Soil mechanics laboratory manual


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


Soil mechanics laboratory manual


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

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

2 Consistency relationships. however. 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 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. 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. fig. which represent respectively the upper and lower bounds of the plastic state. This also applies if the plastic limit is equal to or greater than the liquid limit. 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. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.1. PI = LL-PL This value is reported to the nearest whole number. the soil is reported as nonplastic (NP).1. Which can occur in some soils with high mica content. the range of the plastic state is given by their difference. Thimphu Bhutan . The A-line provides an arbitrary division between silts and clays. 1.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 5 Fig 1. The transition from one state to the next in fact is gradual. If it is not possible to perform the plastic limit test.3 Plasticity chart for classification of fine soils. The two most important of these are the liquid and plastic limits. and is termed the plasticity index (PI).3 shows the plasticity chart used for this purpose.1.

1 of this handbook). or by wet sieving (part 2.50% High plasticity: LL = 50% .3 of this handbook). 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. The plastic limit is determined with the "rolling" method (part 3.70% Very high plasticity: LL = 70% . The sub-group symbols are given in Table 1.or with the Cassagrande cup (part 3. Thimphu Bhutan . Classification of coarse grained soils For the classification of coarse-grained soils it is necessary to make a particle-size analysis.5 shows the British Standard range of particle sizes.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 6 Low plasticity: LL <35% Intermediate plasticity: LL = 35% . It can be done by dry sieving (part 2.4 sub-group symbols in British Soil Classification system.90% Extremely high plasticity: LL> 90% A given soil may be located in its correct sub-group zone by plotting a point.1 of this handbook). 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. having co-ordinates given by the soils plasticity index and liquid limit.1.1.4 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 1.5 British Standard range of particle sizes Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.2 of this handbook).1.1. Figure 1.2 of this handbook). The liquid limit is determined with the cone penetrometer method (part 3.

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

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. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.1 indicate a possible gap-graded soil.1.0. (D 30 )2 D60 * D10 Most well graded soils will have grading curves that are mainly flat or slightly concave.1.5 and 2.7 Grading characteristic. Thimphu Bhutan . 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. three points are located on the grading curve to give the following characteristic sizes (fig. d10 Cu = D 60 D10 Coefficient of gradation (curvature) Cc = Cu < 3 indicate a uniform soil.7): Fig 1. Uniformity coefficient. 1. Cc <0. Cu > 5 indicate a well-graded soil. the following grading characteristics are defined: Effective size. giving values of Cc between 0. First of all.

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

the wet-sieving procedure should be followed instead. If particles of medium gravel size or larger are present in significant amounts. 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.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 10 2. which usually implies clean sandy or gravely soils that is. 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. The appropriate minimum quantity of material depends upon the maximum size of particles present. preferably overnight. This means that it is applicable only to clean granular materials.3 10 14 20 28 37.2-1 .5 50 63 75 100 150 200 Table 2. Maximum size of material present in substantial proportion retained on BS sieve (mm) Pass 2 mm or smaller 6. soils containing negligible amounts of particles of silt or clay size. and is indicated in Table 2. and is weighted to an accuracy within 0. 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.1% or less of its total mass (M1).1-1 Minimum quantities for particle size test.The specimen is placed on a tray and is allowed to dry. If in doubt about the validity of the dry-sieving method. or by subdivision using the cone-and-quarter method. Sample preparation The specimen to be used for the test is obtained from the original sample by riffling. . The procedure is then referred to as "composite sieving". in an oven maintained at 105-110 °C. Scope of the test Dry sieving is the simplest of all methods of particle size analysis.1 Simple dry sieving BS 1377: Part 2:1990. Thimphu Bhutan . the whole specimen is allowed to cool.After drying to constant weight.

to prevent escape of dust.Weighing. and a receiving pan under the smallest aperture sieve at the bottom. The masses retained (Ms1. Weighing of each size fraction should be to an accuracy of at least 0.) are recorded against the sieve Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.1% of the total initial test sample mass.The whole nest of sieves with receiving pan is placed in the shaker.5 28 20 14 10 6. . which is then fitted with the lid. and the sieves are securely fastened down in the machine.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.1-3.35 2 1. Some shakers have a built-in timing device which can be pre-set to switch off the motor automatically after the desired period. the sieve being first placed upside-down on a tray or a clean sheet of paper. For classification purposes we can use a short set. See table 2.3 5 Woven wire 3. . This can be achieved most conveniently by using a mechanical sieve shaker. Thimphu Bhutan . The sieves to be used are selected to suit the size of sample and type of material. Ms2.1-2 It is not necessary to use all sieves for every test. Sieve frames must not be out of true.The maximum mass of sample. . Aperture size full set Construction A Perforated 75 mm Steel plated 63 (Square holes) 50 37.1-2 metric sieves Standard set B + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 13 sieves + + 7 sieves + + + + Short set C + Suitable sieve diameters 450mm 300mm 200mm + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + (+) + + + (+) + + + + + + (+) + + Test procedure . but the sieves used should adequately cover the range of aperture sizes for each particular soil. and should fit snugly one inside the other. the dried soil is placed in the top sieve. These particles are added to those retained on the sieve. is depending on the used sieves and the particle size of the sample. The material retained on each sieve is transferred to a weighed container. The complete range of sieves specified by the British Standard is given in Table 2. . which can be sieved in one cycle.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 11 Execution of the test Selection of sieves.Agitation in the shaker should be for a minimum period of 10 min. Sieves are nested together with the largest aperture sieve at the top. etc.18 600 µm 425 300 212 150 63 Lid and receiver + 19 sieves Table 2. Any particles lodged in the apertures of the sieve should be carefully removed with a sieve brush.

5 2. The calculated mass passing the last sieve should be equal.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 12 aperture size on the particle size test work sheet.3 5 3.5 28 20 14 10 6. If this is denoted by Mp.75 0. The mass passing the first sieve = M1.0 0. or very nearly equal. 450mm diameter sieves (kg) 10 8 6 4 3 2 1.5 3. 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. The mass (Mp) passing the 63µmm sieve is also measured and recorded. Thimphu Bhutan .Ms1. The percentage passing the second sieve is given by P2 = And so on. Pp passing the last sieve is Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.0 Calculations The mass retained on the first sieve is denoted as Ms1. the percentage of fines.1-3 maximum mass to be retained on each test sieve at the completion of sieving.5 200 mm Sieve diameter sieves Aperture (g) 50 mm 37. to the mass collected in the receiving pan.5 2.35 300 2 200 1.5 1. Maximum mass 300 mm diameter sieves (kg) 4.18 100 75 600µm 425 75 300 50 212 50 150 40 63 25 Table 2.5 1.0 1. The percentage passing the first sieve is given by P1 = M1 − Ms1 ∗ 100 % M1 The mass passing the second sieve = M1 – Ms1 – Ms2.

