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Fall 2008

**Laboratory Report 4: Consolidation Test (Full Report)
**

References: o ASTM D2435: “Standard Test Method for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soils”. o Liu and Evett (2008). Soil Properties: Testing, Measurement and Evaluation, 6th Edition

Introduction: This test is performed in the laboratory to simulate field consolidation and determine the rate and amount of volume change that a laterally confined fined-grained soil sample undergoes under the application of different vertical stresses. From the laboratory data, the dial reading versus time relationship for each applied vertical stress, and void ratio versus stress relationships can be plotted. These plots are useful in determining coefficient of consolidation (Cv), the compression index (Cc), the recompression index (Cr) and the preconsolidation stress (or maximum past stress) ( p) of the soil. Report Prepare and submit 2 hard copies of your report on consolidation test in accordance with the format and guidelines in the CEE manual of Laboratory report. In your report (body or appendix as appropriate) include: 1. tables of: Dial reading and time for each vertical stress change Summary of data analysis: ( , R0, R100, R50, t50, Cv, e, etc) 2. plots of: Dial reading versus log of time for each stress change Void ratio (e ) versus log of stress ( ) (consolidation curve) Coefficient of consolidation (Cv) versus stress ( ) 3. determine and present the following: Initial water content, final water content and initial void ratio (e0) R0, R50, R100, t50, and the coefficient of consolidation (Cv) using Casagrande’s logarithm of time fitting method for each stress Compression index (Cc) Recompression index (Cr) from the unload-reload cycle, as well as the final unloading of the Sample. Are the values equal? Preconsolidation pressure ( p) using Casagrande’s method. Note: The following pages present method of data reduction and analysis.

measure vertical distance “a” on curve from t1 to t2. R0 is distance 2a above R at t1 b) Find R100 at “intersection” of primary and secondary consolidation c) Find R50 by taking average of R0 and R100 d) Calculate cv as shown above using time factor T50 .197 (H/2)2 / t50 (N = 2 for double drainage) t3 t4 c = . cv Plot dial gage readings R vs. Calculate cv and c using the Casagrande construction: R0 a a cv = T50 (H/N)2 / t50 = 0.e / log (t4 / t3) R50 R100 t2 t1 t50 log time. Dr. t a) Find R0: choose t1.Reduction of Consolidation Test Data Last week. Ogunro said there were 5 terms that we needed to get from the consolidation test: a) cv b) e0 c) cc d) cr e) ’p Determine Coefficient of Consolidation. calculate t2 = t1/4. log time for each load and fit a smooth curve for analysis.

we’ll call this e0. M w So if V = Vv + Vs and e Vv Vs M w w 1 and V w Vv V Mw w VV . then e and e can be rewritten: Vv e A Vs A Hv Hs Vv and e A Vs A Hv Hs . This e is determined using the change in height of the specimen during the increment: H = R100 – R0. This is calculated incrementally starting with the initial voild ratio. equation is reduced to e H Hs .Determination of Initial Void Ratio For Specimen. A. Also consider that the sample is confined inside a metal ring that does not allow displacement or strain in the horizontal direction. Reduction of Data and Assembly of Consolidation Curve In order to determine. if all of the solid particles and water molecules could be magically separated into two distinct phases. the change in volume is only due to the change in water volume. etc. Consider. the volume of solids DOES NOT change. The consolidation curve is plotted in terms of effective vertical stress ’v and void ratio e. In order to make calculation of the void ratio less tedious. Thus. then e VV . so Vv = Vw If you know M and w. the consolidation curve must be assembled. So. determined above. H s is introduced. Each consolidation increment will result in a e. the . 8/3 tsf. these terms. Since all change in volume is due to change in voids. This is the applied stress (2/3 tsf. much like the phase diagram.) The void ratio is the void ratio at the completion of the consolidation step. During consolidation. e0 Know from measurements: o Diameter of specimen (inside diameter of ring) o Height of specimen (height of ring) o Initial mass of specimen (mass of specimen and ring – mass of specimen) o Initial water content of specimen (average of two readings) VV V Vs Mw M Ms Specimen assumed saturated. a term called the height of solids. The effective vertical stress is the stress on the specimen at the completion of the consolidation step. if e Vv Vs then e Vv Vs . if both of the hypothetical phases have the same crossectional area.

therefore H s Alternately. . say 2/3 tsf: ’v = 2/3 tsf e2/3 = e0 – e2/3 At the end of the next step. We know V and we already calculated Vw. Assembling the Consolidation Curve Starting with the initial void ratio. 4/3 tsf ’v = 4/3 tsf e4/3 = e0 – e2/3 – e4/3 or e4/3 = e2/3 – e4/3 and so on.ΔH HS or ΔH -H S Δe Determine Hs Hs comes from the initial conditions. using the definitions of total volume and void ratio: V VS V V so H HS HV HS 1 HV HS H S (1 e 0 ) or H S H 1 e0 Vs A . at the end of the first consolidation step.You can get to the same terms using phase diagrams directly: Initial State VV0 = HV0 A V = HA e0 V V0 VS H V0 HS VS = HS A Final State H VVF = HVF A V = HA eF V VF VS H VF HS VS = HS A Subtracting: Δe (e F e0 ) H VF HS H V0 . so Vs = V – Vw.

Plot the data with effective stress ’v on the horizontal axis (logarithmic scale) and e on the vertical axis.e / .e / log ( ’2/ ’1) Compression Index Recompression Index CC = .e / log ( ’2/ ’1) log ’V = .e / CR = . e Compression Slope Cc Recompression Slope CR ’v log scale Determination of Compression and Recompression Indices cc and cr The compression and recompression indices are the slopes of the consolidation curve in the compression and recompression zones: log ’V = .

e A horizontal bisector tangent at point A Virgin Curve ’p ’v e) Find point A – maximum curvature (minimum radius) on reload portion of laboratory curve.Determine the Preconsolidation Pressure ’p Using the consolidation curve already assembled: void ratio. h) Extrapolate straight line “virgin curve” to intersect bisector at preconsolidation pressure ’p . f) Draw horizontal line and tangent to curve at point A g) Bisect angle between horizontal and tangent at point A.

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