Soil mechanics laboratory manual


Most of the test procedures collected in this manual were specially prepared for the geotechnical laboratory of DGM in Thimphu, Bhutan The test procedures are based on BS standards and some ASTM standards. However, in various cases the test procedure was adapted to the type of equipment available in the laboratory. This means that often a realistic compromise had to be found between strict requirements and practical possibilities.

Warning: Whenever tests have to be performed following a prescribed standard, always consult that standard before testing. Version February 2004 W. Verwaal

References Head, K.H. (1982): Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing. Vol. 1, Pentech Press, London, Plymouth. Head, K.H. (1982): Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing. Vol. 2, Pentech press. London, Plymouth. Bowels J.E. (1978): Engineering properties of soils and their measure mends, second edition. McGrawHill books company. Whitlow, R. (1983): Basic soil mechanics, Construction Press, London and New York. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, volume 04.08 : Soil and Rock (I) Published by ASTM in 2000 BS 5930:1999 British Standard Institution BS 1377:1990 British Standard Institution, part 1-8 Some Internet pages. .

Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM, Thimphu Bhutan


Soil mechanics laboratory manual


1.1 CLASSIFICATION OF SOIL BS 5930:1999 SECTION 6 ........................................................................ 4 2.1 SIMPLE DRY SIEVING BS 1377: PART 2:1990. .................................................................................. 10 2.2 WET SIEVING - FINE SOILS BS1377: PART 2:1990. ......................................................................... 14 2.3 HYDROMETER TEST BS 1377: PART 2:1990 ..................................................................................... 18 THE ATTERBERG LIMITS ............................................................................................................................ 23 3.1 LIQUID LIMIT WITH CASAGRANDE CUP. BS 1377: PART 2:1990 AND ASTM, 1995. D4318 ... 24 3.2 LIQUID LIMIT USING THE CONE PENETROMETER BS 1377: PART 2:1990 .............................. 27 3.3 PLASTIC LIMIT BS 1377: PART 2:1990................................................................................................ 30 4.1 DENSITY BS 1377: PART 2:1990 ............................................................................................................ 32 4.2 NATURAL MOISTURE CONTENT BS 1377:PART 2,1990 ................................................................ 34 5.1 PARTICLE DENSITY BS 1377: PART 2 1990 ....................................................................................... 35 5.1 VANE TEST BS 1377: PART 7 1990........................................................................................................ 38 5.2 TRIAXIAL TEST BS 1377: PART 8 1990 ............................................................................................... 40 5.3 DIRECT SHEAR TEST BS 1377: PART 7 1990 ..................................................................................... 46 6.1 CONSOLIDATION TEST BS 1377: PART 5: 1990................................................................................ 51 7.1 PROCTOR TEST BS 1377: PART 4: 1990.............................................................................................. 56 7.2 CALIFORNIAN BEARING RATIO TEST BS 1377: PART 4:1990..................................................... 61 PERMEABILITY TESTS.................................................................................................................................. 66 8.1 CONSTANT HEAD TEST BS 1377: PART 5: 1990 ............................................................................... 67 8.2 FALLING HEAD PERMEABILITY TESTS. ........................................................................................... 73 9.1 POCKET PENETROMETER, HEAVY DUTY PENETROMETER ..................................................... 75 9.2 HAND VANE TESTER PILCON ............................................................................................................... 76

Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM, Thimphu Bhutan

semi-plastic solid. while still being reasonable. The system we will use is the British soil classification with some adding’s from the ISO 14688. Procedure This classification can be separated in different parts. First there is a preliminary classification to determine whether the soil was laid down by natural processes No MADE GROUND Yes NATURAL SOIL Next: Does the natural soil comprise organic materials. VOLCANIC SOIL BOULDERS COBBELS GRAVEL SAND SILT CLAY Classification in practice The primary classification of natural soil can be done by a wet sieving procedure on a 63 µm sieve if more then 35% of the material is passing you are dealing with a fine grained soil if less than 35 % of the sample is passing you are dealing with a course grained soil. The 35% boundary between fine and course is approximate. (determined on the part smaller than 425µm). The system needs to be comprehensive. have it organic odour? Yes Next: Is the soil of low density? Yes Next: Remove all cobbles and boulders (>63mm). Due to engineering behaviour it’s sometimes necessary to determine de plasticity of soil with a fine-course boundary below 35% fines. 1.2 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Four consistency states may be defined for cohesive soils: solid. systematic and concise. silky touch. During the second part of the classification you have to determine the complete grading curve for coarse-grained soil and the Atterberg limits for fine-grained soils. the general relationship is shown in fig. Do they weight more than the rest of the soil? Yes: are most particles >200mm? Yes No No: Does the soil stick together when wet: No: are most particles >2mm Yes No Yes: Does soil: Display low plasticity. plastic and liquid. Dilatancy. There are many different classification systems. Thimphu Bhutan .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 4 1. plastic consistency is used as a basis for their classification.1 Laboratory classification of soil BS 5930:1999 section 6 Introduction It is necessary to provide a classification of types of soil for the purpose of describing the various materials encountered in site exploration. The change in volume of a saturated cohesive soil is approximately proportional to a change in moisture content. Classification of fine grained soils (soils that stick together when wet) Since the plasticity of fine-grained soils has an important effect on such engineering properties as strength and compressibility. Disintegrate in water and Dry quickly Yes No ORGANIC SOIL.1. The consistency of a soil is its physical state characteristic at given moisture content.

2 Consistency relationships. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. PI = LL-PL This value is reported to the nearest whole number. the range of the plastic state is given by their difference. and vertical divisions (of percentage liquid limit) define five degrees of plasticity: C = clay M = Silt for organic soil add O to symbol Fig 1. Thimphu Bhutan .3 Plasticity chart for classification of fine soils. This also applies if the plastic limit is equal to or greater than the liquid limit. The transition from one state to the next in fact is gradual. and is termed the plasticity index (PI). The A-line provides an arbitrary division between silts and clays.1. fig. Which can occur in some soils with high mica content. it is convenient to define arbitrary limits corresponding to a change over moisture content: LL = the liquid limit: the moisture content at which the soil ceases to be liquid and becomes plastic. The relationship between the plasticity index and the liquid limit is used in the British Soil Classification System to establish the subgroups of fine-grained soil. the soil is reported as nonplastic (NP). The two most important of these are the liquid and plastic limits.3 shows the plasticity chart used for this purpose.1. PL = the plastic limit: the moisture content at which the soil ceases to be plastic and becomes a semi-plastic SL = the shrinkage limit: the moisture content at which drying-shrinkage at constant stress ceases. If it is not possible to perform the plastic limit test.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 5 Fig 1. which represent respectively the upper and lower bounds of the plastic state. 1.1. however.

90% Extremely high plasticity: LL> 90% A given soil may be located in its correct sub-group zone by plotting a point.5 British Standard range of particle sizes Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.70% Very high plasticity: LL = 70% .50% High plasticity: LL = 50% . or by wet sieving (part 2. The liquid limit is determined with the cone penetrometer method (part 3. Classification of coarse grained soils For the classification of coarse-grained soils it is necessary to make a particle-size analysis.1. Determining the weight percentages falling within bands of size represented carries out the particle size analysis of a soil by these divisions and sub-divisions. having co-ordinates given by the soils plasticity index and liquid limit.1 of this handbook).4 Fine-grained soils F = FINES (undifferentiated) M = SILT C = CLAY L = low plasticity I = intermediate plasticity H = high plasticity V = very high plasticity E = extremely high plasticity Organic soils Pt = peat O = organic Table 1.2 of this handbook).5 shows the British Standard range of particle sizes.1. Figure 1. The plastic limit is determined with the "rolling" method (part 3. Thimphu Bhutan . The sub-group symbols are given in Table 1.4 sub-group symbols in British Soil Classification system. It can be done by dry sieving (part 2.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 6 Low plasticity: LL <35% Intermediate plasticity: LL = 35% .3 of this handbook).1 of this handbook).1.or with the Cassagrande cup (part 3.2 of this handbook).1. Fine grained Clay Silt Colloids Fine Medium Coarse Coarse grained Sand Fine Medium Coarse Gravel Fine Medium Coarse Stone Cobbles Boulder 1 2 6 20 60 µm 200 600 2 6 20 60 200 mm Fig 1.

From the grading curve we can provide a descriptive term for the type of soil (SOIL NAME). B or described as coarse soil depending on assessed engineering behaviour Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Thimphu Bhutan . BOULDERS-COBBELS Main name Over 50% of material is very course (>60mm) BOULDERS COBBLES Mixtures of boulders or cobbles and finer material Term Composition BOULDERS (or COBBLES) with a little finer material up to 5% finer material BOULDERS (or COBBLES) with some finer material 5% to 20% finer material BOULDERS (or COBBLES) with much finer material 20% to 50% finer material FINER MATERIAL with many boulders (or cobbles) 50% to 20% boulders (or cobbles) FINER MATERIAL with some boulders (or cobbles) 20% to 5% boulders (or cobbles) FINER MATERIAL with occasional boulders (or cobbles) up to 5% boulders (or cobbles) The description of the finer material (FINER MATERIAL) is made accordance the standard SAND and GRAVEL Term Slightly sandy or gravelly Sandy or gravely Very sandy or gravelly Principal soil type SAND Or GRAVEL SAND and GRAVEL Approximate proportion of secondary constitution up to 5% 5% to 20% over 20% about equal proportions Estimated boulder or cobble content of very course fraction Over 50% is of boulder size (> 200mm) Over 50% is of cobble size (200 mm to 60 mm) Mixtures of sand and/or gravel with silt or clay Term Slightly clayey or silty and/or sandy or gravelly Clayey or silty and/or sandy or gravelly Principal soil type SAND And/or GRAVEL >20% A Approximate proportion of secondary constitution Coarse soil Coarse and/or fine soil >5% 5% to 20%A Very clayey or silty and/or sandy or gravelly Very sandy or gravelly >65%B Sandy and/or gravelly 35% to 65% Slightly sandy and/or gravelly <35% A or described as fine soil depending on assessed engineering behaviour.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 7 The grading curve is a graphical representation of the particle-size distribution and is therefore useful in itself as a means of describing the soil.

1.1 indicate a possible gap-graded soil. First of all. Thimphu Bhutan .7): Fig 1. Cc <0.5 and 2. Cu > 5 indicate a well-graded soil. (D 30 )2 D60 * D10 Most well graded soils will have grading curves that are mainly flat or slightly concave. three points are located on the grading curve to give the following characteristic sizes (fig. D1 0 = maximum size of the smallest 10% of the sample D30 = maximum size of the smallest 30% of the sample D60 = maximum size of the smallest 60% of the sample From these characteristic sizes.1. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 1.0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 8 A further quantitative analysis of grading curves may be carried out using certain geometric values known as grading characteristics. d10 Cu = D 60 D10 Coefficient of gradation (curvature) Cc = Cu < 3 indicate a uniform soil. Uniformity coefficient. giving values of Cc between 0. the following grading characteristics are defined: Effective size.7 Grading characteristic.

(upper case letters) plus silty-. slightly cemented bedding structure e.g. Flood plain alluvium (ii) Dense fissured unweathered greyish-blue firm CLAY. London clay Not all characteristics are necessarily applicable in every case. well-graded. dip.6 typical particle size distribution curves BS description system A recommended protocol for describing a soil deposit uses nine characteristics. dense.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 9 Fig 1. orientation discontinuities spacing of beds.g. fissures weathered state degree of weathering colour main body colour. Oxford clay. SW = well-graded sand geological stratigraphic name (when known) e. with-fines. hard SOIL NAME e. soft. Example: (i) Loose homogeneous reddish-yellow poorly-graded medium SAND (SP). Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. mottling grading or consistency e. these should be written in the following order: compactness e. poorly-graded. SILT. SAND.g. as appropriate soil class (BSCS) designation (for roads & airfields) e. firm. homogeneous or stratified. CLAY. loose.g. GRAVEL.g. etc. gravelly-.1. joints. Thimphu Bhutan .g.

the initial size of the sample required may be such that riffling is necessary at some stage to reduce the sample to a manageable size for fine sieving. soils containing negligible amounts of particles of silt or clay size. If in doubt about the validity of the dry-sieving method.2-1 . If particles of medium gravel size or larger are present in significant amounts. The appropriate minimum quantity of material depends upon the maximum size of particles present. Scope of the test Dry sieving is the simplest of all methods of particle size analysis.The specimen is placed on a tray and is allowed to dry. . Maximum size of material present in substantial proportion retained on BS sieve (mm) Pass 2 mm or smaller 6. the wet-sieving procedure should be followed instead. or by subdivision using the cone-and-quarter method. Minimum mass of sample to be taken for sieving 100g 200g 500g 1kg 2kg 6kg 15kg 35kg 50kg 70kg 150kg 500kg 1000kg Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. According to the British Standard dry sieving may be carried out only on materials for which this procedure gives the same results as the wet sieving procedure. This means that it is applicable only to clean granular materials. the whole specimen is allowed to cool.1-1 Minimum quantities for particle size test. and is indicated in Table 2.1% or less of its total mass (M1). The procedure is then referred to as "composite sieving". and is weighted to an accuracy within 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 10 2. which usually implies clean sandy or gravely soils that is.5 50 63 75 100 150 200 Table 2. Sample preparation The specimen to be used for the test is obtained from the original sample by riffling. preferably overnight. in an oven maintained at 105-110 °C.1 Simple dry sieving BS 1377: Part 2:1990. Thimphu Bhutan .3 10 14 20 28 37.After drying to constant weight.

The complete range of sieves specified by the British Standard is given in Table 2.The dried soil sample is placed in the topmost sieve and is shaken long enough that all particles smaller than each aperture size can pass through. Ms2. Any particles lodged in the apertures of the sieve should be carefully removed with a sieve brush. Sieve frames must not be out of true.1-2 metric sieves Standard set B + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 13 sieves + + 7 sieves + + + + Short set C + Suitable sieve diameters 450mm 300mm 200mm + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + (+) + + + (+) + + + + + + (+) + + Test procedure .18 600 µm 425 300 212 150 63 Lid and receiver + 19 sieves Table 2.35 2 1. . is depending on the used sieves and the particle size of the sample.The maximum mass of sample. and should fit snugly one inside the other.5 28 20 14 10 6. Some shakers have a built-in timing device which can be pre-set to switch off the motor automatically after the desired period. Sieves are nested together with the largest aperture sieve at the top. Thimphu Bhutan .Weighing. the dried soil is placed in the top sieve.1-3. This can be achieved most conveniently by using a mechanical sieve shaker. the sieve being first placed upside-down on a tray or a clean sheet of paper. For classification purposes we can use a short set. and the sieves are securely fastened down in the machine. to prevent escape of dust. The masses retained (Ms1.The whole nest of sieves with receiving pan is placed in the shaker. .1% of the total initial test sample mass. Weighing of each size fraction should be to an accuracy of at least 0. See table 2.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 11 Execution of the test Selection of sieves. and a receiving pan under the smallest aperture sieve at the bottom. which is then fitted with the lid. but the sieves used should adequately cover the range of aperture sizes for each particular soil.3 5 Woven wire 3. The sieves to be used are selected to suit the size of sample and type of material. The material retained on each sieve is transferred to a weighed container. .Agitation in the shaker should be for a minimum period of 10 min. etc. which can be sieved in one cycle. These particles are added to those retained on the sieve. . Aperture size full set Construction A Perforated 75 mm Steel plated 63 (Square holes) 50 37.1-2 It is not necessary to use all sieves for every test.) are recorded against the sieve Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.

