Development of a void ratio-moisture ratio-net stress framework for the prediction of the volumetric behavior of unsaturated granular materials

Ehsan Yaghoubi, Mahdi M. Disfani, Arul Arulrajah, Jayantha Kodikara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Despite extensive research on the behavior of unsaturated fine-grained materials, there is still a lack of understanding of the volumetric behavior of unsaturated granular materials. In this research, a model has been developed to predict the fundamental volumetric behavior of unsaturated granular materials through loading and wetting state paths. In this regard, a loading-wetting surface was developed in a space of void ratio-moisture ratio-net stress. A distinctive feature of the proposed model is the relative simplicity in obtaining the model parameters using conventional geotechnical testing equipment. Two types of recycled granular materials, commonly applied in unbound pavements were used, namely, recycled crushed brick (CB) and excavation waste rock (WR). The uniqueness of the developed surface was evaluated by employing a number of loading and wetting state paths. The results indicate that the developed surface is unique in its loading state paths; however, it only shows uniqueness in its wetting state paths for stress levels greater than 2000 kPa. The proposed model seeks to introduce the application of the unsaturated soil mechanics theory, for predicting the behavior of granular materials in the field, by providing a practical and cost-effective methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-457
Number of pages15
JournalSoils and Foundations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • compaction
  • constitutive surface
  • recycled materials
  • unsaturated granular material
  • volumetric behavior

Cite this