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Full text of "The effect of varying the parameters of vane shear tests on marine sediments."

THE EFFECT OF VARYING THE PARAMETERS 

OF 
VANE SHEAR TESTS ON MARINE SEDIMENTS 



by 



James Charles Singler 



/ 



United States 
Navat Postgraduate School 




THESIS 



THE EFFECT OF VARYING THE PARAMETERS 

OF 
VANE SHEAR TESTS ON MARINE SEDIMENTS 



James Charles Singler 



Thesis Advisor: 



R. J. Smith 



March 1971 



kppnjovzd ^oh. pubtic nzi&a&e.; dibtnA.baticn ujitunctzd. 



T 133625 



V 



The Effect of Varying the Parameters of 
Vane Shear Tests on Marine Sediments 

by 



James Charles Singler 

Lieutenant, United States Navy 

B.S., United States Naval Academy, 1963 



Submitted in partial fulfillment of the 
requirements for the degree of 



MASTER OF SCIENCE IN OCEANOGRAPHY 



from the 

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL 
March 1971 



ABSTRACT 

The consequences resulting from varying the parameters of the 
vane shear test (used to determine the shear strength of marine sed- 
iments) were investigated. Experiment showed that larger ratios of 
container diameter to vane diameter yield more accurate shear strengths 
It ■was also shown that the four-bladed vane produced the best results. 
Finally, rates of rotation of one and two revolutions per hour were 
found to give accurate values of shear strength, while higher rates of 
rotation proved to be unsatisfactory. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

I. INTRODUCTION _ 9 

II. DESCRIPTION OF EQUIPMENT 12 

A. GENERAL DESCRIPTION 12 

B. COMPONENTS 13 

1. Torque Transducer- 13 

2. Power Supply and Conditioning Unit 13 

3. Motor and Motor Mount 15 

4. Vanes 16 

5. Sample Containers 16 

in. TESTING PROCEDURES 20 

A. TEST MATERIALS 20 

B. PACKING THE CONTAINERS 21 

C. TEST PHASES 22 

1. Phase One 22 

2. Phase Two 22 

3. Phase Three 23 

IV. RESULTS OF TESTS 24 

A. COMPUTATION OF SHEAR STRENGTH 24 

B. RESULTS 33 

1. Phase One 33 

2. Phase Two 33 

3. Phase Three 51 



3 



V. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS _ 57 

A. SIZE OF SAMPLE CONTAINER------ 57 

B. NUMBER OF BLADES 58 

C. MOTOR SPEED 59 

VI. CONCLUSIONS 60 

APPENDIX A Results of Tests 63 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 70 

INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST 71 

FORM DD 1473 72 



LIST OF TABLES 



Table Page 

I Summary of Results of Phase One Tests Using 

Grease 26 

II Summary of Results of Phase One Tests Using 

Clay 28 

III Summary of Results of Phase Two Tests Using 

Grease 29 

IV Summary of Results of Phase Two Tests Using 

Clay 30 

V Summary of Results of Phase Three Tests Using 

Grease 31 

VI Summary of Results of Phase Three Tests Using 

Clay 32 



Page 


14 


14 


17 


17 


18 


18 



LIST OF FIGURES 

Figure 

1 NPS Vane Shear Apparatus with x-y Plotter 

2 Five Revolutions Per Hour Motor and Motor Mount 

3 Vanes with from Two to Eight Blades Used for 
Testing 

4 Containers 1 through 7 Used for Testing 

5 Containers A through G Used for Testing 

6 Tamps for Containers 1 through 7 and A through G 

7 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 

56-62, Grease 34 

8 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 

63-69, Grease 35 

9 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 

70-76, Grease 36 

10 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 

77-83, Grease 37 

11 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 

84-90, Grease 38 

12 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 

91-97, Grease 39 

13 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 

98-104, Grease 40 

14 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 
170-173, Clay 41 

15 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 
180-185, Clay 42 



16 Shear Strength versus Container Diameter, Runs 
217-222, Clay 43 

17 Shear Strength versus Number of Blades, Runs 

105-111, Grease 44 

18 Shear Strength versus Number of Blades, Runs 

112.118, Grease 45 

19 Shear Strength versus Number of Blades, Runs 

119-125, Grease 46 

20 Shear Strength versus Number of Blades, Runs 

126-132, Grease 47 

21 Shear Strength versus Number of Blades, Runs 

156-160, Grease 48 

22 Shear Strength versus Number of Blades, Runs 

189-195, Clay 49 

23 Shear Strength versus Number of Blades, Runs 

203-209, Clay 50 

24 Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, Runs 133-138, 
Grease 5 2 

25 Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, Runs 144-149, 
Grease 53 

26 Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, Runs 174-179, 
Grease 54 

27 Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, Runs 196-201, 

Clay 55 

28 Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, Runs 211-216 

Clay 56 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

The author wishes to thank Dr. R. J. Smith, Department of 
Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School, for his assistance and 
continued encouragement throughout the planning, testing and evaluation 
periods of this thesis. 



