Abstract

The understanding of the engineering behaviour of unsaturated soil is totally dependent on the water retention characteristic curve (WRCC). In this paper, a comprehensive study of the WRCCs of pond ash along with the ash's geotechnical behaviour has been made. The WRCC has been drawn experimentally using a Fredlund device based upon the pressure plate technique for both wetting and drying cycles. Further, an investigation was carried out to study WRCC hysteresis of pond ash. There exists a considerable hysteresis in drying and wetting curves of pond ash sample. The different WRCC models were used to fit the experimental WRCC data. The effect of compaction on WRCC was also studied. The air entry value in the case of a loose sample is low and the sample gets nearly desaturated at low soil suction as compared to a dense sample. Also, the wetting WRCC is predicted using the Feng and Fredlund model as it is difficult and time consuming to measure the whole hysteresis. The predicted results are compared with the measured wetting WRCC. Since the direct measurement of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity is difficult to obtain in engineering practices, the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function is predicted using the measured WRCC as the input parameter using SEEP/W software.

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