SOIL MECHANICS LABORATORY MANUAL

14/06/2005

Soil mechanics laboratory manual

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Introduction
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

14/06/2005

Soil mechanics laboratory manual

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CONTENTS
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

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. systematic and concise. 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. have it organic odour? Yes Next: Is the soil of low density? Yes Next: Remove all cobbles and boulders (>63mm). The 35% boundary between fine and course is approximate. 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. Due to engineering behaviour it’s sometimes necessary to determine de plasticity of soil with a fine-course boundary below 35% fines.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 4 1. plastic and liquid. Disintegrate in water and Dry quickly Yes No ORGANIC SOIL. The change in volume of a saturated cohesive soil is approximately proportional to a change in moisture content.1. Procedure This classification can be separated in different parts. 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. 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.2 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. The system needs to be comprehensive. silky touch. 1. (determined on the part smaller than 425µm). There are many different classification systems.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. plastic consistency is used as a basis for their classification. semi-plastic solid. Thimphu Bhutan . while still being reasonable. The consistency of a soil is its physical state characteristic at given moisture content. Four consistency states may be defined for cohesive soils: solid. The system we will use is the British soil classification with some adding’s from the ISO 14688. Dilatancy.

If it is not possible to perform the plastic limit test. Thimphu Bhutan . 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. Which can occur in some soils with high mica content. This also applies if the plastic limit is equal to or greater than the liquid limit. 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. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.3 Plasticity chart for classification of fine soils.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 5 Fig 1.1. the soil is reported as nonplastic (NP). the range of the plastic state is given by their difference. which represent respectively the upper and lower bounds of the plastic state.1. 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. The A-line provides an arbitrary division between silts and clays.3 shows the plasticity chart used for this purpose. fig. PI = LL-PL This value is reported to the nearest whole number. 1. however. The transition from one state to the next in fact is gradual. The two most important of these are the liquid and plastic limits.1.2 Consistency relationships. 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. and is termed the plasticity index (PI).

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. 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. Figure 1.1.1.4 sub-group symbols in British Soil Classification system.5 shows the British Standard range of particle sizes.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 1.3 of this handbook).1.50% High plasticity: LL = 50% . The plastic limit is determined with the "rolling" method (part 3.1 of this handbook).1 of this handbook). Thimphu Bhutan . The sub-group symbols are given in Table 1. It can be done by dry sieving (part 2.or with the Cassagrande cup (part 3.70% Very high plasticity: LL = 70% .90% Extremely high plasticity: LL> 90% A given soil may be located in its correct sub-group zone by plotting a point.2 of this handbook). Classification of coarse grained soils For the classification of coarse-grained soils it is necessary to make a particle-size analysis. or by wet sieving (part 2.1.5 British Standard range of particle sizes Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. having co-ordinates given by the soils plasticity index and liquid limit.2 of this handbook).14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 6 Low plasticity: LL <35% Intermediate plasticity: LL = 35% . The liquid limit is determined with the cone penetrometer method (part 3.

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. B or described as coarse soil depending on assessed engineering behaviour Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.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. Thimphu Bhutan . From the grading curve we can provide a descriptive term for the type of soil (SOIL NAME).

Cc <0.7 Grading characteristic. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. giving values of Cc between 0. Uniformity coefficient.1. (D 30 )2 D60 * D10 Most well graded soils will have grading curves that are mainly flat or slightly concave.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. Thimphu Bhutan . First of all.7): Fig 1.5 and 2. the following grading characteristics are defined: Effective size. 1.1. Cu > 5 indicate a well-graded soil.1 indicate a possible gap-graded soil. 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.0.

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

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. Thimphu Bhutan . the whole specimen is allowed to cool.1% or less of its total mass (M1).14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 10 2.2-1 . Scope of the test Dry sieving is the simplest of all methods of particle size analysis. Sample preparation The specimen to be used for the test is obtained from the original sample by riffling. preferably overnight. 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. or by subdivision using the cone-and-quarter method.1-1 Minimum quantities for particle size test. in an oven maintained at 105-110 °C. Maximum size of material present in substantial proportion retained on BS sieve (mm) Pass 2 mm or smaller 6. which usually implies clean sandy or gravely soils that is.After drying to constant weight. and is weighted to an accuracy within 0. the wet-sieving procedure should be followed instead. . soils containing negligible amounts of particles of silt or clay size. The appropriate minimum quantity of material depends upon the maximum size of particles present. If particles of medium gravel size or larger are present in significant amounts.1 Simple dry sieving BS 1377: Part 2:1990.The specimen is placed on a tray and is allowed to dry. This means that it is applicable only to clean granular materials.3 10 14 20 28 37. If in doubt about the validity of the dry-sieving method.5 50 63 75 100 150 200 Table 2. and is indicated in Table 2. 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 procedure is then referred to as "composite sieving".

5 28 20 14 10 6. .1-3. but the sieves used should adequately cover the range of aperture sizes for each particular soil. Some shakers have a built-in timing device which can be pre-set to switch off the motor automatically after the desired period. Aperture size full set Construction A Perforated 75 mm Steel plated 63 (Square holes) 50 37.35 2 1.1% of the total initial test sample mass.Weighing. The masses retained (Ms1. etc. . the dried soil is placed in the top sieve.) are recorded against the sieve Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 11 Execution of the test Selection of sieves.The whole nest of sieves with receiving pan is placed in the shaker.18 600 µm 425 300 212 150 63 Lid and receiver + 19 sieves Table 2. The material retained on each sieve is transferred to a weighed container.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. . See table 2.1-2 metric sieves Standard set B + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 13 sieves + + 7 sieves + + + + Short set C + Suitable sieve diameters 450mm 300mm 200mm + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + (+) + + + (+) + + + + + + (+) + + Test procedure . Sieves are nested together with the largest aperture sieve at the top. Weighing of each size fraction should be to an accuracy of at least 0. The sieves to be used are selected to suit the size of sample and type of material. The complete range of sieves specified by the British Standard is given in Table 2. Any particles lodged in the apertures of the sieve should be carefully removed with a sieve brush. . the sieve being first placed upside-down on a tray or a clean sheet of paper. and a receiving pan under the smallest aperture sieve at the bottom. These particles are added to those retained on the sieve.1-2 It is not necessary to use all sieves for every test. Sieve frames must not be out of true. For classification purposes we can use a short set. Ms2. which can be sieved in one cycle. which is then fitted with the lid. Thimphu Bhutan .Agitation in the shaker should be for a minimum period of 10 min. is depending on the used sieves and the particle size of the sample.The maximum mass of sample. to prevent escape of dust. This can be achieved most conveniently by using a mechanical sieve shaker. and the sieves are securely fastened down in the machine.3 5 Woven wire 3. and should fit snugly one inside the other.

5 200 mm Sieve diameter sieves Aperture (g) 50 mm 37.5 3.5 2.3 5 3.35 300 2 200 1. the percentage of fines.5 1.75 0. Thimphu Bhutan .0 Calculations The mass retained on the first sieve is denoted as Ms1. Maximum mass 300 mm diameter sieves (kg) 4.Ms1. The percentage passing the first sieve is given by P1 = M1 − Ms1 ∗ 100 % M1 The mass passing the second sieve = M1 – Ms1 – Ms2.18 100 75 600µm 425 75 300 50 212 50 150 40 63 25 Table 2.1-3 maximum mass to be retained on each test sieve at the completion of sieving. to the mass collected in the receiving pan.0 0.5 1. 450mm diameter sieves (kg) 10 8 6 4 3 2 1. or very nearly equal. The mass passing the first sieve = M1. Pp passing the last sieve is Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. The percentage passing the second sieve is given by P2 = And so on. If this is denoted by Mp.5 28 20 14 10 6.0 1.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 12 aperture size on the particle size test work sheet. The calculated mass passing the last sieve should be equal. 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 mass (Mp) passing the 63µmm sieve is also measured and recorded.

