The effects of the external constraints on the rigidity of a non-saturated soil swelling nonhydrostatically by imbibing water are examined in some detail. The expression for the deficit of the swelling potential energy and the conjugated energy for swelling is worked out. By applying Maxwell’s relationships to these expressions, the relations between the partial derivatives of the involved intensives and extensive variables are obtained. However, the experiment does not give directly the change in the extensive variables required to calculate the change in the intensive ones. By relating intensive and extensive variables, these expressions are best approached. Some examples are given illustrating what engineers should be interested in studying swelling in the laboratory.

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