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Geotechnical Engineering I

Soil Constituents Lecture # 5

Engr. Muhammad Awais Shafique Department of Transportation Engineering & Management University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore

Fruit for mind

Which is the most slippery substance in the world?

Grain Shape
Bulky grains Flaky grains Needle like grains

Bulky Grains
When length, width and height of the soil particles are about the same. Formed by mechanical weathering. Freshly crushed grains are angular. Edges worn down during transportation resulting in rounded shape.

Flaky Grains
Have same shape as a sheet of paper. Extremely thin as compared to their length and width.

Effect of Grain Shape

Bulky grains are strong and can support heavy static loads. Dynamic loads however cause significant deformation. Flaky grains are highly plastic and compressible. They are relatively stable under dynamic loads.

Grain Size
Coarse grained Fine grained

Grain size Analysis

It consists of two parts Sieve analysis or mechanical analysis Wet analysis or sedimentation test

Wet Analysis
Particle size of fine grained soils is determined by wet analysis based on Stokes law of sedimentation. The terminal velocity v of a spherical body of diameter D settling in water is directly proportional to the square of the diameter.


Wet Analysis
Soil particles are never truly spherical. To overcome this, particle size is defined in terms of equivalent diameter, where the equivalent diameter is of an imaginary sphere of the same material which would sink in water with the same velocity as the irregular particle of soil.


Wet Analysis
Assumptions of Stokes law Particles are truly spherical in shape. Water-soil suspension is of infinite shape. The flow around the particles is laminar. The particles attain constant terminal velocity within a few seconds.

Wet Analysis
Details of the Hydrometer analysis will be discussed in the laboratory.


So what have we studied