I. INTRODUCTION 

In recent years there has been an increase of interest by private 
industry and government agencies in determining the physical prop- 
erties of the sediments of the ocean floor. 

The shear strength of marine sediments can be measured by un- 
confined compression, direct shear, triaxial shear, and by vane shear 
tests. The first three of these tests usually require the removal of 
the sediment samples from a core liner, and may even require the 
placing of the sample into a special container for testing. This hand- 
ling produces further disturbance to the sediment in addition to that 
-which may already have been caused by the coring process. 

A vane shear test circumvents these problems as the shear 
strength measurement can be performed in the core liner or even 
in-situ [Smith, 1962]. Many variations in vane shear testing equip- 
ments exist, but all are based on the vane borer as developed in Sweden 
and Germany in 1928 and 1929 [Osterberg, 1957]. Cadling and Odenstad 
[1950] earlier reported on the use of a vane device for measuring the 
shear strength of terrestial clays. The device made use of a vane 
consisting of four rectangular blades and a calibrated spring to measure 
the maximum torque developed when the vane was turned in the clay. 

Once the maximum torque was determined the equation of Cadling 
and Odenstad was used to calculate the shear strength: 



M 
g = max 



[TTDHD 2 rr d 2 1 D\ 
I 2 4 3 2/ 

where M = maximum torsional moment required to produce 

max n r 

shear, 
D = diameter of the vane, 

H = height of the vane. 

The above equation assumes that the surface of the rupture con- 
sists of a circular cylinder with the same dimensions as the vane. 
Additionally, it is assumed that the stress distribution at the maximum 
torsional moment is uniform across the surface of the cylinder, in- 
cluding the ends. 

The rate of rotation of the vane was reported by Cadling and 
Odenstad to have some effect on the shear strength values. Higher 
rates of rotation produced correspondingly higher shear strengths. A 
rotation rate of 0. 1 degree per second (6 degrees per minute or 1 
revolution per hour) was arbitrarily adopted as a standard, and this 
rate gave conservative results. A rate of 0.2 degree per second (two 
revolutions per hour) was used by Morelock [1967] based on the assump- 
tion that the value of shear strength obtained was very nearly the same 
as at the slower rate. Aas [1965] reports finding no significant changes 
in shear strength at rates ranging from 1 to 10 revolutions per hour. 

A height to diameter ratio (H/D) of two was used by Cadling and 
Odenstad [1950]. Aas [1965] experimented with various H/D ratios 



10 



and concluded that results of the shear strength determinations were 
not greatly affected unless the H/D ratio exceeded a value of three. 
Osterberg [1957] suggested that the area of the vane should not be 
greater than ten per cent of the area of the sample to be tested. 

Because of the many differences in the parameters of the vane 
shear test, further study into the effects of varying the parameters 
was thought to be necessary. The parameters chosen to be varied 
were the diameter of the container, the number of blades of the vane 
and the rate of rotation of the vane. The parameters of vane dimensions, 
H/D ratio, and container height were not varied. A study of the effect 
of varying the parameters would permit the evaluation of previous 
recommendations, the standardization of vane shear test procedures, 
and valid comparisons of results from different test facilities. 



11 

i 



II. DESCRIPTION OF EQUIPMENT 

The basic equipment used for testing was chosen because of its 
availability., versatility, and suitability for the tests which were per- 
formed. To vary the parameters, containers of different diameters, 
vanes with different numbered blades, and motors with different speeds 
of rotation were required. 

A. GENERAL DESCRIPTION 

Commercially available vane shear test devices have been made to 
specifications of various testing facilities. The Naval Postgraduate 
School (NPS) vane shear apparatus was used for all testing as it is the 
best equipment currently available in view of its adaptability to this 
investigation [Minugh, 1970]. 

The NPS vane shear apparatus consists of the following major 
components: 

1. torque transducer, 

2. power supply and signal. conditioning unit, 

3. motor and motor mount. 

As originally constructed by Minugh and subsequently modified by 
Heck [1970], it utilizes the above components in conjunction with a 
stand and a height adjustment mechanism to lower and raise the vane 
into and out of the sample. The heavier laboratory stand as described 
by Minugh was used along with the height adjustment mechanism 



12 



developed by Heck for this testing program. Holes were tapped in the 
base of the stand to hold the various sizes of sample containers. The 
complete test apparatus is shown in Figure 1. A strip recorder and 
an x-y plotter were used to record various portions of the results of 
the tests. 

B. COMPONENTS 

1. Torque Transducer 

The torque transducer selected by Minugh has a range of 0-250 
inch-ounces and may be over-torqued 100 per cent without damage. It 
is relatively insensitive to temperature change and measures either 
clockwise or counterclockwise torque. The use of semiconductors 
enhances signal discrimination at low output levels, making the torque 
transducer more effective than conventional strain gages. 

