Development of Models for the Prediction of Shear Strength of Swelling Clays

Accurate prediction of the shear strength of swelling clays is critical for the design of roads, railway infrastructure, foundations, embankments, slopes, canals, erosion control, retaining walls, etc. The damage caused by swelling clays to the U.S. infrastructure is estimated to be of the order of about $13 billion per year (2009). Swelling clays are found in various parts of the United States and the world. Portions of North and South Dakota contain soils that have high swelling potential. Overestimation of strength parameters can lead to failures and underestimation can lead to significant increase in the cost of the project. Shear strength of soils with high swelling clay content can vary from high values when swelling is restrained to significant degradation in strength or even complete loss of strength due to swelling. The change in shear strength can also be seasonal. Fundamental strength parameters that define strength properties of soils are related to a variety of factors that include soil type, microstructural characteristics, fluid properties, mineralogy, saturation, etc. Reliable predictive tools that can accurately predict the shear strength of swelling clays are lacking. The project team's prior work on clays demonstrates the key role of molecular interactions on the evolution of microstructure and the macroscopic properties such as permeability, consolidation, and swelling pressure.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $200000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Project Managers:

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Performing Organizations:

    North Dakota State University

    Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Fargo, ND  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Katti, Dinesh

    Katti, Kalpana

  • Start Date: 20171120
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-548

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01875575
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 14 2023 12:42PM