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A Long-term Triaxial Filtration Test System

A triaxial apparatus set-up is common in most geotechnical laboratories. This research describes the innovation and improvement that can be carried out for a long-term triaxial filtration compatibility test.

Azlan Abdul Aziz and Husaini Omar

Current practice in selecting an optimal geotextile filter for its intended use involves either the application of diverse site-specific in-isolation criteria or through selected soil/geotextile compatibility tests. Compatibility tests described in the literature are generally performed in simple hard-walled permeameters that suffer from sidewall leakage and incomplete saturation. This research describes the innovation and improvement that can be carried out for a long-term triaxial filtration compatibility test.

A triaxial apparatus set-up is common in most geotechnical laboratories. However, the use of a triaxial set-up to accommodate long-term filtration tests is uncommon, especially when the need to accommodate radial and/or vertical flow to the geotextile is incumbent. All other aspects of shear strength capability have been maintained in the proposed set-up.

The fabricated cell within a triaxial set-up addressed the disadvantages found in simple hard-walled permeameters. A volume change gauge for automated continuous flow rate measurements have been designed and are included in the system. Procedures to accommodate full saturation and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis required for long-term filtration tests are developed and refined. The performance of a long-term filtration test of a silt and a thin melt-bonded non-woven geotextile in the triaxial permeameter system has been assessed.


- An effective and environmental cost saving test system using readily available commercial system but with added value.

- Compatibility selection of soil with various manufactured geotextiles through long-term laboratory filtration test system is rationalised.

- Triaxial permeameter developed can accommodate: i) the application of in-situ field stresses, ii) vertical and/or radial flow, and iii) preparation of specimens for scanning electron microscopy analysis to investigate filtration mechanisms upstream of and within the geotextile.

- Test set-up allows for continuous flow rate measurement and automated data collection of long-term triaxial filtration test


GOLD— International Exhibition of Ideas-Inventions-New Products (IENA 2006).

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Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Universiti Putra Malaysia Serdang, Selangor
43400 UPM,
Tel: 603-8946 6384

Dr Nayan Kanwal | ResearchSEA
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