3 5 3. to the mass collected in the receiving pan.0 Calculations The mass retained on the first sieve is denoted as Ms1.Ms1.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 12 aperture size on the particle size test work sheet.35 300 2 200 1. Maximum mass 300 mm diameter sieves (kg) 4.5 28 20 14 10 6.5 2. 450mm diameter sieves (kg) 10 8 6 4 3 2 1.5 200 mm Sieve diameter sieves Aperture (g) 50 mm 37. The percentage passing the first sieve is given by P1 = M1 − Ms1 ∗ 100 % M1 The mass passing the second sieve = M1 – Ms1 – Ms2. Thimphu Bhutan .5 1. The mass (Mp) passing the 63µmm sieve is also measured and recorded.18 100 75 600µm 425 75 300 50 212 50 150 40 63 25 Table 2. the percentage of fines. Pp passing the last sieve is Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. The percentage passing the second sieve is given by P2 = And so on. The mass passing the first sieve = M1. If this is denoted by Mp.1-3 maximum mass to be retained on each test sieve at the completion of sieving.5 3.75 0.5 1.0 1. M 1 − (Ms1 + Ms 2 ) ∗ 100 % M1 The percentage passing any subsequent sieve can be written as P= M1 − ∑ M ∗ 100 % M1 Where ∑M denotes the sum of the masses retained on all sieves down to and including the one in question: ∑M = Ms1+Ms2+Ms3+ etc.5 2. The calculated mass passing the last sieve should be equal.0 0. or very nearly equal.

The method of test is reported as dry sieving in accordance with BS 1377:1975. should be reported.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 13 Pp = Mp * 100 % M1 Reporting In addition to the particle size curve and the usual sample identification data. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Thimphu Bhutan . the sheet should include the visual description of the sample. such as vegetation or an isolated cobble. the grading curve. Test 7(B). and modified as necessary as a result of the additional information revealed by the test result. This should be the description of the sample before testing. Tabulated data showing the percentage each sieve are sometimes required instead of. or in addition to. Any material removed before sieving.

Execution of the test . Even when dry. Thimphu Bhutan . even in small quantities. The soil is allowed to stand for at least an hour. The complete range of sieves specified by the British Standard is given in Table 2. fine particles of silt and clay can adhere to sand-size particles and cannot be separated by dry sieving.3 10 14 20 28 37. . Maximum size of material present in substantial proportion retained on BS sieve (mm) Pass 2 mm or smaller 6. The procedure is described in detail below for non-cohesive soils containing little or no gravel.The specimen to be used for the test is obtained from the original sample by rifling. or by subdivision using the cone-and-quarter method. it is necessary to carry out a wet sieving procedure in order to measure the proportion of fine material present.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 14 2. preferably overnight. Minimum mass of sample to be taken for sieving 100g 200g 500g 1kg 2kg 6kg 15kg 35kg 50kg 70kg 150kg 500kg 1000kg Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. The appropriate minimum quantity of material depends upon the maximum size of particles present. and is stirred frequently.Selection of sieves.2.fine soils BS1377: Part 2:1990. or both.5 50 63 75 100 150 200 Table 2. the material should be immersed in a dispersant solution before washing.2-1 Minimum quantities for particle size test. in an oven maintained at 105-110 °C After drying to constant weight. This disperses the clay fraction. If clay is present. and is weighted to an accuracy within 0. The dried representative sample is spread out on a tray and covered with water containing 2g/litre of sodium hexametaphosphate.The specimen is placed on a tray and is allowed to dry. For classification purposes we can use a short set. so that clay and silt will not adhere to larger particles. Washing is the only practicable means of ensuring complete separation of fines for a reliable assessment of their percentage.2 Wet sieving . Scope of the test If a soil contains silt or clay.2. Sample Preparation . but the sieves used should adequately cover the range of aperture sizes for each particular soil. and is indicated in Table 2. the whole specimen is allowed to cool.1% or less of its total mass (M1).1 Page.2 It is not necessary to use all sieves for every test. or if there is evidence of particles sticking together. even if prolonged.

The 2 mm sieve is nested in the 63mm sieve. washing on the 63mm sieve is continued until the wastewater is seen to run clear. Thimphu Bhutan .18 600 µm 425 300 212 150 63 lid and receiver 19 sieves Table 2.2-3 ). . If this is likely to be exceeded. The soil is placed a little at a time on the 2 mm sieve. Particles retained are brushed to remove finer material which may be adhering to them.35 2 1.2-3 gives the recommended maximum quantities that may be retained on each sieve. with a portion being taken at a time. When the material on the 2 mm sieve has been washed free of fines.5 28 20 14 10 6. so as not to overload the sieve (see Table 2. after drying. The fraction passing the 20 mm sieve. If M2 is much more then 2 kg the sample is subdivided to give a convenient mass M3 for the remainder of the sieving operation. if necessary. The mass of soil retained on the 63mm should not exceed 150 g at any one time.3 5 Woven wire 3.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 15 Aperture size full set Construction A Perforated 75 mm Steel plated 63 (square holes) 50 37. is then sieved on appropriate larger aperture sieves and the amount retained on each is weighed. The silt and clay passing the 63 mm sieve is allowed to run to waste. and washed over a sink with a jet or spray of clean water. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Table 2. including "brushings" from larger particles. but individual particles must not be broken down. Warning: The sink used for this operation should be fitted with a silt trap.Sieving coarse material The sample is sieved on a large-diameter 20 mm sieve. but the lid and receiver are not used.Wash. The material retained on the 20 mm sieve. During this operation the sieve must not be allowed to become overloaded with soil or to overflow with water. is then oven dried and weighed (M2). the material should be sieved in two or more portions. An additional intermediate sieve may be included to protect the 2mm and 63mm sieve from overloading if the soil contains a high proportion of coarse or medium sand.2-2 metrics sieves Standard set B + + + + + + + + + + + Short set C + + + + + + + + + 13 sieves + + 7 sieves Suitable sieve diameters 450mm 300mm 200mm + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + (+) + + + (+) + + + + + + (+) + + + + + .

If the fraction passing the 6. and any fines passing the 63 µm test sieve. - 450mm diameter sieves (kg) 10 8 6 4 3 2 1.75 0.3 mm sieve is small.5 200 mm diameter sieves (g) - Drying The whole of the material retained on each sieve is allowed to drain.5 3.5 28 20 14 10 6. not more than 150 g. exactly as in the dry sieving procedure. (Me) If riffling is not necessary. Weigh this fraction (M6 ) and then sieve on the appropriate sieves down to and including the 63 µm test sieve.18 100 75 600µm 425 75 300 50 212 50 150 40 63 25 Table 2. (M6 ) is the same as (M5 ). These are placed in an oven to dry at 105-110 °C.1 % of its total mass. and is carefully transferred to trays or evaporating dishes. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. substantially greater than 150 g.1%. Sieving The dry soil is passed through a nest of the complete range of sieves to cover the sizes of particles present.5 2. Weigh the amounts retained on each sieve. Weighing The portion retained on each sieve is weighed.5 1.5 1.1% (M4). Weigh the amount retained on each sieve to 0. down to the 6.2-3 maximum mass to be retained on each test sieve at the completion of sieving.e.3 5 3.e. Weigh the amounts retained on each sieve. i. the whole of the dried material is put together and weighed to an accuracy of 0. Weighing After cooling. each to an accuracy of 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 16 Sieve Aperture 50 mm 37. to 0.3 mm sieve. it should be accurately weighed (M5 ) and then subdivided to give a sample of 100-150 g. and any fines passing the 63 µm test sieve (Mf). Thimphu Bhutan .5 2. preferably overnight.3 mm sieve is large i. the sample may be sieved by dry sieving on the appropriate sieves down to and including the 63 µm test sieve. If the fraction passing the 6.0 1.0 Maximum mass 300 mm diameter sieves (kg) 4.1 % of its total mass.35 300 2 200 1.0 0. This operation may be carried out by hand or preferably on a sieve shaker.

such as vegetation or an isolated cobble. Any material removed before sieving. Tabulated data showing the percentage each sieve are sometimes required instead of. Thimphu Bhutan . calculate the proportion by mass of material retained on each of the coarse series of sieves as a percentage of M1 For example: Percentage retained on 28 mm sieve = ⎨ - ⎧ M (28mm) ⎫ ⎬100 M1 ⎭ ⎩ Calculate the corrected mass of material retained on each of the sieves between 20 mm and 6.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 17 Calculations Calculation for the particles larger than 20mm in size. To this is added the mass of any fine material (Mf) passing the 63 µm test sieve when dry sieved. The mass of fines lost by washing is equal to (M3-M4). then calculate this mass as a percentage of M1 M3 ⎛ M 2 ⎞⎛ 100 ⎞ ⎟⎜ ⎟ ⎟ ⎟⎜ ⎝ M 3 ⎠⎝ M1 ⎠ For example: Percentage retained on 10 mm sieve = M(10 mm) ⎜ ⎜ - Calculate the corrected mass of material retained on each of the sieves finer than the 6. This should be the description of the sample before testing. then calculate this mass as a percentage of M1 ⎟ ⎠ ⎛ M 5 ⎞⎛ M 2 ⎟⎜ M 6 ⎟⎜ M 3 ⎝ ⎠⎝ ⎞⎛ 100 ⎞ ⎟⎜ ⎟ ⎟⎜ M ⎟ ⎠⎝ 1 ⎠ For example: Percentage retained on 300 µm sieve = M(300 µm) ⎜ ⎜ - Calculate the cumulatieve percentage by mass of the sample passing each of the sieves from the general relationship: (% passing this sieve) = (% passing previous sieve)-(% retained on this sieve) Calculate the fraction passing the 63 µm test sieve by difference. ⎧ ⎪ (M 3 − M 4 ) + M f M3 ⎪ ⎩ ⎫⎛ M 2 ⎬⎜ ⎜ ⎭⎝ M 1 ⎞ ⎟ 100 ⎟ ⎠ Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. should be reported. and modified as necessary as a result of the additional information revealed by the test result. the grading curve. Percentage passing 63 µm sieve = ⎨ Reporting In addition to the particle size curve and the usual sample identification data.3 mm by multiplying by M2 . the sheet should include the visual description of the sample.3 mm sieve by multiplying by ⎜ ⎜ ⎛ M5 ⎝ M6 ⎞⎛ M 2 ⎟⎜ ⎟⎜ M ⎠⎝ 3 ⎞ ⎟ . or in addition to.

600 µm. the bulb is very heavy and the glass could break. and the percentage of clay minerals < 2µm. When moving it in and out of a cylinder. steel rule four evaporating dishes 1000 ml beaker two measuring cylinder. Meniscus correction − Insert the hydrometer is a 1 L cylinder containing about 800 ml water. The hydrometer analysis utilises the relationship among the velocity of fall of spheres in a fluid. Rh’. the diameter of the sphere. NOTE: The hydrometer is a very fragile device. Hold it on the bulb when moving it horizontal. Apparatus used − − − − − − − − − − − − − − − − soil hydrometer two 1000 ml glass measuring cylinders. the specific weights of the sphere and of the fluid. with rubber stops thermometer high speed stirrer sieves 200 mm diameter. 63 µm. a density of 1. it should be handled with care. Never hold it horizontal while holding it on one side. This is done by subtracting 1 from the density and moving the decimal point three places to the right. determine the point where the plane intersects the hydrometer scale. 212 µm. For example. 400 mm long standard dispersant solution: that is 33 g sodium hexametaphosphate and 7 g of sodium carbonate in distilled water to make 1 litre solution Calibrations and corrections of hydrometer readings Each density reading taken on the hydrometer must first be expressed as a hydrometer reading.3 Hydrometer test BS 1377: part 2:1990 Scope of the test The hydrometer analysis is a widely used method to obtain the distribution of particle sizes in the silt range (63-2 µm). keep it as straight as possible. 2 mm and a receiver balance readable to 0. Thimphu Bhutan . 100 ml and 50 ml wash bottle and distilled water constant-temperature bath glass rod: 12 mm diameter. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. a small angle could break it.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 18 2. The test is usually not performed if less than 10% of the material passes the 63 µm sieve.028 would be a hydrometer reading of Rh’ = 28.01 g drying oven. and of the viscosity of the fluid as expressed by the Stokes’ law. 105-110 °C stopwatch readable to 1 s. − By placing the eye slightly below the plane of surface of the liquid and then raising it slowly until the surface seen as an ellipse becomes a straight line. corresponding to the level of the upper rim of the meniscus.

corresponding to each of the major calibration marks. Cm. determine the point where the plane intersects the hydrometer scale. Rh from the equation: V ⎞ ⎛ H R = H + 12 ⎜ h − h L ⎟ 900 ⎠ ⎝ where: H = length from the neck of the bulb to graduation Rh h = length of the bulb = 159 mm for B. hydrometer L = distance between the 100 ml and the 1000 ml scale markings of the sedimentation cylinder Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Record the difference between the two readings as the meniscus correction.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 19 − − By placing the eye slightly above the plane of surface of the liquid.S. hydrometer Vh = volume of hydrometer bulb = 70 ml for B. Thimphu Bhutan . Rh = Rh’ + Cm Scale calibration of hydrometer Calculate the effective depth.S. HR (mm).

