Abstract: In this investigation fabric-property relationships were studied in a silty fine sand sized crushed basalt—an artificial ‘soil’ that has previously been used to simulate lunar soil. The fabric was characterized by measuring preferred orientations of grains, and pore size distribution was determined by mercury intrusion porosimetry. When deposited by pouring, the grains acquired strong preferred orientations in the horizontal direction and formed pores between 1 and 30 µm dia. Densification by static or dynamic compaction resulted in near random grain arrangement and pore sizes between 0.1 and 10 µm dia.
Strength in direct shear and one-dimensional compressibility with the associated lateral stresses were measured. The strength was up to 30 per cent higher when the sample was sheared normal to the preferred orientation of grains than when the shearing was parallel to the orientation direction. This is to be expected, as shearing across the preferentially oriented grains should involve breakage or reorientation of many grains. At a given initial void ratio the compressibility of statically compacted specimens was larger (up to 30 per cent higher axial strain) than that of dynamically compacted specimens at very low stresses. At higher stresses both samples exhibited equal compressibility, suggesting that the grains become more randomly arranged at low void ratios (comparing samples of equal initial void ratios).