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Thread: Understanding Principal Stresses In Soil Mechanics

  1. #1

    Understanding Principal Stresses In Soil Mechanics

    Hello all

    I was wondering if someone could help with the following:-

    I am trying to understand the concept of principal stresses in terms of soil mechanics.

    I have a soil element that is being loaded by 25kN. I am trying to draw all of the stresses the soil element experiences.

    I have attached a drawing of my soil element, the bit I cannot get my head round is the last cube which I got from an online source which shows the Principal stresses 1 3, would it be correct to say that:-

    Sigma1 = 25kN worth of stress acting downwards & upwards
    Sigma3 = ?????? No idea where this comes from?

    Any ideas?

    Thank you.
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  2. #2
    Technical Fellow Kelly_Bramble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Bold Springs, GA
    You need to study up on Mohr's Circle for plane stresses.

    Start here..
    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

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