and determine the relation.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 20 Example: Rh N= d1= d2= d3= d4= d5= d6= d7= length mm 16 19 38. Frothing over must be avoided.5 74 93 113 133 153 Hr mm 101. Very organic soils may require several additions of hydrogen peroxide.28 140.5%) we have to remove this as follows: Add 150 ml of hydrogen peroxide and stir gently for a few minutes with a glass rod Cover with a cover glass and allow to stand overnight Next morning heat the flask and stir gently. With this relation.78 121.78 159.78 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 h Vh L 159 72 318 mm ml mm Plot the relation between Hr and Rh as a smooth curve. add more hydrogen peroxide in increments of about 100 ml until the oxidation process is complete.9286x + 199. and the oxidation process may take 2 or 3 days. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. scale calibration hydrometer 250 200 150 Hr 100 50 0 -10 0 10 Rh 20 30 calibration Linear (calibration) y = -3. Amount of dry sample − for sandy soil 100 gram − for clayey soil 50 gram Weigh the soil to 0.5 58 77 97 117 137 H mm 35 54. we can calculate for each reading Rh the corresponding Hr. either on a low-heat hot plate or on a low gas flame. Agitate frequently by stirring or by shaking with a rotary motion.71 R2 = 0.78 219.01 gram Place the soil in a 1000 ml beaker If the sample contains organic matter (>0. Thimphu Bhutan .78 199.78 179. If necessary.9999 Sample preparation − − − − − − − − Dry the sample in an oven at 60-65°C.

or to rotate. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. − Place a second cylinder containing 100 ml of the dispersant solution and distilled water to exactly 1 L. − Remove the rubber bung and insert the hydrometer steadily and allow it to float freely. − Transfer the soil with some distilled water to the cup of the high-speed stirrer and stir for about 1 hour. rinsed in distilled water. − When cooled. and placed in the separate cylinder of distilled water in the constant temperature bath.8. The cylinder is inverted for a few seconds. Insert the hydrometer slowly about 15s before a reading is due. 1 . 4 minutes. the stop-watch is started (zero time). − Transfer the material retained on the 63 µm sieve to an evaporating dish and dry it in the oven at 105 to 110 °C. − Observe and record the temperature of the bath after every recording. Executing the test Dispersion − Add 100 ml of the standard dispersing solution to the soil. If the temperature varies more than 1 °C another reading to determine Ro should be taken. in the constant-temperature bath: this is for calibration readings of the dispersant solution and for storage of the hydrometer between the readings. − Dry and weigh the material retained on each sieve to 0. It must not be allowed to bulb up and down. − Transfer the suspension to the 63 µm sieve placed on a receiver. the volume of liquid is reduced to about 50 ml by boiling which decomposes any excess hydrogen peroxide Transfer the contents of the conical flask to a funnel with a Whatman No 50 filter paper. Sedimentation − Fill the sedimentation cylinder to the 1 L graduation mark with distilled water. However a quick rotational twist with the fingers on the top of the hydrometer will dislodge any air bubbles which may adhere to the side.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 21 − − − − As soon as frothing has stopped. − Readings of the hydrometer are taken at the top of the meniscus level at the following times from zero: 0. − The hydrometer is removed slowly.5 . 24 hours and twice during the following day. set on 25 °C.01 g. Stir if necessary with a glass rod so that all material goes into suspension. 600 µm. − Insert and withdraw the hydrometer very carefully to avoid disturbing the suspension unnecessarily. and wash thoroughly with distilled water Transfer the residue from the filter paper to container using a fine jet of distilled water from a wash bottle and dry the sample at 60-65°C. − Use a suitable form to record your observations. 30 min. − Transfer the suspension in the receiver into a 1000 ml sedimentation cylinder. sieve this material on the 2mm. − Insert a rubber stop in the sedimentation cylinder or close it off by hand and shake the cylinder vigorously to obtain a uniform suspension. Thimphu Bhutan . − Shake the mixture thoroughly until all the soil is in suspension. It is not essential to keep rigidly these times. 212 µm and 63 µm. − Add any material passing the 63 µm sieve to the sedimentation cylinder. − Place the sedimentation cylinder in the constant-temperature bath. − Allow the cylinders to stand in the bath until they have reached the bath temperature (about 1 hour). 2 . − Observe and record the top of the meniscus reading. weight after pre-treatment. and is then stood in the constant temperature bath. provided that the actual time of each reading is recorded. Without delay as soon as it is in the upright position. Take the weight mp. this will be the sedimentation cylinder. Ro. 2 . − Wash the soil in the sieve with a maximum of 500 ml distilled water. − Insert the hydrometer for further readings at the following times from zero: 8 .

η (mPas) (°C) 0 1.3037 15 1. Rd. the method of test used 2. where m = mass of dry soil used (g) or mp = mass of soil after pre-treatment.s).1 viscosity of water Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. K.0019 25 0. table 2.005531 ( ρ s − 1) t Where: η = dynamic viscosity of water at the test temperature (mPa. the results of the sieve analysis 4.7982 40 0.Ro' Where: Ro' = hydrometer reading at the upper rim of the meniscus in the dispersant solution Calculate the percentage by mass.8909 30 0. from the equation: − ⎛ 100ρ s ⎞ K=⎜ ⎜ m(ρ − 1) ⎟R d .6540 Table 2. from the equation − η *Hr D = 0 . Thimphu Bhutan . from the equation Rd = Rh' .2 Sedimentation − Calculate the effective depth Hr − Calculate the equivalent particle diameter D (mm).14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 22 Calculation Dispersion − Calculate the mass percentages according to the wet sieving procedure in paragraph 2. D (mm).1 Hr = effective depth (mm) ρs = particle density (Mg/m3) t = elapsed time (min) − Calculate the modified hydrometer reading.7865 5 1. the method of pre-treatment 5.5138 10 1.1369 20 1. ⎟ s ⎝ ⎠ ρs = particle density (Mg/m3) Reporting The report shall affirm that the test was carried out in accordance with BS 1377: Part 2: 1990 and shall include the following information: 1.3. of particles smaller than the corresponding equivalent particle diameter . the sieve curve Temperature Dynamic viscosity.3. the results of the sedimentation analysis 3.

according to the British standard: BS 1377: Part 2:1990 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. based on the consistency limits (See chapter 1-1). 1995. according to the American standard: ASTM. There are four test devices for determination of the liquid limit. The classification of soils is not the only application of the Atterberg limits. These devices are: Casagrande cup. The consistency limits have been used all over the world for many years and a lot of empirical relationships have been developed. D 4318 Casagrande cup. The Atterberg limits comprise the liquid limit (WL). among other parameters. according to the British standard: BS 1377: Part 2:1990 Fall cone. Most of the Soil Classification Systems for engineering purpose is. the plastic limit (Wp) and the shrinkage limit (Ws). The concept is based on the fact that the consistency depends largely on its water content.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 23 The Atterberg limits The Atterberg limits are the so-called consistency limits. Thimphu Bhutan . There is also a good correlation with the strength of cohesive soils. Determining the Atterberg limits is a very useful method to classify cohesive soils. the undrained shear strength. expressed in Cu . They define the boundaries between four stages of a soil.

Mixing can also be done on a glass plate in the case care shut be taken to keep the hole sample at the same moister content.1.40 (425-µm) sieve obtained in accordance with the used standard in a porcelain evaporating dish (about 114-mm in diameter) and thoroughly mix with 15 to 20 ml of distilled water by alternately and repeatedly stirring. Note: The difference between the American and British Standard.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 24 3. the American standard a harder ebonite one. before adding another increment of water. is the difference in base plate of the Casagrande cup. Make further additions of water in increments of 1 to 3 ml. Because of this difference. kneading. The British standard defines a relative soft rubber base. expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven dried soil. according the ASTM or BS standard.1 Liquid limit with Casagrande cup. Apparatus used Casagrande cup. 3.01g Drying oven Glass cup or tin dishes Spatulas Fig. when the cup is dropped 25 times for a distance of 1 cm at the rate of 2 drops/s. Thoroughly mixes each increment of water with the soil as previously described. Test procedure When sufficient water has been thoroughly mixed with the soil to produce a consistency that will require 30 to 35 lift and drops of the Casagrande cup to cause closure of the groove Place a portion of the mixture in the cup above the spot where the cup Pests on the base. BS 1377: Part 2:1990 (ASTM D4318) Scope of the test The liquid limit of soil is the water content. Squeeze it Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. the results of the British method are generally higher. weighing about 250 g. from the thoroughly mixed portion of the material passing the No. Flat glass plate about 500mm square. The water content at this boundary is arbitrarily defined as the water content at which two halves of a soil cake will flow together for a distance of 12-mm along the bottom of the groove separating the two halves.1 Casagrande apparatus Sample preparation Place the soil sample. at the boundary between the liquid and the plastic state. Mass balance accurate to 0. and chopping with a spatula. Thimphu Bhutan .

2 Casagrande cup Lift and drop the cup by turning the crank at the rate of 2 revolutions per second. Weigh and record the mass. Thimphu Bhutan . extending from edge to edge of the soil cake in right angles to the groove and including that portion of the groove in which the soil flowed together. Make the strokes with as few strikes as possible. Divide the soil by firm strokes of the grooving tool along the diameter through the centreline of the cam follower so that a sharp. Repeat the foregoing operations for at least two additional trials with the soil collected in the evaporating dish. The test should always proceed from the dryer to the wetter condition of the soil. Preserve after completion of the test the test sample if the plastic limit and plasticity index test has to be determined from the soil sample. Transfer the soil remaining in the cup to the evaporating dish. until the two halves of the soil cake come in contact at the bottom of the groove along a distance of about 12 mm. The object of this procedure is to obtain samples of such consistency that the number of drops required closing the groove Will be above and below 25. Record the loss in mass due to drying as the mass of water. clean groove of the proper dimensions will be formed. Record this mass. with as few strokes of the spatula as possible. up to six strokes. shall be permitted. from front to back or from back to front counting as one stroke. With the spatula (having a blade about 76-mm in length and 19mm in width) level the soil and at the same time trim it to a depth of 1 cm at the point of maximum thickness. Fig. Remove a slice of soil approximately the width of the spatula. care being taken to prevent the entrapment of air bubbles within the Mass. 3. Return the excess soil to the evaporating dish. Wash and dry the cup and grooving tool. and reattach the cup to the carriage in preparation for the next trial. Calculation Calculate the water content Wn of the soil. expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dried soil. The number of drops should be less than 35 and exceed 15. and place it in a suitable container (for example a matched watch glass).14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 25 down and spread it in the position shown in fig. as follows: Wn = mass of water ∗ 100 mass of ovendried soil Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 3. To avoid tearing of the sides of the groove or slipping of the soil cake on the cup. Each stroke should penetrate a little deeper until the last stroke from the back to front scrapes the bottom of the cup clean.1-2. to which sufficient water has been added to bring the soil to a more fluid condition.1. Oven-dry the soil in the container to constant mass at 110 °C and reweigh as soon as it has cooled but before hydroscopic moisture can be absorbed. Record the numbers of drops required to close the groove along a distance of about 12-mm.

Thimphu Bhutan .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 26 Preparation of the flow curve. -Treatment of the soil. 3. Plot a "flow curve" representing the relationship between water content and corresponding number of drops of the cup on a semilogarithmic graph with the water content as abscissa on the arithmetical scale. 3.1.3 Fig.3 Reporting -Report the liquid limit as the water content corresponding to the intersection of the flow curve with the 25-drop ordinate as the liquid limit of the soil. Round off this number to the nearest whole value.1. -The percentage material passes the 425 mµ sieve. The "flow curve" is a straight line drawn as nearly as possible through the three or more plotted points. if it was sieved. See fig. and the numbers of drops as ordinate on the logarithmic scale. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.

particles retained on a 425µm test sieve.Flat glass plate about 500mm square.3.01 g - Fig.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 27 3.2 spatulas . together with particle size analysis.e. Thimphu Bhutan .mass balance accurate to 0.Cone penetrometer with standard cone of mass 80 gr. Apparatus used .wash bottle .1 .sample cup of diameter 55 mm and 40 mm deep .drying oven . It is based on the measurement of penetration into the soil of a standardised cone of specified mass. With many clay soils it is practicable and shall be permissible to remove by hand any coarse particles present. Note: The results obtained with the cone penetrometer may be differ slightly from those with the Casagrande apparatus.2. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. but in most cases up to a liquid limit of 100 these differences will not be significant. At the liquid limit the cone penetration is 20 mm. i. This value is often used in classification systems.2 Liquid limit using the cone penetrometer BS 1377: Part 2:1990 Scope of the test With this test. Otherwise these particles shall removed by wet sieving. sees fig 3.1 cone penetrometer Sample preparation Wherever possible the test shall be carried out on soil in its natural state. one can obtain the liquid limit.2. .

Calculation: From the sieved soil calculate the dry mass. -Take a representative sample and determine its moisture content. of the initial sample from the equation: Md = ⎜⎜⎜ 100 ⎞⎟⎟ ⎟M 6 ⎟ ⎜ 100 + Wn ⎟ ⎠ ⎝ ⎛ ⎜ Where Wn is the moisture content (in %) M6 is the mass of particles retained on 425 µm sieve (in g).5 mm. a third test is carried out. -Sieve the slurry through the 425 µm sieve with the minimum amount of distilled water until the water passing is virtually clear. -Collect the material retained on the 425 µm sieve. -Stir the mixture until it forms a slurry. If the second cone penetration differs from the first by less than o. dry it at 105 °C and weigh it to an accuracy of within 0. and if necessary add distilled water. and let it dry (warm air) until it forms a stiff paste. which passes the 425 µm test sieve. Some soils (heavy clays) up to 40 min. Wn (in %) -Weight the remainder of the sample to an accuracy of within 0. -Collect the fines in a receiver or large container if necessary. Remove the soil from the container and remix with the spatulas for at least 10 min. the curing period may be omitted.01 g (M7). it should be approximately 15 mm for the first test.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 28 Sieve procedure -Take a sample of the soil of sufficient size to give a test specimen weighing at least 300 g.5 and 1 mm different from the first. If the second penetration is between 0.1 mm. and leave it standing for a curing period of 24 hour. Md (in g).01 g (M6) -Place the sample in a container under just enough distilled water to submerge it. such as very silty soils. to allow water to permeate through the soil mass. Thimphu Bhutan . to form a plastic material Place the paste into an airtight container. Pa = ⎜⎜⎜ Md − M 7 ⎞⎟⎟ ⎟100% ⎜ Md ⎟⎟⎠ ⎝ ⎛ ⎜ Where M7 is the dry mass of particles passing the 425 µm sieve (in g) Execution of the test Thoroughly mix the sample on the glass plate using two spatulas. Lift out the cone and clear it carefully. Add a little more wet soil to the cup and take a second reading. or overnight. and provided the overall Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. -After a suitable interval pour off any clear water above the suspension. fill the sample cup with the soil and trim off excess material with the spatula to form a smooth even surface being careful not to trap any air bubbles bring the point of the cone to the surface of the sample lower the dial gauge pointer to the top of the cone and set the gauge on zero release the cone pressing the release button for 5 seconds lower the pointer to the new position of the cone Take a reading to the nearest 0. and let the fine particles settle. the Average value is recorded. For soil of low clay content. and the moister content is measured.