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

and is stirred frequently. This disperses the clay fraction.2-1 Minimum quantities for particle size test. even if prolonged.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 14 2. Execution of the test .1 Page. preferably overnight.2 It is not necessary to use all sieves for every test. Thimphu Bhutan . Scope of the test If a soil contains silt or clay. it is necessary to carry out a wet sieving procedure in order to measure the proportion of fine material present. but the sieves used should adequately cover the range of aperture sizes for each particular soil. 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 specimen to be used for the test is obtained from the original sample by rifling. Even when dry. If clay is present.2. The soil is allowed to stand for at least an hour. The procedure is described in detail below for non-cohesive soils containing little or no gravel.3 10 14 20 28 37. or if there is evidence of particles sticking together. in an oven maintained at 105-110 °C After drying to constant weight. For classification purposes we can use a short set. The complete range of sieves specified by the British Standard is given in Table 2. Maximum size of material present in substantial proportion retained on BS sieve (mm) Pass 2 mm or smaller 6. the whole specimen is allowed to cool.Selection of sieves. The appropriate minimum quantity of material depends upon the maximum size of particles present. Washing is the only practicable means of ensuring complete separation of fines for a reliable assessment of their percentage. even in small quantities. or both. and is indicated in Table 2. the material should be immersed in a dispersant solution before washing. fine particles of silt and clay can adhere to sand-size particles and cannot be separated by dry sieving.2 Wet sieving . or by subdivision using the cone-and-quarter method. and is weighted to an accuracy within 0. so that clay and silt will not adhere to larger particles.fine soils BS1377: Part 2:1990. The dried representative sample is spread out on a tray and covered with water containing 2g/litre of sodium hexametaphosphate.1% or less of its total mass (M1).5 50 63 75 100 150 200 Table 2. .The specimen is placed on a tray and is allowed to dry.2. Sample Preparation .

5 28 20 14 10 6. . Particles retained are brushed to remove finer material which may be adhering to them. washing on the 63mm sieve is continued until the wastewater is seen to run clear. The silt and clay passing the 63 mm sieve is allowed to run to waste. so as not to overload the sieve (see Table 2. Thimphu Bhutan . but the lid and receiver are not used.18 600 µm 425 300 212 150 63 lid and receiver 19 sieves Table 2. is then sieved on appropriate larger aperture sieves and the amount retained on each is weighed. after drying. Table 2. and washed over a sink with a jet or spray of clean water. Warning: The sink used for this operation should be fitted with a silt trap. The mass of soil retained on the 63mm should not exceed 150 g at any one time.Wash.2-2 metrics sieves Standard set B + + + + + + + + + + + Short set C + + + + + + + + + 13 sieves + + 7 sieves Suitable sieve diameters 450mm 300mm 200mm + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + (+) + + + (+) + + + + + + (+) + + + + + .35 2 1. The fraction passing the 20 mm sieve. with a portion being taken at a time. but individual particles must not be broken down. if necessary. 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. During this operation the sieve must not be allowed to become overloaded with soil or to overflow with water.2-3 gives the recommended maximum quantities that may be retained on each sieve. is then oven dried and weighed (M2). The soil is placed a little at a time on the 2 mm sieve. The 2 mm sieve is nested in the 63mm sieve. The material retained on the 20 mm sieve. 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.2-3 ).Sieving coarse material The sample is sieved on a large-diameter 20 mm sieve.3 5 Woven wire 3. When the material on the 2 mm sieve has been washed free of fines. including "brushings" from larger particles. the material should be sieved in two or more portions.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 15 Aperture size full set Construction A Perforated 75 mm Steel plated 63 (square holes) 50 37. If this is likely to be exceeded. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.

Weighing The portion retained on each sieve is weighed.5 2.e.35 300 2 200 1. Thimphu Bhutan . and any fines passing the 63 µm test sieve.3 5 3. it should be accurately weighed (M5 ) and then subdivided to give a sample of 100-150 g.1% (M4). (Me) If riffling is not necessary.3 mm sieve is small.5 1. Weighing After cooling. If the fraction passing the 6. not more than 150 g.5 3. Sieving The dry soil is passed through a nest of the complete range of sieves to cover the sizes of particles present.e. Weigh the amount retained on each sieve to 0. (M6 ) is the same as (M5 ). - 450mm diameter sieves (kg) 10 8 6 4 3 2 1. each to an accuracy of 0.5 2. the sample may be sieved by dry sieving on the appropriate sieves down to and including the 63 µm test sieve. the whole of the dried material is put together and weighed to an accuracy of 0.0 Maximum mass 300 mm diameter sieves (kg) 4.18 100 75 600µm 425 75 300 50 212 50 150 40 63 25 Table 2.5 1. preferably overnight. down to the 6. exactly as in the dry sieving procedure.75 0. Weigh the amounts retained on each sieve.1%. If the fraction passing the 6. Weigh this fraction (M6 ) and then sieve on the appropriate sieves down to and including the 63 µm test sieve. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. to 0.2-3 maximum mass to be retained on each test sieve at the completion of sieving. substantially greater than 150 g.1 % of its total mass. i.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 16 Sieve Aperture 50 mm 37.0 0. and is carefully transferred to trays or evaporating dishes. This operation may be carried out by hand or preferably on a sieve shaker.1 % of its total mass.5 200 mm diameter sieves (g) - Drying The whole of the material retained on each sieve is allowed to drain.0 1.3 mm sieve.5 28 20 14 10 6.3 mm sieve is large i. and any fines passing the 63 µm test sieve (Mf). Weigh the amounts retained on each sieve. These are placed in an oven to dry at 105-110 °C.

Any material removed before sieving.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. 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. the sheet should include the visual description of the sample. such as vegetation or an isolated cobble. the grading curve. ⎧ ⎪ (M 3 − M 4 ) + M f M3 ⎪ ⎩ ⎫⎛ M 2 ⎬⎜ ⎜ ⎭⎝ M 1 ⎞ ⎟ 100 ⎟ ⎠ Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Thimphu Bhutan . This should be the description of the sample before testing. should be reported.3 mm by multiplying by M2 . and modified as necessary as a result of the additional information revealed by the test result. Percentage passing 63 µm sieve = ⎨ Reporting In addition to the particle size curve and the usual sample identification data. 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 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.3 mm sieve by multiplying by ⎜ ⎜ ⎛ M5 ⎝ M6 ⎞⎛ M 2 ⎟⎜ ⎟⎜ M ⎠⎝ 3 ⎞ ⎟ . 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. The mass of fines lost by washing is equal to (M3-M4).

The hydrometer analysis utilises the relationship among the velocity of fall of spheres in a fluid. Thimphu Bhutan . When moving it in and out of a cylinder. the specific weights of the sphere and of the fluid. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. with rubber stops thermometer high speed stirrer sieves 200 mm diameter. the diameter of the sphere. and of the viscosity of the fluid as expressed by the Stokes’ law. 212 µm. This is done by subtracting 1 from the density and moving the decimal point three places to the right. 600 µm. − 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.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). 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. a small angle could break it. 2 mm and a receiver balance readable to 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 18 2. steel rule four evaporating dishes 1000 ml beaker two measuring cylinder. 100 ml and 50 ml wash bottle and distilled water constant-temperature bath glass rod: 12 mm diameter. NOTE: The hydrometer is a very fragile device. For example. a density of 1. Meniscus correction − Insert the hydrometer is a 1 L cylinder containing about 800 ml water. and the percentage of clay minerals < 2µm. Never hold it horizontal while holding it on one side. it should be handled with care. 105-110 °C stopwatch readable to 1 s. 63 µm. corresponding to the level of the upper rim of the meniscus. keep it as straight as possible. Rh’. Hold it on the bulb when moving it horizontal.01 g drying oven. The test is usually not performed if less than 10% of the material passes the 63 µm sieve. determine the point where the plane intersects the hydrometer scale. Apparatus used − − − − − − − − − − − − − − − − soil hydrometer two 1000 ml glass measuring cylinders. the bulb is very heavy and the glass could break.028 would be a hydrometer reading of Rh’ = 28.