The method of test is reported as dry sieving in accordance with BS 1377:1975. the sheet should include the visual description of the sample. This should be the description of the sample before testing.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. Test 7(B). and modified as necessary as a result of the additional information revealed by the test result. or in addition to. Thimphu Bhutan . such as vegetation or an isolated cobble. should be reported. Any material removed before sieving. the grading curve. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Tabulated data showing the percentage each sieve are sometimes required instead of.

even if prolonged.The specimen is placed on a tray and is allowed to dry. it is necessary to carry out a wet sieving procedure in order to measure the proportion of fine material present. The soil is allowed to stand for at least an hour. in an oven maintained at 105-110 °C After drying to constant weight. but the sieves used should adequately cover the range of aperture sizes for each particular soil. The complete range of sieves specified by the British Standard is given in Table 2.2-1 Minimum quantities for particle size test. and is indicated in Table 2. The appropriate minimum quantity of material depends upon the maximum size of particles present. Scope of the test If a soil contains silt or clay. Sample Preparation . even in small quantities.The specimen to be used for the test is obtained from the original sample by rifling. the whole specimen is allowed to cool. Washing is the only practicable means of ensuring complete separation of fines for a reliable assessment of their percentage.fine soils BS1377: Part 2:1990. If clay is present. and is weighted to an accuracy within 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 14 2. 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.5 50 63 75 100 150 200 Table 2.3 10 14 20 28 37. preferably overnight.1 Page.2 It is not necessary to use all sieves for every test. The dried representative sample is spread out on a tray and covered with water containing 2g/litre of sodium hexametaphosphate. or if there is evidence of particles sticking together. Maximum size of material present in substantial proportion retained on BS sieve (mm) Pass 2 mm or smaller 6. . the material should be immersed in a dispersant solution before washing. The procedure is described in detail below for non-cohesive soils containing little or no gravel.Selection of sieves. For classification purposes we can use a short set. This disperses the clay fraction. Thimphu Bhutan . so that clay and silt will not adhere to larger particles. Even when dry. or both.2.1% or less of its total mass (M1). Execution of the test . or by subdivision using the cone-and-quarter method. and is stirred frequently.2 Wet sieving .2. fine particles of silt and clay can adhere to sand-size particles and cannot be separated by dry sieving.

the material should be sieved in two or more portions. so as not to overload the sieve (see Table 2. The soil is placed a little at a time on the 2 mm sieve. with a portion being taken at a time. including "brushings" from larger particles. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.Wash. The fraction passing the 20 mm sieve. Thimphu Bhutan .3 5 Woven wire 3.2-2 metrics sieves Standard set B + + + + + + + + + + + Short set C + + + + + + + + + 13 sieves + + 7 sieves Suitable sieve diameters 450mm 300mm 200mm + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + (+) + + + (+) + + + + + + (+) + + + + + . Particles retained are brushed to remove finer material which may be adhering to them. is then sieved on appropriate larger aperture sieves and the amount retained on each is weighed. If this is likely to be exceeded. The material retained on the 20 mm sieve. and washed over a sink with a jet or spray of clean water. if necessary.5 28 20 14 10 6. The silt and clay passing the 63 mm sieve is allowed to run to waste. 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). 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.35 2 1. The mass of soil retained on the 63mm should not exceed 150 g at any one time. Table 2.2-3 gives the recommended maximum quantities that may be retained on each sieve.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 15 Aperture size full set Construction A Perforated 75 mm Steel plated 63 (square holes) 50 37. 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. The 2 mm sieve is nested in the 63mm sieve.2-3 ). after drying. but individual particles must not be broken down. When the material on the 2 mm sieve has been washed free of fines. 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. .18 600 µm 425 300 212 150 63 lid and receiver 19 sieves Table 2. but the lid and receiver are not used. washing on the 63mm sieve is continued until the wastewater is seen to run clear.

Thimphu Bhutan . and any fines passing the 63 µm test sieve. it should be accurately weighed (M5 ) and then subdivided to give a sample of 100-150 g.5 1. substantially greater than 150 g.0 Maximum mass 300 mm diameter sieves (kg) 4.5 200 mm diameter sieves (g) - Drying The whole of the material retained on each sieve is allowed to drain. Weigh this fraction (M6 ) and then sieve on the appropriate sieves down to and including the 63 µm test sieve.e. the sample may be sieved by dry sieving on the appropriate sieves down to and including the 63 µm test sieve.75 0.3 5 3. This operation may be carried out by hand or preferably on a sieve shaker. Weigh the amounts retained on each sieve.1 % of its total mass. Weighing The portion retained on each sieve is weighed.1 % of its total mass. If the fraction passing the 6. If the fraction passing the 6.5 1.18 100 75 600µm 425 75 300 50 212 50 150 40 63 25 Table 2.2-3 maximum mass to be retained on each test sieve at the completion of sieving. exactly as in the dry sieving procedure.0 0. each to an accuracy of 0. and is carefully transferred to trays or evaporating dishes. (Me) If riffling is not necessary. Weigh the amount retained on each sieve to 0.3 mm sieve is small.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 16 Sieve Aperture 50 mm 37. and any fines passing the 63 µm test sieve (Mf).0 1.35 300 2 200 1. i. Weighing After cooling. These are placed in an oven to dry at 105-110 °C. down to the 6. - 450mm diameter sieves (kg) 10 8 6 4 3 2 1.5 2. (M6 ) is the same as (M5 ). to 0. the whole of the dried material is put together and weighed to an accuracy of 0. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.5 3.5 28 20 14 10 6.1%.e. not more than 150 g. Sieving The dry soil is passed through a nest of the complete range of sieves to cover the sizes of particles present.3 mm sieve is large i.3 mm sieve.5 2. preferably overnight.1% (M4). Weigh the amounts retained on each sieve.

should be reported. such as vegetation or an isolated cobble. ⎧ ⎪ (M 3 − M 4 ) + M f M3 ⎪ ⎩ ⎫⎛ M 2 ⎬⎜ ⎜ ⎭⎝ M 1 ⎞ ⎟ 100 ⎟ ⎠ Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 17 Calculations Calculation for the particles larger than 20mm in size. Tabulated data showing the percentage each sieve are sometimes required instead of.3 mm sieve by multiplying by ⎜ ⎜ ⎛ M5 ⎝ M6 ⎞⎛ M 2 ⎟⎜ ⎟⎜ M ⎠⎝ 3 ⎞ ⎟ . the sheet should include the visual description of the sample. and modified as necessary as a result of the additional information revealed by the test result. The mass of fines lost by washing is equal to (M3-M4). This should be the description of the sample before testing. 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. or in addition to. Thimphu Bhutan . To this is added the mass of any fine material (Mf) passing the 63 µm test sieve when dry sieved. 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. 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. Any material removed before sieving.3 mm by multiplying by M2 . the grading curve. Percentage passing 63 µm sieve = ⎨ Reporting In addition to the particle size curve and the usual sample identification data.

determine the point where the plane intersects the hydrometer scale. and of the viscosity of the fluid as expressed by the Stokes’ law. For example. Thimphu Bhutan . corresponding to the level of the upper rim of the meniscus. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Meniscus correction − Insert the hydrometer is a 1 L cylinder containing about 800 ml water. 100 ml and 50 ml wash bottle and distilled water constant-temperature bath glass rod: 12 mm diameter.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 18 2. This is done by subtracting 1 from the density and moving the decimal point three places to the right. 105-110 °C stopwatch readable to 1 s. a density of 1. keep it as straight as possible. Hold it on the bulb when moving it horizontal. steel rule four evaporating dishes 1000 ml beaker two measuring cylinder.01 g drying oven. the specific weights of the sphere and of the fluid. Rh’. Apparatus used − − − − − − − − − − − − − − − − soil hydrometer two 1000 ml glass measuring cylinders. NOTE: The hydrometer is a very fragile device. a small angle could break it.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). 212 µm. The test is usually not performed if less than 10% of the material passes the 63 µm sieve. it should be handled with care. the diameter of the sphere. Never hold it horizontal while holding it on one side. the bulb is very heavy and the glass could break. and the percentage of clay minerals < 2µm. 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.028 would be a hydrometer reading of Rh’ = 28. When moving it in and out of a cylinder. − 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. 2 mm and a receiver balance readable to 0. 600 µm. The hydrometer analysis utilises the relationship among the velocity of fall of spheres in a fluid. with rubber stops thermometer high speed stirrer sieves 200 mm diameter. 63 µm.

