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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 313682, 6 pages
Research Article

Effect of Suction Cycles and Suction Gradients on the Water Retention Properties of a Hard Clay

1School of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2College of Civil Engineering, Suzhou University of Science and Technology, Suzhou 215011, China

Received 14 May 2015; Accepted 22 November 2015

Academic Editor: Kisor K. Sahu

Copyright © 2015 Liufeng Chen and Hua Peng. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The effect of suction cycles and suction gradients on a hard clay is investigated. The cylindrical samples of the hard clay are prepared to carry out the hydration and dehydration tests with different suction gradient and suction cycles. The results show that the suction gradient has little effect on the suction-water content relation, while the suction cycle has great effect on it, particularly the first cycle of hydration and dehydration. The apparent moisture diffusion coefficient of the hard clay has been identified by the use of a two-dimensional diffusion model. The moisture diffusion coefficient varies between 4.10−11 m2/s and 2.10−10 m2/s and it decreases during dehydration while the relative humidity is less than 85%. The results also show that the suction cycles play little effect on the moisture diffusion coefficient.