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

Frothing over must be avoided.78 219.78 199.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 20 Example: Rh N= d1= d2= d3= d4= d5= d6= d7= length mm 16 19 38. either on a low-heat hot plate or on a low gas flame. Agitate frequently by stirring or by shaking with a rotary motion. and the oxidation process may take 2 or 3 days.9286x + 199. Very organic soils may require several additions of hydrogen peroxide. If necessary.28 140.78 159.71 R2 = 0. With this relation. add more hydrogen peroxide in increments of about 100 ml until the oxidation process is complete. Amount of dry sample − for sandy soil 100 gram − for clayey soil 50 gram Weigh the soil to 0.5 74 93 113 133 153 Hr mm 101.9999 Sample preparation − − − − − − − − Dry the sample in an oven at 60-65°C.01 gram Place the soil in a 1000 ml beaker If the sample contains organic matter (>0. Thimphu Bhutan . and determine the relation.78 121. we can calculate for each reading Rh the corresponding Hr. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.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 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.78 179. scale calibration hydrometer 250 200 150 Hr 100 50 0 -10 0 10 Rh 20 30 calibration Linear (calibration) y = -3.5 58 77 97 117 137 H mm 35 54.

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

0019 25 0. the sieve curve Temperature Dynamic viscosity.Ro' Where: Ro' = hydrometer reading at the upper rim of the meniscus in the dispersant solution Calculate the percentage by mass. the method of pre-treatment 5. ⎟ 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. the results of the sedimentation analysis 3.005531 ( ρ s − 1) t Where: η = dynamic viscosity of water at the test temperature (mPa. from the equation Rd = Rh' .3.3037 15 1. Thimphu Bhutan .s). from the equation: − ⎛ 100ρ s ⎞ K=⎜ ⎜ m(ρ − 1) ⎟R d . table 2.7982 40 0. where m = mass of dry soil used (g) or mp = mass of soil after pre-treatment. of particles smaller than the corresponding equivalent particle diameter . the results of the sieve analysis 4. from the equation − η *Hr D = 0 . K.6540 Table 2.1369 20 1.1 Hr = effective depth (mm) ρs = particle density (Mg/m3) t = elapsed time (min) − Calculate the modified hydrometer reading. η (mPas) (°C) 0 1. Rd. the method of test used 2.3.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 22 Calculation Dispersion − Calculate the mass percentages according to the wet sieving procedure in paragraph 2.1 viscosity of water Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.8909 30 0.7865 5 1.2 Sedimentation − Calculate the effective depth Hr − Calculate the equivalent particle diameter D (mm). D (mm).5138 10 1.

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

weighing about 250 g.1. Thoroughly mixes each increment of water with the soil as previously described. Make further additions of water in increments of 1 to 3 ml. expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven dried soil. Flat glass plate about 500mm square. kneading. when the cup is dropped 25 times for a distance of 1 cm at the rate of 2 drops/s. at the boundary between the liquid and the plastic state. 3. BS 1377: Part 2:1990 (ASTM D4318) Scope of the test The liquid limit of soil is the water content. Because of this difference.1 Casagrande apparatus Sample preparation Place the soil sample.1 Liquid limit with Casagrande cup. 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. Note: The difference between the American and British Standard. and chopping with a spatula.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 24 3.40 (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. Apparatus used Casagrande cup. Thimphu Bhutan . 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. according the ASTM or BS standard. from the thoroughly mixed portion of the material passing the No. the American standard a harder ebonite one. 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. Mass balance accurate to 0. Squeeze it Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. before adding another increment of water.01g Drying oven Glass cup or tin dishes Spatulas Fig. the results of the British method are generally higher. is the difference in base plate of the Casagrande cup. The British standard defines a relative soft rubber base.

as follows: Wn = mass of water ∗ 100 mass of ovendried soil Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 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. and place it in a suitable container (for example a matched watch glass). Weigh and record the mass. Record the numbers of drops required to close the groove along a distance of about 12-mm. Make the strokes with as few strikes as possible. Record this mass. shall be permitted. Wash and dry the cup and grooving tool.2 Casagrande cup Lift and drop the cup by turning the crank at the rate of 2 revolutions per second. Each stroke should penetrate a little deeper until the last stroke from the back to front scrapes the bottom of the cup clean. expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dried soil.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 25 down and spread it in the position shown in fig. Transfer the soil remaining in the cup to the evaporating dish. 3. clean groove of the proper dimensions will be formed. to which sufficient water has been added to bring the soil to a more fluid condition. Calculation Calculate the water content Wn of the soil.1. The number of drops should be less than 35 and exceed 15. from front to back or from back to front counting as one stroke. Record the loss in mass due to drying as the mass of water.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. The test should always proceed from the dryer to the wetter condition of the soil. Remove a slice of soil approximately the width of the spatula. Return the excess soil to the evaporating dish. Divide the soil by firm strokes of the grooving tool along the diameter through the centreline of the cam follower so that a sharp. Fig. up to six strokes. and reattach the cup to the carriage in preparation for the next trial. until the two halves of the soil cake come in contact at the bottom of the groove along a distance of about 12 mm. Repeat the foregoing operations for at least two additional trials with the soil collected in the evaporating dish. 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 avoid tearing of the sides of the groove or slipping of the soil cake on the cup. 3. care being taken to prevent the entrapment of air bubbles within the Mass. 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. 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. Thimphu Bhutan . with as few strokes of the spatula as possible.

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

particles retained on a 425µm test sieve.Cone penetrometer with standard cone of mass 80 gr. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.2 Liquid limit using the cone penetrometer BS 1377: Part 2:1990 Scope of the test With this test. It is based on the measurement of penetration into the soil of a standardised cone of specified mass. one can obtain the liquid limit. but in most cases up to a liquid limit of 100 these differences will not be significant. Note: The results obtained with the cone penetrometer may be differ slightly from those with the Casagrande apparatus. .3.1 cone penetrometer Sample preparation Wherever possible the test shall be carried out on soil in its natural state.2 spatulas .Flat glass plate about 500mm square.sample cup of diameter 55 mm and 40 mm deep .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 27 3.drying oven . Apparatus used .01 g - Fig.1 . together with particle size analysis.wash bottle .2. With many clay soils it is practicable and shall be permissible to remove by hand any coarse particles present. i. Thimphu Bhutan .e. Otherwise these particles shall removed by wet sieving. sees fig 3. This value is often used in classification systems. At the liquid limit the cone penetration is 20 mm.mass balance accurate to 0.2.

and let the fine particles settle. Wn (in %) -Weight the remainder of the sample to an accuracy of within 0. If the second penetration is between 0. Add a little more wet soil to the cup and take a second reading. dry it at 105 °C and weigh it to an accuracy of within 0. Lift out the cone and clear it carefully. and the moister content is measured. 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). -Collect the material retained on the 425 µm sieve. Thimphu Bhutan . to form a plastic material Place the paste into an airtight container. -Stir the mixture until it forms a slurry. the Average value is recorded. -After a suitable interval pour off any clear water above the suspension.5 mm. Calculation: From the sieved soil calculate the dry mass. and provided the overall Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. or overnight. For soil of low clay content. such as very silty soils. Remove the soil from the container and remix with the spatulas for at least 10 min.5 and 1 mm different from the first. -Sieve the slurry through the 425 µm sieve with the minimum amount of distilled water until the water passing is virtually clear.01 g (M6) -Place the sample in a container under just enough distilled water to submerge it. it should be approximately 15 mm for the first test. -Collect the fines in a receiver or large container if necessary. and if necessary add distilled water. 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. and let it dry (warm air) until it forms a stiff paste. the curing period may be omitted. a third test is carried out.01 g (M7). and leave it standing for a curing period of 24 hour.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. Some soils (heavy clays) up to 40 min. Md (in g). to allow water to permeate through the soil mass. which passes the 425 µm test sieve. If the second cone penetration differs from the first by less than o. 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. -Take a representative sample and determine its moisture content.