2. Power Supply and Signal Conditioner 

A combined transistorized power supply, bridge circuit, and 
amplifier provides a signal which is sent to the recorder. The unit is 
provided with a push button resistive circuit equivalent to a 125 inch- 
ounce torque and may be used to adjust the amplifier gain. By 
depressing the "R Cal" button on the unit a fixed signal of 125 inch- 
ounces is provided to the recorder. The gain of the amplifier is 
adjusted to a convenient reference (0. 5 volts was used for all testing) 
and by adjusting the amplifier balance the full 0-0.5 volts travel of the 
recording pen is ensured. 



13 




Figure 1. 

NPS Vane Shear Apparatus 
with x-y Plotter 




Figure 2. Five Revolutions Per Hour Motor and Motor Mount 



14 



3. Motor and Motor Mount 

In addition to the motor and motor mount as devised by 
Minugh (one revolution per hour), five additional motors and one addi- 
tional motor mount were obtained. The five motors were chosen to 
give higher rates of rotation of the vane. The speed of two revolutions 
per hour was chosen to verify Morelock's [1967] assumption that doub- 
ling the speed of rotation does not result in an erroneous value of shear 
strength. The values of five, ten, twenty, and thirty revolutions per 
hour were chosen as convenient multiples of the standard speed of one 
revolution per hour. Four of the additional motors were used in the 
existing motor mount and a second motor mount was constructed for 
the fifth, somewhat differently configured, motor (Figure 2). All six 
motors developed 150 inch-ounces of torque at 1 RPM and required 
115 VAC, 60 cycle power. Five of the motors rotated in a counter- 
clockwise direction while the sixth was reversible, but was only 
configured to rotate counterclockwise. The speeds of the motors used 



were: 






- 




Degrees per minute 


RPM 


RPH 




6 


1/60 


1 


• 


12 


1/30 


2 




30 


1/12 


5 




60 


1/6 


10 




120 


1/3 


20 




180 


1/2 


30 



15 



For ease of reference all results are compared on the basis of revolu- 
tions per hour (RPH). 

4. Vanes 

A total of seven vanes, with from two to eight blades, were used. 
Standard vanes have four blades and varying H/D ratios. The range of 
two through eight blades allowed comparison of results with both fewer 
and greater number of blades than standard. A one-bladed vane was 
not used because of the imbalance of forces on the shaft of the vane. 
Eight blades was a practical upper limit from the standpoint of difficulty 
of fabrication. All the vanes had the same dimensions, a H/D ratio of 
two (H=2.0 inches, D=1.0 inches) and a shaft of 3/16 inches diameter. 
Figure 3 shows the seven vanes used. 

5. Sample Containers 

Two different sets of sample containers were prepared. The 
first set of seven containers varied in diameter from 1.611 inches to 
10.298 inches. The second set of seven containers was essentially 
constant in size, with an average diameter of 4.992 inches. All con- 
tainers were of a depth of 3. 5 inches in order to allow 3/4 inches of 
sample above and below the vane during testing. Each container was 
fitted with two opposed slots at their base to ensure that they were 
securely held during the testing. Figures 4 and 5 show the containers. 
Packing the material to be tested into the containers required the 
preparation of the tamps shown in Figure 6. The various diameters of 
the containers were as follows: 



16 




Figure 3. Vanes with from Two to Eight Blades Used for Testing 




Figure 4. Containers 1 through 7 Used for Testing 



17 



~* P^^ m~m J- 









Figure 5. Containers A through G Used for Testing 




Figure 6. Tamps for Containers 1 through 7 and A through G 



18 



Container 



Int 


ernal Diameter 


(inches) 




1. 


611 






1. 


988 






2. 


703 






4. 


298 






4. 


835 





1 

2 
3 

4 
5 

6 7.837 

7 10.298 

A through G 4. 992 (average) 



19 



in. TESTING PROCEDURES 

All tests were conducted during the months of January and February 
1971 at the Naval Postgraduate School. The duration of the majority of 
tests was ten minutes. Exceptions were: (a) three minutes for motor 
speeds of five and ten revolutions per minute and (b) one and one half 
minutes for motor speeds of twenty and thirty revolutions per minute. 

A. TEST MATERIALS 

Marine sediments themselves are unsuitable for comparison test- 
ing of this type in that they continually lose water content and hence 
increase in shear strength in the drying process. Test materials were 
therefore required having strengths in the same range as marine sed- 
iments yet not subject to the evaporative process. The first material 
selected for testing was wheel bearing grease. In order to verify the 
results obtained, a type of sculpting clay was also selected. This clay 
did not have a water base and hence would not dry in air. Because the 
clay -was originally much stronger than the wheel bearing grease, oil 
was added to the clay to bring it into the same range of shear strength 
as normal sediments. An electric hand drill with a paint mixer attach- 
ment was used to mix the clay and oil together to form a homogeneous 
test material. 



