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Geomembrane Seam Strain Concentrations in Landfill Liners

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This dissertation details an attempt to experimentally evaluate the Giroud et al. (1995) concentration factors for geomembranes loaded in tension perpendicular to a seam by laboratory measurement. Field observations of the performance of geomembrane liner systems indicates that tears occur

This dissertation details an attempt to experimentally evaluate the Giroud et al. (1995) concentration factors for geomembranes loaded in tension perpendicular to a seam by laboratory measurement. Field observations of the performance of geomembrane liner systems indicates that tears occur at average strains well below the yield criteria. These observations have been attributed, in part, to localized strain concentrations in the geomembrane loaded in tension in a direction perpendicular to the seam. Giroud et al. (1995) has presented theoretical strain concentration factors for geomembrane seams loaded in tension when the seam is perpendicular to the applied tensile strain. However, these factors have never been verified. This dissertation was prepared in fulfillment of the requirements for graduation from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. The work described herein was sponsored by the National Science Foundation as a part of a larger research project entitled "NEESR: Performance Based Design of Geomembrane Liner Systems Subject to Extreme Loading." The work is motivated by geomembrane tears observed at the Chiquita Canyon landfill following the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Numerical analysis of the strains in the Chiquita Canyon landfill liner induced by the earthquake indicated that the tensile strains, were well below the yield strain of the geomembrane material. In order to explain why the membrane did fail, strain concentration factors due to bending at seams perpendicular to the load in the model proposed by Giroud et al. (1995) had to be applied to the geomembrane (Arab, 2011). Due to the localized nature of seam strain concentrations, digital image correlation (DIC) was used. The high resolution attained with DIC had a sufficient resolution to capture the localized strain concentrations. High density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembrane samples prepared by a leading geomembrane manufacturer were used in the testing described herein. The samples included both extrusion fillet and dual hot wedge fusion seams. The samples were loaded in tension in a standard triaxial test apparatus. to the seams in the samples including both extrusion fillet and dual hot wedge seams. DIC was used to capture the deformation field and strain fields were subsequently created by computer analysis.

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2016-05

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The impact of liquefaction on the microstructure of cohesionless soils

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The effect of earthquake-induced liquefaction on the local void ratio distribution of cohesionless soil is evaluated using x-ray computed tomography (CT) and an advanced image processing software package. Intact, relatively undisturbed specimens of cohesionless soil were recovered before and after

The effect of earthquake-induced liquefaction on the local void ratio distribution of cohesionless soil is evaluated using x-ray computed tomography (CT) and an advanced image processing software package. Intact, relatively undisturbed specimens of cohesionless soil were recovered before and after liquefaction by freezing and coring soil deposits created by pluviation and by sedimentation through water. Pluviated soil deposits were liquefied in the small geotechnical centrifuge at the University of California at Davis shared-use National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) facility. A soil deposit created by sedimentation through water was liquefied on a small shake table in the Arizona State University geotechnical laboratory. Initial centrifuge tests employed Ottawa 20-30 sand but this material proved to be too coarse to liquefy in the centrifuge. Therefore, subsequent centrifuge tests employed Ottawa F60 sand. The shake table test employed Ottawa 20-30 sand. Recovered cores were stabilized by impregnation with optical grade epoxy and sent to the University of Texas at Austin NSF-supported facility at the University of Texas at Austin for high-resolution CT scanning of geologic media. The local void ratio distribution of a CT-scanned core of Ottawa 20-30 sand evaluated using Avizo® Fire, a commercially available advanced program for image analysis, was compared to the local void ratio distribution established on the same core by analysis of optical images to demonstrate that analysis of the CT scans gave similar results to optical methods. CT scans were subsequently conducted on liquefied and not-liquefied specimens of Ottawa 20-30 sand and Ottawa F60 sand. The resolution of F60 specimens was inadequate to establish the local void ratio distribution. Results of the analysis of the Ottawa 20-30 specimens recovered from the model built for the shake table test showed that liquefaction can substantially influence the variability in local void ratio, increasing the degree of non-homogeneity in the specimen.