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.B. 3. Reporting -The liquid limit is expressed to the nearest whole number.2. Thimphu Bhutan . the soil is removed from the cup and remixed. if it was sieved. See fig. This value is interpolated from a graph. both on a linear scale. the average of the three penetrations is recorded and the moisture content is measured. 4) of penetration values from about 15mm to 25 mm. One must be careful not to add too much water at one time. The liquid limit is defined as that moisture content where the cone penetrates 20 mm into the sample. If the overall range exceed 1mm.2. N. Fig 3.2 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. This is done at least three more times to get a range (min. -Treatment of the soil.2. Calculation The moisture contents determined are plotted against the respective penetration depth. -The percentage material passes the 425 mµ sieve.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 29 - range does not exceed 1mm. and the test is repeated.

Repeat for the other three pieces of soil. dry in the oven overnight. We only use material passing the 425 µm sieve. 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.3 mm diameter metal rod .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. do not reduce pressure as the thread diameter approaches 3 mm. Further divide each into four equal parts. By "crumbling" is meant shearing both longitudinally and transversally as it is rolled. divide the ball into two portions each of about 10 g. It may be possible to gather the pieces together after crumbling.Repeat stages on the other set of four portions of the soil. Using a steady pressure. and not due to mechanical breakdown caused by excessive pressure.Thoroughly knead the sample and if necessary mix with the distilled water for 10 min. but this should not be done. The metal rod serves as a reference for gauging this diameter.Mould the soil between the fingers again to dry it further. . . Some heavy clay may need more than this because this type of soil tends to become harder near the plastic limit. using the finger and thumb of each hand. Form it into a thread and roll out again as before.01 gram. It is important to maintain a uniform rolling pressure throughout. as in the standard moisture content procedure. but keep each set of four parts together. Apparatus .spatulas .The first crumbling point is the plastic limit. . Execution of the test.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 30 plate . The thread must be intact and homogeneous. Thimphu Bhutan . 20 gram of material is needed. Crumbling must be the result of the decreasing moisture content only. Repeat this procedure until the thread crumbles when it has been rolled to 3-mm diameter. It is the empirical established moisture content at which soil becomes to dry to be plastic. to form a plastic ball. . . roll the thread between the fingers of one hand and the surface of the glass plate. to reform a thread and to continue rolling under pressure.Mould the ball between the fingers and roll between the palms of the hands so that the warmth of the hands slowly dries it. cool and weigh dry. Sample preparation ca. using a second moisture content container.As soon as the crumbling stage is reached. . .drying oven .One of the parts if formed into a thread about 6 mm diameter. and place in the same container. gather the crumbled threads and place them into a weighed moisture content container. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. The sample may be a disturbed sample. Weigh the container and soil as soon as possible. .mass balance accurate to 0. When slight cracks begin to appear on the surface. or oblique rolling or detachment of an excessive length beyond the width of the hand.

the test should be repeated. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Vol 1. Thimphu Bhutan . (1982): Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing. Reference Head K.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. London Plymouth. If they differ by more than 0. -The percentage of material passes the 425mµ sieve if it was sieved. Take the average of the two results.Pentach Press.5% moisture content. or rolling of the soil is not possible. -The treatment of the soil. Remarks From some soils the plastic limit cannot be determined. Crumbling occurs before you reach 3mm.H.

ρd (in Mg/m3). In the third the volume is measured by displacement of water.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. Thimphu Bhutan . of the soil is known. which is numerically the same as g/cm3.1 % (m) Calculate the volume.1mm balance with accuracy of 0. from the equation: ρd = 100 ρ 100 + W Express the density and dry density of the soil specimen to the nearest 0. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 32 4. The first applies to soils that can be formed into a regular geometric shape. ρd. calculate the dry density of the specimen. W (in %). 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. is the mass of dry soil contained in a unit volume.1 Density BS 1377: Part 2:1990 Scope of the test The bulk density of a soil. is the mass per unit volume of the soil deposit including any water it contains. The dry density. ρ.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. Three methods are specified. V of the specimen. Calculations The bulk density can be calculated: m ρ= V If the moisture content. Both are expressed in Mg/m3. Apparatus used: calliper with accuracy of 0. In the second the volume of the specimen is determined by weighing it submerged in water. the volume of which can be calculated from linear measurements.

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

Thimphu Bhutan . we can calculate the dry density.coarse grained material use 3000 g Execution of the test weigh the sample container to 0.2 Natural Moisture Content BS 1377:part 2.fine grained material use 30 g . 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.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.Type of sample (core. block. the sampling.The water content should be reported to the nearest 0.M3 = ∗ 100% dry mass of sample M3 . natural moister content .Project name.01 gr.medium grained material use 300 g .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 34 4. storage. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.M1 With help of the moisture content W. date of sampling. sample number. transporting and handling precautions should be such that the water content remains within 1% of the in-situ value. . .The sample transport and storage conditions .01 gr. with the following calculation: Dry density = mass insitu ∗ 100 100 + W Reporting .lithology. particle size.Data on the sample . depth below terrain (in case of bore hole) . or other). 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 . Apparatus used - balance accurate to 0. density. location.1%. disturbed. sample dimensions.

Remove the bottle from the bath and wipe it dry.A wash bottle containing air-free distilled water . Before removing the stirring rod wash off any soil particles with a few drops of air-free water. Leave the bottle for at least 1 hour under vacuum until no further loss of air is apparent .Vacuum system .Two 50mL density bottles (pyknometers) with stoppers . .001g (m3) . each between 5g and 10g shall be obtained by riffling.Wash the density bottles.3a: Particle density small pyknometer method BS 1377:part 2.001 gr. The specimens shall be oven dried at 105°C to 110°C and stored in an airtight container.Clean out each bottle. without stopper in the vacuum desiccator. Replace the lid of the desiccator and repeat the vacuum procedure as specified before . Stir the soil in the bottle. . . soil and water to 0.. add more liquid to fill the bottle and replace the stopper. Insert the stopper and immerse the bottle up to the neck in the constant-temperature bath. Leave the bottle in the bath for at least 1 hour so that the bottle attains the temperature of the bath. .If there is an apparent decrease in the volume of the liquid.Take the bottle out of the bath.Oven (24 hr at 105°C ±5°C) .A vacuum desiccator .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 35 4. wipe it dry and weigh it to the nearest 0.Balance accurate to 0.This procedure is repeated until no more air is evolved from the soil. cool and weigh to the nearest 0. remove the stopper. Weigh the bottle with stopper.Release the vacuum and remove the desiccator lid. Weigh the bottle.A constant temperature water bath in the range from 20-300C ± 0.2 0C . with stopper to the nearest 0. . .Add enough air-free distilled water to cover the soil in the bottle. . Apparatus used . .001g (m1). Return the bottle to the bath and again allow the contents to attain the constant temperature.A small riffle-box Sample preparation At least two specimens.001g (m4) Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.A rod small enough to go through the neck of the density bottle. If necessary fill the bottle as specified before. fill it completely withy de-aerated water. insert the stopper and immerse in the constant temperature bath as before. dry.001g (m2) .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. Thimphu Bhutan . Reduce the pressure gradually to about 25kPa. Execution of the test .Remove the density bottle from the desiccator and add more air-free water until full. Place the bottle.Transfer the soil specimen to the density bottle.

