X-Ray Microtomography (μCT) as a Useful Tool for Visualization and Interpretation of Shear Strength Test Results

Open access


The paper demonstrates the applicability of X-ray microtomography (ìCT) to analysis of the results of shear strength examinations of clayey soils. The method of X-ray three-dimensional imaging offers new possibilities in soil testing. The work focuses on a non-destructive method of evaluation of specimen quality used in shear tests and mechanical behavior of soil. The paper presents the results of examination of 4 selected clayey soils. Specimens prepared for the triaxial test have been scanned using ìCT before and after the triaxial compression tests. The shear strength parameters of the soils have been estimated. Changes in soil structure caused by compression and shear failure have been presented as visualizations of the samples tested. This allowed for improved interpretation and evaluation of soil strength parameters and recognition of pre-existing fissures and the exact mode of failure. Basic geometrical parameters have been determined for selected cross-sections of specimens after failure. The test results indicate the utility of the method applied in soil testing.

[1] FLANNERY B.P., DECKMAN H.W., ROBERGE W.G., D'AMICO K.L., Three-dimensional x-ray microtomography, Science, 1987, 237.

[2] GASPARRE A., Advanced laboratory characterization of London clay, PhD thesis, 2005.

[3] GREGOR T. et al., Correlating Micro-CT Imaging with Quantitative Histology, Injury and Skeletal Biomechanics, 2012.

[4] HALL S.A., BORNERT M., DESRUES J., PANNIER Y., LENOIR N., VIGGIANI G., BESUELLE P., Discrete and continuum analysis of localised deformation in sand using X-ray _CT and volumetric digital image correlation, Geotechnique, 2010, 60, No. 5.

[5] HEAD K.H., Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing, 1986, Vol. 3.

[6] HEIJS A.W.J., DE LANGE J., Determination of pore networks and water content distributions from 3-D computed tomography images of a clay soil, Bioimaging, 1997, 5.

[7] KETCHAM R.A., CARLTON W.D., Acquisition, optimization and interpretation of X-ray computed tomographic imagery: applications to the geosciences, Computers & Geosciences, 2001, 27.

[8] LU S., LANDIS E.N., KEANE D.T., X-ray microtomographic studies of pore structure and permeability in Portland cement concrete, Materials and Structures, 2006, 39.

[9] PIRES L.F., BORGES J.A.R., BACCHI O.O.S, REICHARDT K., Twenty-five years of computed tomography in soil physics: A literature review of the Brazilian contribution, Soil & Tillage Research, 2010, 110.

[10] PN-EN ISO 14688, Geotechnical investigation and testing - Identification and classification of soil.

[11] SkyScan1172, Desktop X-ray microtomograph, Instruction Manual, 2005.

[12] TAUD H., MARTINEZ-ANGELES R., PARROT J.F., HERNANDEZ- -ESCOBEDO L., Porosity estimation method by X-ray computed tomography, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2005, 47.

[13] WILDENSCHILDA D., HOPMANS J.W., VAZ C.M.P, RIVERS M.L., RIKARD D., CHRISTENSEN B.S.B., Using X-ray computed tomography in hydrology: systems, resolutions, and limitations, Journal of Hydrology, 2002, 267.

[14] WONG R.C.K., Strength of two structured soils in triaxial compression, International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 2001, 25.

[15] VIGGIANI G., LENOIR N., BESUELLE P., DI MICHIEL M., MARELLO S., DESRUES J., KRETZSCHMER M., X-ray microtomography for studying localized deformation in fine-grained geomaterials under triaxial compression, C. R. Mecanique, 2004, 332.

Studia Geotechnica et Mechanica

The Journal of Wrocław University of Science and Technology and AGH University of Science and Technology

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.14

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.131
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.448

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 191 190 12
PDF Downloads 76 76 9