Cm.S. Thimphu Bhutan . Rh = Rh’ + Cm Scale calibration of hydrometer Calculate the effective depth. hydrometer L = distance between the 100 ml and the 1000 ml scale markings of the sedimentation cylinder Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.S.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 19 − − By placing the eye slightly above the plane of surface of the liquid. determine the point where the plane intersects the hydrometer scale. HR (mm). hydrometer Vh = volume of hydrometer bulb = 70 ml for B. 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. corresponding to each of the major calibration marks. Record the difference between the two readings as the meniscus correction.

78 179. Very organic soils may require several additions of hydrogen peroxide. scale calibration hydrometer 250 200 150 Hr 100 50 0 -10 0 10 Rh 20 30 calibration Linear (calibration) y = -3. and the oxidation process may take 2 or 3 days.78 121.78 219. With this relation.5 74 93 113 133 153 Hr mm 101. Frothing over must be avoided.9286x + 199. we can calculate for each reading Rh the corresponding Hr.01 gram Place the soil in a 1000 ml beaker If the sample contains organic matter (>0.9999 Sample preparation − − − − − − − − Dry the sample in an oven at 60-65°C. either on a low-heat hot plate or on a low gas flame. and determine the relation. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.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.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.78 199. add more hydrogen peroxide in increments of about 100 ml until the oxidation process is complete.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 20 Example: Rh N= d1= d2= d3= d4= d5= d6= d7= length mm 16 19 38. Amount of dry sample − for sandy soil 100 gram − for clayey soil 50 gram Weigh the soil to 0. Thimphu Bhutan .71 R2 = 0.28 140.78 159. If necessary. Agitate frequently by stirring or by shaking with a rotary motion.5 58 77 97 117 137 H mm 35 54.

It is not essential to keep rigidly these times. − Add any material passing the 63 µm sieve to the sedimentation cylinder. − Shake the mixture thoroughly until all the soil is in suspension. − When cooled. − Place the sedimentation cylinder in the constant-temperature bath. 2 . The cylinder is inverted for a few seconds. rinsed in distilled water. − Remove the rubber bung and insert the hydrometer steadily and allow it to float freely. 600 µm.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 21 − − − − As soon as frothing has stopped. − Transfer the material retained on the 63 µm sieve to an evaporating dish and dry it in the oven at 105 to 110 °C.01 g. Stir if necessary with a glass rod so that all material goes into suspension. and placed in the separate cylinder of distilled water in the constant temperature bath. − Insert a rubber stop in the sedimentation cylinder or close it off by hand and shake the cylinder vigorously to obtain a uniform suspension. − Observe and record the temperature of the bath after every recording. in the constant-temperature bath: this is for calibration readings of the dispersant solution and for storage of the hydrometer between the readings. and is then stood in the constant temperature bath. − Transfer the suspension to the 63 µm sieve placed on a receiver. − Wash the soil in the sieve with a maximum of 500 ml distilled water. 4 minutes. Insert the hydrometer slowly about 15s before a reading is due. − Allow the cylinders to stand in the bath until they have reached the bath temperature (about 1 hour). Sedimentation − Fill the sedimentation cylinder to the 1 L graduation mark with distilled water. provided that the actual time of each reading is recorded. − Place a second cylinder containing 100 ml of the dispersant solution and distilled water to exactly 1 L. − Transfer the suspension in the receiver into a 1000 ml sedimentation cylinder. 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.5 . 24 hours and twice during the following day. Ro. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. − Dry and weigh the material retained on each sieve to 0. − Insert and withdraw the hydrometer very carefully to avoid disturbing the suspension unnecessarily. 30 min. − Insert the hydrometer for further readings at the following times from zero: 8 . 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. this will be the sedimentation cylinder. Thimphu Bhutan .8. − Readings of the hydrometer are taken at the top of the meniscus level at the following times from zero: 0. set on 25 °C. the stop-watch is started (zero time). − Observe and record the top of the meniscus reading. or to rotate. Executing the test Dispersion − Add 100 ml of the standard dispersing solution to the soil. − Transfer the soil with some distilled water to the cup of the high-speed stirrer and stir for about 1 hour. 212 µm and 63 µm. 1 . Without delay as soon as it is in the upright position. 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. sieve this material on the 2mm. Take the weight mp. weight after pre-treatment. 2 . − Use a suitable form to record your observations. − The hydrometer is removed slowly. It must not be allowed to bulb up and down. If the temperature varies more than 1 °C another reading to determine Ro should be taken.

the results of the sedimentation analysis 3. where m = mass of dry soil used (g) or mp = mass of soil after pre-treatment. the sieve curve Temperature Dynamic viscosity. η (mPas) (°C) 0 1.1369 20 1. from the equation: − ⎛ 100ρ s ⎞ K=⎜ ⎜ m(ρ − 1) ⎟R d .0019 25 0.s). from the equation − η *Hr D = 0 .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. table 2.3037 15 1. from the equation Rd = Rh' . D (mm).3. ⎟ 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: 1.6540 Table 2. the results of the sieve analysis 4. the method of pre-treatment 5.5138 10 1.Ro' Where: Ro' = hydrometer reading at the upper rim of the meniscus in the dispersant solution Calculate the percentage by mass. K. Rd.1 Hr = effective depth (mm) ρs = particle density (Mg/m3) t = elapsed time (min) − Calculate the modified hydrometer reading.8909 30 0. of particles smaller than the corresponding equivalent particle diameter .005531 ( ρ s − 1) t Where: η = dynamic viscosity of water at the test temperature (mPa. Thimphu Bhutan . the method of test used 2.3.7865 5 1.1 viscosity of water Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.7982 40 0.

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

according the ASTM or BS standard. weighing about 250 g. kneading. 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. Mass balance accurate to 0. the results of the British method are generally higher. 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. The British standard defines a relative soft rubber base. when the cup is dropped 25 times for a distance of 1 cm at the rate of 2 drops/s.1 Liquid limit with Casagrande cup. Note: The difference between the American and British Standard. before adding another increment of water. 3. from the thoroughly mixed portion of the material passing the No. expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven dried soil. at the boundary between the liquid and the plastic state.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 24 3. Squeeze it Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Flat glass plate about 500mm square. Apparatus used Casagrande cup. and chopping with a spatula.1 Casagrande apparatus Sample preparation Place the soil sample. Thimphu Bhutan . 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. the American standard a harder ebonite one.01g Drying oven Glass cup or tin dishes Spatulas Fig. is the difference in base plate of the Casagrande cup. Because of this difference. BS 1377: Part 2:1990 (ASTM D4318) Scope of the test The liquid limit of soil is the water content. Make further additions of water in increments of 1 to 3 ml.1. Thoroughly mixes each increment of water with the soil as previously described.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.

14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 25 down and spread it in the position shown in fig.1. 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. to which sufficient water has been added to bring the soil to a more fluid condition. up to six strokes. and place it in a suitable container (for example a matched watch glass). To avoid tearing of the sides of the groove or slipping of the soil cake on the cup. Wash and dry the cup and grooving tool. expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dried soil. shall be permitted. The test should always proceed from the dryer to the wetter condition of the soil. care being taken to prevent the entrapment of air bubbles within the Mass. Remove a slice of soil approximately the width of the spatula. Record the numbers of drops required to close the groove along a distance of about 12-mm. Record this mass. 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. 3. 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.1-2. 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. 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. until the two halves of the soil cake come in contact at the bottom of the groove along a distance of about 12 mm. Weigh and record the mass. and reattach the cup to the carriage in preparation for the next trial. Record the loss in mass due to drying as the mass of water. from front to back or from back to front counting as one stroke. Fig. Each stroke should penetrate a little deeper until the last stroke from the back to front scrapes the bottom of the cup clean. with as few strokes of the spatula as possible. Thimphu Bhutan . The number of drops should be less than 35 and exceed 15.2 Casagrande cup Lift and drop the cup by turning the crank at the rate of 2 revolutions per second. as follows: Wn = mass of water ∗ 100 mass of ovendried soil Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. clean groove of the proper dimensions will be formed. 3. Calculation Calculate the water content Wn of the soil. Return the excess soil to the evaporating dish. Repeat the foregoing operations for at least two additional trials with the soil collected in the evaporating dish. Transfer the soil remaining in the cup to the evaporating dish. 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.