5mm diameter at its apex .5g (m2) . Stir the mixture thoroughly with the glass rod to remove air trapped in the soil.5kg. Coarse particles should be broken down. or by rolling it on the bench.Oven (24 hr at 105°C ±5°C) Sample preparation Take a sample of about 1.5 gr.03Mg/m3 the test shall be repeated. .Agitate by shaking the pyknometer. Execution of the test . The specimens shall be oven dried at 105°C to 110°C and stored in an airtight container.Balance accurate to 0.A pyknometer.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.Add water at a temperature of within ± 2°C of the average room temperature to about half fill the pyknometer.A thermometer range 0°C to 50°C readable to 1°C .With the screw top removed transfer the soil specimen into the bottle. while holding one finger over the Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.1990 Scope of the test The objective of the test is to determine the density of non-cohesive soil containing particles finer than 20mm. Fill the pyknometer with water.3b Particle density large pyknometer method BS 1377:part 2. . Coarse particles should be broken down. a glass vessel of nominal 1L capacity designed for a screw-top lid. . Weigh the bottle. Apparatus used .Clean and dry the pyknometer and weigh to the nearest 0. At least two specimens.Fit the screw cap assembly and tighten so that the reverence marks coincide. with screwtop assemble to the nearest 0. . each of about 400g shall be obtained by riffling.5g (m1).A glass about 300mm long and 6mm diameter. 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 ± 0.01 Mg/m3 4. . Thimphu Bhutan . Reporting The method of test used The average value of the particle density of the soil specimen to the nearest 0.

5g (m4) Repeat the test using the second sample. Top up the pyknometer with water so that the water surface is flush with the hole in the conical cap. Thimphu Bhutan . Dry the pyknometer on the outside and weigh the whole to the nearest 0. 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. If the results differ more than 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 37 - hole in the conical top. Leave the pyknometer standing for at least 24h at room temperature constant to within 2°C. Reporting The method of test used The average value of the particle density of the soil specimen to the nearest 0. Allow air to escape froth to disperse. Dry the pyknometer on the outside and weigh to the nearest 0.5g (m3) Empty the pyknometer.05 Mg/m3 repeat the test. wash it thoroughly and fill it completely with water at room temperature.5Mg/m3 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.5Mg/m3 the test shall be repeated.

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

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. Average the values obtaining for the different test. ⎛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. Thimphu Bhutan .1. τv in kPa τv = M * 1000 K M= measured torque in Multiply the outcome by the spring factor (is indicated on the spring) and dived the outcome by 180 this give the torque in kgf. If one result differs appreciably from the others (more then 20%) it should be discarded.1 Laboratory vane apparatus used at DGM Geotechnical Laboratory of recalculate this value in N. Calculate the vane shear strength of the K = constant which depends on the dimensions of the vane. 5.

25 mm 0.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 40 5. Thimphu Bhutan .1 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.2.2. by increasing the axial strain. Strain transducer max. air regulator controls. controls controls. Fig. controls controls air-water cylinder. with the possibility of measuring pore pressure and volume change. Overview test set-up The triaxial test set up maintenance the following apparatus (fig 5. Pore pressure transmitter. The test maybe performed consolidated or unconsolidated under drained or undrained conditions.1) 123456789- Triaxial test frame Pressure controller Control panel Triaxial cell Load ring Strain transducer Pressure transducer Volume change apparatus Bladders controls.01mm.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. under a constant confining pressure. 5.


Soil mechanics laboratory manual


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


Soil mechanics laboratory manual


Fig. 5.2.2, Soil lathe

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


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

Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM, Thimphu Bhutan


Soil mechanics laboratory manual



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

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

0 1.8 2.2 1. 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). Thimphu Bhutan . 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. Graphically plot the values of deviator stress against the displacement (in percentage) Calculated the major principal stress σ1 (in kPa).4 1. Draw the Mohrs circles and measures the values for the internal angle off friction (φ) and cohesion (c).2 0.0 kN compression.6 1.4 0. Temperature at calibration 20 ° C ring serial number 00010105 Gauge reading 0. we can calculated the deviator stress (σ1σ3)m (in kPa).6 0. given by P/As ∗ 1000 in kPa P = is the axial force in N. As = area cross section of the specimen. where Calibration chart for load measuring ring 2.8 1. given by σ1=(σ1-σ3) + σ3 σ3 is the cell pressure (kPa) Graphically plot the values σ1 and σ3 on the horizontal axis.001 mm 245 481 725 965 1214 1459 1705 1955 2201 2449 Load kN 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).0 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.

friction angle and cohesion of soils for stability analysis of foundation. slopes.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. The principle of the direct shear test is illustrated in Fig. The soil sample confined inside the upper and lower rigid boxes is subjected to the normal load N. 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.2. and retaining walls.3.3 Direct shear test BS 1377: part 7 1990 Scope of the test The direct shear test is used to measure shear strength. Thimphu Bhutan . Fig 5. Because of the length of the beam the applied weight has to multiply with a factor 11. undrained or consolidated-undrained conditions.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 46 5. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 5. The test may take place under drained.

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

.Porous drainage plate .Determine the combined thickness of plates to be used for the test (tp). .Level the surface . . .Boil the sand in water for 10 minutes .Place the bottom plate. Execution of the test Place the shear box in the sleigh.Place the saturated sand into the shearbox and compact it by vibration to achieve the desired density.Place or pour the sand directly into the assembled shear box until the appropriate thickness.Fill the shear box from the bottom up with: (see fig 5. at right angles to shear motion) .Determine the combined thickness of plates to be used for the test (tp). .Bottom plate . and determine the dry mass of the specimen (mo) by difference.Grooved plate (grooves down.Grooved plate (grooves up. .Place the lower grooved plate.Porous drainage plate .Place the upper porous plate. . .Place the upper grooved plate firmly on the specimen. . and determined the initial mass of the specimen (mo).Determine the depth from the top surface of the upper half to the top of the base plate (h1).Sample. at right angles to shear motion) .3.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 48 Dry sand: . . .Place the lower porous plate.Prepare a quantity of soil somewhat larger than required and determined its mass to 0. . Collect all surplus sand. (h2).Measure the distance from the top of the shearbox to the surface of the grooved plate.Place the grooved plate.Determine the depth from the top surface of the upper half to the top of the base plate (h1). Thimphu Bhutan . .Prepare a quantity of soil somewhat larger than required and determined its mass to 0.B. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. .1 g. . .3) .Place the bottom plate. dry and weight it.Place the upper grooved plate firmly on the specimen.1 g. .Measure the distance from the top of the shearbox to the surface of the porous plate (h2). .Top plate with ball bearing N. In the case of drained experiments use the grooved plates with the holes.Weight the total of the unused soil. Saturated sand: . (with help of the wooden push block) .

