Publication Details

Sun, Y., Liu, H., Yang, G. & Xiao, Y. (2013). Formulation of cross-anisotropic failure criterion for soils. Water Science and Engineering, 6 (4), 456-468.


Inherently anisotropic soil fabric has a considerable influence on soil strength. To model this kind of inherent anisotropy, a three-dimensional anisotropic failure criterion was proposed, employing a scalar-valued anisotropic variable and a modified general threedimensional isotropic failure criterion. The scalar-valued anisotropic variable in all sectors of the deviatoric plane was defined by correlating a normalized stress tensor with a normalized fabric tensor. Detailed comparison between the available experimental data and the corresponding model predictions in the deviatoric plane was conducted. The proposed failure criterion was shown to well predict the failure behavior in all sectors, especially in sector II with the Lode angle ranging between 60º and 120º, where the prediction was almost in accordance with test data. However, it was also observed that the proposed criterion overestimated the strength of dense Santa Monica Beach sand in sector III where the intermediate principal stress ratio b varied from approximately 0.2 to 0.8, and slightly underestimated the strength when b was between approximately 0.8 and 1. The difference between the model predictions and experimental data was due to the occurrence of shear bending, which might reduce the measured strength. Therefore, the proposed anisotropic failure criterion has a strong ability to characterize the failure behavior of various soils and potentially allows a better description of the influence of the loading direction with respect to the soil fabric.