Soil has been used as a construction material throughout history. Itis used for roads, embankments, dams, and so forth. In the case of sew-ers, culverts, tunnels, and other underground conduits, soil is impor-tant, not only as a material upon which the structure rests, but also asa support and load-transfer material. The enveloping soil transferssurface and gravity loads to, from, and around the structure. Much hasbeen written about soil mechanics and soil structure interaction. Suchvariables as soil type, soil density, moisture content, and depth of theinstallation are commonly considered. If finite element analysis isused, many soil characteristics are required as input to the mathe-matical soil model. These soil properties are usually determined fromtriaxial shear tests.Standards organizations such as the American Association of StateHighway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the AmericanSociety for Testing and Materials (ASTM) issue standard test methodsfor classifying soil and for the determination of various soil properties.Of the various methods of soil classification, the Unified SoilClassification System (USCS) is most commonly used in the construc-tion industry. Complete details on this system can be found in anytextbook or manual of soils engineering. (For example, see
Soils Manual MS-10,
The Asphalt Institute, College Park, Md., 1978.)Soils vary in physical and chemical structure, but can be separatedinto five broad groups:
Individual grains vary from 0.08 to 3 in (2 to 75 mm) indiameter and are generally rounded in appearance.
Small rock and mineral fragments are smaller than 0.08 in(2 mm) in diameter.
Fine grains appear soft and floury.
This very fine-textured soil forms hard lumps when dry andis sticky to slick when wet.
This is peat.Soils are sometimes classified into categories according to the abili-ty of the soil(s) to enhance the structural performance of the pipe wheninstalled in the particular soil. One such classification is described in ASTM D 2321, “Standard Practice for Underground Installation of Flexible Thermoplastic Sewer Pipe.”The project engineer often requires a soil survey along the route of a proposed pipeline. Information from the survey helps to determinethe necessary trench configuration and to decide whether an importedsoil will be required to be placed around the pipe. Soil parameters suchas soil type, soil density, and moisture content are usually considered
Introduction and Overview3