Apply the normal force by placing the load hanger on the ball bearing. Md is the final dry mass of the specimen. Install the measuring devices to obtain the vertical and horizontal displacement.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 49 Fig 5.3-1) Select the shearing speed. for sand a rate of 1 mm/min. for sand the effect of the displacement rate on the friction angle is generally negligible within the range 3 to 0. Wo (in %). 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. For greater normal forces the slotted weights may be hung from the lever arm. Thimphu Bhutan . Calculate the initial dry density.3 Apply the normal force by placing the load hanger on the ball bearing. Calculate the shear stress.1) Start the motor and record the readings on the measuring devices at regular intervals (for example. Calculate the normal stress at the moment of the maximum shear stress. 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. (see fig 5. For cohesive material the shearing speed depends of the type of test.Md ∗ 100 Md Mo is the initial mass of the specimen (in g). (see fig 5.1 mm/min. Shear stress against the normal stress. (Failure points). and take the initial reading.3. The force is applied by placing the slotted weights on the bottom of the hanger. ρd (in Mg/m3). Ho is equal to the height of the cutter. for an undrained test a rate to approximately 1mm/min. 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.3. Determine the shear force by correlating the load ring displacement with the force using the calibration chart. (Ho= h1-h2-tp). For an undisturbed sample. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. For greater normal forces the slotted weights can put on the hanger from the lever arm. σn = F/A (in kPa) F = mass on the hanger (or equivalent mass if a Lever-arm is used.) Determine the C and φ values by plotting the max. The force is applied by placing the slotted weights on the bottom of the hanger. should be fast enough to approach the undrained condition. Calculate Calculate the initial moisture content. from the equation Wo = Mo . every 30 seconds) until a constant value is obtained for the load-measuring device.

4 2068.8 13.2 2596.6 1283.8 φ′ (deg) 28 31-35 24 20 24 25. 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. 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 1.6 0.4 2.2 512.4 12 8.001mm 387.2 1029.0 1804.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 50 Calibration chart for load measuring ring 4.8 3.6 Load kN 0.2 1.0 2. Temperature at calibration 20 ° C Ring serial number 1155-7-13080 Gauge reading 0.2 3.2 2332.5 Typical values of effective cohesion intercept C′ and effective friction angle φ′ for various fine-grained soils (drained test).6 2.4 2929.9 8-20 7.8 15 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.6 4.2 770.0 4.8 1546.5 kN compression.8 1. Thimphu Bhutan .

The properties that characterise the amplitude and rate of deformation are determined in the consolidation test. The long-term settlement of fine grained soil layers is primarily controlled by consolidation. When fine grained soils are subjected to changes in load due to construction.1-1 12345678- Consolidation frame Consolidation cell Displacement transducer Loading yoke Counter balance weight Beam Beam support jack Weight hanger Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Thimphu Bhutan . a physical process in which the interstitial water that is under excess pressure slowly diffuses through the compressible matrix of soil particles. After the excess pore pressure has completely dissipated. Fig 6.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 51 6.1 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. which are functions of time and excess pore pressure. but also continues for very long time periods which may last several years. their deformation takes place not only at the time of the load application. fine-grained soils can also deform due to their viscous nature.

1. depending of the load and sample material. resulting in a decrease in height which can be measured with the displacement transducer at suitable intervals.1-2).14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 52 Description of test A prepared soil specimen is put in a consolidation cell (fig 6. Undisturbed specimens shall be prepared with the minimum change of the soil structure and moisture content. or in a tube of larger diameter.1. For the practical you will get a clay block sample. This can take a few hours to a few weeks. Thimphu Bhutan . Because of the length of the beam the applied weight has to multiply with a factor. which is mounted on the cell platform from the consolidation frame.1 mm Weigh the ring to an accuracy of 0. 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. The loading yoke is placed on the loading cap and by putting weight on the hanger the specimen is loaded axially.4 times the internal diameter. from which you will prepare a specimen with help from the cutting ring. 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.2 Measure the diameter and height of the cutting ring. During this process water drains out of the specimen.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 gram Lubricate the inner face of the ring lightly with silicon grease. or as a block sample. Fig 6. Sample preparation The inside diameter of the cutting ring shall be not less than 50 mm and not greater than 105 mm. 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. 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. 6. with an accuracy of 0.

Add the first load to the hanger to give the required pressure of 174 kPa.10.20. (take away the seating load) Start Winclips program. the test has to be done for tree load increments starting with a load giving a stress of 174 kPa on the sample.24 hours -Plot the readings of the dial gauge or the settlement against time to a logarithmic scale (See fig. so that it is securely held.30.8. 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.1-3 With the loading Yoke swung forward and resting on the beam.15.Put the cutting ring with specimen centrally in to the cell with its cutting edge uppermost.8.50 s 1.4.Place the upper porous disc . (trigger on the vertical displacement transducer. 1. The applied stress range will therefore be 174.2. 347.1 mm) Add water to the cell Measure with suitable intervals the vertical displacement. Normal procedure is to double the stress at each stage. . If not otherwise indicated by the laboratory assistant. 6.40. 0. the following periods of elapsed time from zero are convenient. 0.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.Place the cell body on the cell base .30 min.6.4. Thimphu Bhutan . 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. 694 kPa.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 53 Test procedure Assembly of the consolidation cell .Fix the ring retainer around the ring.2.1-4): Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.Place the bottom porous disc on the cell base . and tighten the clamping screws .

as in figure 6. Repeat this procedure for a third load increment. it indicates that the primary consolidation phase is complete and that the next load increment may be applied. 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. the load should be left unchanged for another 24 hours. 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. 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.1-4 After 24 hours.1-4. When it has been established the loading stage may be terminated: Applied the second load on hanger. After completion the last load increment takes out the consolidation ring Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Thimphu Bhutan .6.

to determine the coefficient of consolidation Cv for each increment of loading. From the zero and 100% points. and laying off an equal distance above the upper point. Repeat this operation using two other pairs of points having times in the same ratio. expressed in minutes. and the secondary compression portion.e. t50 (in min).026 H 2 t 50 Expressed in m2/year With: H = H1 + H 2 were. on the laboratory curve and obtain its time. to calculate the moisture content and dry-weight. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Their intersection gives the compression corresponding to theoretical 100 % primary compression. Reporting Calculate the bulk mass density and moisture content before and after the test. Thimphu Bhutan .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 55 - Remove the porous discs carefully. 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. 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. Calculate the coefficient of consolidation with the following equation: Cv = 0. Plot the settlement versus log-time curve. Take the dry weight. at the point of inflexion. locate the 50 % primary compression point. The principle of the method is illustrated in fig 6. denoted by d100 . 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. i. Calculate the dry density (if no material has been lost during the test). 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. d50.1-4. and analysis has to be made following Casagrandes method.

weight of 2.2. in the CBR mould (See chapter 7. Thimphu Bhutan . which can be achieved. The dry density. with one bevelled edge.Metal rammer: Light test: 50 mm diameter face. using a 4.A drying oven capable of maintaining a temperature of 105 C to 110 C. one size of mould should be used consistensily. internal volume is used for soil in which all particles pass a 20 mm test sieve. sliding freely in a tube. For cohesion less soils an optimum moisture content might be difficult to define. which controls the height of drop to 450 mm . For a series of tests on a particular soil. . 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. .1. Three types of compaction test are described. . depends on the degree of compaction applied and on the amount of water present in the soil.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.1. uniformly graded and coarse clean sands. . thereby increasing the dry density of the soil. Heavy test: 50 mm diameter face.A steel straightedge. weight of 4.A cylindrical mould with an internal diameter 105mm and an internal effective height of 115. .Jacking apparatus for extracting the compacted material from the mould.5 kg.5mm.20 mm and 37.5 mm size. Note: For highly permeable soils such as clean gravel’s. using a 2. min 5 litres. 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.5 kg rammer. usually by mechanical means.Balance readable to 5 g.2) Apparatus used . 3-Compaction with a vibration hammer. sliding freely in a tube which controls the height of drop to 300 mm figure 7.5 mm British Standard sieves.Watertight containers or strong polythene bags . 2-Heavy manual compaction test. equivalent tests are carried out in the larger CBR mould. .5 kg. 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.1.2 . each with procedural variations related to the nature of the soil: 1-Light manual compaction test.Mixer. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.CBR mould.5 kg rammer. as described in chapter 7. For both these tests a compaction mould of 1 L. For these soils the test description for determination of maximum and minimum dry densities for granular soils would be more appropriate. about 300 mm long and 3 mm thick.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 56 7. Detachable base plate and removable extension collar figure 7. If there is a limited amount of particles up to 37.

