Classic Spring Analogy

Due to the importance of 1D consolidation concepts, an entire lecture is utilized to cover the classic ‘Spring Analogy’. This analogy compares the process that occurs during consolidation of clay soil to a spring situated inside a saturated cylinder, loaded by a piston. To set the stage for this discussion, the illustration associated with each of the four phases of this analogy will each be illustrated on a large poster that will be taped to the chalk boards positioned around the classroom. During the course of this discussion, fundamental equations for each phase will be developed to discuss the changes in pore pressure and effective stress during the consolidation process. Simultaneously, an example problem will be utilized to make calculations using the same equations to demonstrate the effects on pore pressure and effective stress using numbers and a real-world application. The instructor will utilize this period to pull the information from the students as part of an interactive, engaging classroom exercise.


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