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Strength Testing

Direct Simple Shear Test System

The ShearTrac II direct simple shear (DSS) system is used to measure undrained shear strength of soils to reflect the average shear strength mobilized in the field. The DSS test generates a fairly homogeneous state of shear stress throughout the specimen, which provides initial stress condition, stress path, and deformation configuration that models numerous field loading conditions more closely than any other test system.

The system design allows for easily interchanging between direct simple shear and direct/residual shear testing if desired. The vertical assembly can also be used to perform consolidation (Incremental or CRC/CRS) or unconfined compressive strength tests.

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The direct simple shear test method measures constant volume (undrained) strength and stress-strain characteristics typically of saturated cohesive soils. Following consolidation of the sample (normal stress) a constant rate of shear loading is applied. For a saturated specimen, the constant volume condition allows the shear strength to be measured as if undrained. The strength is then a function of stress conditions, for which the simple shear stress condition can be found below long embankments and many other field situations.

Compared to the direct shear test with a specific horizontal shear plane, direct simple shear generates a fairly equal state of stress throughout the specimen. This can also be an advantageous test when limited soil is available.
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