During heavy rainfalls, the surface soil on a slope may be eroded and the erosion is much dependent on the tensile strength of soil. In addition, the tensile strength of soil is also one of the governing factors which affect the cracking of soil. It is noted that the water content of soil has a significant effect on the tensile strength of soil. The experimental works for measurement of the tensile strength of soil in laboratory (especially for the unsaturated soil) are challenging, and the indirect estimation techniques draw a lot of attentions among practical engineers. In this paper, the tensile strength of soil is estimated from the soil–water characteristic curve (SWCC) by adopting the concept of pore-size distribution function. The proposed equations were verified with the experimental data from published literature. The comparison results show that the estimated tensile strengths agree well with the experimental results of the selected soils from published literatures. In addition, the variations of SWCC due to different initial densities and fine contents are also considered and the effects of the variation of SWCC on the estimated tensile strength are also investigated and discussed in this paper. It is observed that the modified SWCCs incorporating the effects of different initial densities and fine contents are able to provide a more accurate estimation of the tensile strength of unsaturated soil.
- Pore-size distribution function
- Soil–water characteristic curve
- Statistical method
- Tensile stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)