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Date Created
2013

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Undisturbed sampling of cohesionless soil for evaluation of mechanical properties and micro-structure

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As a prelude to a study on the post-liquefaction properties and structure of soil, an investigation of ground freezing as an undisturbed sampling technique was conducted to investigate the ability of this sampling technique to preserve soil structure and properties.

As a prelude to a study on the post-liquefaction properties and structure of soil, an investigation of ground freezing as an undisturbed sampling technique was conducted to investigate the ability of this sampling technique to preserve soil structure and properties. Freezing the ground is widely regarded as an appropriate technique to recover undisturbed samples of saturated cohesionless soil for laboratory testing, despite the fact that water increases in volume when frozen. The explanation generally given for the preservation of soil structure using the freezing technique was that, as long as the freezing front advanced uni-directionally, the expanding pore water is expelled ahead of the freezing front as the front advances. However, a literature review on the transition of water to ice shows that the volume of ice expands approximately nine percent after freezing, bringing into question the hypothesized mechanism and the ability of a frozen and then thawed specimen to retain the properties and structure of the soil in situ. Bench-top models were created by pluviation of sand. The soil in the model was then saturated and subsequently frozen. Freezing was accomplished using a pan filled with alcohol and dry ice placed on the surface of the sand layer to induce a unidirectional freezing front in the sample container. Coring was used to recover frozen samples from model containers. Recovered cores were then placed in a triaxial cell, thawed, and subjected to consolidated undrained loading. The stress-strain-strength behavior of the thawed cores was compared to the behavior of specimens created in a split mold by pluviation and then saturated and sheared without freezing and thawing. The laboratory testing provide insight to the impact of freezing and thawing on the properties of cohesionless soil.

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Date Created
2011

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Stabilization and imaging of cohesionless soil specimens

Description

This dissertation describes development of a procedure for obtaining high quality, optical grade sand coupons from frozen sand specimens of Ottawa 20/30 sand for image processing and analysis to quantify soil structure along with a methodology for quantifying the microstructure

This dissertation describes development of a procedure for obtaining high quality, optical grade sand coupons from frozen sand specimens of Ottawa 20/30 sand for image processing and analysis to quantify soil structure along with a methodology for quantifying the microstructure from the images. A technique for thawing and stabilizing frozen core samples was developed using optical grade Buehler® Epo-Tek® epoxy resin, a modified triaxial cell, a vacuum/reservoir chamber, a desiccator, and a moisture gauge. The uniform epoxy resin impregnation required proper drying of the soil specimen, application of appropriate confining pressure and vacuum levels, and epoxy mixing, de-airing and curing. The resulting stabilized sand specimen was sectioned into 10 mm thick coupons that were planed, ground, and polished with progressively finer diamond abrasive grit levels using the modified Allied HTP Inc. polishing method so that the soil structure could be accurately quantified using images obtained with the use of an optical microscopy technique. Illumination via Bright Field Microscopy was used to capture the images for subsequent image processing and sand microstructure analysis. The quality of resulting images and the validity of the subsequent image morphology analysis hinged largely on employment of a polishing and grinding technique that resulted in a flat, scratch free, reflective coupon surface characterized by minimal microstructure relief and good contrast between the sand particles and the surrounding epoxy resin. Subsequent image processing involved conversion of the color images first to gray scale images and then to binary images with the use of contrast and image adjustments, removal of noise and image artifacts, image filtering, and image segmentation. Mathematical morphology algorithms were used on the resulting binary images to further enhance image quality. The binary images were then used to calculate soil structure parameters that included particle roundness and sphericity, particle orientation variability represented by rose diagrams, statistics on the local void ratio variability as a function of the sample size, and the local void ratio distribution histograms using Oda's method and Voronoi tessellation method, including the skewness, kurtosis, and entropy of a gamma cumulative probability distribution fit to the local void ratio distribution.

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Date Created
2011