Shear strength is defined as the maximum shear stress that the soil may sustain without experiencing failure. Shear strength is a critical parameter in geotechnical projects. It is needed to derive the bearing capacity, design retaining walls, evaluate the stability of slopes and embankments, etc.
According to the Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion (equation 1), the shear strength of soils consists of two components, cohesion (c) and frictional angle (φ) and is also dependent on the normal effective stress (σ').
Strength parameters (cohesion and friction angle) are derived both from in situ and laboratory testing.
The most common in-situ tests are the following:
The most common laboratory tests are the following:
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