Particle – Particle Interaction

To better illustrate particle-to-particle interaction, ‘Soil Shear Boards’ are utilized as part of a simple in-class demonstration. The boards were constructed by gluing coarse sand and fine gravel size particles to the surface of flat wooden boards with handles on the back so that the instructor can push them together (soil-to-soil) and demonstrate the frictional interaction that occurs when soil particles shear against each other. While this demonstration is best placed in the shear strength lecture (Content Module 4), it is first introduced in this section to illustrate the dependency of soil shape and size on particle-to-particle interactions. These boards are used continuously throughout the semester to show particle-to-particle interaction and to discuss effective stress and shear strength concepts.


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