Shear Strength of Cohesive (Clay) Soil IntroductionSoil failure usually occurs in the form of “shearing” along internal surface within the soil.
Thus, structural strength is primarily a function of shear strength.
Shear strength is a soils’ ability to resist sliding along internal surfaces within the soil mass. Slope Stability: Failure is an Example of Shearing Along
Internal Surface Mass Wasting: Shear Failure Shear Failure: Earth Dam Shear Failure Under Foundation Load What is Shear Strength?Shear strength in soils is the resistance to movement between particles due to physical bonds from:
Atoms sharing electrons at surface contact points
Chemical bonds (cementation) such as crystallized calcium carbonate Influencing Factors
on Shear StrengthThe shearing strength, is affected by:
soil composition: mineralogy, grain size and grain size distribution, shape of particles, pore fluid type and content, ions on grain and in pore fluid.
Initial state: State can be describe by terms such as: loose, dense, overconsolidated, normally consolidated, stiff, soft, etc.
Structure: Refers to the arrangement of particles within the soil mass; the manner in which the particles are packed or distributed. Features such as layers, voids, pockets, cementation, etc, are part of the structure.