Experimental investigations and constitutive modeling of cyclic interface shearing between HDPE geomembrane and sandy gravel

W. J. Cen*, E. Bauer, L. S. Wen, H. Wang, Y. J. Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the results of experimental investigations and constitutive modeling of cyclic interface shearing between HDPE geomembrane and cohesionless sandy gravel. A series of cyclic interface shear tests was performed using a large-scale cyclic shear apparatus with servo controlled system. Particular attention was paid to the influences of the amount of shear-displacement amplitude, number of cycles, shear rate and the normal pressure on the mechanical response. The experimental results show that the path of the shear stress against the cyclic shear displacement is strongly non-linear and forms a closed hysteresis loop, which is pressure dependent, but almost independent of the shear rate. For small shear-displacement amplitudes, the obtained damping ratio is significantly greater than zero, which is different to the behavior usually observed for cyclic soil to soil shearing. In order to describe the pressure dependency of the hysteresis loop using a single set of constitutive parameters, new approximation functions are put forward and embedded into the concept of the Masing rule. Further, a new empirical function is proposed for the damping ratios to capture the experimental data for both small and large cyclic shear-displacement amplitudes. The included model parameters are easy to calibrate and the new functions may also be useful in developing enhanced constitutive models for the simulation of the cyclic interface shear behavior between other geosynthetics and soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalGeotextiles and geomembranes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Constitutive model
  • Cyclic interface shear test
  • Damping ratio
  • Geomembrane
  • Geosynthetics
  • Interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this