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ASTM Committee developing bender element testing standard.

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April 14, 2009 - Developed by Subcommittee D18.09 on Cyclic and Dynamic Properties of Soils, proposed standard WK23118 covers type of testing that can aid in predicting soil and foundation response to seismic and manmade disturbances. By performing bender element tests and comparing results to field test results, degree of structure compromise can be determined. Also, determining stiffness by bender elements allows for advanced computer modeling of systems such as foundations and retaining walls.

ASTM Soil and Rock Committee Developing Proposed Bender Element Testing Standard


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Press release date: April 13, 2009

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., 13 April 2009-A type of testing that can aid in predicting soil and foundation response to seismic and manmade disturbances is covered in a proposed new ASTM International standard. The proposed standard, WK23118, Test Method for Determination of Shear Wave Velocity by Bender Element, is being developed by Subcommittee D18.09 on Cyclic and Dynamic Properties of Soils, part of ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil and Rock.

Thomas Sheahan, professor and acting chair, department of civil and environmental engineering, Northeastern University, notes that a significant challenge to characterizing ground mechanical properties (such as the ability to support foundations) is obtaining representative samples from the ground to test in the laboratory.

"As we sample and transport the soil, its structure is compromised, so by the time we test it in the lab, it may not imitate the field properties very well," says Sheahan, a D18 member. "By performing bender element tests and comparing these results to field test results, the degree of structure compromise can be determined."

In addition, determining stiffness by bender elements allows for advanced computer modeling of systems such as foundations and retaining walls.

According to Sheahan, WK23118 will fill a needed role for laboratories. "An increasing number of testing laboratories are using bender elements to determine small strain shear modulus, and there is no existing standard to guide test procedures," says Sheahan. "This proposed standard will fill an important gap in available testing methods guidance."

Sheahan says that interested parties with experience in bender element testing are welcome to assist in the further development of WK23118. The subcommittee would like to hear about equipment and procedures (particularly analysis methods) used in bender testing.

For technical Information, contact Thomas Sheahan, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass. (phone: 617-373-3995; tsheahan@coe.neu.edu). Committee D18 meets June 14-17 during June committee week in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM's open consensus process, using advanced Internet-based standards development tools, ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, please contact Robert Morgan, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9732; rmorgan@astm.org).

Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe.
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