This paper presents an interpretation of experimental results obtained at the Department of Geotechnical Engineering of the Università di Napoli Federico II. The results are part of an extensive program carried out to investigate the effects of partial saturation on the volumetric behaviour and on the initial shear stiffness of a compacted silt. Tests were performed using two suction-controlled devices, a triaxial cell and a Resonant Column Torsional Shear (RCTS) cell. The compatibility of experimental data with a Bishop Stress Model (BSM) is discussed in the paper. The BSM permits to highlight the two main effects of suction on soil behaviour: the increase of the average stress acting on the soil skeleton and the hardening - cementing of the soil packing. Hydraulic hysteresis is included in the definition of the water retention curve so that its effects, such as the irreversible component of volume change recorded during drying paths, are automatically incorporated in the predictions of the model.
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