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EXPERIMENT 11 CONSOLIDATION TEST
Purpose: This test is performed to determine the magnitude and rate of volume decrease that a laterally confined soil specimen undergoes when subjected to different vertical pressures. From the measured data, the consolidation curve (pressure-void ratio relationship) can be plotted. This data is useful in determining the compression index, the recompression index and the preconsolidation pressure (or maximum past pressure) of the soi. In addition, the data obtained can also be used to determine the coefficient of consolidation and the coefficient of secondary compression of the soil. Standard Reference: ASTM D 2435 - Standard Test Method for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soils. Significance: The consolidation properties determined from the consolidation test are used to estimate the magnitude and the rate of both primary and secondary consolidation settlement of a structure or an earthfill. Estimates of this type are of key importance in the design of engineered structures and the evaluation of their performance. Equipment: Consolidation device (including ring, porous stones, water reservoir, and load plate), Dial gauge (0.0001 inch = 1.0 on dial), Sample trimming device, glass plate, Metal straight edge, Clock, Moisture can, Filter paper.
Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. Krishna Reddy, UIC

120

Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. Krishna Reddy, UIC

Using the metal straight edge. Be careful throughout the trimming process to insure that there is no void space between the sample and the ring. Rotate the ring and pare off the excess soil by means of the cutting tool so that the sample is reduced to the same inside diameter of the ring. Measure the height (h) of the ring and its inside diameter (d). press the sample gently into the ring and continue until the sample protrudes a short distance through the bottom of the ring. Remove the final portion with extreme care. UIC . Determine the initial moisture content and the specific gravity of the soil as per Experiments 1 and 4. Krishna Reddy. (4) Cut approximately a three-inch long sample. Place the sample on the consolidation ring and cut the sides of the sample to be approximately the same as the outside diameter of the ring. generally thin-walled Shelby tube. cut the soil surface flush with the surface of the ring. Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. (6) Turn the ring over carefully and remove the portion of the soil protruding above the ring. Extrude the soil sample from the sampler. It is important to keep the cutting tool in the correct horizontal position during this process. respectively (Use the data sheets from these experiments to record all of the data).121 Test Procedure: (1) (2) (3) Weigh the empty consolidation ring together with glass plate. (5) As the trimming progresses.

(11) (12) Adjust the dial gauge to a zero reading. (10) Being careful to prevent movement of the ring and porous stones. (8) (9) Weigh the specimen plus ring plus glass plate. Lower the assembly carefully into the base of the water reservoir. turn the ring over again.5 tsf (tons per square foot). Fill the water reservoir with water until the specimen is completely covered and saturated. With the toggle switch in the down (closed) position. open the valve (by quickly lifting the toggle switch to the up (open) position) and start the timing clock.122 (7) Place the previously weighed Saran-covered glass plate on the freshly cut surface. (13) Simultaneously. Press very lightly to make sure that the stones adhere to the sample. Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. Krishna Reddy. set the pressure gauge dial (based on calibration curve) to result in an applied pressure of 0. UIC . place the load plate centrally on the upper porous stone and adjust the loading device. Center the porous stones that have been soaking. Place the filter papers between porous stones and soil specimen. on the top and bottom surfaces of the test specimen. and carefully cut the other end in a similar manner. Carefully remove the ring with specimen from the Saran-covered glass plate and peel the Saran from the specimen surface.

0. 2. Carefully remove the specimen from the consolidation ring. record the final consolidation dial reading and time. weigh them together. (20) Weigh the dry specimen in the moisture can.0.0 and 0. 2.123 (14) Record the consolidation dial readings at the elapsed times given on the data sheet. Quickly but carefully blot the surfaces dry with paper toweling. and 16.5 tsf) (16) At the last elapsed time reading. Krishna Reddy. 1.0. once again.0 tsf and unloading pressures of 8. release the load. Analysis: (1) Calculate the initial water content and specific gravity of the soil. (18) (19) Weigh an empty large moisture can and lid. UIC .0.0. 4. and quickly disassemble the consolidation device and remove the specimen. and place the specimen in the previously weighed moisture can. 4. being sure not to lose too much soil. Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. Place the moisture can containing the specimen in the oven and let it dry for 12 to 18 hours.0. 8. (The specimen will tend to absorb water after the load is released.0. (15) Repeat Steps 11 to 13 for different preselected pressures (generally includes loading pressures of 1.) (17) Place the specimen and ring on the Saran-covered glass plate and.

