Shear strength characteristics of a thermally cured sand-bentonite mixture

Document Type : Article


1 Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


An experimental program was conducted to investigate the effects of curing time and curing temperature on shear behavior of a sand-bentonite mixture. The specimens were cured at temperatures of 40°C, 60°C and 80°C for 1, 3 and 5 days under 100kPa, 500kPa and 1000kPa confinements. The results of consolidated undrained triaxial shear tests showed that an increase in temperature from 40°C to 80°C at 1, 3 and 5 days of curing increased the shear strength by 25%, 24% and 23%, respectively. Also, the increase in curing time from 1 to 3 and from 1 to 5 days at 80°C increased the shear strength of samples 12% and 24%, respectively. The failure of pre-cured samples occurred in lower strains as a result of more induced brittleness. Moreover, the secant modulus as well as the size of yield loci and critical state line’s slope increased by pre-curing. The application of thermal cycles resulted in increasing shear strength and experiencing a negative pore water pressure which shows a transition towards the quasi-structured behavior. The results of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies confirmed the increase in void ratio during thermal curing.


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