14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 26 Preparation of the flow curve.1. if it was sieved. -Treatment of the soil. 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. and the numbers of drops as ordinate on the logarithmic scale.3 Fig. Thimphu Bhutan .1. -The percentage material passes the 425 mµ sieve. 3. Round off this number to the nearest whole value. See fig. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 3. The "flow curve" is a straight line drawn as nearly as possible through the three or more plotted points.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.

Flat glass plate about 500mm square. . Apparatus used . together with particle size analysis. Thimphu Bhutan .2.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 27 3.drying oven .1 . but in most cases up to a liquid limit of 100 these differences will not be significant. With many clay soils it is practicable and shall be permissible to remove by hand any coarse particles present. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.e.1 cone penetrometer Sample preparation Wherever possible the test shall be carried out on soil in its natural state. Note: The results obtained with the cone penetrometer may be differ slightly from those with the Casagrande apparatus.01 g - Fig.2 Liquid limit using the cone penetrometer BS 1377: Part 2:1990 Scope of the test With this test.2 spatulas . particles retained on a 425µm test sieve. sees fig 3. This value is often used in classification systems.mass balance accurate to 0.wash bottle . one can obtain the liquid limit. At the liquid limit the cone penetration is 20 mm.3. i. It is based on the measurement of penetration into the soil of a standardised cone of specified mass. Otherwise these particles shall removed by wet sieving.sample cup of diameter 55 mm and 40 mm deep .2.Cone penetrometer with standard cone of mass 80 gr.

5 mm. a third test is carried out. the curing period may be omitted. If the second cone penetration differs from the first by less than o. and the moister content is measured. Wn (in %) -Weight the remainder of the sample to an accuracy of within 0. to allow water to permeate through the soil mass. and let it dry (warm air) until it forms a stiff paste. dry it at 105 °C and weigh it to an accuracy of within 0. the Average value is recorded. and provided the overall Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 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. such as very silty soils.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. to form a plastic material Place the paste into an airtight container. Thimphu Bhutan . Calculation: From the sieved soil calculate the dry mass. and if necessary add distilled water. For soil of low clay content. which passes the 425 µm test sieve. -Sieve the slurry through the 425 µm sieve with the minimum amount of distilled water until the water passing is virtually clear. -Stir the mixture until it forms a slurry. Lift out the cone and clear it carefully. 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). it should be approximately 15 mm for the first test. 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 0.1 mm.01 g (M6) -Place the sample in a container under just enough distilled water to submerge it. -Collect the material retained on the 425 µm sieve. -Take a representative sample and determine its moisture content. or overnight. -After a suitable interval pour off any clear water above the suspension. and let the fine particles settle. Md (in g).01 g (M7). -Collect the fines in a receiver or large container if necessary. Add a little more wet soil to the cup and take a second reading. Remove the soil from the container and remix with the spatulas for at least 10 min. If the second penetration is between 0. Some soils (heavy clays) up to 40 min. and leave it standing for a curing period of 24 hour.

See fig.2. Thimphu Bhutan . both on a linear scale. Calculation The moisture contents determined are plotted against the respective penetration depth.2. If the overall range exceed 1mm.2 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. -Treatment of the soil. Reporting -The liquid limit is expressed to the nearest whole number. Fig 3. -The percentage material passes the 425 mµ sieve. 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. This value is interpolated from a graph. One must be careful not to add too much water at one time. the soil is removed from the cup and remixed. 3. This is done at least three more times to get a range (min.B. N. and the test is repeated.2. the average of the three penetrations is recorded and the moisture content is measured. 4) of penetration values from about 15mm to 25 mm. if it was sieved.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 29 - range does not exceed 1mm. The liquid limit is defined as that moisture content where the cone penetrates 20 mm into the sample.

cool and weigh dry.Mould the soil between the fingers again to dry it further. do not reduce pressure as the thread diameter approaches 3 mm. We only use material passing the 425 µm sieve.spatulas . to form a plastic ball. using a second moisture content container. as in the standard moisture content procedure. Form it into a thread and roll out again as before. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Execution of the test. It may be possible to gather the pieces together after crumbling. and place in the same container. divide the ball into two portions each of about 10 g. .01 gram. gather the crumbled threads and place them into a weighed moisture content container. . Thimphu Bhutan . to reform a thread and to continue rolling under pressure.mass balance accurate to 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 30 3. The sample may be a disturbed sample. The thread must be intact and homogeneous. but this should not be done.The first crumbling point is the plastic limit.3 mm diameter metal rod . but keep each set of four parts together. roll the thread between the fingers of one hand and the surface of the glass plate. 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. Apparatus . Repeat this procedure until the thread crumbles when it has been rolled to 3-mm diameter. When slight cracks begin to appear on the surface. . and not due to mechanical breakdown caused by excessive pressure. Some heavy clay may need more than this because this type of soil tends to become harder near the plastic limit. . or oblique rolling or detachment of an excessive length beyond the width of the hand. The metal rod serves as a reference for gauging this diameter. It is important to maintain a uniform rolling pressure throughout. Crumbling must be the result of the decreasing moisture content only. By "crumbling" is meant shearing both longitudinally and transversally as it is rolled. 20 gram of material is needed.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. It is the empirical established moisture content at which soil becomes to dry to be plastic.glass plate .As soon as the crumbling stage is reached. . Weigh the container and soil as soon as possible. Further divide each into four equal parts.Thoroughly knead the sample and if necessary mix with the distilled water for 10 min. . using the finger and thumb of each hand. Using a steady pressure.One of the parts if formed into a thread about 6 mm diameter.Mould the ball between the fingers and roll between the palms of the hands so that the warmth of the hands slowly dries it.Repeat stages on the other set of four portions of the soil. . . Sample preparation ca. dry in the oven overnight.Repeat for the other three pieces of soil.drying oven .

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

The dry density. is the mass per unit volume of the soil deposit including any water it contains. Both are expressed in Mg/m3. In the third the volume is measured by displacement of water.1 % (m) Calculate the volume. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Three methods are specified. of the soil is known. ρd (in Mg/m3).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. V of the specimen.1mm balance with accuracy of 0. is the mass of dry soil contained in a unit volume. In the second the volume of the specimen is determined by weighing it submerged in water. W (in %). The first applies to soils that can be formed into a regular geometric shape. ρ. the volume of which can be calculated from linear measurements. calculate the dry density of the specimen. which is numerically the same as g/cm3. from the equation: ρd = 100 ρ 100 + W Express the density and dry density of the soil specimen to the nearest 0. Thimphu Bhutan . Calculations The bulk density can be calculated: m ρ= V If the moisture content. 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 0.1 Density BS 1377: Part 2:1990 Scope of the test The bulk density of a soil. Apparatus used: calliper with accuracy of 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 32 4.01 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. ρd.

and date of sampling. plasticine or putty and weigh to the nearest 1 g (Mf) Coat the specimens completely by dipping in molten paraffin wax.Mf ⎞ Vs = ⎜ ⎜ ρwater ⎟ − ⎜ ρρ ⎟ ⎟ ⎜ ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ ⎝ ⎠ Where. ρρ is the density of paraffin wax (in g/cm3) Calculate the bulk density of the specimen. Reporting The report shall include the following information: Data on the sample Project name. Ms is the mass of the soil specimen (in g) Water displacement method This method used the water displacement and mass of a specimen. e. sample dimensions The sample transport and storage conditions The density should be reported to the nearest 0. until a specimen is produced measuring at least 100 mm in each dimension. The sample is prepared like the water immersion method and put in a water container with siphon outlet. depth below terrain (in case of a borehole) Type of sample (core. ρ (in Mg/m3). from the equation: ⎛ Mw . to calculate the bulk density and dry density. block or other). from the equation: ρ= Ms Vs Where.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 33 - Trim the soil sample. location.g. 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.Mg ⎞ ⎛ M w . By taking the weight of the water coming out. the volume can be calculated. 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). Thimphu Bhutan . sample number. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.01 Mg/m3 The report should specify the type of test. Mw is the mass of specimen and wax coating (in g). Vs (in cm3). 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.