calculate compression index. See example data. (4) Summarize and discuss the results. D50. and the coefficient of consolidation (cv) using Casagrande’s logarithm of time fitting method. D100.124 (2) For each pressure increment. Plot log pressure versus void ratio. Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. Krishna Reddy. recompression index and preconsolidation pressure (maximum past pressure). UIC . (3) Calculate the void ratio at the end of primary consolidation for each pressure increment (see example data). Determine D0. construct a semilog plot of the consolidation dial readings versus the log time (in minutes). Based on this plot. Also calculate the coefficient of secondary compression based on these plots.

125 EXAMPLE DATA Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. UIC . Krishna Reddy.

wi (%) Specific gravity of solids.5 g = 59.27 % = Floating type = 465.126 Consolidation Test Data Sheets Date Tested: October 05. UIC . Krishna Reddy. Group A Project Name: CEMM315 Lab Sample Number: GB-08-ST-13’-15’ Visual Classification: Gray silty clay Before test Consolidation type Mass of the ring + glass plate Inside diameter of the ring Height of specimen.3 g = 229.5 g = 149.2 g = 14.3 cm = 2.50 g = 208.8 g = 170.4 g = 19. Hi Area of specimen.7 cm = 31.9 g = 6. Gs After test Mass of wet sample + ring + glass plate Mass of can Mass of can + wet soil Mass of wet specimen Mass of can + dry soil Mass of dry specimen. 2002 Tested By: CEMM315 Class. Ms Final moisture content of specimen. wf = 636.67 Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.172 cm2 = 646.5 % = 2. A Mass of specimen + ring Initial moisture content of specimen.

67 × 1 (same before and after test and note ρw = 1 g/cm3) Height of water before test.506 Hs 1.2 g = wi x Ms = 0.792 cm A × G s × ρ w 31.257 cm Height of specimen after test.195*149.7 % Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.172 × 1 Height of water after test.29 g Height of solids.792 = 0.792 = = 0.172 × 2.257 = 2. eo = H i − H s 2.3617 1.127 Calculations Mass of solids in specimen. Krishna Reddy.09 M wi = = 0.1.094 g Mass of water in specimen after test. Si = =102. Hf = Hi .933 H wi = × 100 H i − H s 2.Σ∆H = 2.683 cm 31.443 .7-0. Mwf (g) = wf x Ms = 0.1427*149.792 = 2.792 Void ratio after test. Ms (Mass of dry specimen after test) Mass of water in specimen before test. Hwf = M wf A× ρw = 21. ef = H f − Hs Hs Degree of saturation before test.172 × 1 Change in height of specimen after test.2 = 21. Hwi = 29.2 = 29. UIC . Hs = 149.29 = 0.7 − 1.792 0. Σ∆H (Σ∆H for all pressures – see t vs Dial Reading plots) =0.443 cm Void ratio before test.2 Ms = = 1.933 cm A × ρ w 31.7 − 1. Mwi =149.

443 − 1. Sf = H wf Hf −Hs = 0. ρd = 149.2 Ms = 1.128 Degree of saturation after test.08% Dry density before test.683 × 100 2.792 =105.172 =(110.6 pcf) Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. Krishna Reddy. UIC .77 g/cm3 = H i × A 2.7 × 31.

