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VJ Tech Limited - Blog
small shear strain
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Introduction to Bender Element testing

Introduction to Bender Element testing

Bender Element is a non-destructive test performed in soil specimens to determine the small-strain shear modulus (Gmax) of the soil. Gmax is an important soil property which helps us to understand the elastic behaviour of the soil and to evaluate its response to dynamic loading, such as earthquakes, passing vehicles and vibrations. Figure 1 presents the various tests available to determine the shear modulus, G, of a soil. Shear modulus gets its maximum value (Gmax) at very small values of strain (within the elastic deformation field and usually at shear strains less than 10-3 %) which can be achieved only with a bender element test. This makes them very popular tests in soil mechanics. Moreover, due to its nature, a Bender Element test can be combined with another, main soil test on the same specimen (e.g. Triaxial or Consolidation) and can give estimations of the shear modulus at various stages of the main test. The Bender Element test can be performed multiple times on the same spec ...