20 



B. PACKING THE CONTAINERS 

The results of the vane shear tests proved difficult to reproduce 
with the grease, even when the same size container was used, due to 
non-uniform packing. A method of ensuring uniform packing was there- 
fore necessary. The smaller containers had a tendency to entrap air 
resulting in values of shear strength which were lower than the actual 
values. A similar problem was encountered with the use of the clay. 

Comparison of series of tests on the two sets of containers (1 
through 7 and A through G) was more likely to yield usable results. 
The relative trends could therefore be compared. This was considered 
to be a practical approach to the testing because all the containers in 
the set were prepared nearly simultaneously and in the same manner. 

A method was devised of placing the containers with the grease 
into a drying oven, in order to develop a greater degree of uniformity. 
Temperatures of 86 to 105 degrees Centigrade were used, with the 
majority of heating at the higher temperature. The containers were 
usually placed in the oven for at least six hours and then allowed to 
cool for more than ten hours. This procedure eliminated the air from 
the smaller containers, for at 105 degrees Centigrade the grease be- 
haved as a thick liquid. 

Because the clay might have hardened in the oven, tamps were 
prepared to fit within each of the containers. The tamps were used 
in conjunction with a clear plastic household wrapping material. The 



21 



plastic was used to keep the clay from adhering to the tamp. Great 
care had to be exercised to ensure that no air remained trapped in 
the smaller containers. 

C. TEST PHASES 

The temperature of the room in which testing was done was 
assumed to be essentially constant, in that it was located in the base- 
ment of a concrete building and thus not influenced by the heating of 
the sun. Both the grease and the oil and clay mixture were assumed 
to be homogeneous. To hold all but one test parameter constant, 
three test phases were used for each material. 

1. Phase One 

The first phase of testing required the motor speed and 
number of blades on the vane to be held constant while the diameter of 
the container was varied. A motor speed of 1 RPH and a four-bladed 
vane were used. Containers 1 through 7 were tested during this phase. 
For the testing of the clay container 5 was not used because it was 
close in size to container 4. Also, it was slightly out of round which 
made it difficult to pack. 

2. Phase Two 

Phase two involved the fixing of the container size and motor 
speed while varying the number of blades of the vanes. The essentially 
constant diameter containers A through G were used with a motor speed 
of 1 RPH. The vanes were varied from two to eight blades. 



22 



3. Phase Three 

The third test phase used a constant container size and a 
fixed number of blades with a varied motor speed. The four-bladed 
vane, containers A through G, and motor speeds of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 
and 30 RPH were used. 



23 



IV. RESULTS OF TESTS 

A. COMPUTATION OF SHEAR STRENGTH 

From the shear strength formula of Cadling and Odenstad [1950] 

M 
g _ max 

/TTDH D + 2TTD^ 2 D \ 
I T ~4~ 3 T I 

it can be seen that the denominator is a constant for the seven different 

vanes that were used. With H=2.0 inches and D=1.0 inches its value is 

3.6652. 

By setting the fixed 125 inch-ounces output of the amplifier equal 

to 0. 5 volts the following relationship is established: 

125 inch-ounces =0.5 volts = 500 millivolts. Therefore 

1 inch- ounce = 4 millivolts = 4 mv. 

Since all values of M were obtained in millivolts, to compute 

max r 

shear strength in pounds per square inch (psi) the following factor was 

applied to the M in millivolts: 

r max 

, .. , , , . 1 in. -ounce 1 1 pound 

S (psi) = M (mv) x x — — 3 x ti^ • 

max 4 mv. 3. 6652 in. 16 ounces 

Occassionally shear of the sample did not occur during the time allotted 
for the test. In these cases the maximum value of torque attained by 
the end of the test was used for computing the shear strength. Because 
the duration of each test was not varied, but fixed for particular motor 



24 



speeds, this was considered as a valid figure for comparison purposes 
The results of the tests are given in Appendix A and are summarized 
in Tables I through VI. 



25 



Table I. Summary of Results of Phase One Tests Using Grease 



Run 


Speed 


No. of 


Container 


Shear 


No. 


(RPH) 


Blades 




Strength (psi) 