B = Soil particles susceptible to crushing.5 mm BS sieve. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. 7. . 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 .5 mm % 100 100 100 95 90 Less than 90 A = Soil particles not susceptible to crushing.5 mm test sieves. and the minimum mass of soil required can be determined.1. Thimphu Bhutan . one sample only is required for test and it can be used several times. 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.The amount of material retaining on the sieves has to be weighed and as a percentage from the total mass calculated.1 British standard compaction mould Sample preparation Fig 7.Particles larger than 20 mm should be removed by sieving with the 20 mm and 37. .Original bulk sample. Determine the approximate percentage by mass of particles in the soil sample passing the 20 mm and 37. depend on the size of the largest particles present and if the particles are susceptible to crushing during compaction.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 57 Fig. Depending on the soil type.2 Ordinary test rammer The quantity of soil required.Thorough mixing in of the water is essential.On the basis of these percentage the soil can be assigned to one of the grading zones (1) to (5) in table1.1. . is air dried and weighed = w1 . For soils not susceptible to crushing.

third. the blows are uniformly distributed over the whole area. Now the moisture content has to be measured by taking three representative samples.2) fig 7. With this. Now the soil should be compacted by 27 blows for the 1 L mould and 62 blows for the CBR mould.1. according to fig. Fig. Thimphu Bhutan .3 Sequence of blows -Weigh the soil + mould (m2). 7. approximately as follows: -Sandy+ gravely soils 1-2% (50-100 ml of water to 5 kg of soil). the range of moisture contents should be such that the optimum moisture content is within that range.(see fig 7. -Cohesive soils: 2. 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. Of course. Using the 1L or CBR mould. 7.3 between the successive blows.1. layer of soil in the mould and compact it with 27 or 62 blows in the same way as described above. Break up the sample on a tray. third layer.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. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. should be filled up with fine material.3 After this. Repeat the compaction part so that at least 5 compactions are made. the rammer should be moved. Mix in the water thoroughly for each increment of water added. The compacted surface in the extension collar should be about 6 mm above the level of the mould body. 7. Place a second.1. Any small cavities. First 4 blows according to the pattern of fig.4 Fit the mould on to the extruder and jack out the soil.4) Remove the extension collar carefully and cut away the excess soil and level off the top of the mould. approximately equal.4% (100-200 ml of water to 5 kg of soil).1. Repeat with: Ordinary test.1. Break up what is left over from the compacted sample and mix it with the remainder of the prepared sample. fourth and fifth layer. Add an increment of water. resulting from removed stones. Heavy test. -if necessary execute the CBR test (chapter 7.

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

5 %. 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. Head (1982). Which procedure was followed. Reporting Description of the soil The maximum dry density for the stated degree of compaction is reported to the nearest 0.5% Exceeding 10%: to the nearest 1% The percentage of stones retained on the 20mm sieve is reported to the nearest 1%. British Standard 2. The optimum moisture content is reported as follows: Below 5%: to the nearest 0. 7.5kg rammer method British Standard 4. Thimphu Bhutan . Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing: Vol. Pentech Press. 2. and 10% air voids may be plotted on the same graph.5.H. - Remarks It is possible to combine this test with the CBR test References: - K.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 60 The curve for 0. London. 5.5kg rammer method Whether the test was carried out on a single sample or on separate batches. W = the moisture content (%) An example of such a graph is given by fig.001 Mg/m3. 10 % for the purpose of this plot.1.2% From 5% to 10%: to the nearest 0. expressed as a percentage of the total volume of the soil (equal to 0%. BS 1377:Part 4: 1990 Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.

2 Balance. with a constant penetration rate of 1 mm/min. the bearing value of highway sub-bases and sub-grades.5 mm British Standard sieves. with one bevelled edge. With a CBR value above 30%. Thimphu Bhutan . fittings and tools. is an empirical test. Watertight containers or strong polythene bags A drying oven capable of maintaining a temperature of 105 C to 110 C. With a CBR value up to 30%. With this test.01 mm. can be estimated. 20 mm and 37.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 61 7. A seating load of 250N has to be applied. At certain values of penetration the ratio of the applied force to a standard force. The load-measuring device depends on the CBR-value. Apparatus used - Motor-drive compression machine. The displacement-measuring device must have a range of 25 mm and scale units of 0. which is used as an important criterion in pavement design.2. CBR mould. The Californian Bearing Ratio test. is defined as the California Bearing Ratio (CBR). A seating load of 50N has to be applied.1 General arrangement for CBR test Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.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. A steel straightedge. min 5 litres Fig 7. a load ring with a range of 0-10Kn is needed. as described in chapter 7. about 300 mm long and 3 mm thick. or CBR-test. capable of weighing up to 25 kg readable to 5 g. A standardised CBR mould. a load ring with a range of 0-50KN is needed. 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. expressed as a percentage. Mixer.

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

from a certain height performs the compaction.2-1 The sample has to be divided in equal parts of weights according to the number of layers mentioned in table 7.2-2 gives the details of the compaction.5 lb Rammer drop (mm) 300 450 450 (vibration) 12 in 18 in No.2-2.5 4. depending on the required way of compaction. The cylindrical plunger.5 30-40* 5. Each surcharge ring Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. - The load-measuring device is connected to the compression machine. Thimphu Bhutan .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 63 in methods 5 and 6.2-2 Compaction in CBR mould equivalent to BS compaction mould Execution of the test.5 4. Ensure that the blows are evenly distributed over the surface Table 7. is connected to the load-measuring device. Table 7. The mould with the sample and the surcharge weights is placed in the machine. This is because the compaction takes place in stages. in order to get an optimal 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 10.0 lb * Downward force (kgf) to be applied. Dropping a certain weight several times. Mass (kg) 2. table 7. diameter 49.5 mm and cross-sectional area of 1935 mm2 and a length of 250 mm.

Switch to motor drive and start the loading. Reporting . undisturbed etc. The load at 2. . starting with zero at this new point. . The seating load has to be applied by weight.B.The highest of the two is then the CBR-value. test 1 .2. . weathering grade.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 64 - of 2 kg is equivalent to about 70-mm thickness of superimposed construction. After 7. The CBR-value is then: CBR = load at 2. Calculation - The data. moisture content and natural moisture content.5 and 5 mm penetration. . test2 .If not. Reading of the load-measuring device has to be taken with every 0. Figure 7. . particle size distribution. if necessary with construction of the direction.2. Correction . must be added.5 and 5.0 mm penetration has to be read from this diagram.The same calculation is done for 5 mm penetration.and displacement measuring devices. . obtained with the test. the moisture content has to be determined. the machine can be stopped.Data on the sample.2.5 mm penetration from standard .-value. .25 mm displacement.Type of sample. The plunger must be seated on top of the specimen and must be able to move freely from the surcharge weight.Table with all readings. . .Data and testing procedure.5 mm penetration. with a CBR value of 100%.2.From the inflection point.5 mm penetration from test × 100% load at 2. .R. Thimphu Bhutan . the tangent has to be drawn until it cuts the horizontal axis. see figure7.Load penetration diagram. Adjust the displacement-measuring device to read zero. with a loading rate of 1 mm/min.Description of the testing machine and stress rate used.2 for the standard load for 2.The load-penetration curve is normally convex upwards.C. a correction has to be applied: figure 7.Way of compaction used. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.This cutting point must then be taken as the new origin point and a new penetration scale.Lithology. After removing the sample from the mould. disturbed.Type of load.2. The same has to be done from the diagram of the standard CBR test. have to be plotted in a load penetration diagram. .

no correction required Test 2. Head (1982).14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 65 Fig 7.2. correction as (B) may not be valid. Remarks Usually.H. correction required Test 3.2 Tree types of load penetration curve from CBR tests: Test 1.K. Thimphu Bhutan . the CBR-test is combined with the proctor test. Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing: Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. References .