4 442.5 486 488 496 loading=1 tsf (unloading) time dail reading 0 492.5 8 477.5 441.5 130 160 300 162 1380 169 loading=2 tsf (unloading) time dail reading 0 496 0.06 469.0001 inches) time 0 0.5 1 2 4 10 15 31 60 121 240 562 loading=1 tsf dail reading 0 6 8 11.5 8 454 15 450.5 492 1 490.5 479.5 0.5 0.5 30 492.4 loading=2 tsf (reloading) time dail reading 0 0.5 time 0 0.5 1 495 2 494 4 493.1 0.4 442.5 0.5 446.5 456.5 loading=1 tsf (reloading) time dail reading 0 0.5 215 492.7 441 441.5 4 481.4 445.5 500 Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.3 446.5 25 1 34 2 40 4 54 8 77 15 90 30 126 60 144.129 Table 1: Time .25 0.4 442.25 492.5 930 440.25 0.1 492.5 4 458.5 30 447 60 444.1 13 0.1 0.4 445.3 1 2 4 8 15 30 60 120 290 395 1230 loading=4 tsf dail reading 313 319 328 336 357 375 398 428 453 464 472.5 70 492.1 0.5 257 257.25 0.5 283 286 292.5 0.6 449.1 0.25 18 0.5 440.5 44 472.5 loading=4 tsf (reloading) time dail reading 0 0.15 0.5 1 2 4 8 15 30 60 128 240 335 390 678 1380 1520 loading=2 tsf dail reading 255 255.1 0.25 0.1 0.1 445.5 1 2 4 8 15 30 60 120 loading= ¼ tsf dail reading 0 0 0 0 time 0 0.25 496 0.5 1 2 4 8 17 30 108 947 446.5 1 2 4 8 15 30 60 120 442.5 446.5 495.3 445.5 2 461.5 1 2 4 8 15 30 60 120 440.5 15 20.1 442.5 488 490.5 1 2 4 8 15 30 60 120 loading=1/8 tsf dail reading 0 0 0 0 loading=1/2 tsf time dail reading 0 0 0. Krishna Reddy.5 2 486.5 0.25 0.8 442 442.5 27 42 46 58 79 81 85 86 time 0 0.5 473.5 465.1 0.5 262.5 loading=1/2 tsf (unloading) time dail reading 0 470.5 446.2 441.25 0.5 8 493 15 492. UIC .5 218 470.06 0.5 140 492.4 444.9 443.4 446.5 110 443.5 466 1 464.5 304 time 0 0.5 481 485.6 441.5 258 258.5 256 256.25 0.1 496 0.9 446.5 15 474.Settlement Data (1 unit on dial guage = 0.5 60 471.5 297 299 300 303 303.

5 816 836.25 0. UIC .5 1 2 4 8 15 30 50 76 138 240 Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.5 631.25 0.5 1052.1 0.5 1 2 4 8 15 30 60 127 205 228 time 0 0.5 1 2 4 8 15 30 60 115 time 0 0.5 580 604 619.8 640 642 651 652 loading=16 tsf dail reading 652 672 687 702 727 754 800.1 0.25 0.5 1060 1063 time 0 0.130 loading=8 tsf dail reading 500 510 518 528 542 561.5 850 860 867 loading=32 tsf dail reading 867 877 893 908 928 953 983 1012 1027 1040 1047.1 0. Krishna Reddy.

5 2 2 140 D100 = 159 160 180 0.0153 in t50=10 min D 50 = D +D 0 100 = 8 + 159 = 83.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. Krishna Reddy.01 0.008 in t50 = 11.131 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 1/2 tsf 0 D0 = 8 20 40 Dail Reading (x 0.0001 in) 200 210 220 230 240 250 260 0.01 ∆H = 0.0001 in) 60 80 100 120 ∆Η = 0.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 1 tsf 170 180 190 Dail Reading (x 0. UIC .5 min 0.

Krishna Reddy.132 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 2 tsf 240 250 260 Dail Reading (x 0.01 0.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 4 tsf 300 320 340 360 Dail Reading (x 0. UIC .01 t50 = 3.0156 in 0.0001 in) 380 400 420 440 460 480 500 520 0.3 min ∆H = 0.0001 in) 270 ∆H = 0.0048 in t50 = 30 min 280 290 300 310 320 0.

UIC .00203 in t50 = 3.5 492 0.01 t50 = 1.5 493 492.5 495 494.5 494 493.0001 in) 485 ∆H = 0.0001 in) 495.01 0.5 496 Dail Reading (x 0.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 1 tsf (Unloaded) 495 490 Dail Reading (x 0.133 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 2 tsf (Unloaded) 497 496. Krishna Reddy.5 min 480 475 470 465 0.00035 in 0.9 min ∆H = 0.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.