The sample transport and storage conditions .01 gr.Data on the sample . density. sample dimensions.fine grained material use 30 g . sample number. transporting and handling precautions should be such that the water content remains within 1% of the in-situ value. 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 . Thimphu Bhutan . Apparatus used - balance accurate to 0.M3 = ∗ 100% dry mass of sample M3 . 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.1%. with the following calculation: Dry density = mass insitu ∗ 100 100 + W Reporting . natural moister content .Project name. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. location.01 gr.medium grained material use 300 g . .The water content should be reported to the nearest 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 34 4. date of sampling. disturbed.2 Natural Moisture Content BS 1377:part 2. we can calculate the dry density.M1 With help of the moisture content W. depth below terrain (in case of bore hole) . storage. particle size. or other). . the sampling.lithology.Type of sample (core. block.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.coarse grained material use 3000 g Execution of the test weigh the sample container to 0.

insert the stopper and immerse in the constant temperature bath as before. Apparatus used . dry.. each between 5g and 10g shall be obtained by riffling.Balance accurate to 0.Oven (24 hr at 105°C ±5°C) . Reduce the pressure gradually to about 25kPa. The specimens shall be oven dried at 105°C to 110°C and stored in an airtight container. Thimphu Bhutan . Before removing the stirring rod wash off any soil particles with a few drops of air-free water. Stir the soil in the bottle.If there is an apparent decrease in the volume of the liquid. add more liquid to fill the bottle and replace the stopper. Execution of the test .Add enough air-free distilled water to cover the soil in the bottle.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 35 4. with stopper to the nearest 0.A constant temperature water bath in the range from 20-300C ± 0. Place the bottle.Remove the density bottle from the desiccator and add more air-free water until full.Release the vacuum and remove the desiccator lid.Vacuum system . .001g (m2) .001 gr. Return the bottle to the bath and again allow the contents to attain the constant temperature. . . If necessary fill the bottle as specified before. .Wash the density bottles.Remove the bottle from the bath and wipe it dry. Insert the stopper and immerse the bottle up to the neck in the constant-temperature bath.3a: Particle density small pyknometer method BS 1377:part 2.A wash bottle containing air-free distilled water . without stopper in the vacuum desiccator.001g (m1). Leave the bottle for at least 1 hour under vacuum until no further loss of air is apparent .Take the bottle out of the bath. remove the stopper.A vacuum desiccator .Transfer the soil specimen to the density bottle. cool and weigh to the nearest 0.001g (m4) Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. . wipe it dry and weigh it to the nearest 0. Leave the bottle in the bath for at least 1 hour so that the bottle attains the temperature of the bath. soil and water to 0. . Weigh the bottle with stopper.001g (m3) .Clean out each bottle. Replace the lid of the desiccator and repeat the vacuum procedure as specified before .A rod small enough to go through the neck of the density bottle.2 0C .This procedure is repeated until no more air is evolved from the soil. .Two 50mL density bottles (pyknometers) with stoppers . .A small riffle-box Sample preparation At least two specimens. Weigh the bottle. fill it completely withy de-aerated water.A desiccator containing anhydrous silica gel.1990 Scope of the test The objective of the test is to determine the density of the soil particles finer than 2mm.

while holding one finger over the Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.3b Particle density large pyknometer method BS 1377:part 2.5mm diameter at its apex .5kg. each of about 400g shall be obtained by riffling. a glass vessel of nominal 1L capacity designed for a screw-top lid. Fill the pyknometer with water.Add water at a temperature of within ± 2°C of the average room temperature to about half fill the pyknometer. . Execution of the test .5 gr.03Mg/m3 the test shall be repeated.Agitate by shaking the pyknometer. . At least two specimens.A glass about 300mm long and 6mm diameter.Clean and dry the pyknometer and weigh to the nearest 0. 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. . Thimphu Bhutan .A thermometer range 0°C to 50°C readable to 1°C .5g (m2) .Oven (24 hr at 105°C ±5°C) Sample preparation Take a sample of about 1. Coarse particles should be broken down. Weigh the bottle.01 Mg/m3 4. Stir the mixture thoroughly with the glass rod to remove air trapped in the soil.1990 Scope of the test The objective of the test is to determine the density of non-cohesive soil containing particles finer than 20mm.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. The specimens shall be oven dried at 105°C to 110°C and stored in an airtight container. or by rolling it on the bench. with screwtop assemble to the nearest 0.A pyknometer.5g (m1). Reporting The method of test used The average value of the particle density of the soil specimen to the nearest 0. Apparatus used . .Balance accurate to 0.14/06/2005 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.

Leave the pyknometer standing for at least 24h at room temperature constant to within 2°C. wash it thoroughly and fill it completely with water at room temperature. 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 0.5Mg/m3 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Allow air to escape froth to disperse. Reporting The method of test used The average value of the particle density of the soil specimen to the nearest 0.5Mg/m3 the test shall be repeated. Thimphu Bhutan . If the results differ more than 0. Dry the pyknometer on the outside and weigh to the nearest 0.05 Mg/m3 repeat the test.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 37 - hole in the conical top. Dry the pyknometer on the outside and weigh the whole 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.

a choice of spring is made dependent upon the stiffness of the ground : weak ground: spring 2kg.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.After stopping rotation wait for a few seconds and slowly apply torque as been done for the peek strength . .Record the reading of the maximum pointer as the remoulded value Repeat the test at least twice.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 38 5.5mm with a length of about 75mm.record the reading of the maximum pointer as the peek value. which can be carried out both in the field and in the laboratory.cm firm ground: spring 8kg.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.bring the maximum pointer in contact with the (strain)angle indicator .cm . to remould the soil. Place the trimmed sample centrally into the sample container belonging to the equipment. Thimphu Bhutan . 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.1-1 Sample preparation An undisturbed sample should be cut and trimmed to a diameter of 37.note the reading on the circular graduated scale . .measure the dimensions of the vane .clamp the sample container in the clamping attachment or in a other way vertically below the vane shaft . Execution of the test (for numbers see fig. 5. .after reading of the (strain)angle indicator rotate the vane rapidly two complete revolutions.1-1) Peek value . Three tests on one sample material should be sufficient if the results are reasonably constant. 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 sample. Apparatus used -Laboratory vane test apparatus see fig 5.1 Vane test BS 1377: Part 7 1990 Scope of the test The vane test is a test. . Remoulded value . Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Warning: If the (strain)angle indicator rotate for more then 180 degrees stop the test and repeat with a stiffer spring. Fill the annular space between the wall of the container and the sample with molten wax. The undrained shear strength of soft to firm cohesive soils can be determined without the sample being disturbed by preparation. This method may be used when the sample is too sensitive or soft to enable a compression test.

1. Average the values obtaining for the different test. Calculate the vane shear strength of the soil. 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. ⎛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.mm K = constant which depends on the dimensions of the vane. Thimphu Bhutan .mm.1 Laboratory vane apparatus used at DGM Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 5. If one result differs appreciably from the others (more then 20%) it should be discarded.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.cm recalculate this value in N.

under a constant confining pressure. The test maybe performed consolidated or unconsolidated under drained or undrained conditions.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 40 5.01mm. controls controls.2. by increasing the axial strain. 5. 25 mm 0. Thimphu Bhutan . controls controls air-water cylinder. Pore pressure transmitter.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. Strain transducer max. Fig.1) 123456789- Triaxial test frame Pressure controller Control panel Triaxial cell Load ring Strain transducer Pressure transducer Volume change apparatus Bladders controls. Overview test set-up The triaxial test set up maintenance the following apparatus (fig 5.1 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.2. air regulator controls. with the possibility of measuring pore pressure and volume change.

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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

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Fig. 5.2.2, Soil lathe

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

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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

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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

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.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). 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.5. Thimphu Bhutan . Bring down the base plate from the triaxial machine Open the air vent and drain the water out the cell Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.

0 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.2 0. Temperature at calibration 20 ° C ring serial number 00010105 Gauge reading 0. 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.4 0. given by σ1=(σ1-σ3) + σ3 σ3 is the cell pressure (kPa) Graphically plot the values σ1 and σ3 on the horizontal axis. Graphically plot the values of deviator stress against the displacement (in percentage) Calculated the major principal stress σ1 (in kPa). Thimphu Bhutan .8 1. where Calibration chart for load measuring ring 2.0 1. Draw the Mohrs circles and measures the values for the internal angle off friction (φ) and cohesion (c).8 2. As = area cross section of the specimen.0 kN compression. we can calculated the deviator stress (σ1σ3)m (in kPa). 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).4 1.6 0.14/06/2005 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).001 mm 245 481 725 965 1214 1459 1705 1955 2201 2449 Load kN 0. given by P/As ∗ 1000 in kPa P = is the axial force in N.2 1.6 1.

