Among the findings of this investigation are: (1) the procedure to artificially cement sand specimens in the laboratory was successful, (2) the slopes (nP and nS) obtained from the relationships between compression and shear wave velocities with effective isotropic confining pressure in log-log scale decrease as the cement content increases, and (3) as increasing amounts of cement are added to the sand particles, the nonlinearity of the specimens increases up to certain amount of cement, after which the nonlinearity of the specimen decreases and tends towards rock-like behavior.