Centrifuge testing of an expansive clay
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Expansive clays are located world wide and cause billions of dollars in damage each year. Currently, the expansion is usually estimated using correlations instead of direct testing as direct testing is expensive and often takes over a month to complete. The purpose of this study was to determine if centrifuge technology could be used to characterize expansive clays through direct testing. Testing was performed in an centrifuge permeameter on compacted specimens of Eagle Ford clay. A framework was developed to analyze effective stresses in centrifuge samples and methods were proposed to determine the swell-stress curve of a soil from centrifuge tests. Standard free swell test were also performed for comparison. The swell-stress curve determined by centrifuge testing was found to match with the curve found from free swell tests after correcting for differences in testing procedures. The centrifuge tests were found to be repeatable and required several days for testing rather than weeks.