The liquid limit is defined as that moisture content where the cone penetrates 20 mm into the sample. if it was sieved. -The percentage material passes the 425 mµ sieve. One must be careful not to add too much water at one time. This value is interpolated from a graph. both on a linear scale. the average of the three penetrations is recorded and the moisture content is measured. Fig 3. This is done at least three more times to get a range (min. and the test is repeated.B. N. take a sample of approximately 10 gram from the cup and determine its moisture content To the remainder of the material add some distilled water and repeat the above procedure. -Treatment of the soil. Calculation The moisture contents determined are plotted against the respective penetration depth. Reporting -The liquid limit is expressed to the nearest whole number.2. Thimphu Bhutan . the soil is removed from the cup and remixed. If the overall range exceed 1mm.2.2 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. See fig. 4) of penetration values from about 15mm to 25 mm.2. 3.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 29 - range does not exceed 1mm.

as in the standard moisture content procedure. cool and weigh dry. .glass plate . . By "crumbling" is meant shearing both longitudinally and transversally as it is rolled. roll the thread between the fingers of one hand and the surface of the glass plate. Form it into a thread and roll out again as before. divide the ball into two portions each of about 10 g. Thimphu Bhutan . It is important to maintain a uniform rolling pressure throughout.Mould the soil between the fingers again to dry it further.As soon as the crumbling stage is reached. . but this should not be done. The sample may be a disturbed sample. . The thread must be intact and homogeneous.drying oven . Some heavy clay may need more than this because this type of soil tends to become harder near the plastic limit. Sample preparation ca. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. It may be possible to gather the pieces together after crumbling. but keep each set of four parts together.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 30 3.01 gram. using a second moisture content container. The metal rod serves as a reference for gauging this diameter. dry in the oven overnight. do not reduce pressure as the thread diameter approaches 3 mm. or oblique rolling or detachment of an excessive length beyond the width of the hand. It is the empirical established moisture content at which soil becomes to dry to be plastic. When slight cracks begin to appear on the surface.spatulas . .mass balance accurate to 0. Apparatus .Mould the ball between the fingers and roll between the palms of the hands so that the warmth of the hands slowly dries it. The pressure should reduce the diameter of the thread from 6 mm to about 3 mm after between five and ten back-and-forth movements of the hand. Further divide each into four equal parts. Crumbling must be the result of the decreasing moisture content only.Repeat stages on the other set of four portions of the soil. Execution of the test.The first crumbling point is the plastic limit. . using the finger and thumb of each hand. 20 gram of material is needed.Thoroughly knead the sample and if necessary mix with the distilled water for 10 min. to form a plastic ball. Using a steady pressure. Weigh the container and soil as soon as possible.3 mm diameter metal rod . Repeat this procedure until the thread crumbles when it has been rolled to 3-mm diameter.One of the parts if formed into a thread about 6 mm diameter. .Repeat for the other three pieces of soil. . and not due to mechanical breakdown caused by excessive pressure. gather the crumbled threads and place them into a weighed moisture content container. to reform a thread and to continue rolling under pressure.3 Plastic limit BS 1377: Part 2:1990 Scope of the test The plastic limit is often used together with the liquid limit to determine the plasticity index which when plotted against the liquid limit on the plasticity chart provides a means of classifying cohesive soils. We only use material passing the 425 µm sieve. and place in the same container.

Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. the test should be repeated. Vol 1. -The percentage of material passes the 425mµ sieve if it was sieved. Reference Head K.H.5% moisture content. or rolling of the soil is not possible. Remarks From some soils the plastic limit cannot be determined.Pentach Press. London Plymouth.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 31 Calculations Calculate the moisture content of the soil in each of the two containers. Thimphu Bhutan . Crumbling occurs before you reach 3mm. Reporting -The average moisture content referred to above is expressed to the nearest whole numbers and reported as the plastic limit. -The treatment of the soil. (1982): Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing. If they differ by more than 0. Take the average of the two results.

01 Mg/m3 Remark: In practice we often use a (density) cutting ring to prepare a cylindrical sample with a fixed volume Immersion in water method This method determine the bulk density and dry density of samples of natural or compacted soil by measuring its mass in air and its apparent mass when suspended in water. In the second the volume of the specimen is determined by weighing it submerged in water. Apparatus used: calliper with accuracy of 0. The dry density. ρ. calculate the dry density of the specimen. W (in %). is the mass per unit volume of the soil deposit including any water it contains.1mm balance with accuracy of 0. The sample is mostly extruded from a sample tube but can also be shaped in a cube or rectangular block from a undisturbed soil sample The specimen volume is calculated from the average value of several calliper readings (3 at least) for each dimension of the sample Weight the trimmed specimen to an accuracy of 0. Three methods are specified. ρd. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. V of the specimen.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 32 4.01g cutting and trimming tools Paraffin Linear measurement method This method is suitable for the determination of the density of a sample of cohesive soil of regular shape.1 % (m) Calculate the volume. The first applies to soils that can be formed into a regular geometric shape. which is numerically the same as g/cm3. In the third the volume is measured by displacement of water.1 Density BS 1377: Part 2:1990 Scope of the test The bulk density of a soil. Thimphu Bhutan . Calculations The bulk density can be calculated: m ρ= V If the moisture content. of the soil is known. is the mass of dry soil contained in a unit volume. Both are expressed in Mg/m3. the volume of which can be calculated from linear measurements. from the equation: ρd = 100 ρ 100 + W Express the density and dry density of the soil specimen to the nearest 0. ρd (in Mg/m3).

block or other). Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Mw is the mass of specimen and wax coating (in g). from the equation: ⎛ Mw . Ms is the mass of the soil specimen (in g) Water displacement method This method used the water displacement and mass of a specimen. Allow the waxed specimen to cool and weigh to the nearest 1 g (Mw) Measure the apparent mass of the specimen while suspended in water to the nearest 1 g (Mg) Calculations Calculate the volume of the specimen. sample number. ρρ is the density of paraffin wax (in g/cm3) Calculate the bulk density of the specimen. Thimphu Bhutan .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 33 - Trim the soil sample. until a specimen is produced measuring at least 100 mm in each dimension. the volume can be calculated. Reporting The report shall include the following information: Data on the sample Project name. ρ (in Mg/m3).Mg ⎞ ⎛ M w . location. Mg is the apparent mass of specimen and wax coating when suspended in water (in g) Mf is the mass of specimen after making up surface voids with filler (in g). and date of sampling. from the equation: ρ= Ms Vs Where. By taking the weight of the water coming out. Weigh the specimen to the nearest 1 g (Ms) Fill al l the surface air voids of the specimen with a material that is insoluble in water. e. Vs (in cm3).g. sample dimensions The sample transport and storage conditions The density should be reported to the nearest 0.01 Mg/m3 The report should specify the type of test. to calculate the bulk density and dry density.Mf ⎞ Vs = ⎜ ⎜ ρwater ⎟ − ⎜ ρρ ⎟ ⎟ ⎜ ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ ⎝ ⎠ Where. depth below terrain (in case of a borehole) Type of sample (core. The sample is prepared like the water immersion method and put in a water container with siphon outlet. plasticine or putty and weigh to the nearest 1 g (Mf) Coat the specimens completely by dipping in molten paraffin wax.

1990 Scope of the test The objective of the test is to determine the water content of a soil sample as it was sampled in the field or at the moment of testing for the accurate determination of in-situ water content.The sample transport and storage conditions . date of sampling. Thimphu Bhutan .Data on the sample .Type of sample (core. depth below terrain (in case of bore hole) . block. . natural moister content .1%. sample number. . sample dimensions.fine grained material use 30 g .01 gr. location.M3 = ∗ 100% dry mass of sample M3 .coarse grained material use 3000 g Execution of the test weigh the sample container to 0.M1 With help of the moisture content W. or other).01 gr.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 34 4.2 Natural Moisture Content BS 1377:part 2. storage. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.lithology. transporting and handling precautions should be such that the water content remains within 1% of the in-situ value. the sampling. disturbed. accuracy M1 add the material to be tested and weigh again M2 place container with sample in the oven for 24 hours at a controlled temperature of 105 °C cool the sample in the dessicator weigh the oven dry and cooled sample M3 Calculations Moisture content W = mass of water M2 . sample container (watch glasses or tins) oven (24 hr at 105°C ±5°C) dessicator Sample preparation The quantity of the soil sample required for an accurate measurement of the natural water content is dependent upon the particle size of the sample. density. particle size. Apparatus used - balance accurate to 0. with the following calculation: Dry density = mass insitu ∗ 100 100 + W Reporting .Project name.medium grained material use 300 g .The water content should be reported to the nearest 0. we can calculate the dry density.

Take the bottle out of the bath.Add enough air-free distilled water to cover the soil in the bottle.Balance accurate to 0. .001g (m1). wipe it dry and weigh it to the nearest 0. Weigh the bottle with stopper.Clean out each bottle. . add more liquid to fill the bottle and replace the stopper.001g (m4) Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.A rod small enough to go through the neck of the density bottle. Leave the bottle for at least 1 hour under vacuum until no further loss of air is apparent . fill it completely withy de-aerated water. Place the bottle. dry. without stopper in the vacuum desiccator. Insert the stopper and immerse the bottle up to the neck in the constant-temperature bath.Release the vacuum and remove the desiccator lid. Leave the bottle in the bath for at least 1 hour so that the bottle attains the temperature of the bath.1990 Scope of the test The objective of the test is to determine the density of the soil particles finer than 2mm.A small riffle-box Sample preparation At least two specimens.001 gr. Reduce the pressure gradually to about 25kPa. remove the stopper. Apparatus used . Thimphu Bhutan .001g (m3) .Remove the density bottle from the desiccator and add more air-free water until full. If necessary fill the bottle as specified before.. insert the stopper and immerse in the constant temperature bath as before. . soil and water to 0. Execution of the test .Vacuum system . with stopper to the nearest 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 35 4. .3a: Particle density small pyknometer method BS 1377:part 2. The specimens shall be oven dried at 105°C to 110°C and stored in an airtight container.A vacuum desiccator . Weigh the bottle. cool and weigh to the nearest 0. Stir the soil in the bottle.2 0C .Wash the density bottles.A desiccator containing anhydrous silica gel. Replace the lid of the desiccator and repeat the vacuum procedure as specified before . Before removing the stirring rod wash off any soil particles with a few drops of air-free water.Remove the bottle from the bath and wipe it dry. each between 5g and 10g shall be obtained by riffling.A wash bottle containing air-free distilled water .If there is an apparent decrease in the volume of the liquid.This procedure is repeated until no more air is evolved from the soil.001g (m2) . .Oven (24 hr at 105°C ±5°C) .A constant temperature water bath in the range from 20-300C ± 0. . . .Two 50mL density bottles (pyknometers) with stoppers .Transfer the soil specimen to the density bottle. Return the bottle to the bath and again allow the contents to attain the constant temperature.

Balance accurate to 0. Fill the pyknometer with water.5g (m1). Thimphu Bhutan . Weigh the bottle.Agitate by shaking the pyknometer.Clean and dry the pyknometer and weigh to the nearest 0. with screwtop assemble to the nearest 0. Reporting The method of test used The average value of the particle density of the soil specimen to the nearest 0. . a glass vessel of nominal 1L capacity designed for a screw-top lid. . . At least two specimens.1990 Scope of the test The objective of the test is to determine the density of non-cohesive soil containing particles finer than 20mm. Apparatus used . fitted the following a corrosion-resistant screw ring a conical cap of corrosion-resistant metal with a cone-angle of 75 o to 78o and with a hole 6 ± 0. Coarse particles should be broken down.5mm diameter at its apex .Fit the screw cap assembly and tighten so that the reverence marks coincide.With the screw top removed transfer the soil specimen into the bottle.A pyknometer. each of about 400g shall be obtained by riffling.Add water at a temperature of within ± 2°C of the average room temperature to about half fill the pyknometer. Execution of the test . Coarse particles should be broken down.5g (m2) . while holding one finger over the Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.A glass about 300mm long and 6mm diameter.03Mg/m3 the test shall be repeated.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 36 Calculations Particle density = Where ρs = m 2 -m1 (m 4 -m1 )-(m3 -m 2 ) M1 = mass of density bottle M2 = mass of bottle and dry soil M3 = mass of bottle and soil and liquid M4 = mass of bottle and liquid If the result of the two samples differs more than 0.5kg.01 Mg/m3 4. . or by rolling it on the bench. Stir the mixture thoroughly with the glass rod to remove air trapped in the soil.3b Particle density large pyknometer method BS 1377:part 2.5 gr.Oven (24 hr at 105°C ±5°C) Sample preparation Take a sample of about 1. . The specimens shall be oven dried at 105°C to 110°C and stored in an airtight container.A thermometer range 0°C to 50°C readable to 1°C .

Dry the pyknometer on the outside and weigh the whole to the nearest 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 37 - hole in the conical top. Leave the pyknometer standing for at least 24h at room temperature constant to within 2°C. Thimphu Bhutan . Reporting The method of test used The average value of the particle density of the soil specimen to the nearest 0. Top up the pyknometer with water so that the water surface is flush with the hole in the conical cap.5g (m3) Empty the pyknometer.5g (m4) Repeat the test using the second sample.5Mg/m3 the test shall be repeated. If the results differ more than 0.05 Mg/m3 repeat the test.5Mg/m3 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Calculations Particle density = Where ρs = m 2 -m1 (m 4 -m1 )-(m3 -m 2 ) M1 = mass of pyknometer M2 = mass of pyknometer and dry soil M3 = mass of pyknometer and soil and liquid M4 = mass of pyknometer and liquid If the result of the two samples differs more than 0. Dry the pyknometer on the outside and weigh to the nearest 0. wash it thoroughly and fill it completely with water at room temperature. Allow air to escape froth to disperse.

