# Determination of Field Unit Weight of Compaction by Sand Cone Method

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Introduction: In the field, during earth compaction work, it is necessary from time to check the compacted dry unit weight of soil and compare it with the specification drawn up for the construction. One of the simplest methods of determining the field unit weight of compaction is by the sand cone method which will be described in this chapter. Equipment: 1. Sand cone apparatus. This consists of a one-gallon glass or plastic bottle with a metal cone attached to it. 2. Base plate. 3. A one-gallon can with a cap. 4. Tools to dig a small hole in the field. 5. Balance. 6. 20-30 Ottawa sand. 7. A proctor compaction mold without extension attached to it. 8. A steel straight edge. Figure 13-1 shows the assembly of the equipment necessary for determination of the field unit weight. Procedure – Laboratory Work 1. Determine the dry unit weight of the 20-30 Ottawa sand as will be used in the field. This can be done by taking a proctor compaction mold and filling it with Ottawa sand by a spoon. Avoid any vibration and other means of compaction of the sand poured into the mold. When the mold is full, strike off the top of the mold with a steel straight edge. Determine the weight of the sand in the mold (W1). The dry unit weight of the Ottawa sand can be given as

γ d ( sa n d = )

w h ere γ d ( sa n d = d ry u n it w eig h t o f O tta w a sa n d ) 2. Calibrate the cone. That is, we need to determine the weight of 1 3 Ottawa sand that is required to fill the cone. This can be done as V = vo lu m e o f P ro cto r m o ld = ft follows: 1 Fill the one-gallon bottle with Ottawa sand. Determine the weight of 30 the bottle + cone + sand (W ). Close the valve of the cone which is
2

w1 V1

(13.1)

attached to the bottle. Place the base plate on a flat surface. Turn the bottle with the cone attached to it upside down and place it on the center hole of the base plate (Fig. 13-2). Open the valve of the cone. Sand will flow out of the bottle and gradually fill the cone. When

4. determine the weight of the bottle + can + sand after use (W7). Take the bottle with the cone out and determine its weight (W3). Determine the weight of the can + oven dry soil (W8). When the flow of sand from the bottle stops. Procedure – Field Work 5. Now proceed to the field with the bottle with the cone attached to it (filled with Ottawa sand-Step4). 9. fill the one-gallon bottle (with sand cone attached to it) with sand. Determine the weight of the gallon can without the cap (W4). Place the base plate on a level ground in the field. base plate. W c = W 2 − W3 3. Determine the weight of the bottle + cone + sand (W5). The volume of the hole should be smaller than the volume of the sand in the bottle minus the volume of the cone. Close the valve of the cone. Sand will flow from the bottle to fill the hole in the ground and the cone. The weight of sand necessary to fill the cone can now be determined as. dig a hole in the ground using the digging tools. Determine the moist unit weight of the soil in the field as follows w eo imf g s oh o f itris tlo th h m e o l e γ= Wh m− eWo − eWl e ( 1 0) 0 V o l uov mf t ohe hoe l otu=f lh e Weight of moist soil from the hole = W6-W4 (13. digging tools and the one-gallon can with its cap. Under the center hole of the base plate. Open the valve of the cone.5) (13. 6. Before proceeding to the field. Bring all the equipment back to the laboratory.3) 2.4) (13.6) 5 7 c 2 γ d (s a )n d . 8. Be careful not to move the base plate. Turn the gallon bottle filled with sand with cone attached to it upside down and place it on the center of the base plate.the cone is filled with sand. the flow of sand from the bottle will stop. Determine the moisture content of the soil in the field as w% = W 6 −W8 (100 ) W8 −W4 (13. 7. Also. Determine the weight (W6) of the gallon can + moist soil from the field (without the cap). 10. Close the valve of the cone. Calculation: 1. close the valve of the cone and remove it. Close the cap tightly so as not to lose any moisture. Remove all the loose soil in the hole and put it in the gallon can. Put the gallon can with the moist soil in the oven to dry to a constant weight.

3.7) A sample calculation is shown in Table 13-1 3 . Determine the dry unit weight of soil in the field as γ d ( fie ld) = γ w(% ) 1+ 100 (13.

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