56 


1 


4 


1 


.364 


57 


it 


it 


2 


.464 


58 


ii 


ti 


3 


. 334 


59 


it 


ti 


4 


.2245 


60 


ii 


it 


5 


.220 


61 


ii 


ti 


6 


. 1404 


62 


ti 


ti 


7 


. 151 


63 


1 


4 


1 


.441 


64 


ii 


it 


2 


. 340 


65 


ii 


ti 


3 


.217 


66 


it 


ii 


4 


.3015 


67 


it 


it 


5 


.288 


68 


it 


it 


6 


.212 


69 


it 


it 


7 


.2045 


70 


1 


4 


1 


.2565 


71 


it 


it 


2 


.218 


72 


it 


it 


3 


.216 


73 


it 


it 


4 


.2345 


74 


n 


it 


5 


.207 


75 


it 


it 


6 


. 198 


76 


it 


it 


7 


.2457 


77 


1 


4 


1 


.294 


78 


it 


it 


2 


. 319 


79 


it 


it 


3 


.268 


80 


it 


ii 


4 


. 1947 


81 


ti 


it 


5 


.2715 


82 


ti 


it 


6 


.2215 


83 


it 


ti 


7 


.258 


84 


1 


4 


1 


.264 


85 


it 


ti 


2 


.287 


86 


ti 


it 


3 


.2255 


87 


n 


ti 


4 


.2235 


88 


it 


it 


5 


.250 


89 


it 


it 


6 


.2325 


90 


ti 


it 


7 


. 1988 



26 



Run 


Speed 


No. 


of 


Container 


Shear 


No. 


(RPH) 


Blac 


ies 




Strength (psi) 


91 


1 


4 




1 


.286 


92 








2 


.264 


93 








3 


.231 


94 








4 


.2295 


95 








5 


.242 


96 








6 


.206 


97 








7 


. 197 


98 


1 


4 




1 


. 302 


99 








2 


.306 


100 








3 


.2765 


101 








4 


.2063 


102 








5 


.2115 


103 








6 


.2283 


104 








7 


.2182 



27 



Table II. Summary of Results of Phase One Tests Using Clay 



Run 


Speed 


No. 


of 


Container 


Shear 


No. 


(RPH) 


Blad 


es 




Strength (psi) 


170 


1 


4 




1 


.2217 


171 


it 


it 




2 


. 195 


172 


ii 


it 




3 


. 183 


173 


ft 


it 




4 


. 160 


180 


1 


4 




1 


.206 


181 


ti 


it 




2 


.2383 


182 


it 


ii 




3 


.2742 


183 


tt 


it 




4 


.2313 


184 


it 


it 




6 


. 1867 


185 


it 


ii 




7 


. 180 


222 


1 


4 




1 


. 305 


221 


it 


it 




2 


.268 


220 


ii 


ii 




3 


.2593 


219 


it 


it 




4 


.2183 


218 


ii 


tt 




6 


.2015 


217 


it 


ti 




7 


. 1818 



28 



Table III. Summary of Results of Phase Two Tests Using Grease 



Run 


Speed 


No. of 


Container 


Shear 


No. 


(RPH) 


Blades 




Strength (psi) 


105 


1 


2 


A 


.226 


106 


ii 


-3 


B 


.297 


107 


it 


4 


C 


.2975 


108 


it 


5 


D 


.2767 


109 


ii 


6 


E 


.2467 


110 


ii 


7 


F 


.3275 


111 


it 


8 


G 


.2165 


112 


1 


2 


. A 


.2515 


113 


ii 


3 


B 


.2465 


114 


ii 


4 


C 


.300 


115 


ii 


5 


D 


.293 


116 


it 


6 


E 


.294 


117 


ii 


7 


F 


.386 


118 


n 


8 


G 


.285 


119 


1 


2 


A 


.2235 


120 


it 


3 


B 


.2403 


121 


ii 


4 


C 


.280 


122 


ti 


5 


D 


.272 


123 


ii 


6 


E 


.2335 


124 


ii 


7 


F 


.334 


125 


ti 


8 


G 


.2597 


126 


1 


2 


A 


.2155 


127 


it 


3 


B 


.227 


128 


ti 


4 


C 


.248 


129 


it 


5 


D 


.240 


130 


it 


6 


E 


.2495 


131 


it 


7 


F 


.281 


132 


ti 


8 


G 


.2617 


156 


1 


2 


A 


.2745 


157 


it 


3 


B 


.2896 


158 


it 


4 


C 


.247 


159 


it 


5 


D 


.2675 


160 


ti 


6 


E 


.264 


161 


it 


7 


F 


.2995 



29 



Table IV. Summary of Results of Phase Two Tests Using Clay 



Run 


Speed 


No. of 


Container 


Shear 


No. 


(RPH) 


Blades 




Strength (psi 


189 


1 


2 


A 


. 176 


190 




3 


B 


. 1985 


191 




4 


C 


.208 


192 




5 


D 


.242 


193 




6 


E 


.2173 


194 




7 


F 


.213 


195 




8 


G 


.215 


203 


1 


2 


• A 


. 166 


204 




3 


B 


.238 


205 




4 


C 


.220 


206 




5 


D 


.2173 


207 




6 


E 


.237 


208 




7 


F 


.242 


209 




8 


G 


.2295 



30 



Table V. Summary of Results of Phase Three Tests Using Grease 



Run 


Speed 


No. of 


Container 


Shear 


No. 


