An Elastoplastic Framework Accounting for Changes in Matric and Osmotic Suction in Unsaturated Non-expansive Clays
Paper i proceeding, 2023

The mechanical behaviour of clays is significantly influenced by their salinity and degree of saturation, which are expected to change in both natural and anthropogenic environments. This influence is triggered by fabric changes. Capillary forces, related to changes in the degree of saturation, and electrochemical interactions, related to changes in salinity, affect differently the interaction between particles. However, at the continuum scale, it is possible to pinpoint some common characteristics. This paper focuses on the modelling capabilities of an elasto-plastic framework formulated to reproduce the behaviour of unsaturated non-expansive clays exposed to changes in matric and osmotic suction, by introducing osmotic suction on BBM-like models in terms of its effects on the normal compression line. The model, calibrated on experimental data on Boom clay (Mokni et al., 2014) and remoulded loess (Zhang et al., 2022), has been implemented in the Thebes code and used to predict material response under selected chemo-hydro-mechanical paths.

Osmotic suction

Constitutive law

Clay fabric

Matric suction

Non-expansive clay


Liliana Gramegna

Politecnico di Milano

Ayman Abed

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

W. Solowski


Guido Musso

Politecnico di Torino

Gabriele Della Vecchia

Politecnico di Milano

Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering

1866-8755 (ISSN) 18668763 (eISSN)

9783031347603 (ISBN)

8th Italian Conference of Researchers in Geotechnical Engineering, CNRIG 2023
Palermo, Italy,






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