1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 1 tsf (Reloaded) 440 440.2 min 442 442.0001 in) 465 460 ∆H = 0.01 t50 = 6.00018 in 441.5 Dail Reading (x 0.0001 in) 441 ∆H = 0.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.0029 in 455 450 445 440 435 430 0.134 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 1/2 tsf (Unloaded) 480 475 470 Dail Reading (x 0.01 0. UIC .0 min 0.5 443 0. Krishna Reddy.5 t50 = 1.

6 min ∆H = 0.0001 in) 444 t50 = 0.0001 in) 465 ∆H = 0.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.0043 in t50 = 2.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 4 tsf (Reloaded) 445 455 Dail Reading (x 0.135 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 2 tsf (Reloaded) 442 443 Dail Reading (x 0.01 0. UIC .00038 in 445 446 447 448 0. Krishna Reddy.4 min 475 485 495 505 0.01 0.

0 min Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 16 tsf 650 670 690 710 Dail Reading (x 0. UIC .136 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 8 tsf 500 520 540 Dail Reading (x 0.01 0.0 min 600 620 640 660 0. Krishna Reddy.1 1 10 Time (min) 100 1000 10000 ∆H = 0.0143 in 580 t50 = 3.01 0.02 in t50 = 2.0001 in) 560 ∆H = 0.0001 in) 730 750 770 790 810 830 850 870 0.

137 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Pressure = 32 tsf 850 870 890 910 Dail Reading (x 0.01 0.0001 in) 930 950 970 990 1010 1030 1050 1070 1090 0. UIC .0192 in Time (min) Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 t50 = 3.0 min ∆H = 0. Krishna Reddy.

0043 0.5 442 442. UIC .3 1.02775 0.0004 0.0153 0.32 0.51172 0.0004 0.5 277.52371 0.03898 0.4 446.52218 0.0002 0.48 0.5 444.04446 0.81E-03 1.31 0.47 0.42 0.98541 0.44 0.02 0.52312 0.02401 1.04769 1.0156 0.5 30 3.0233 0.26 0.55 467.5 577 760.04675 0.44 0.33 0.33 0.45 0.04570 0.30 0.5 6 1.05758 0.138 Table 2: Analysis of Consolidation Test Data Time for 50% D0 D100 Pressure Hj = D50 * D50 = consolidation (from (from (D +D )*0.6 2.32 0.04132 0.52593 0.01964 1.45E-03 4.01929 1.34 0.52518 0.5 472.50722 5.23E-02 1.5 (tsf) 0.40 0.0153 0.04943 0.45 0.03489 1.60E-02 2.51805 0.05770 0.32 0. Krishna Reddy.00835 0.52323 0.76E-02 2.06299 1.04825 0.0143 0.5 336 494.0029 0.31 0.02439 1.52154 0.0386 0.47 0.0048 0.49E-02 8.04335 0.for Loading and + for Unloading) dj 2 4 2 Hd Hv *** C v = 0.07605 0.45 0.5 0.03969 1.58E-02 1.02457 1.04328 0.0192 0.00541 0.03360 0.01971 1.02167 1. H v = H − H s − Σ∆H and e = i t 50 Hs ( ) Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.03842 0.4 3 2 3 8 173 254 310 496 493 472 441 443 446 504 660 869 159 254 301 362 492.83E-02 1.07758 0.9 3.0281 0.96621 0.09645 0.197 × .5 489 650 861 1060 83.44 0.02135 0.98E-02 2.69E-02 0.52438 0.002 0.54E-02 9.09678 1.45 0.28 0.008 0.2 0.37 Σ∆H for applied pressure = Σ∆H of all previous pressures + ∆H under applied pressure H j ∆H j ** H = ± and H j = H i ± ∆H j−1 (.51713 0.0437 0.0001 0 100 graph) graph) t 50 (min) 0 0.5 1 2 4 2 1 0.72E-03 1.32 0.5 213.5 964.25 482.5 457 441.52290 0.5 1 2 4 8 16 32 * ∆H (from graph) Σ ∆H* H** Hd** Coefficient of consolidation Hv*** Cv (in2/min)*** e*** 10 11.31 0.01E-03 4.04415 0.