(RPH) 


Blades 




Strength (psi) 


133 


1 


4 


A 


.2735 


134 


2 


ji 


B 


.279 


135 


5 


ii 


C 


.279 


136 


10 


ii 


D 


.3215 


137 


20 


M 


E 


.400 


138 


30 


II 


F 


.429 


144 


1 


4 


A 


.222 


145 


2 


it 


B 


.2185 


146 


5 


ii 


C 


.2755 


147 


10 


ii 


D 


.329 


148 


20 


ii 


E 


. 3405 


149 


30 


n 


F 


.380 


174 


1 


4 


A 


.284 


175 


2 


ii 


B 


.274 


176 


5 


it 


C 


.294 


177 


10 


it 


D 


.3935 


178 


20 


it 


E 


.432 


179 


30 


ii 


F 


.3493 



31 



Table 


VI. Summary of Results 


of Pha 


se Three 


Tests 


Using Clay- 


Run 


Speed 


No. of 


Container 




Shear 


No. 


(RPH) 


Blades 






St 


:rength (psi) 


196 


1 


4 




A 




.2268 


197 


2 


- ii 




B 




.2259 


198 


5 






C 




.266 


199 


10 






D 




. 3245 


200 


20 






E 




.2595 


201 


30 






F 




.281 


211 


1 


4 




B 




.2295 


212 


2 






. C 




.2355 


213 


5 






D 




.2723 


214 


10 






E 




. 3405 


215 


20 






F 




.364 


216 


30 






G 




.3313 



32 



B. RESULTS 

1. Phase One 

Tables I and II summarize the results of phase one tests in 
which the motor speed and number of blades were held constant while 
the container diameter was varied. Figures 7 through 16 show the 
plots of shear strength versus container diameter. Five of the ten 
series of tests conducted during this phase showed an increase in 
shear strength from container 1 to container 2 along with subsequent 
isolated instances of increase. The overall tendency was, however, 
for shear strength to decrease with increasing container size. Figure 
12 for the grease and Figure 16 for the clay are representative of the 
relative decrease in shear strengths. The solid line in Figure 12 is 
based on the discounting of the value of shear strength for container 5. 
Figure 14 shows only four points because a sufficient quantity of clay 
to fill all the containers had not been mixed when the testing of the 
clay was started. 

2. Phase Two 

The results of the phase two tests are summarized in Tables 
III and IV. In this phase the number of blades was varied while the 
container diameter and motor speed were held constant. Figures 17 
through 23 show the plots of shear strength versus number of blades. 
The vane with seven blades gave results which were generally too 
high. This was apparently caused by a slight eccentricity in the 
rotation of the vane. The results of the seven-bladed vane were thus 



33 






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discounted. All the plots of shear strength versus number of blades 
showed a maximum in the range of three to five blades. Vanes with 
over five blades gave lower values of shear strength. This is believed 
to be caused by the increased amount of disturbance near the shaft of 
the vane when the vane was inserted into the sample. The larger hole 
left in the sample after removal of the vanes served to verify this 
conclusion. 

3. Phase Three 

Summarized results of tests of phase three are given in 
Tables V and VI. In phase three container diameter and number of 
blades were held constant while the motor speed was varied. Plots of 
shear strength versus motor speed are shown in Figures 24 through 28, 
Shear strength generally increased with increased motor speed. The 
values of shear strength for the 1 and 2 RPH speeds were in close 
agreement with a definite increase in shear strength occurring at 
speeds above 2 RPH. 



51 



138 



13 7^ 



135, 



en 






W.2 

u 

0) 



1 



10 

Motor Speed (RPH) 



20 



30 



Figure 24. Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, 
Runs 133-138, Grease 



52 



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148, 



147- 



en 

a 

c 
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en 

nJ .2 

<u 



144 



145 



10 20 

Motor Speed (RPH) 



30 



Figure 25. Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, 
Runs 144-149, Grease 



53 



178 



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CO 

a, 




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Ml 
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V 

u 
CO. 



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Motor Speed (RPH) 



30 



Figure 26. Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, 
Runs 174-179, Grease 



54 



199 



^ 3 

CO 



CO 

u 
nJ 

CO 




201 



.2 



Figure 27, 



10 20 

Motor Speed (RPH) 

Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, 
Runs 196-201, Clay 



30 



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215 



214 



CO 

a, 



C 
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u 

u 
a 
a) 




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211 



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Motor Speed (RPH) 



30 



Figure 28. Shear Strength versus Motor Speed, 
Runs 211-216, Clay 



56 






V. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS 

A. SIZE OF SAMPLE CONTAINER 

The suggestion of Osterberg [1957] that, in order to obtain accurate 
values of shear strength, the vane area be less than 10 per cent of the 
circular area of the sample results in a ratio of the diameter of the 
sample to the diameter of the vane of 3. 16. Containers 4 through 7 
had ratios greater than 3. 16 while containers 1, 2, and 3 had ratios 
less than this value. 