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. 5. The soil sample confined inside the upper and lower rigid boxes is subjected to the normal load N. Because of the length of the beam the applied weight has to multiply with a factor 11. slopes. friction angle and cohesion of soils for stability analysis of foundation. undrained or consolidated-undrained conditions. The principle of the direct shear test is illustrated in Fig. and retaining walls.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 46 5.3 Direct shear test BS 1377: part 7 1990 Scope of the test The direct shear test is used to measure shear strength. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.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.3. Thimphu Bhutan .2. The test may take place under drained. Fig 5.

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

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

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

6 1283. Thimphu Bhutan .0 1804.001mm 387. Temperature at calibration 20 ° C Ring serial number 1155-7-13080 Gauge reading 0.0 4. 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) 4.0 2.2 1029.8 3. 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 1.8 1546.6 2.8 15 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.6 4.2 2332.2 770.6 0.9 8-20 7.2 512.6 Load kN 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 50 Calibration chart for load measuring ring 4.4 12 8.2 2596.4 2068.8 13.4 2929.5 kN compression.2 1.8 φ′ (deg) 28 31-35 24 20 24 25.8 1.4 2.2 3.5 Typical values of effective cohesion intercept C′ and effective friction angle φ′ for various fine-grained soils (drained test).

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

2 Measure the diameter and height of the cutting ring.1-2). or in a tube of larger diameter. This can take a few hours to a few weeks. 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.1 gram Lubricate the inner face of the ring lightly with silicon grease. Sample preparation The inside diameter of the cutting ring shall be not less than 50 mm and not greater than 105 mm. 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. 6. with an accuracy of 0. The loading yoke is placed on the loading cap and by putting weight on the hanger the specimen is loaded axially. which is mounted on the cell platform from the consolidation frame. 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. Undisturbed specimens shall be prepared with the minimum change of the soil structure and moisture content. from which you will prepare a specimen with help from the cutting ring.1.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 52 Description of test A prepared soil specimen is put in a consolidation cell (fig 6. depending of the load and sample material. The height of the ring shall be not less than 18 mm and not greater than 0. (Depending to which hole of the beam the hanger is connected) The stress is held constant until the primary consolidation has ceased. or as a block sample. For the practical you will get a clay block sample. During this process water drains out of the specimen.1. Thimphu Bhutan . Because of the length of the beam the applied weight has to multiply with a factor. resulting in a decrease in height which can be measured with the displacement transducer at suitable intervals.4 times the internal diameter.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.1 mm Weigh the ring to an accuracy of 0. Fig 6.

If not otherwise indicated by the laboratory assistant.30.24 hours -Plot the readings of the dial gauge or the settlement against time to a logarithmic scale (See fig. 6.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.40. (take away the seating load) Start Winclips program. 694 kPa.10. the following periods of elapsed time from zero are convenient. 0.Place the upper porous disc .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 53 Test procedure Assembly of the consolidation cell .20. The applied stress range will therefore be 174.15.1-4): Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.4.Place the cell body on the cell base . so that it is securely held.30 min.1 mm) Add water to the cell Measure with suitable intervals the vertical displacement.Put the cutting ring with specimen centrally in to the cell with its cutting edge uppermost. Add the first load to the hanger to give the required pressure of 174 kPa.2.Fix the ring retainer around the ring. 1.2.Place the bottom porous disc on the cell base .6.8. 347. 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 test has to be done for tree load increments starting with a load giving a stress of 174 kPa on the sample. and tighten the clamping screws . (trigger on the vertical displacement transducer. Thimphu Bhutan . 0.4.50 s 1. Normal procedure is to double the stress at each stage.1-3 With the loading Yoke swung forward and resting on the beam.8. . 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.

it indicates that the primary consolidation phase is complete and that the next load increment may be applied. 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.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 54 Fig. After completion the last load increment takes out the consolidation ring Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. the load should be left unchanged for another 24 hours.1-4 After 24 hours. as in figure 6. Thimphu Bhutan . 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.1-4. If the straight line representing secondary compression has not yet been established. the decision must be taken whether or not to apply the next load increment. When it has been established the loading stage may be terminated: Applied the second load on hanger.6.

From the zero and 100% points. 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. Plot the settlement versus log-time curve. and the secondary compression portion. at the point of inflexion. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Thimphu Bhutan . and analysis has to be made following Casagrandes method. Calculate the coefficient of consolidation with the following equation: Cv = 0.1-4. expressed in minutes. denoted by d100 .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 55 - Remove the porous discs carefully. to calculate the moisture content and dry-weight. i. Their intersection gives the compression corresponding to theoretical 100 % primary compression. and laying off an equal distance above the upper point.026 H 2 t 50 Expressed in m2/year With: H = H1 + H 2 were. Take the dry weight. Reporting Calculate the bulk mass density and moisture content before and after the test. t50 (in min). d50. Calculate the dry density (if no material has been lost during the test). The principle of the method is illustrated in fig 6. 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. Repeat this operation using two other pairs of points having times in the same ratio.e. 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. on the laboratory curve and obtain its time. to determine the coefficient of consolidation Cv for each increment of loading. locate the 50 % primary compression 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.

A cylindrical mould with an internal diameter 105mm and an internal effective height of 115. which can be achieved.Mixer. in the CBR mould (See chapter 7. usually by mechanical means.5 mm British Standard sieves. depends on the degree of compaction applied and on the amount of water present in the soil.5 kg. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.A steel straightedge. Thimphu Bhutan . 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. .2. sliding freely in a tube. 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. For these soils the test description for determination of maximum and minimum dry densities for granular soils would be more appropriate.5 mm size. which controls the height of drop to 450 mm .CBR mould.1. For a series of tests on a particular soil. about 300 mm long and 3 mm thick. .Jacking apparatus for extracting the compacted material from the mould. .2 .1. sliding freely in a tube which controls the height of drop to 300 mm figure 7.2) Apparatus used . 3-Compaction with a vibration hammer.Balance readable to 5 g.A drying oven capable of maintaining a temperature of 105 C to 110 C.Metal rammer: Light test: 50 mm diameter face. weight of 4. 2-Heavy manual compaction test. Heavy test: 50 mm diameter face. The dry density.5 kg rammer. thereby increasing the dry density of the soil. For cohesion less soils an optimum moisture content might be difficult to define. one size of mould should be used consistensily.5 kg. Note: For highly permeable soils such as clean gravel’s.5mm. as described in chapter 7.1.5 kg rammer. If there is a limited amount of particles up to 37. uniformly graded and coarse clean sands. each with procedural variations related to the nature of the soil: 1-Light manual compaction test. .20 mm and 37.Watertight containers or strong polythene bags . . internal volume is used for soil in which all particles pass a 20 mm test sieve. using a 4. using a 2. equivalent tests are carried out in the larger CBR mould. Detachable base plate and removable extension collar figure 7. weight of 2. 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. min 5 litres.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 56 7. Three types of compaction test are described.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. . with one bevelled edge.

