EGEL
Energy GeoEngineering Laboratory

Bender Elements

Bender Elements

Lee, J. S. and Santamarina, J. C. (2005a). "Bender Elements." ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 131, No. 9, pp. 1063-107
Jong-Sub Lee and J. Carlos Santamarina
Analytical techniques; Coupling; Resonance; Signal processing; Shear waves; Wave reflection
2005
​Bender elements are convenient shear wave transducers for instrumenting soil cells due to optimal soil–transducer coupling and compatible operating frequency. Experimental and analytical methods are implemented in this study to explore various aspects of bender element installations including: electromagnetic coupling prevention, directivity, resonant frequency, detection of first arrival, and near field effects. It is shown that electromagnetic coupling effects are critical in soils with high electrical conductivity and can be minimized by shielding and grounding, or by using parallel-type bender elements. Bender elements generate both P- and S-waves. The in-plane S-wave directivity is quasicircular. The resonant frequency of bender element installations depends on the geometry of the bender element, the anchor efficiency, and the soil stiffness. The cross correlation of subsequent reflections is a self-healing measurement procedure which resolves uncertainties in both travel time and travel distance. Near field effects can be effectively taken into consideration by matching the measured signal with the analytical solution, directly rendering shear wave velocity.