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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 498437, 9 pages
Research Article

Expansive Soil Crack Depth under Cumulative Damage

1State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
2Geotechnical Engineering Department, Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, Nanjing 210024, China
3College of Resource, Hebei University of Engineering, Hebei University, Handan 056038, China

Received 18 November 2013; Accepted 16 December 2013; Published 4 March 2014

Academic Editors: C. M. Petrone and G. Ventura

Copyright © 2014 Bei-xiao Shi et al. 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 crack developing depth is a key problem to slope stability of the expansive soil and its project governance and the crack appears under the roles of dry-wet cycle and gradually develops. It is believed from the analysis that, because of its own cohesion, the expansive soil will have a certain amount of deformation under pulling stress but without cracks. The soil body will crack only when the deformation exceeds the ultimate tensile strain that causes cracks. And it is also believed that, due to the combined effect of various environmental factors, particularly changes of the internal water content, the inherent basic physical properties of expansive soil are weakened, and irreversible cumulative damages are eventually formed, resulting in the development of expansive soil cracks in depth. Starting from the perspective of volumetric strain that is caused by water loss, considering the influences of water loss rate and dry-wet cycle on crack developing depth, the crack developing depth calculation model which considers the water loss rate and the cumulative damages is established. Both the proposal of water loss rate and the application of cumulative damage theory to the expansive soil crack development problems try to avoid difficulties in matrix suction measurement, which will surely play a good role in promoting and improving the research of unsaturated expansive soil.