139 Consolidation Test (ASTM D 2435) Sample: GB-08-ST-13'-15' Void Ratio vs Log Pressure Pc=3.43 0.35 0. UIC .37 0.11 Recompression Index (Cr) = 0.49 0.5 tsf 0.5 tsf Coefficient of consolidation (Cv)= 1.39 0.47 0.45 Void Ratio Cr=0.01x10-3 in2/min (depends on the pressure) Coefficient of secondary compression (Cα) = 0.001 (It is the slope of time vs settlement curve beyond the end of primary consolidation) Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.013 Preconsolidation pressure (Pc) or Maximum past pressure (σvmax) = 3. Krishna Reddy.41 Cc=0.1 1 Pressure (tsf) 10 100 Final Results: Compression Index (Cc) = 0.54x10-2 to 9.013 0.11 0.

UIC .140 BLANK DATA SHEETS Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. Krishna Reddy.

Krishna Reddy. UIC . Ms Final moisture content of specimen.141 Consolidation Test Data Sheets Date Tested: Tested By: Project Name: Sample Number: Sample Description: Before test Consolidation type Mass of the ring + glass plate Inside diameter of the ring Height of specimen. wf = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. Hi Area of specimen. A Mass of specimen + ring Initial moisture content of specimen. wi (%) Specific gravity of solids. Gs After test Mass of wet sample + ring + glass plate Mass of can Mass of can + wet soil Mass of wet specimen Mass of can + dry soil Mass of dry specimen.

Hwf = M wf A× ρw == Change in height of specimen after test. Σ∆H (Σ∆H for all pressures – see t vs Dial reading plot) Height of specimen after test. Hs = Ms = A × Gs × ρ w (same before and after test and note ρw = 1 g/cm3) Height of water before test. Si = Degree of saturation after test. Sf = Ms Hi × A H wf Hf −Hs = Dry density before test. Krishna Reddy. eo = Hi − Hs = Hs = Void ratio after test. ef = H f − Hs Hs = H wi = Hi − Hs Degree of saturation before test. Mwf (g) = wf x Ms= Height of solids. Hf = Hi . UIC . Hwi = M wi = A× ρw Height of water after test.142 Calculations Mass of solids in specimen. Ms (Mass of dry specimen after test) Mass of water in specimen before test.Σ∆H = Void ratio before test. Mwi = = wi x Ms= Mass of water in specimen after test. ρd = = Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.

25 0.0 on dial reading (confirm this before using) LOADING = _____ tsf ELAPSED DIAL TIME. UIC .1 0.25 0.5 1 2 4 10 15 30 60 120 240 LOADING = _____ tsf ELAPSED DIAL TIME. min READING 0 0.5 1 2 4 10 15 30 60 120 240 Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof. min READING 0 0. Krishna Reddy.Settlement Data Conversion: 0.25 0.5 1 2 4 10 15 30 60 121 240 LOADING = _____ tsf ELAPSED DIAL TIME.0001 inch = 1. min READING 0 0.1 0.143 Time .1 0.

144 Analysis of Consolidation Test Data Time for 50% D0 D100 Pressure Hj = D50 * D50 = consolidation (from (from (D +D )*0. UIC .5 (tsf) 0. H v = H − H s − Σ∆H and e = i t 50 Hs ( ) Engineering Properties of Soils Based on Laboratory Testing Prof.for Loading and + for Unloading) dj 2 4 2 Hd Hv *** C v = 0. Krishna Reddy.0001 0 100 graph) graph) t 50 (min) ∆H (from graph) Σ ∆H* H** Hd** Coefficient of consolidation Hv*** Cv (in2/min) e*** * Σ∆H for applied pressure = Σ∆H of all previous pressures + ∆H under applied pressure H j ∆H j ** H = ± and H j = H i ± ∆H j−1 (.197 × .