Fill the annular space between the wall of the container and the sample with molten wax. Alternatively we can clamp a sample container with an undisturbed sample on the base plate of the vane equipment the sample shut be of sufficient dimensions such that the shearing force applied by the vane is not hampered or influenced by forces originating from the extremities of the . Warning: If the (strain)angle indicator rotate for more then 180 degrees stop the test and repeat with a stiffer spring.a choice of spring is made dependent upon the stiffness of the ground : weak ground: spring 2kg.Record the reading of the maximum pointer as the remoulded value Repeat the test at least twice.note the reading on the circular graduated scale .after reading of the (strain)angle indicator rotate the vane rapidly two complete revolutions.5mm with a length of about 75mm. Three tests on one sample material should be sufficient if the results are reasonably constant.1 Vane test BS 1377: Part 7 1990 Scope of the test The vane test is a test.record the reading of the maximum pointer as the peek value. At this point failure occurs and the torque decrease but the maximum pointer remains in the position indicated the maximum angular deflection of the spring. .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 38 firm ground: spring 8kg. The undrained shear strength of soft to firm cohesive soils can be determined without the sample being disturbed by preparation. Apparatus used -Laboratory vane test apparatus see fig 5. Place the trimmed sample centrally into the sample container belonging to the equipment. .clamp the sample container in the clamping attachment or in a other way vertically below the vane shaft .bring the maximum pointer in contact with the (strain)angle indicator .measure the dimensions of the vane . Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. .After stopping rotation wait for a few seconds and slowly apply torque as been done for the peek strength . . This method may be used when the sample is too sensitive or soft to enable a compression test.1-1 Sample preparation An undisturbed sample should be cut and trimmed to a diameter of 37. Thimphu Bhutan . which can be carried out both in the field and in the laboratory. 5. to remould the soil. Execution of the test (for numbers see fig.1-1) Peek value .operate the torque applicator handle with a rate of 1 revolution per second or used the motorized drive unit until the maximum shear resistance of the soil is reached.Lower the vane gradually without disturbing the soil sample so that the top of the vane is at least 10mm below the surface of the sample. Remoulded value .

Calculate the vane shear strength of the soil. Thimphu Bhutan .mm K = constant which depends on the dimensions of the vane. ⎛H D⎞ K = πD 2 ⎜ + ⎟ ⎝ 2 6⎠ D = vane diameter (mm) H = vane height (mm) Reporting -The average undisturbed and remoulded shear strengths in KPa -The highest and lowest measured values -Type of testing machine -Size of the vane -Indicate the horizon at with the test was executed Fig.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 39 Calculation Calculate the difference between the initial reading and the reading at the peek and remoulded value This difference gives the angle of torque of the spring. Average the values obtaining for the different recalculate this value in N.1 Laboratory vane apparatus used at DGM Geotechnical Laboratory of τv in kPa τv = M * 1000 K M= measured torque in N. Multiply the outcome by the spring factor (is indicated on the spring) and dived the outcome by 180 this give the torque in kgf. 5. If one result differs appreciably from the others (more then 20%) it should be discarded.

25 mm 0. The test maybe performed consolidated or unconsolidated under drained or undrained conditions. Strain transducer max. controls controls. controls controls air-water cylinder.2.1) 123456789- Triaxial test frame Pressure controller Control panel Triaxial cell Load ring Strain transducer Pressure transducer Volume change apparatus Bladders controls.2. Thimphu Bhutan . with the possibility of measuring pore pressure and volume change.1 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.2 Shear strength with Triaxial test BS 1377: part 8 1990 Scope of the test: The measurement of the effective shear strength parameters for cylindrical specimens of saturated soil which have been subjected to isotropic consolidation and then sheared in compression. Pore pressure transmitter. under a constant confining pressure. by increasing the axial strain. 5. Fig.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 40 5.01mm. air regulator controls. Overview test set-up The triaxial test set up maintenance the following apparatus (fig 5.


Soil mechanics laboratory manual


Description of test

The sample is enclosed in a thin rubber membrane, which is sealed against the pedestal and the top cap on the sample by rubber O-rings. The sample is placed on the base plate of a triaxial cell. The removable cap of the cell is placed over the sample and the total triaxial cell is placed in the triaxial frame. The cell can be filled with (de-aired) water, and with the air regulator we can established the desired cell pressure (σ3). A piston, movable with little friction through a bush in the top cap of the triaxial cell, rest on the top cap of the sample. The upper end of the piston touches a dynamometer, consisting of a metal ring and a dial gauge, which measures the decrease in vertical diameter when a force is applied to the ring. The force is found by multiplying the dial gauge reading by a calibration constant. (See calibration chart) The triaxial frame has a stepper motor and screw jack assembly, which can provide a constant platen speed. This causes a compression of both dynamometer and sample. The rate at which the sample is compressed is depending on the kind test (CU, UU, or CD), and type of material to be tested. A dial gauge just below the dynamometer measures the settlement of the sample. With a pressure transducer, the pore pressure can be measured. And with the automatic volume change apparatus, we can measure the amount of water going in or out the sample. During the practical we will execute an unconsolidated undrained test (UU), this is a normally not much performed test. (No effective stresses are measured)
Sample preparation Specimens shall have a height equal to about twice the diameter, with plane ends normal to the axis. The diameter is normally between 35 and 100 mm. Undisturbed specimens shall be prepared with the minimum change of the soil structure and moisture content. The method of preparation shall depend on whether the sample received in the laboratory is contained in a tube of the same internal diameter as the specimen to be tested, or in a tube of larger diameter, or as a block sample. Preparing the sample from a block sample. Cut out an approximately rectangular prism of soil slightly larger than the final dimensions of the specimen. Make the ends of the prism plane and parallel. Put the prism in a soil lathe (fig 5.2.2) and cut off the excess soil in thin layers. Rotate the specimen between each cut until a cylindrical specimen is produced. Take care to avoid disturbance due to torsion effects. Remove the sample from the soil lathe. Cut to the required length and make the ends plane and normal to the specimen axis to within ½ °. A handy way to establish this is by putting the sample in a catch tube, and cutting away the surplus. With the aid of the levelling ring (fig.5.2.4), smooth the ends of the sample by placing the ring on the end of the catch tube and giving the ring a few turns. Do this to both ends of the sample and make sure that the sample does not slide up and down in the catch tube.

Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM, Thimphu Bhutan


Soil mechanics laboratory manual


Fig. 5.2.2, Soil lathe

Preparing the sample from sample tube. (See fig. 5.2.3)


Push the sample tube into the block sample; be sure the sample is long enough. Place the sample tube in the extruder Put on the inner side off catch tube mineral oil or silicone crease 1 = Extruder 2 = Sample tube 3 = Catch tube

Fig. 5.2.3

Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM, Thimphu Bhutan


Soil mechanics laboratory manual



Fasten the catch tube with the fastening fork to the outside of the extruder By turning the screw of the extruder, press the sample out of the sample tube into the catch tube. Separate the sample in the catch tube from the remainder in the sample tube with help of a thread saw With the aid of the levelling ring (fig.5.2.4), smooth the ends of the sample. Placing the ring on the end of the catch tube and giving the ring a few turns Do this to both ends of the sample and make sure that the sample does not slide up and down in the catch tube.

1= Catch tube 2= Sample trimmer 3= Porous discs 4= Specimen

Fig 5.2.4, Catch tube and sample trimmer. Take the weight from sample with catch tube, by subtracting the weight of the catch tube we can calculate the bulk density (fill in your test form). Place footcap and topcap on the ends of the sample. Remove the sample carefully out the catch tube Measure the height and diameter of the sample. (Fill in your test form).

Test Procedure

The procedure describes the test set up for an unconsolidated undrained test In order to obtain a reasonable assessment of the C and φ values, three experiments should be done on three different undisturbed samples of the same soil at three different cell pressures. Place the sample with the foot piece and cap on the base of the pressure cell Place a membrane inside the membrane application tube and fold the ends over the outside of the tube, to fit the membrane snugly against the inside wall of the tube wall suck on the hose to create a vacuum between tube and membrane Slide the membrane application carefully over the sample (see fig. 5.2-4)

Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM, Thimphu Bhutan

5. Thimphu Bhutan .2-4 Remove the suction (vacuum) between the tube and membrane Roll the membrane ends off of the application tube onto the footpiece and cap Seal the membrane to the base pedestal using two rubber O-rings Remove air pockets from between the membrane and the specimen by light stroking upwards Seal the membrane to the pressure cap with two rubber O rings Roll the extra membrane back over the rubber ring Place the cap of the pressure cell over the sample and onto the base plate and fasten it securely with the tie rods Press the piston carefully onto the cap making sure that the piston falls into the circular hole in the sample cap Bring the load plate from the triaxial frame up (see the operation instructions from the triaxial Apparatus). Bring down the base plate from the triaxial machine Open the air vent and drain the water out the cell Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 44 1 = Membrane application 2 = Sucking tube 3 = Membrane 4 = Base pedestal of the pressure cell 5 = Pressure cap Fig. with help from the air regulator cell pressure. until the piston is into contact with the dynamometer (no vertical pressure is exerted on the sample) Open the air vent on the cap off the cell and fill the cell with de-aired water Close the vent tightly Build up the desired pressure in the cell with the air regulator cell pressure and control panel (see the operation instruction of these apparatus) Bring the strain gauge in contact with the datum bar on the top of the cell and adjust to read zero Adjust the dynamometer to read zero Select the machine speed. Start the test and note values of the dial gauge from the dynamometer at certain strain intervals see test form Continue the test until a constant reading is obtained on the dynamometer or at 20% strain Stop the test and remove the pressure from the cell.

Draw the Mohrs circles and measures the values for the internal angle off friction (φ) and cohesion (c).14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 45 - Remove the sample from the cell and sketch the failure pattern Determine water content Reporting After executed at least 3 test with different cell pressure (σ3).2 1. Thimphu Bhutan .0 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.8 1. given by σ1=(σ1-σ3) + σ3 σ3 is the cell pressure (kPa) Graphically plot the values σ1 and σ3 on the horizontal axis.2 0.0 1.6 1.4 1. Temperature at calibration 20 ° C ring serial number 00010105 Gauge reading 0. we can calculated the deviator stress (σ1σ3)m (in kPa). where Calibration chart for load measuring ring 2.8 2. this area will change during the compression stage so we need to make a correction: The corrected area is given for each strain reading on the test form.001 mm 245 481 725 965 1214 1459 1705 1955 2201 2449 Load kN 0. As = area cross section of the specimen. Graphically plot the values of deviator stress against the displacement (in percentage) Calculated the major principal stress σ1 (in kPa).6 0. given by P/As ∗ 1000 in kPa P = is the axial force in N.4 0. dial gauge reading times calibration factor (note: the dial gauge reading is already corrected for the applied cell pressure (σ3) and friction from the piston).0 kN compression.

3.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 46 5.2. The principle of the direct shear test is illustrated in Fig. The soil sample confined inside the upper and lower rigid boxes is subjected to the normal load N. This load is applied by the yoke which is placed on the loading cap and by putting weight on the hanger the specimen is loaded axially. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. friction angle and cohesion of soils for stability analysis of foundation. slopes. The test may take place under drained.3-1 1-Frame EL 28-007 2-Thyristor controlled drive unit 3-Gear box 4-Load ring 5-Weight hanger 6-Lever arm (beam) with counter balance 7-Displacement transducer 8-Loading yoke During the practical we will execute the unconsolidated undrained test! Description of test The direct shear test is used to determine the shear strength of soils on predetermined failure surfaces. undrained or consolidated-undrained conditions. Because of the length of the beam the applied weight has to multiply with a factor 11. Fig 5. Thimphu Bhutan .3 Direct shear test BS 1377: part 7 1990 Scope of the test The direct shear test is used to measure shear strength. 5. and retaining walls.

or saturated.2 The shear force T shears the sample. .1 g. and calculate the initial mass (Mo ) of the specimen. the shear stress τ acting on surface CD is equal to T/A. It can be defined by Mohr-Coulomb theory: τ = C + σ tan φ Where c is the cohesion and φ is the friction angle. the Mohr circle can be drawn at failure. Therefore. However. Preparation procedures depend on the type of soil.Push the specimen out of the cutter and into the shear box keeping its upper face horizontal. During the test.Place the lower porous plate. and the normal stress σ is equal to N/A. The procedure depends on whether the soil is dry and can be poured.Determine the weight of the sample cutter . or damp and needs to be tamped.Push the sample cutter in the soil sample.Weight the specimen in the cutter to 0. Sample preparation Specimens of either cohesive or non-cohesive soil may be tested in the shear box. . Normally three similar specimens are prepared. for testing under three different normal pressures Preparation of specimen of undisturbed cohesive soil.Place the bottom plate. the stress path during direct shear cannot be represented. . If A is the area of surface CD. The sample shall not contain a significant amount of material passing a 63 µm test sieve. Preparation of specimen of cohesion less soil. the stress state is not completely defined: τ and σ are only measured on the horizontal surface.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 47 Fig 5. 10∗10∗2 cm (other sizes are possible). to avoid segregation of fine particles. and is therefore referred to as sand. The size of the largest particle shall not exceed one-tenth of the height of the specimen. but are undetermined on other surfaces. trim it with the wire saw and spatula. Thimphu Bhutan . . Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.3. . until it is bedded on to the lower porous plate. this force is applied by the motorised drive unit and measured with help of the load ring. Loss or gain of moisture by the sample shall be avoided at all stages of preparation. The soil shear strength is the shear stress τ that causes the soil to slip on surface CD. assuming that the failure plane is horizontal and the stress state is uniform.

. . dry and weight it.Top plate with ball bearing N. . .Determine the depth from the top surface of the upper half to the top of the base plate (h1). . (h2).Boil the sand in water for 10 minutes .Weight the total of the unused soil.Sample. . and determined the initial mass of the specimen (mo). .Porous drainage plate .Prepare a quantity of soil somewhat larger than required and determined its mass to 0. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 48 Dry sand: . . . Saturated sand: . .Place or pour the sand directly into the assembled shear box until the appropriate thickness.Bottom plate .Place the lower grooved plate. Thimphu Bhutan .1 g.Porous drainage plate . . .3. .Place the grooved plate.Prepare a quantity of soil somewhat larger than required and determined its mass to 0.Place the bottom plate.Place the lower porous plate. Execution of the test Place the shear box in the sleigh.Determine the depth from the top surface of the upper half to the top of the base plate (h1).Determine the combined thickness of plates to be used for the test (tp).Grooved plate (grooves up.1 g.Place the upper grooved plate firmly on the specimen.Level the surface .Place the saturated sand into the shearbox and compact it by vibration to achieve the desired density. at right angles to shear motion) .Grooved plate (grooves down.Measure the distance from the top of the shearbox to the surface of the grooved plate. . and determine the dry mass of the specimen (mo) by difference. . (with help of the wooden push block) .Fill the shear box from the bottom up with: (see fig 5. . at right angles to shear motion) .Determine the combined thickness of plates to be used for the test (tp).Place the bottom plate.Place the upper grooved plate firmly on the specimen.B. In the case of drained experiments use the grooved plates with the holes.3) .Place the upper porous plate.Measure the distance from the top of the shearbox to the surface of the porous plate (h2). . Collect all surplus sand.

