Strain localization characteristics of loose saturated Toyoura sand in undrained cyclic torsional shear tests with initial static shear
Strain localization, or the formation of shear bands, is a key aspect in understanding soil failure mechanisms. While efforts have been made in terms of measuring the shear band properties and the stress-strain behavior within shear bands, there are still uncertainties regarding when shear bands initiate and their influence on the development of large ground deformation. In this paper, the limiting value of shear strain, at which strain localization appears during undrained cyclic torsional shear tests with initial static shear, performed on loose Toyoura sand specimens (Dr = 44-48 percent) up to a single amplitude of shear strain exceeding 50 percent, was evaluated. Non-uniform specimen deformation was observed at strain levels larger than 20 percent. However, the onset of strain localization could not be defined on the basis of visual observations. Therefore, the limiting values for half of the double amplitude (YDA/2) and single amplitude (YSA) shear strain, to initiate strain localization, were determined from test results based on changes in the deviator stress response and strain accumulation properties as well as changes in the strain-softening behavior during cyclic shear. It was found that YSA is a more appropriate parameter than YDA/2. Irrespective of the static shear stress level, the limiting strain value for YSA was evaluated to be in the range of 23-28 percent for liquefied loose Toyoura sand specimens (i.e., stress reversal and intermediate tests). Alternatively, the limiting strain value could not be properly defined when liquefaction did not occur (i.e., non-reversal stress tests), although various methods were employed.