If it is assumed that the values of shear strength obtained for 

container 7 in Figures 12 and 16 are the most accurate measure of 

shear strength for the samples tested, the area of the vane being less 

than one per cent of the area of the container, the following errors 

result: 

Runs 91-97 (Figure 12) 

Container Shear strength Difference Per cent error 

(psi) (psi) 

7 .197 

6 .206 .009 4.57 

5 .242 .045 22.8 

4 .2295 .0325 16.5 

3 .231 .034 17.3 

2 .264 .067 34.0 

1 .286 .089 45.1 



57 



Runs 217-222 (Figure 16) 

Container Shear strength Difference Per cent error 

(psi) (psi) 

7 .1818 

6 .2015 .0197 10.8 

4 .2183 .0365 20.1 

3 .2593 .0775 42.6 

2 .263 .0862 47.4 

1 .305 .1232 67.8 

Disregarding the results for container 5 (the solid curve of 

Figure 12), the errors for the case where the vane area is greater 

than 10 per cent of the sample area vary from approximately 17 per 

cent up to 67. 8 per cent. Errors for the case where the vane area is 

less than 10 per cent of the sample area are generally less than 20 per 

cent. 

B. NUMBER OF BLADES 

Figures 17 through 23 show maxima of shear strength between 
three and five blades. The two-bladed vane generally gave the lowest 
value of shear strength. From these minima, shear strength increased 
to the maxima, then decreased for the vanes with more than five blades. 
The increase in shear strength for vanes with three and four blades is 
thought to be caused by the additional area acting to shear the sample. 
After the maximum shear strength was reached at approximately four 
blades the subsequent decrease in shear strength is attributed to the 



58 



fact that the sample was disturbed to a greater extent by the vanes 
with more than four blades. 

C. MOTOR SPEED 

Review of Figures 24 through 28 shows a general increase in 
shear strength with increased motor speed. The values of shear 
strength for 1 and 2 RPH do not differ by more than 3. 52 per cent 
(Runs 174 and 175). 

Of particular note in Figures 27 and 28 is the fact that extending 
the curves back to the ordinate axis of RPH (corresponding to a 
vane turning at an infinitely slow rate) gives almost the same value for 
the intercept. This is believed to represent a valid comparison for 
the clay because of its homogeneity and the fact that the clay was 
always maintained at room temperature. This comparison was not 
made for the grease because of the great variation in the results of 
successive series of tests due to different temperatures and heating 
and cooling times. 

Averaging the values of the intercepts (. 2290 and . 2265 psi) gave 
a value of shear strength of . 2278 psi for RPH. The values of shear 
strength for a motor speed of 1 RPH were .2268 (Run 196) and .2295 psi 
(Run 211). These values differ from .2278 psi by .439 per cent and 
.746 per cent respectively. For a motor speed of 2 RPH (Runs 197 and 
212) the differences were . 834 per cent and 3. 38 per cent respectively. 



59 



VI. CONCLUSIONS 

The results of vane shear tests are influenced by the relative size 
of the sample container, the number of blades on the vane, and the 
speed of the motor turning the vane. 

A typical curve of shear strength versus ratio of container diameter 
to vane diameter, with no attempt made to assign values along the 
ordinate, would be as shown below. 



bo 

CO 

A 
in 



2 3456789 10 11 

Ratio of Container Diameter to Vane Diameter 
In order to obtain accurate results in a vane shear test on marine 

sediments the ratio of sample container diameter to vane diameter 

should indeed be greater than 3. 16 as stated by Osterberg [1957]. 

This ratio would give results which are in error less than 20 per cent. 

To reduce the error to less than 10 per cent, a ratio greater than 7 

would be required. 

Previous testing conducted with ratios of the diameter of the sample 

container to the diameter of the vane less than 3. 16 may be corrected 



60 



by applying a suitable factor obtainable from the solid curve of Figure 
12. This would discount the results obtained with container 5 for that 
series of tests and thus result in a smooth curve. 

A curve typifying the plot of shear strength versus number of 
blades of the vane, with no values assigned along the ordinate, would 
be as shown below. 



be 
C 

-t-> 

U 

a 

<D 




2 3 4 5 6 7 8 

Number of Blades on Vane 

The above curve indicates that the most accurate determination of 
shear strength is made using the four-bladed vane in agreement with 
current practice. This vane gives the best value for shear strength 
and is easier to manufacture than most vanes with a different number 
of blades. 

The representative plot of shear strength versus turning rate of 
the vane, with no values assigned along the ordinate, is as shown 
below. 



61 




10 20 30 

Rate of Rotation of Vane (RPH) 

The curve shows the value of shear strength for turning rates of 
1 and 2 RPH to be essentially equal, but the value of shear strength 
increases with rates exceeding 2 RPH. Turning rates of 1 and 2 RPH 
are currently employed in vane shear tests. Both of these rates give 
valid results of shear strength, but any higher speeds of rotation would 
give erroneously high values. 