Install the measuring devices to obtain the vertical and horizontal displacement. Shear stress against the normal stress. should be fast enough to approach the undrained condition.1) Start the motor and record the readings on the measuring devices at regular intervals (for example.1 mm/min. Md is the final dry mass of the specimen. Ho is equal to the height of the cutter.) Determine the C and φ values by plotting the max. from the equation ρd = Md ∗ 1000 AH o A is the plan area of the specimen (in mm2) Ho is the initial height of the specimen. ρd (in Mg/m3). for sand a rate of 1 mm/min.3. from the equation Wo = Mo . (see fig 5. and take the initial reading. Wo (in %). The force is applied by placing the slotted weights on the bottom of the hanger. (Ho= h1-h2-tp). For an undisturbed sample.3.3-1) Select the shearing speed. Thimphu Bhutan . Calculate the initial dry density.3 Apply the normal force by placing the load hanger on the ball bearing. τ = P/A × 1000 (in kPa) P = Shear force (in N) A = Is the initial plan area of the specimen (in mm2) Plot the displacement against the shear stress and determine the maximum shear stress. For greater normal forces the slotted weights can put on the hanger from the lever arm.Md ∗ 100 Md Mo is the initial mass of the specimen (in g). (Failure points). Adjust the position of the box such that it is in contact with the screw applying the shearing force and the arm of the top half of the shear box is in contact with the load-measuring device. for an undrained test a rate to approximately 1mm/min. Calculate the normal stress at the moment of the maximum shear stress. Calculate Calculate the initial moisture content. σn = F/A (in kPa) F = mass on the hanger (or equivalent mass if a Lever-arm is used. for sand the effect of the displacement rate on the friction angle is generally negligible within the range 3 to 0. Apply the normal force by placing the load hanger on the ball bearing.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 49 Fig 5. Calculate the shear stress. For greater normal forces the slotted weights may be hung from the lever arm. every 30 seconds) until a constant value is obtained for the load-measuring device. For cohesive material the shearing speed depends of the type of test. (see fig 5. Determine the shear force by correlating the load ring displacement with the force using the calibration chart. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. The force is applied by placing the slotted weights on the bottom of the hanger.

Temperature at calibration 20 ° C Ring serial number 1155-7-13080 Gauge reading 0.6 4.0 4.2 2596.8 φ′ (deg) 28 31-35 24 20 24 25.5 kN compression.4 2068.2 770.6 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 50 Calibration chart for load measuring ring 4.4 2929.6 2.8 13.2 1.8 1.4 12 8.2 3. Undrained shear strength of clays Consistency description Very soft Soft Soft to firm Firm Firm to stiff Stiff Very stiff or hard Undrained shear strength (kN/m²) < 20 20 – 40 40 – 50 50 – 75 75 – 100 100 – 150 > 150 water Content (%) 53 20 31 30-38 48 Plasticity index PI ( %) 27 2-14 24 52 23 32 67 C′ (kPa) 4.5 Typical values of effective cohesion intercept C′ and effective friction angle φ′ for various fine-grained soils (drained test).8 1546. Case record Kimola Canal Trondheim embankment Slope failure in variegated clay shale London clay failures Field test in Oslo clay Kaolin Seven Sisters Dikes Table 1.001mm 387. Thimphu Bhutan .6 Load kN 0.2 1029.9 8-20 7.4 2.2 512.6 1283.8 15 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.8 3.2 2332.0 2.0 1804.

their deformation takes place not only at the time of the load application. which are functions of time and excess pore pressure.1-1 12345678- Consolidation frame Consolidation cell Displacement transducer Loading yoke Counter balance weight Beam Beam support jack Weight hanger Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. a physical process in which the interstitial water that is under excess pressure slowly diffuses through the compressible matrix of soil particles. The properties that characterise the amplitude and rate of deformation are determined in the consolidation test. When fine grained soils are subjected to changes in load due to construction. fine-grained soils can also deform due to their viscous nature. After the excess pore pressure has completely dissipated. Thimphu Bhutan .1 Consolidation test BS 1377: Part 5: 1990 Scope of the test: Consolidation can be defined as the plastic deformation or void-ratio reduction of a soil mass. Fig 6. but also continues for very long time periods which may last several years.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 51 6. The long-term settlement of fine grained soil layers is primarily controlled by consolidation.

The method of preparation shall depend on whether the sample received in the laboratory is contained in a tube of the same internal diameter as the specimen to be tested. During this process water drains out of the specimen.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 52 Description of test A prepared soil specimen is put in a consolidation cell (fig 6. 6.2 Measure the diameter and height of the cutting ring. (Depending to which hole of the beam the hanger is connected) The stress is held constant until the primary consolidation has ceased.1 mm Weigh the ring to an accuracy of 0. Fig 6. resulting in a decrease in height which can be measured with the displacement transducer at suitable intervals. to minimise side friction Place the sample on a glass plate Push the cutting ring into the sample cutting away surplus soil from the outside of the ring as the sample enters it. which is mounted on the cell platform from the consolidation frame.2) and flat ten both sides carefully with the spatula Remove soil particles sticking to the outer side of the ring Weigh the specimen with ring Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Undisturbed specimens shall be prepared with the minimum change of the soil structure and moisture content. This can take a few hours to a few weeks. Thimphu Bhutan . or in a tube of larger diameter.1 gram Lubricate the inner face of the ring lightly with silicon grease.1-2).1. Sample preparation The inside diameter of the cutting ring shall be not less than 50 mm and not greater than 105 mm. Because of the length of the beam the applied weight has to multiply with a factor. from which you will prepare a specimen with help from the cutting ring. For the practical you will get a clay block sample. The height of the ring shall be not less than 18 mm and not greater than 0. depending of the load and sample material.1. The loading yoke is placed on the loading cap and by putting weight on the hanger the specimen is loaded axially. or as a block sample.4 times the internal diameter. with an accuracy of 0. until the top surface projects a few millimetres above the top of the ring Cut of the soil projecting above and below the ring with the wire saw (see fig.

40. and tighten the clamping screws .8. .24 hours -Plot the readings of the dial gauge or the settlement against time to a logarithmic scale (See fig. Add the first load to the hanger to give the required pressure of 174 kPa. (take away the seating load) Start Winclips program.1-4): Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.2.30. 347. Thimphu Bhutan .30 min. place the consolidation cell centrally on the frame platform Adjust the counterbalanced loading beam so that when the loading yoke just make contact with the loading cap the beam is slightly above horizontal position Raise the beam a little more above horizontal position and hold it there with the support jack Swing the loading yoke vertical above the loading cap and slowly lower it Adjust the supports jack so that the bull just touches the seating. 0.10.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 53 Test procedure Assembly of the consolidation cell . the test has to be done for tree load increments starting with a load giving a stress of 174 kPa on the sample.Place the upper porous disc . 6.Place the bottom porous disc on the cell base . the following periods of elapsed time from zero are convenient. 1.1-3 With the loading Yoke swung forward and resting on the beam. 0. Normal procedure is to double the stress at each stage.Place the cell body on the cell base .Place the loading cap centrally on top Clamping screws Loading cap Upper porous disc Cell body Ring retainer Under porous disc Cutting ring Cell base O-ring Fig.1 mm) Add water to the cell Measure with suitable intervals the vertical displacement.50 s 1.Put the cutting ring with specimen centrally in to the cell with its cutting edge uppermost. so that it is securely held. If not otherwise indicated by the laboratory assistant. the ring retainer around the ring.8. Add a small weight to the hanger (the seating pressure on the specimen shall not exceed 2 kPa) Bring the displacement transducer in contact with the loading yoke and set it zero. The applied stress range will therefore be 174.2.4. (trigger on the vertical displacement transducer. 694 kPa.

the decision must be taken whether or not to apply the next load increment.1-4 After 24 hours. to give the required new stress (347 kPa) The procedure has to be carried out at the same way as done for the first load increment. as in figure 6. it indicates that the primary consolidation phase is complete and that the next load increment may be applied.1-4.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 54 Fig. If the dial reading versus log-time shows a flattening out from the steep part of the curve to a straight line which is less steeply inclined. Repeat this procedure for a third load increment. the load should be left unchanged for another 24 hours. When it has been established the loading stage may be terminated: Applied the second load on hanger.6. Thimphu Bhutan . After completion the last load increment takes out the consolidation ring Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. If the straight line representing secondary compression has not yet been established.

e. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.026 H 2 t 50 Expressed in m2/year With: H = H1 + H 2 were. Their intersection gives the compression corresponding to theoretical 100 % primary compression. Locate the corrected zero point by marking off the difference in ordinates between any two points on the initial (convex-upwards) portion of the curve having times in the ratio 1:4. and analysis has to be made following Casagrandes method. and laying off an equal distance above the upper point. and take the average as the corrected zero compression point (d o Draw and extend the tangents to the two linear portions of the laboratory curve. at the point of inflexion. Thimphu Bhutan . Repeat this operation using two other pairs of points having times in the same ratio. From the zero and 100% points. Calculate the dry density (if no material has been lost during the test). any soil adhering to them should be scraped off and returned to the sample Wipe the outside of the ring dry and weight the sample with the ring Place sample with ring in the oven for 24 h. locate the 50 % primary compression point.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 55 - Remove the porous discs carefully. 2 H1= Height of specimen at start of a loading increment H2= Height of the specimen at the end of that increment t50 = time for 50 % consolidation. t50 (in min). Calculate the coefficient of consolidation with the following equation: Cv = 0. denoted by d100 . on the laboratory curve and obtain its time.1-4. Plot the settlement versus log-time curve. i. to determine the coefficient of consolidation Cv for each increment of loading. d50. to calculate the moisture content and dry-weight. Reporting Calculate the bulk mass density and moisture content before and after the test. expressed in minutes. and the secondary compression portion. The principle of the method is illustrated in fig 6. Take the dry weight.

Thimphu Bhutan . thereby increasing the dry density of the soil. one size of mould should be used consistensily. Three types of compaction test are described.A steel straightedge. about 300 mm long and 3 mm thick. 2-Heavy manual compaction test.Metal rammer: Light test: 50 mm diameter face.5 mm British Standard sieves.2) Apparatus used . Note: For highly permeable soils such as clean gravel’s.5 kg.CBR mould. as described in chapter 7. .Mixer.5 mm size. weight of 2. . using a 4.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 56 7. the results of the laboratory compaction test may provide only a poor guide for specifications on field compaction The laboratory test might indicate meaningless values of moisture content in these free-draining materials and the maximum dry density is often lower than the state of compaction which can be readily obtained in the field. For a series of tests on a particular soil. which can be achieved.5 kg rammer. Heavy test: 50 mm diameter face.Watertight containers or strong polythene bags . For both these tests a compaction mould of 1 L. For a given degree of compaction of a given cohesive soil there is an optimum moisture content at which the dry density obtained reaches a maximum value. depends on the degree of compaction applied and on the amount of water present in the soil. with one bevelled edge.5 kg. If there is a limited amount of particles up to 37. sliding freely in a tube. .5mm.A drying oven capable of maintaining a temperature of 105 C to 110 C. equivalent tests are carried out in the larger CBR mould.20 mm and 37.Jacking apparatus for extracting the compacted material from the mould. which controls the height of drop to 450 mm . weight of 4. 3-Compaction with a vibration hammer.2 . internal volume is used for soil in which all particles pass a 20 mm test sieve. Detachable base plate and removable extension collar figure 7. using a 2.1. .1. in the CBR mould (See chapter 7. The dry density. . For these soils the test description for determination of maximum and minimum dry densities for granular soils would be more appropriate. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Specifications for compaction by rammer in the CBR mould are based on the same compactive effort per unit volume of soil as in the 1L compaction mould. .1.1 Proctor test BS 1377:Part 4: 1990 Determination of dry density/moisture content relationship Scope of the test Compaction of soil is the process by which the solid particles are packed more closely together. usually by mechanical means. For cohesion less soils an optimum moisture content might be difficult to define. uniformly graded and coarse clean sands.A cylindrical mould with an internal diameter 105mm and an internal effective height of 115.Balance readable to 5 g. each with procedural variations related to the nature of the soil: 1-Light manual compaction test. min 5 litres.2.5 kg rammer. sliding freely in a tube which controls the height of drop to 300 mm figure 7.

1 British standard compaction mould Sample preparation Fig 7. a suitable amount of water should be added Light test: Sandy + gravely soils: 4-6% (200-300 ml water on 5 kg of soil) Cohesive soils: 8-10 % below the plastic limit Heavy test: Sandy + gravely soils: 3-5% (150-250 ml water on 5 kg of soil) Cohesive soils: 15 % below the plastic limit .2 Ordinary test rammer The quantity of soil required.1.On the basis of these percentage the soil can be assigned to one of the grading zones (1) to (5) in table1. 7. For soils not susceptible to crushing. one sample only is required for test and it can be used several times. depend on the size of the largest particles present and if the particles are susceptible to crushing during compaction. Thimphu Bhutan . Table 1 Grading Minimum zone Percentage passing test sieve 20 mm % 1 100 2 95 3 70 4 70 5 70 x Less than 70 Minimum Mass of prepared soil required A kg 6 6 15 15 15 Test not applicable Type of mould used B kg 15 15 40 40 40 1L CBR 37. is air dried and weighed = w1 . Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Determine the approximate percentage by mass of particles in the soil sample passing the 20 mm and 37.Particles larger than 20 mm should be removed by sieving with the 20 mm and 37.The amount of material retaining on the sieves has to be weighed and as a percentage from the total mass calculated.5 mm BS sieve. . .Thorough mixing in of the water is essential.Original bulk sample. and the minimum mass of soil required can be determined. B = Soil particles susceptible to crushing.5 mm test sieves.1.5 mm % 100 100 100 95 90 Less than 90 A = Soil particles not susceptible to crushing.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 57 Fig. . Depending on the soil type.