1.5 mm % 100 100 100 95 90 Less than 90 A = Soil particles not susceptible to crushing.2 Ordinary test rammer The quantity of soil required. . 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. . and the minimum mass of soil required can be determined.5 mm test sieves. depend on the size of the largest particles present and if the particles are susceptible to crushing during compaction.On the basis of these percentage the soil can be assigned to one of the grading zones (1) to (5) in table1.Original bulk sample.The amount of material retaining on the sieves has to be weighed and as a percentage from the total mass calculated. For soils not susceptible to crushing. Thimphu Bhutan .5 mm BS sieve. is air dried and weighed = w1 .Thorough mixing in of the water is essential.1.Particles larger than 20 mm should be removed by sieving with the 20 mm and 37.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 57 Fig. Depending on the soil type. one sample only is required for test and it can be used several times. .1 British standard compaction mould Sample preparation Fig 7. B = Soil particles susceptible to crushing. 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 . Determine the approximate percentage by mass of particles in the soil sample passing the 20 mm and 37. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 7.

approximately as follows: -Sandy+ gravely soils 1-2% (50-100 ml of water to 5 kg of soil). Add an increment of water.3 Sequence of blows -Weigh the soil + mould (m2).2) fig 7. Fig. Of course.3 After this. Mix in the water thoroughly for each increment of water added. Break up what is left over from the compacted sample and mix it with the remainder of the prepared sample. First 4 blows according to the pattern of fig.1.14/06/2005 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.1. approximately equal. the rammer should be moved. Heavy test. fourth and fifth layer.3 between the successive blows. the range of moisture contents should be such that the optimum moisture content is within that range.(see fig 7. third layer.4) Remove the extension collar carefully and cut away the excess soil and level off the top of the mould. Break up the sample on a tray.4 Fit the mould on to the extruder and jack out the soil. layer of soil in the mould and compact it with 27 or 62 blows in the same way as described above. third.4% (100-200 ml of water to 5 kg of soil). Place a second.1.1. 7. Now the moisture content has to be measured by taking three representative samples. The compacted surface in the extension collar should be about 6 mm above the level of the mould body. -Cohesive soils: 2.1. Now the soil should be compacted by 27 blows for the 1 L mould and 62 blows for the CBR mould. -if necessary execute the CBR test (chapter 7. should be filled up with fine material. Using the 1L or CBR mould. resulting from removed stones. With this. Any small cavities. 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. Thimphu Bhutan . Repeat with: Ordinary test. Repeat the compaction part so that at least 5 compactions are made. 7. 7. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. according to fig. the blows are uniformly distributed over the whole area.

Read off the maximum dry density and the corresponding moisture content. W. Draw a curve of best fit to the plotted points and identify the position of the maximum on this curve. Calculate the average moisture content.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 59 Fig 7. against the corresponding moisture content. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 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. which is the optimum moisture content for this degree of compaction.5 graph of dry density-moisture content Calculations Calculate the Bulk density. 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. for each compacted specimen. W %.1. Thimphu Bhutan .

2% From 5% to 10%: to the nearest 0. BS 1377:Part 4: 1990 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. W = the moisture content (%) An example of such a graph is given by fig. British Standard 2. 10 % for the purpose of this plot. Pentech Press.5. Which procedure was followed. 5.001 Mg/m3. Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing: Vol. 5 %.5kg rammer method Whether the test was carried out on a single sample or on separate batches. expressed as a percentage of the total volume of the soil (equal to 0%. 7. Thimphu Bhutan . London.H. 2.5% Exceeding 10%: to the nearest 1% The percentage of stones retained on the 20mm sieve is reported to the nearest 1%.5kg rammer method British Standard 4. The optimum moisture content is reported as follows: Below 5%: to the nearest 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 60 The curve for 0. - Remarks It is possible to combine this test with the CBR test References: - K.1. Reporting Description of the soil The maximum dry density for the stated degree of compaction is reported to the nearest 0. and 10% air voids may be plotted on the same graph. Head (1982). 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.

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

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

2-2 gives the details of the compaction. The mould with the sample and the surcharge weights is placed in the machine. Ensure that the blows are evenly distributed over the surface Table 7. in order to get an optimal compaction.2-2 Compaction in CBR mould equivalent to BS compaction mould Execution of the test.5 lb Rammer drop (mm) 300 450 450 (vibration) 12 in 18 in No.2-1 The sample has to be divided in equal parts of weights according to the number of layers mentioned in table 7. is connected to the load-measuring device.2-2. Thimphu Bhutan . The cylindrical plunger. depending on the required way of compaction.5 mm and cross-sectional area of 1935 mm2 and a length of 250 mm.5 4.5 30-40* 5.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 63 in methods 5 and 6. from a certain height performs the compaction. 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 10.5 4. Dropping a certain weight several times. This is because the compaction takes place in stages. Each surcharge ring Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.0 lb * Downward force (kgf) to be applied. - The load-measuring device is connected to the compression machine. table 7. Mass (kg) 2. Table 7. diameter 49.

obtained with the test. Reading of the load-measuring device has to be taken with every 0. Reporting . . After 7.Type of load. .Type of sample.This cutting point must then be taken as the new origin point and a new penetration scale. see figure7. starting with zero at this new point.5 and 5. .Data and testing procedure. . weathering grade. The CBR-value is then: CBR = load at 2. must be added.If not.-value. The load at 2. with a CBR value of 100%. .2.25 mm displacement.The same calculation is done for 5 mm penetration. if necessary with construction of the direction.B.The highest of the two is then the CBR-value. Figure 7.2.The load-penetration curve is normally convex upwards.Way of compaction used.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 64 - of 2 kg is equivalent to about 70-mm thickness of superimposed construction.Data on the sample. The same has to be done from the diagram of the standard CBR test.R. undisturbed etc. a correction has to be applied: figure 7. particle size distribution.C. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.5 and 5 mm penetration.and displacement measuring devices.5 mm penetration. test 1 .0 mm penetration has to be read from this diagram.2. have to be plotted in a load penetration diagram. . . with a loading rate of 1 mm/min. disturbed.Load penetration diagram. Calculation - The data. the tangent has to be drawn until it cuts the horizontal axis. .Lithology. Switch to motor drive and start the loading.2 for the standard load for 2. The plunger must be seated on top of the specimen and must be able to move freely from the surcharge weight.5 mm penetration from test × 100% load at 2.2. test2 .From the inflection point. Correction . .2. Thimphu Bhutan . After removing the sample from the mould. . the machine can be stopped.5 mm penetration from standard .Description of the testing machine and stress rate used.Table with all readings. The seating load has to be applied by weight. the moisture content has to be determined. moisture content and natural moisture content. Adjust the displacement-measuring device to read zero. .

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

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

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

8. A sieve analysis shall be made on a representative of the complete soil. a sample for testing equal to an amount approximately twice that for filling the permeameter chamber. From the material from which the oversize has been removed. Thimphu Bhutan . shall be selected by the method of quartering. Take a small portion of the selected sample for moister content and particle density determinations. select by the method of quartering.1.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 68 - (3) below. The percentage of the oversize material shall be recorded. Weight the remainder of the prepared sample to 1g (m1) Fig. All particles larger than one-twelfth of the diameter of the permeameter cell shall be removed.1 Constant head test Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. prior to the permeability test.

. tamp or vibrate the material during placement. Avoid segregation. Placing and compaction shall be done by one of the following methods.m2. .Lower the piston carefully and bed the perforated plate on the filter material.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 69 Preparation of the specimens .1. to the top of the cell and connect the de-aerated water supply to the base. Allow de-aerated water to enter the cell and slowly percolate upwards through the sample until it emerges first from the air bleed. . A. B. fit the control valve connected to the discharge reservoir. . of the permeameter. for unit Weight determinations.Place the upper wire gauze or porous disc on top of the prepared sample.Place the prepared soil into the permeameter in such a way as to give a homogeneous deposit at the required density or voids ratio. and connect the control valve at the base to the discharge reservoir.Release the piston in the top plate and withdraw it to its fullest extent. L in mm as an average of three measurements . which shall be maintained at about 15mm above the surface of the placed material by admitting moor water through the base valve. . This will result in a saturated sample in a loose condition. X2. The final height:diameter ratio of the test sample shall be not less than 2:1. with perforated base.Fit the top plate .Dry the soil left over and determines the mass to the nearest 1g (m2). to the permeameter cell body. . Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 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.Fill the permeameter cell with water and saturate the sample as follows. 3. raising the funnel so that the end of the tubing is just at the water surface. Thimphu Bhutan . each with a thickness of about ½ the diameter. Release the soil and water mixture into the cell. If higher density is required.1) Inside diameter.8. (if the sample is placed under water start with step 4) 1.Assemble the base plate.Record the height of the test sample. D. Continue until the cell is filled to the required level. Set the inlet reservoir at a level a little above the top of the permeameter cell and open the supply valve. 7. which is then closed. . The cell is now ready for test under the normal conditions of downward flow. and then from the top connection. without entrapping air. Open the manometer tube valves and ensure that no air is trapped in the flexible tubing. Close the control valve. Measure the length of the sample again. Distances between manometer outlets X1. L (in mm) 4. Hold the piston down firmly and tighten the locking collar in this position. Connect the de-aerated water supply to the permeameter top connection. Saturation .Make the following initial measurements: (see fig. so that the dry mass of the soil used in the test sample can be obtained by difference m1. Open the top connection and the air bleed to atmosphere. Tamp each layer with a controlled number of standard blows with the tamping rod.Place the graded filter material on top of the disc to a depth of at least 50mm . Support the funnel so that the tubing reaches to about 15mm above.(investigation piping effects). The water in all tubes shall reach the level of the reservoir surface. 6. Hand tamping: Place the soil sample in at least four uniform layers. and record the average measurement. Connect the control valve on the base of the permeameter to the de-aerated water supply.Record the weight of the remaining air-dried sample. 5. and close the connections to the manometer tubes 2. W1. If a test with upward flow is required.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. . 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.