62 






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69 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



Aas, G. , "A Study of the Effect of Vane Shape and Rate of Strain on 
the Measured Values of In-Situ Shear Strength of Clays", 
Norwegian Geotechnical Institute , Publication No. 65, p. 5-9, 
1965. 

Cadling, L. , and Odenstad, S. , "The Vane Borer, An Apparatus for 
Determining the Shear Strength of Clay Soils Directly in the 
Ground", Royal Swedish Geotechnical Institute , Proceedings 
No. 2, 195CL 

Heck, J. R. , Engineering Properties of Sediments in the Vicinity 
of Guide Seamount, MS Thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, 
Monterey, California, 1970. 

Minugh, E. M. , A Versatile Vane-Shear Apparatus, MS Thesis, 
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, 1970. 

Morelock, J. , Sedimentation and Mass Physical Properties of 
Marine Sediments, Western Gulf of Mexico, Ph.D. Thesis, 
Texas A&M University, May 1967. 

Osterberg, J. A. , Introductory Comments, Symposium on Vane 

Shear Testing of Soils, American Society for Testing Materials, 
Special Technical Publication No. 193, 1957. 

Smith, R. J., "Engineering Properties of Ocean Floor Soils", 
ASTM Symposium on Field Testing of Soils, American 
Society for Testing Materials, Special Technical Publication 
No. 322, 1962. 



70 



INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST 



. No. Copies 

1. Defense Documentation Center 2 
Cameron Station 

Alexandria, Virginia 22314 

2. Library, Code 0212 2 
Naval Postgraduate School 

Monterey, California 93940 

3. Professor R. J. Smith, Code 58Sj 1 
Oceanography Department 

Naval Postgraduate School 
Monterey, California 93940 

4. LT James Charles Singler, USN 1 
U.S. Atlantic Fleet AS W Tactical School 

Norfolk, Virginia 23511 

5. Professor J.J. von Schwind 3 
Department of Oceanography 

Naval Postgraduate School 
Monterey, California 93940 

6. Oceanographer of the Navy 1 
The Madison Building 

732 North Washington Street 
Alexandria, Virginia 22314 

7. Commander 10 
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8. Department of Oceanography (Code 58) 3 
Naval Postgraduate School 

Monterey, California 93940 



71 



Unclassified 



Security Classification 



DOCUMENT CONTROL DATA -R&D* 

{Security classification of title, body ol abstract and indexing annotation must be entered when the overall report Is classified) 



I originating activity (Corporate author) 

Naval Postgraduate School 
Monterey, California 93940 



la. REPORT SECURITY CLASSIFICATION 



Unclassified 



2b. GROUP 



3 REPORT TITLE 



The Effect of Varying the Parameters of Vane Shear Tests on Marine 
Sediments 



4 DESCRIPTIVE NOTES (Type of report end. inclusive dates) 

Master's Thesis; March 1971 



5 AUTHORISI (First name, middle initial, laat name) 



James C. Singler 



6 REPOR T O A TE 

March 1971 



la. TOT»l NO. OF PAGES 



73 



76. NO. OF REFS 



%m CONTRACT OR GRANT NO. 



6. PROJEC t no 



9a. ORIGINATOR'S REPORT NUMBERIS) 



96. OTHER REPORT NO(S) (Any other numbers that may be assigned 
this report) 



10 DISTRIBUTION STATEMEN' 



Approved for public release; distribution unlimited. 



II. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 



12. SPONSORING MILITARY ACTIVITY 

Naval Postgraduate School 
Monterey, California 93940 



13. ABSTR AC T 



The consequences resulting from varying the parameters of the vane 
shear test (used to determine the shear strength of marine sediments) 
were investigated. Experiment showed that larger ratios of container 
diameter to vane diameter yield more accurate shear strengths. It was 
also shown that the four-bladed vane produced the best results. Finally, 
rates of rotation of one and two revolutions per hour were found to give 
accurate values of shear strength, while higher rates of rotation proved 
to be unsatisfactory. 



DD,r:..1473 ,PAGE " 



IOV 69 

S/N 0101 -807-681 1 



72 



Unclassified 



Security Classification 



A-3140S 



Unclassified 



Security Classification 



key wo RDJ 



Vane shear testing 
Shear strength 
Marine sediments 
Sediment testing 



DD , F r,"..1473 (b*ck, 



S/N 0101-807-682) 



ROLE "T 



Unclassified 



73 



Security Classification 



A- 3 I 409 



c 



240CT72 

'2 APR73 



22 8t4 
21 8/j o 







stngi er "26894 

f c e Parj^L Ct of v ary , 
Sp ,f r f est s 0rt Va ^e 






III 



Thesis 

S5385 

f 1 



126894 



Singler 

The effort of varying 
the parameters of vane 
shear tests on marine 
sediments. 



thesS5385 

The effect of varying the parameters of 





3 2768 001 91441 9 

DUDLEY KNOX LIBRARY