The paper presents a description of the dynamic properties of cohesive material, namely silty clays, obtained by using one of the applied seismology methods, the bender elements technique. The authors’ aim was to present the dynamics of a porous medium, in particular an extremely important passage of seismic waves that travel through the bulk of a medium. Nowadays, the application of the bender element (BE) technique to measure, e.g., small strain shear stiffness of soils in the laboratory is well recognized, since it allows for reliable and relatively economical shear wave velocity measurements during various laboratory experiments. However, the accurate estimation of arrival time during BE tests is in many cases unclear. Two different interpretation procedures (from the time domain) of BE tests in order to measure travel times of waves were examined. Those values were then used to calculate shear and compression wave velocities and elastic moduli. Results showed that the dynamic parameters obtained by the start-to-start method were always slightly larger (up to about 20%) than those obtained using the peak-to-peak one. It was found that the peak-to-peak method led to more scattered results in comparison to the start-to-start method. Moreover, the influence of the excitation frequency, the mean effective stress and the unloading process on the dynamic properties of the tested material was studied. In addition, the obtained results highlighted the importance of initial signal frequency and the necessity to choose an appropriate range of frequencies to measure the shear wave velocity in clayey soils.
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