Research Article Open Access

Evaluating the Effect of Soil Particle Characterization on Internal Friction Angle

Arezou Rasti1, Hamid Ranjkesh Adarmanabadi2, Maria Pineda1 and Jesse Reinikainen1
  • 1 YeDoma Consultants LLC Company, United States
  • 2 New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, United States


One of the critical design parameters used in evaluating soil structure is the friction angle, derived from Mohr's Circle failure criterion. The soil friction angle is an engineering parameter estimated in the laboratory to quantify the soil shear strength in geotechnical applications. This paper indicates an experimental study investigating the impact of particle size on different sandy soils shear strength behavior. The direct shear test equipment is useful for simulating various stress regimes to determine the soil strength by employing a slow moving lateral force to a consolidated sample along a shear plane. A series of direct shear tests were conducted to investigate the interface behavior of soil. Soil samples were selected from different locations in New Mexico, United States. The influence of soil particle size on the soil's shear strength behavior is discussed by performing a series of symmetric direct shear tests according to ASTM D3080 and analyzing the results. To minimize errors, electronic transducers were used to measure vertical and horizontal displacements. DS7 is geotechnical testing software controlling the test by utilizing a data logger. The investigation indicates that the maximum vertical deformation for all different kinds of sandy soils accrued simultaneously. It was concluded that a soil's friction angle is affected by coarse-grained material. Accordingly, sandy soils with bigger particle size record a higher friction angle than soils containing small particles. Furthermore, a non-linear regression analysis was performed to determine the direct relationship between soil's friction angle and soil particle characteristics.

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 14 No. 1, 2021, 129-138


Submitted On: 20 January 2021 Published On: 21 February 2021

How to Cite: Rasti, A., Adarmanabadi, H. R., Pineda, M. & Reinikainen, J. (2021). Evaluating the Effect of Soil Particle Characterization on Internal Friction Angle. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 14(1), 129-138.

  • 27 Citations



  • Soil Structure
  • Friction Angle
  • Mohr’s Circle Failure
  • Shear Strength
  • ASTM D3080
  • Uniformity Coefficient
  • DS7