Geotechnical properties of sucrose-saturated fused quartz for use in physical modeling

Ivan L. Guzman, Magued Iskander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study presents the geotechnical properties of a synthetic transparent soil made of fused quartz saturated with a water-based sucrose solution that is suitable for modeling the behavior of sand in small-scale model tests. Geotechnical properties presented include particle size, dry density, peak angle of friction, hydraulic conductivity, and compressibility index. Sucrose is inert and non-toxic, which facilitates its use in educational settings. The availability of a safe and easy-to-use transparent sand permits measurement of three-dimensional deformation patterns and flow characteristics in controlled research experiments. The introduction of an aqueous solution permits the use of two immiscible pore fluids, one made of mineral oil and the other made of a sucrose solution, for modeling multi-phase flow problems, as well as coupled flow-deformation problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeotechnical Testing Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Laboratory tests
  • Physical modeling
  • Sands
  • Soil-structure interaction
  • Transparent soil
  • Vadose zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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