1.3 After this. the rammer should be moved. First 4 blows according to the pattern of fig. third layer.4 Fit the mould on to the extruder and jack out the soil. Repeat the compaction part so that at least 5 compactions are made. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.1. Of course. Fig. Repeat with: Ordinary test. according to fig. Using the 1L or CBR mould. Now the soil should be compacted by 27 blows for the 1 L mould and 62 blows for the CBR mould. The compacted surface in the extension collar should be about 6 mm above the level of the mould body. Thimphu Bhutan . place a quantity of moist soil in the mould that when compacted it occupies a little over one-third of the height of the mould body for the “ordinary” test and one-fifth for the “heavy” test Place the guide tube gently on the soil and hold it vertically.1. -if necessary execute the CBR test (chapter 7.2) fig 7. 7. third. -Cohesive soils: 2.3 between the successive blows. Any small cavities. Heavy test.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 58 Execution of the test - - Weigh the mould = m1 Connect the extension collar to the mould Add loose soil to the mould. approximately equal.1. approximately as follows: -Sandy+ gravely soils 1-2% (50-100 ml of water to 5 kg of soil). 7. should be filled up with fine material. Add an increment of water. the range of moisture contents should be such that the optimum moisture content is within that range. Break up what is left over from the compacted sample and mix it with the remainder of the prepared sample.4) Remove the extension collar carefully and cut away the excess soil and level off the top of the mould.1. Now the moisture content has to be measured by taking three representative samples. fourth and fifth layer.4% (100-200 ml of water to 5 kg of soil).3 Sequence of blows -Weigh the soil + mould (m2).(see fig 7. 7. Place a second. Break up the sample on a tray. With this. layer of soil in the mould and compact it with 27 or 62 blows in the same way as described above. the blows are uniformly distributed over the whole area. resulting from removed stones. Mix in the water thoroughly for each increment of water added.

ρ: Bulk density ρ = m2-m1 V Mg/m3 Where m1 = mass of mould and base plate m2 = mass of soil and mould and base plate V = volume of the mould. Draw a curve of best fit to the plotted points and identify the position of the maximum on this curve. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Calculate the average moisture content.1. for each compacted specimen. W %. which is the optimum moisture content for this degree of compaction. Calculate the corresponding dry density: ρd = 100 ρ 100 + W Mg/m3 Where ρd = the dry density (Mg/m3) W = the moisture content (%) Plot each dry density. Thimphu Bhutan . W. against the corresponding moisture content.5 graph of dry density-moisture content Calculations Calculate the Bulk density.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 59 Fig 7. Read off the maximum dry density and the corresponding moisture content.

1. Reporting Description of the soil The maximum dry density for the stated degree of compaction is reported to the nearest 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 60 The curve for 0.5. 5. Thimphu Bhutan . 2. 7. and 10% air voids may be plotted on the same graph. Which procedure was followed.5kg rammer method Whether the test was carried out on a single sample or on separate batches.5% Exceeding 10%: to the nearest 1% The percentage of stones retained on the 20mm sieve is reported to the nearest 1%. expressed as a percentage of the total volume of the soil (equal to 0%.001 Mg/m3. 10 % for the purpose of this plot. - Remarks It is possible to combine this test with the CBR test References: - K. BS 1377:Part 4: 1990 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.2% From 5% to 10%: to the nearest 0. 5 %.5kg rammer method British Standard 4. Pentech Press. These curves are calculated with the following equation: ρd = Va 100 W 1 + ρ s 100 ρ w 1− where ρd = the dry density (Mg/m3) ρs = the particle density (Mg/m3) ρw = the density of water (Mg/m3) Va = the volume of air voids in the soil. British Standard 2. London. The optimum moisture content is reported as follows: Below 5%: to the nearest 0.H. W = the moisture content (%) An example of such a graph is given by fig. Head (1982). Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing: Vol.

The load-measuring device depends on the CBR-value. 20 mm and 37. with one bevelled edge. a load ring with a range of 0-50KN is needed. With this test. min 5 litres Fig 7. is an empirical test.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 61 7. fittings and tools. Thimphu Bhutan . Mixer. a load ring with a range of 0-10Kn is needed. is defined as the California Bearing Ratio (CBR). about 300 mm long and 3 mm thick.1 General arrangement for CBR test Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. A seating load of 250N has to be applied. or CBR-test.2. CBR mould. At certain values of penetration the ratio of the applied force to a standard force. can be estimated. With a CBR value above 30%. expressed as a percentage. with a constant penetration rate of 1 mm/min. as described in chapter 7. The displacement-measuring device must have a range of 25 mm and scale units of 0. capable of weighing up to 25 kg readable to 5 g. which is used as an important criterion in pavement design.01 mm. the bearing value of highway sub-bases and sub-grades.5 mm British Standard sieves. With a CBR value up to 30%. Apparatus used - Motor-drive compression machine.2 Balance. A steel straightedge. A standardised CBR mould.2 Californian bearing ratio test BS 1377:Part 4: 1990 Scope of the test This method covers the laboratory determination of the California Bearing Ration (CBR) of a compacted or undisturbed sample of soil. A seating load of 50N has to be applied. Watertight containers or strong polythene bags A drying oven capable of maintaining a temperature of 105 C to 110 C. The Californian Bearing Ratio test. The principle is to determine the relation between force and penetration when a cylindrical plunger with a standard cross-section area is made to penetrate the soil at a given rate.

required to just fill the CBR mould of volume (cm3) is given by the equation: M1 = Where W = the moisture content of the soil (%) ρd = the specified dry density (Mg/m3) Vm = volume of the mould (m3) Air voids specification. water shall be added or removed from the natural soil. expressed as a percentage of the total volume of the soil (equal to 0%.2-1 gives an overview from the sample preparation methods for the CBR test. dynamic compaction by hand or mechanical rammer. Thimphu Bhutan . either to achieve a specified density in method 3 and 4 or to provide a specified compactive effort Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 5 %. W = the moisture content (%) Compactive effort specification: About 6 kg of soil shall be prepared for each sample to be tested. the test material must be sieved with the BS 20 mm sieve. To make comparison possible. If the soil contains particles larger than 20 mm. or by vibrating hammer. After bringing the sample to the required moisture content the soil shall be thoroughly mixed and shall normally be sealed and stored for at least 24 h before starting compaction. the dry density ρd (Mg/m3). corresponding to an air voids content of Va (%) is given by the equation: Vm (100 + W ) ρ d 100% 100 ρd = Va 100 W 1 + ρ s 100 ρ w 1− where ρd = the dry density (Mg/m3) ρs = the particle density (Mg/m3) ρw = the density of water (Mg/m3) Va = the volume of air voids in the soil. If this fraction is more than 25 % the test is not applicable. The moisture content of the soil shall be chosen to represent the design conditions for which the test results are required. Where a range of moisture contents is to be investigated. In the other methods.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 62 Sample Preparation. The mass of soil required for the test shall be calculated or estimated. the soil conditions (Bulk density. When the density or air voids content of a compacted sample is specified the exact amount of soil required for the test can be calculated as follows. Table 7. The initial mass shall be measured so that the mass used for the test sample can be determined after compaction by difference. is used. Dry density specification. moisture content on dry density) have to be known. 10 % for the purpose of this plot). Six methods are described in the British Standard for the preparation of disturbed samples for the CBR test. The CBR test shall be carried out on material passing the 20 mm test sieve. as a check. the mass of soil M1 (g). In methods 1 and 2 static compaction is used to achieve a specified density.

2-2 Compaction in CBR mould equivalent to BS compaction mould Execution of the test. Each surcharge ring Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. The mould with the sample and the surcharge weights is placed in the machine. - The load-measuring device is connected to the compression machine. in order to get an optimal compaction.5 4. diameter 49.5 30-40* 5. Ensure that the blows are evenly distributed over the surface Table 7.5 4. Thimphu Bhutan .0 lb * Downward force (kgf) to be applied. is connected to the load-measuring device. table 7.2-2 gives the details of the compaction. This is because the compaction takes place in stages. The cylindrical plunger. of layers 3 5 5 3 3 5 Blows per layers 62 62 30 (60 s) 61 61 56 56 Type of compaction BS ‘ordinary’ (BS 1377) BS ‘heavy’ (BS 1377) Intermediate Vibrating hammer ASTM ‘Standard’ Modified AASHO 10.2-1 The sample has to be divided in equal parts of weights according to the number of layers mentioned in table 7. from a certain height performs the compaction.5 mm and cross-sectional area of 1935 mm2 and a length of 250 mm. Dropping a certain weight several times.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 63 in methods 5 and 6.2-2. Mass (kg) 2.5 lb Rammer drop (mm) 300 450 450 (vibration) 12 in 18 in No. Table 7. depending on the required way of compaction.

have to be plotted in a load penetration diagram. must be added. Calculation - The data. .B.-value.The same calculation is done for 5 mm penetration. starting with zero at this new point. . the tangent has to be drawn until it cuts the horizontal axis.2.This cutting point must then be taken as the new origin point and a new penetration scale. with a CBR value of 100%.Data and testing procedure.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 64 - of 2 kg is equivalent to about 70-mm thickness of superimposed construction. .2. disturbed.R. Figure 7. . After 7. The plunger must be seated on top of the specimen and must be able to move freely from the surcharge weight. . After removing the sample from the mould. .5 mm penetration. Reporting .Lithology. the moisture content has to be determined. .2. The load at 2. The CBR-value is then: CBR = load at 2. Reading of the load-measuring device has to be taken with every 0.The load-penetration curve is normally convex upwards.5 and 5 mm penetration. The seating load has to be applied by weight.If not.Data on the sample. Thimphu Bhutan . Adjust the displacement-measuring device to read zero. a correction has to be applied: figure 7.5 and 5.Way of compaction used.25 mm displacement.From the inflection point.Description of the testing machine and stress rate used.2.Type of load. . moisture content and natural moisture content.Table with all readings.5 mm penetration from test × 100% load at 2. undisturbed etc. Switch to motor drive and start the loading.2 for the standard load for 2. particle size distribution.Type of sample.C. obtained with the test. The same has to be done from the diagram of the standard CBR test. .The highest of the two is then the CBR-value. test 1 . Correction .and displacement measuring devices. weathering grade.5 mm penetration from standard .Load penetration diagram.2. .0 mm penetration has to be read from this diagram. with a loading rate of 1 mm/min. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. test2 . . the machine can be stopped. if necessary with construction of the direction. see figure7.

2. Thimphu Bhutan . References . no correction required Test 2.H.K. Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing: Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.2 Tree types of load penetration curve from CBR tests: Test 1. Head (1982). correction as (B) may not be valid. Remarks Usually.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 65 Fig 7. correction required Test 3. the CBR-test is combined with the proctor test.

but field inspection and testing is beyond the scope of this laboratory guide. For the indirect assessment of permeability careful inspection of the soil. The difference between the permeability characteristics of extreme types of soil is merely one of degree.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 66 Permeability tests Introduction The permeability of a soil is a measure of its capacity to allow the flow of a fluid (a liquid or a gas in general water) through it. Thimphu Bhutan . The principle is that soil consists of solid particles with voids between them. The "coefficient of permeability" in expressed in terms of a velocity. Clays are not completely impermeable. In general the voids are interconnected. from gravel’s and sands to clays. which is fully saturated and measuring the consequent rate of flow of water. Permeability can also be derived from data obtained during an oedometer test. The falling head test is a permeability test in which the piezometer tube used for measuring the head also provides the water. These procedures are useful either when it is not practicable to make a direct measurement. Falling head test. There are two types of laboratory tests for the direct measurement of the permeability of soils: Constant head test-for soils of high permeability. which enables water to pass through them. are required. are governed by the same physical laws. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.for soils of intermediate and low permeability. Permeability tests on natural disturbed soil are probably carried out more frequently in-situ than in the laboratory. or as a check on direct measured values. although they may appear to be so if the rate of low through them is not greater than the rate of evaporation loss. and therefore the level falls during the test. even though clay can be ten million times less permeable than sand. which passes through the sample. The flow of water through soils of all types. such as sands. such as silts and clays. The method used for measuring permeability depends upon the characteristics of the material. The degree of permeability is determined by applying a hydraulic difference across a sample of soil. The constant head test is a permeability test in which water is made to flow through a soil sample under a constant difference in head or hydraulic gradient. together with a properly conducted particle size analysis.

or when used as bases courses under pavements.A calibrated thermometer reading to 0. Direct proportionality of velocity of flow with hydraulic gradients below certain values. at which turbulent flow starts. Sample preparation Sample .A large plastic funnel .A representative sample of air-dried granular soils.Permeameter cell conform the standard .1 consist of: . 3.Measuring cylinders of 100 mL. . The grading of the filter material depends on the particle size distribution of the test sample. Continuity of flow with no soil volume change during a test. Fundamental Test Conditions The following ideal test conditions are prerequisites for the laminar flow of water through granular soils under constant head conditions. and 1000mL capacity .A vertical adjustable reservoir tank capable of maintaining a constant –head of water supply .5 oC . . The procedure is to establish representative values of the coefficient of permeability of granular soils that may occur in natural deposits as placed in embankments.A balance readable to 1 g. Flow in the steady state with no changes in hydraulic gradient. Flow with the soil voids saturated with water and no bubbles in the soil voids. . Thimphu Bhutan . Scope of the test This method covers the determination of the coefficient of permeability by a constant head method for the laminar flow of water through granular soils. .1.A steel rule graduated to 0.A discharge reservoir with overflow to maintain a constant level. 500mL.Filter material of a suitable grading for placing adjacent to the perforated plates at each end of the permeameter.Two discs of wire gauze or porous material fitting inside the cell . 1.5mm . In order to limit consolidation influences during testing. Apparatus used Permeameter set-up fig 8. containing less than 10% of the material passing the 63µm sieve and equal to an amount sufficient to satisfy the requirements prescribed in (2) and Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. this procedure is limited to disturbed granular soils containing not more than 10% soil passing the 63-um sieve. The filter material grading limits should lie between four times the 15% passing size and four times the 85% passing size of the test sample.A scoop small enough to fit inside the permeameter .Internal calliper.A set of manometer tubes connected to the cell with flexible tubes including a (pinch) valve .1 Constant head test BS 1377 part 5 Permeability of granular soils.A flat-ended tamping rod long enough to reach to the bottom of the permeameter and about 10mm diameter. 2. The material should be well graded between those limits.A stopwatch readable to 1 s. .A scoop for placing soil in the funnel .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 67 8. 4.A supply of clean de-aerated water to the constant head reservoir .

1. 8. Thimphu Bhutan . A sieve analysis shall be made on a representative of the complete soil. select by the method of quartering. a sample for testing equal to an amount approximately twice that for filling the permeameter chamber. All particles larger than one-twelfth of the diameter of the permeameter cell shall be removed. Take a small portion of the selected sample for moister content and particle density determinations. prior to the permeability test. Weight the remainder of the prepared sample to 1g (m1) Fig. The percentage of the oversize material shall be recorded.1 Constant head test Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 68 - (3) below. shall be selected by the method of quartering. From the material from which the oversize has been removed.

