Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims at teaching the basic properties and principles of mechanical behavior of soils, in order to model and design civil works.
Course contents summary
The soil as particulate matter: single particle and aggregates. Index Properties. Aggregates. Classification. Grading curve. Atterberg limits. Unified classification system. From particle matter to continuous medium. Stress state: invariants. The principle of effective stress. Continuum mechanics. Mohr circles.
The geotechnical problem: stress and strain. Geostatic stress state. Stress history. OCR. K0. The oedometer. Oedometric behavior. The oedometer test results, parameters and their determination. Oedometric model. Oedometric settlements.
Triaxial tests: description and meaning of the tests. Stress paths in standard triaxial tests . Mechanical behavior of loose sands. Mohr-Coulomb strength criterion. Mechanical behavior of dense sands. Dilatancy and shear strength. Mechanical behavior of sands in undrained conditions. Mechanical behavior of NC clays. Parameters of strength and deformability. The undrained shear strength. Mechanical behavior of OC clays. Notes about constitutive models. Cam Clay.
Water in soils. Saturated soils with water at rest. The geotechnical problem. Laplace equation. Steady state. Confined flow. Flow net. Non confined problems . Dupuit hypotheses. The earth dams. Siphoning. Groundwater and artesian wells. The piezometers. Measurement of permeability in situ. Non stationary water-flow processes. One-dimensional , two and three-dimensional consolidation problem. Terzaghi’s solution of the equation governing the one-dimensional consolidation.
Elements of geotechnical design
Limit equilibrium methods. Theory of Coulomb. Rankine’s theory of earth pressure. Active earth pressure and passive resistance. Retaining structures. Retaining walls and stability tests. Design of gravity and cantilever walls. Design of cantilever sheet pile walls. Design of anchored sheet pile walls. The stability of excavations. Use of numerical methods in geotechnical engineering.
Lorella Montrasio. Geotecnica. ed. Santa Croce
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam consists in two parts: a written test, regarding a design problem, and an oral test on theory. Alternatively, two written tests could be taken during the course: who passes these tests is exonerated by the final one.