Often a hydraulic gradient of 0.Repeat the measurement at least four times. Thimphu Bhutan .1. Calculations Calculate the rate of flow q1 and q2 etc. . 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.If needed the hydraulic gradient can be increased by increasing the height of the inlet reservoir.2. downward flow fig 8.Place a measuring cylinder of suitable capacity under the outlet from the discharge reservoir and simultaneously start the timer .Record the levels of water in the manometer tubes.Measure the quantity of water collected in the cylinder during a given interval of time.1. .2 Test procedure. .Open the control valve at the base to produce flow through the sample. .2 is suitable. 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. . .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 70 fig 8.Adjust the height of the inlet reservoir to a suitable level. in mL/s during the period of each observation. Alternatively record the time required to fill the cylinder up to a given volume.Record the temperature of the water in the discharge reservoir.

1. I. Table 8. T in oC 5 10 15 20 25 30 k q i Rt Correction factor Rt 1. i.15 1 0. 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.1: temperature conversion table Laboratory temperature. 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.1. plot the calculated values of rate of flow.8 If a test have been carried out on different hydraulic gradients.3 1. derived from table 8.1 to standardize the permeability to 20 oC.5 1. Thimphu Bhutan . k in m/s. e = ρs −1 ρd Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 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. A = the area of cross section of the sample in mm2. q against hydraulic gradient.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 71 Calculate the hydraulic gradient.885 0.

. . k on log scale against density or voids ratio if appropriate.The 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. Thimphu Bhutan . .The dry density and if required the voids ratio .The method of placing and compacting the test sample. if relevant .The particle size distribution curve.A plot of coefficient of permeability. k in m/s. to two significant figures.The dimensions of the permeameter .Information on the method used including the standard followed. for laminar flow corrected to 20 o C. . .The coefficient of permeability for other conditions. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.

flowing through the sample. or by ASTM Standards. Fill the cylinder with de-aired water. If the areas of cross-section. Note: This test is not covered by British Standards. The tube should be pushed in squarely with a steady pressure. which has a sharp cutting edge. Preparation of apparatus. E. a relatively short sample is connected to a standpipe. B. to the nearest 0. Open the valve of the in 10 mentioned tube and open valve B. for a distance of about 90 mm. D. m1. Close the cell. for measurement of vertical permeability.5 mm. Open valve B and F and when the water has reached level 1 close valve B. Scope The falling head permeability test is used for measuring the permeability of soils of intermediate and low permeability (less than 0. Repeat this several times until you measure a constant value. the water level in the 10 mentioned tube y2. Test procedure. 13. and that there are no cavities around the perimeter through which water could pass. Measure the start level in the tube y1. Close valve F. The block sample should be firmly supported on a flat surface. A cylindrical test specimen may be obtained from a block sample of soft or fairly firm clay by pushing a U-100 cutting shoe. or with plasticine.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 73 8.2 Falling Head Permeability Tests. i. 4 and 5. Close valve A if the water reaches level 2 and stop the vacuum pump.Measure the water level in the cylinder hO. and F are closed. Preparation of sample. or with its axis horizontal (or parallel to bedding) for measurement of horizontal permeability (or permeability parallel to bedding). Weigh the sample in the cell to the nearest 0. Permeability of fine soils. Place the permeameter cell containing the sample in the cylinder (see figure). Thimphu Bhutan .1 g. C. Measure the mean internal diameter. which provides both the head of water and the means of measuring the quantity of water. t. of the three manometer tubes are not known. but the sides around the sampling location should not be laterally restrained. Gaps or cavities should be well packed with the fine matrix portion of the soil. D and E as long as necessary to fill respectively the tubes 3. See that the cell body is clean and dry. and weigh to the nearest 0.1 g. It is essential to ensure that the sample is a tight fit in the cellbody.0001 m/s). Before withdrawing the tube it should be rotated one complete turn to shear off the soil at the end. 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. The sample may be prepared in the usual manner with its axis vertical. silts clay. Several standpipes of different diameters are normally available from which can be selected the diameter most suitable for the type of material being tested. Control that valves A. 15. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. m2.Measure after a certain time interval.e. they should be determined. Fill the cylinder up to level 6 with water. D. Use some of the soil trimmings for determining the moisture content of the sample. 7. a. Open respectively valves C. The procedure described below follows generally accepted practice. Choose for the permeability measurement tube 3. 4 or 5 depending on the expected permeability of the sample.

1. Remarks Permeability can also be derived from data obtained during an oedometer test.2. References: Manual of Soil laboratory Testing. A = cross section area of sample in permeameter cell (mm2).hO (m). fig 8. Pentech Press London.1 permeameter test falling head Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Thimphu Bhutan . By: K.00001 ⎝ h2 ⎠ Kt = A∗t Where: (m/s) Kt = permeability (m/s) a = cross section area of used manometer tube (mm2).1. 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. h2 = end level manometer tube =y1-hO (m).84 ∗ a ∗ L ∗ log⎜ ⎟ ∗ 0. L = length of sample (m). t = measured time interval (s). h1 = start level manometer tube = y1 .H. Plymouth.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 74 Close all the valves. The permeability of the sample is calculated by: ⎛ h1 ⎞ 3. Calculation. Volume 2: Permeability Shear Strength and Compressibility Tests. Head.

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. Be sure that the sliding indicator not slides back if the penetrometer is extracted from the soil.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 75 9. The standard point has a diameter of 6. The instrument should not be used for obtaining foundation design data. This force compresses the spring. Range up to 2MPa Test procedure Before using the penetrometer ensure that the sliding indicator. The values read on the scale must be multiplied by 2. A drag unit is taken along during this operation. of the surface. a flat-tipped measuring pin. The heave duty penetrometer has 3 interchangeable points.5MPa. Apparatus The pocket penetrometer is composed of a steel tube. Report your values in kPa Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Smooth the surface of the area to be tested. the pin encounters a force of the ground. When pushing the instrument into the ground. It is a lightweight and easily transportable device for classifying cohesive soils in terms of consistency. The heavy duty penetrometer has a special designed penetration rod which allows relatively deep penetration of the soil (up to 6cm). The largest point. This reduce mistaken and uncertainties typical of shallow measurements which are often affected by remoulding.1.98mm has a area twice the standard point. and a scale.1 Pocket penetrometer. a spring. (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. drying etc.35mm. is fully extended to the "0" position. a drag unit.55mm diameter) readings multiplied by 2. The smallest point has a section half of that of the standard. 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. Range up to 0. and the scale readings on the penetrometer penetrometer correspond to unconfined compressive strength. The readings on the penetrometer are given for this point the range is up to 1MPa.35mm diameter)r readings as indicated on the scale For the largest point (8.89mm diameter) readings divided by 2 For the smallest point (4. In theory. The penetrometer is placed perpendicularly on the soil surface and pressure is exerted until the calibration mark (approx. The values read on the scale must be divided by 2. the undrained shear strength of purely cohesive materials can be obtained by dividing the UCS reading by two.1: Pocket compression tests on the same series of samples. diameter 8. These tests were run concurrently with unconfined Figure 0. For the standard point (6. 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. 6 mm) is level with the surface. Thimphu Bhutan . Heavy duty pocket penetrometer Scope of the test The pocket penetrometer is intended for in situ soil investigation at the surface. determining the approximate unconfined compressive strength and the estimation of the undrained shear strength. which shows on the scale the maximum that has been encountered.

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

Thimphu Bhutan .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. 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.

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