8. to the permeameter cell body. (if the sample is placed under water start with step 4) 1. W1. This will result in a saturated sample in a loose condition.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 69 Preparation of the specimens . Open the manometer tube valves and ensure that no air is trapped in the flexible tubing. Tamp each layer with a controlled number of standard blows with the tamping rod. Set the inlet reservoir at a level a little above the top of the permeameter cell and open the supply valve. and close the connections to the manometer tubes 2. Avoid segregation.Place the prepared soil into the permeameter in such a way as to give a homogeneous deposit at the required density or voids ratio. The cell is now ready for test under the normal conditions of downward flow.Dry the soil left over and determines the mass to the nearest 1g (m2).Place the graded filter material on top of the disc to a depth of at least 50mm .Place the upper wire gauze or porous disc on top of the prepared sample. Connect the control valve on the base of the cell to the de-aerated water supply and allow de-aerated water to enter the cell to a height of about 15mm above the porous disc. . A. of the permeameter. which shall be maintained at about 15mm above the surface of the placed material by admitting moor water through the base valve. . D. so that the dry mass of the soil used in the test sample can be obtained by difference m1. Connect the de-aerated water supply to the permeameter top connection. If higher density is required.(investigation piping effects). 3. and connect the control valve at the base to the discharge reservoir. raising the funnel so that the end of the tubing is just at the water surface.1. 7. with perforated base. 5. . each with a thickness of about ½ the diameter. Support the funnel so that the tubing reaches to about 15mm above. fit the control valve connected to the discharge reservoir. and then from the top connection. Thimphu Bhutan .m2. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Allow de-aerated water to enter the cell and slowly percolate upwards through the sample until it emerges first from the air bleed. Placing and compaction shall be done by one of the following methods. . which is then closed. L (in mm) 4.Lower the piston carefully and bed the perforated plate on the filter material.Record the height of the test sample. . . If a test with upward flow is required. 6.1) Inside diameter. Distances between manometer outlets X1.Fill the permeameter cell with water and saturate the sample as follows. . Hold the piston down firmly and tighten the locking collar in this position. Measure the length of the sample again. tamp or vibrate the material during placement.Assemble the base plate. Hand tamping: Place the soil sample in at least four uniform layers. The final height:diameter ratio of the test sample shall be not less than 2:1. without entrapping air. for unit Weight determinations. Open the top connection and the air bleed to atmosphere. X2.Fit the top plate . Connect the control valve on the base of the permeameter to the de-aerated water supply.Place the graded filter material in the bottom of the cell to a depth of about 50mm and place a wire gauze or porous disc on top.Release the piston in the top plate and withdraw it to its fullest extent. The water in all tubes shall reach the level of the reservoir surface. Placing under water: Thoroughly mix the prepared soil with de-aerated water and place the mixture in a suitable funnel fitted with a bung and length of flexible tubing. Saturation . B. L in mm as an average of three measurements .Record the weight of the remaining air-dried sample. .Make the following initial measurements: (see fig. Release the soil and water mixture into the cell. and record the average measurement. to the top of the cell and connect the de-aerated water supply to the base. Continue until the cell is filled to the required level. Close the control valve.

Repeat the measurement at least four times. downward flow fig 8. .2 Test procedure.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 70 fig 8.If needed the hydraulic gradient can be increased by increasing the height of the inlet reservoir. t where: q = the rate flow in mL/s Q1 = is the volume of water (mL) collected from the outlet reservoir during the time interval t t = time interval in s Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. . . q1 = Q1 etc. Thimphu Bhutan .Adjust the height of the inlet reservoir to a suitable level. . Allow the water levels in the manometer tubes to become stable before starting measurements. If the levels indicate a significant nonuniformity of the hydraulic gradient remove and replace the sample.Open the control valve at the base to produce flow through the sample.2 is suitable. Calculations Calculate the rate of flow q1 and q2 etc. . in mL/s during the period of each observation.Record the temperature of the water in the discharge reservoir. Often a hydraulic gradient of . .Place a measuring cylinder of suitable capacity under the outlet from the discharge reservoir and simultaneously start the timer .Measure the quantity of water collected in the cylinder during a given interval of time.Record the levels of water in the manometer tubes. Alternatively record the time required to fill the cylinder up to a given volume.

between the uppermost and lowest manometer: i= h y where I = the hydraulic gradient h = the difference between the two manometer levels in mm y = the height difference between the corresponding manometer connections on the cell Calculate the coefficient of permeability. T in oC 5 10 15 20 25 30 k q i Rt Correction factor Rt 1. plot the calculated values of rate of flow. Thimphu Bhutan . q against hydraulic gradient. k in m/s. e = ρs −1 ρd Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 71 Calculate the hydraulic gradient. Draw the straight line of best fit through the plotted points and determine its slope ∆q ∆i When a range of hydraulic gradients is used the coefficient of permeability of the sample may be calculated from the equation: ⎛ ∆q ⎞ ⎛ Rt ⎞ k =⎜ ⎟⎜ ⎟ ⎝ ∆i ⎠ ⎝ A ⎠ Calculate the dry mass and of the initial sample Calculate the dry density ρd with the volume measurements of the sample in the permeameter cell If we know the particle density ρ s we can also calculate the void ratio. derived from table 8. Table 8. for one set of readings: ⎛ q ⎞⎛ R ⎞ k = ⎜ ⎟⎜ t ⎟ ⎝ i ⎠⎝ A ⎠ where = the coefficient of permeability in m/s = the rate flow in mL/s = the hydraulic gradient = the temperature correction factor for the viscosity of water.8 If a test have been carried out on different hydraulic gradients.5 1. A = the area of cross section of the sample in mm2.885 0.15 1 0.1 to standardize the permeability to 20 oC. I. i.1.3 1.1.1: temperature conversion table Laboratory temperature.

k in m/s.The coefficient of permeability for other conditions. if relevant . k on log scale against density or voids ratio if appropriate.The dry density and if required the voids ratio . . . to two significant figures. .The coefficient of permeability.Information on the method used including the standard followed.The method of placing and compacting the test sample. Thimphu Bhutan . .A plot of coefficient of permeability.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 72 Reporting results .The proportion and size of oversize material removed before preparing the test sample. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.The dimensions of the permeameter . for laminar flow corrected to 20 o C.The particle size distribution curve. .

Measure the mean internal diameter. to the nearest 0. The sample may be prepared in the usual manner with its axis vertical. flowing through the sample. Thimphu Bhutan . D and E as long as necessary to fill respectively the tubes 3. Several standpipes of different diameters are normally available from which can be selected the diameter most suitable for the type of material being tested. and weigh to the nearest 0. The tube should be pushed in squarely with a steady pressure. It is essential to ensure that the sample is a tight fit in the cellbody. which has a sharp cutting edge. Choose for the permeability measurement tube 3. D. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. for a distance of about 90 mm. Fill the cylinder with de-aired water. or with plasticine. Preparation of sample. Use some of the soil trimmings for determining the moisture content of the sample. Fill the cylinder up to level 6 with water.2 Falling Head Permeability Tests. If the areas of cross-section. or with its axis horizontal (or parallel to bedding) for measurement of horizontal permeability (or permeability parallel to bedding). Open valve A and start the vacuum pump (50 cm Hg) Due to this vacuum the test sample will become saturated with water from the bottom to the top. m1. the water level in the 10 mentioned tube y2. 4 and 5. they should be determined. The procedure described below follows generally accepted practice. Close valve A if the water reaches level 2 and stop the vacuum pump. 7. Weigh the sample in the cell to the nearest 0. Close valve F. Preparation of apparatus. E. i. Place the permeameter cell containing the sample in the cylinder (see figure).Measure after a certain time interval. 13. 15.5 mm. a relatively short sample is connected to a standpipe. Permeability of fine soils.1 g. C.e. and F are closed. a.0001 m/s). Before withdrawing the tube it should be rotated one complete turn to shear off the soil at the end. See that the cell body is clean and dry. Open valve B and F and when the water has reached level 1 close valve B. Repeat this several times until you measure a constant value.Measure the water level in the cylinder hO.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 73 8. silts clay. Control that valves A. D. Open the valve of the in 10 mentioned tube and open valve B. Test procedure. Close the cell.1 g. which provides both the head of water and the means of measuring the quantity of water. t. Gaps or cavities should be well packed with the fine matrix portion of the soil. 4 or 5 depending on the expected permeability of the sample. for measurement of vertical permeability. of the three manometer tubes are not known. The block sample should be firmly supported on a flat surface. Scope The falling head permeability test is used for measuring the permeability of soils of intermediate and low permeability (less than 0. but the sides around the sampling location should not be laterally restrained. B. m2. Measure the start level in the tube y1. A cylindrical test specimen may be obtained from a block sample of soft or fairly firm clay by pushing a U-100 cutting shoe. Note: This test is not covered by British Standards. and that there are no cavities around the perimeter through which water could pass. or by ASTM Standards. Open respectively valves C.

H. L = length of sample (m). h2 = end level manometer tube =y1-hO (m).1 permeameter test falling head Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Plymouth. If necessary the permeability can be expressed as the permeability at 20 °C by multiplying it by a factor obtained from the temperature conversion table 8. Remarks Permeability can also be derived from data obtained during an oedometer test. Head. Pentech Press London.hO (m). References: Manual of Soil laboratory Testing. h1 = start level manometer tube = y1 .00001 ⎝ h2 ⎠ Kt = A∗t Where: (m/s) Kt = permeability (m/s) a = cross section area of used manometer tube (mm2). Volume 2: Permeability Shear Strength and Compressibility Tests. Calculation.1. A = cross section area of sample in permeameter cell (mm2). The permeability of the sample is calculated by: ⎛ h1 ⎞ ∗ a ∗ L ∗ log⎜ ⎟ ∗ 0. t = measured time interval (s). By: K.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 74 Close all the valves. Thimphu Bhutan . fig 8.

and the scale readings on the penetrometer penetrometer correspond to unconfined compressive strength.35mm diameter)r readings as indicated on the scale For the largest point (8. drying etc. determining the approximate unconfined compressive strength and the estimation of the undrained shear strength. The instrument should not be used for obtaining foundation design data. diameter 8. a flat-tipped measuring pin. 6 mm) is level with the surface. The readings on the penetrometer are given for this point the range is up to 1MPa. (with the heavy duty penetrometer up to the narrowing) The penetrometer is now extracted from the soil and the equivalent unconfined compressive strength can be read from the scale in MPa. a spring. Range up to 0. Report your values in kPa Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.55mm diameter) readings multiplied by 2. A drag unit is taken along during this operation. The penetrometer is placed perpendicularly on the soil surface and pressure is exerted until the calibration mark (approx. Be sure that the sliding indicator not slides back if the penetrometer is extracted from the soil.1: Pocket compression tests on the same series of samples. which shows on the scale the maximum that has been encountered. Range up to 2MPa Test procedure Before using the penetrometer ensure that the sliding indicator. This reduce mistaken and uncertainties typical of shallow measurements which are often affected by remoulding.98mm has a area twice the standard point.89mm diameter) readings divided by 2 For the smallest point (4. the undrained shear strength of purely cohesive materials can be obtained by dividing the UCS reading by two.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 75 9. Apparatus The pocket penetrometer is composed of a steel tube. a drag unit.1. This force compresses the spring. In theory. For the standard point (6. Warning The readings obtained from the pocket penetrometer do not replace laboratory test results due mainly to the fact that a small area penetration test is inherently liable to give misleading results. of the surface. The smallest point has a section half of that of the standard. When pushing the instrument into the ground. These tests were run concurrently with unconfined Figure 0. It is a lightweight and easily transportable device for classifying cohesive soils in terms of consistency. The standard point has a diameter of 6. Heavy duty pocket penetrometer Scope of the test The pocket penetrometer is intended for in situ soil investigation at the surface. The values read on the scale must be divided by 2.1 Pocket penetrometer. is fully extended to the "0" position. Smooth the surface of the area to be tested. Thimphu Bhutan . The values read on the scale must be multiplied by 2. The pocket penetrometer should be regarded as a simple tool to aid the engineer in exploration and in checking and comparing similar types of soil. Calculation and interpretation of the test results The calibration of the instrument is based on many tests on clays ranging from soft to very hard. The heave duty penetrometer has 3 interchangeable points. and a scale.35mm. The heavy duty penetrometer has a special designed penetration rod which allows relatively deep penetration of the soil (up to 6cm).5MPa. the pin encounters a force of the ground. The largest point.

.Note the reading on the graduated scale. When the Body is turned. The range of the instrument is form 0 to 120kPa when two different sizes of vanes are used. allow it to return to zero-position.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 76 9.: Do not touch or in any way disturb the position of the pointer needle until the reading is taken. . N. .: Do not allow the body to spring back. Thimphu Bhutan . failure and maximum shear strength is obtained in the clay at the vane.Connect required vane to the inspection vane instrument. N. 0 to 120 kPa Test procedure . which makes it possible to measure shear strength of 0 to 28 and . The accuracy of the instrument should be within 10% of the reading. . It is primarily intended for use in trenches and excavation at a depth not influenced by drying and excavation procedure.When the reading is taken pull the vane up. Note: When coupling and uncoupling vanes and rods always use both spanners to avoid straining the spring which could ruin the accuracy of this calibrated instrument . N. By means of a graduated scale on the dial plate the shear strength of the clay is obtained. Two sizes of four-bladed vanes are used: 19mm (readings on the outer-scale) and a 33mm (readings on the inner-scale).: Do not twist inspection vane during penetration.Push vane into the ground to a depth of about 70-80mm with as little sideways movement as possible.Write down the reading together with position of hole and depth.B.When the pointer needle is not increasing anymore (stays on the same reading) or the pointer even falls back. .2 Pocket Hand vane tester Scope of the test The vane is used to measure the in-situ undrained shear strength in clays.Turn body clockwise with a constant speed equivalent to one complete revolution in a minute.B. The size of this displacement depends on the torque. . Special procedure Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.After use always put back the plastic cover over de body.B. . .Make sure that the pointer needle is set to the zero reading. the spring deforms and the Dog plate and the Bogy of the instrument get a mutual angular displacement. which is necessary to turn the vane. Apparatus The measuring part of the instrument is a spiral-spring.Remove the plastic cover .Holding the body firmly.

Calculations With the 19mm vane we read from the outer scale directly the undrained shear strength in kPa With the 33mm vane we read from the inner scale directly the undrained shear strength in kPa Report your value as the undrained shear strength determined with the hand vane.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 77 When measuring the shear strength at greater depths we can ad extension rods. the friction between the clay and the extension rods can be appreciable preferable we take the measurements in a borehole. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Thimphu Bhutan .

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