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

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.1. 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.1 consist of: .A supply of clean de-aerated water to the constant head reservoir .A vertical adjustable reservoir tank capable of maintaining a constant –head of water supply . In order to limit consolidation influences during testing.A scoop for placing soil in the funnel . . or when used as bases courses under pavements.A representative sample of air-dried granular soils. Direct proportionality of velocity of flow with hydraulic gradients below certain values.A discharge reservoir with overflow to maintain a constant level.Internal calliper. 2. Flow with the soil voids saturated with water and no bubbles in the soil voids. Fundamental Test Conditions The following ideal test conditions are prerequisites for the laminar flow of water through granular soils under constant head conditions.1 Constant head test BS 1377 part 5 Permeability of granular soils. at which turbulent flow starts.Measuring cylinders of 100 mL.A steel rule graduated to 0.5 oC . 3.A stopwatch readable to 1 s.Filter material of a suitable grading for placing adjacent to the perforated plates at each end of the permeameter. Thimphu Bhutan .5mm . 500mL.A balance readable to 1 g. .A calibrated thermometer reading to 0. .A set of manometer tubes connected to the cell with flexible tubes including a (pinch) valve .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 67 8. Apparatus used Permeameter set-up fig 8.A flat-ended tamping rod long enough to reach to the bottom of the permeameter and about 10mm diameter. 4. Continuity of flow with no soil volume change during a test.Permeameter cell conform the standard . 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. The grading of the filter material depends on the particle size distribution of the test sample. 1.Two discs of wire gauze or porous material fitting inside the cell . . Sample preparation Sample . . this procedure is limited to disturbed granular soils containing not more than 10% soil passing the 63-um sieve. The material should be well graded between those limits.A large plastic funnel . 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.A scoop small enough to fit inside the permeameter . and 1000mL capacity .

shall be selected by the method of quartering. 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. From the material from which the oversize has been removed. A sieve analysis shall be made on a representative of the complete soil.1 Constant head test Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. a sample for testing equal to an amount approximately twice that for filling the permeameter chamber. prior to the permeability test. select by the method of quartering. The percentage of the oversize material shall be recorded. Thimphu Bhutan . Take a small portion of the selected sample for moister content and particle density determinations.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 68 - (3) below.1. 8.

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

Repeat the measurement at least four times.Measure the quantity of water collected in the cylinder during a given interval of time.Place a measuring cylinder of suitable capacity under the outlet from the discharge reservoir and simultaneously start the timer . Often a hydraulic gradient of 0.Open the control valve at the base to produce flow through the sample. . Thimphu Bhutan . . . .2 Test procedure.Record the levels of water in the manometer tubes.2. in mL/s during the period of each observation.If needed the hydraulic gradient can be increased by increasing the height of the inlet reservoir.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 70 fig 8.2 is suitable. If the levels indicate a significant nonuniformity of the hydraulic gradient remove and replace the sample. q1 = Q1 etc.1.1.Adjust the height of the inlet reservoir to a suitable level. Alternatively record the time required to fill the cylinder up to a given volume. downward flow fig 8.Record the temperature of the water in the discharge reservoir. . 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. Calculations Calculate the rate of flow q1 and q2 etc. . Allow the water levels in the manometer tubes to become stable before starting measurements. .

1. q against hydraulic gradient. A = the area of cross section of the sample in mm2. e = ρs −1 ρd Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.1 to standardize the permeability to 20 oC. Thimphu Bhutan . derived from table 8. I.5 1.8 If a test have been carried out on different hydraulic gradients. 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. i. 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.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 71 Calculate the hydraulic gradient. k in m/s. T in oC 5 10 15 20 25 30 k q i Rt Correction factor Rt 1. plot the calculated values of rate of flow.1.15 1 0.3 1. Table 8.885 0. 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.1: temperature conversion table Laboratory temperature.

for laminar flow corrected to 20 o C.The method of placing and compacting the test sample. Thimphu Bhutan .The coefficient of permeability. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.The particle size distribution curve. .The dry density and if required the voids ratio . .Information on the method used including the standard followed. to two significant figures. . k in m/s.The proportion and size of oversize material removed before preparing the test sample. .A plot of coefficient of permeability. .14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 72 Reporting results . k on log scale against density or voids ratio if appropriate.The dimensions of the permeameter . if relevant .The coefficient of permeability for other conditions.

t. Use some of the soil trimmings for determining the moisture content of the sample. and F are closed. 15.1 g. Close the cell. m2. If the areas of cross-section. Preparation of apparatus. but the sides around the sampling location should not be laterally restrained. or with plasticine. Thimphu Bhutan . of the three manometer tubes are not known. E. m1. 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. for a distance of about 90 mm. Open the valve of the in 10 mentioned tube and open valve B. which provides both the head of water and the means of measuring the quantity of water. D. The procedure described below follows generally accepted practice. they should be determined. which has a sharp cutting edge. or by ASTM Standards. Choose for the permeability measurement tube 3.1 g. for measurement of vertical permeability.0001 m/s). to the nearest 0. Test procedure. Gaps or cavities should be well packed with the fine matrix portion of the soil. A cylindrical test specimen may be obtained from a block sample of soft or fairly firm clay by pushing a U-100 cutting shoe.Measure after a certain time interval. D. It is essential to ensure that the sample is a tight fit in the cellbody.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 73 8. the water level in the 10 mentioned tube y2. and that there are no cavities around the perimeter through which water could pass. Note: This test is not covered by British Standards. silts clay. The block sample should be firmly supported on a flat surface. Fill the cylinder with de-aired water. Measure the mean internal diameter. See that the cell body is clean and dry. Preparation of sample. Repeat this several times until you measure a constant value. Measure the start level in the tube y1. C. or with its axis horizontal (or parallel to bedding) for measurement of horizontal permeability (or permeability parallel to bedding). Place the permeameter cell containing the sample in the cylinder (see figure). Several standpipes of different diameters are normally available from which can be selected the diameter most suitable for the type of material being tested. a. 4 and 5. Control that valves A. i. Close valve F. 13. D and E as long as necessary to fill respectively the tubes 3.5 mm. Open respectively valves C. Before withdrawing the tube it should be rotated one complete turn to shear off the soil at the end. Close valve A if the water reaches level 2 and stop the vacuum pump. Fill the cylinder up to level 6 with water. flowing through the sample. 7.2 Falling Head Permeability Tests. and weigh to the nearest 0.Measure the water level in the cylinder hO. Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.e. The sample may be prepared in the usual manner with its axis vertical. Permeability of fine soils. Weigh the sample in the cell to the nearest 0. The tube should be pushed in squarely with a steady pressure. a relatively short sample is connected to a standpipe. Scope The falling head permeability test is used for measuring the permeability of soils of intermediate and low permeability (less than 0. 4 or 5 depending on the expected permeability of the sample. B. Open valve B and F and when the water has reached level 1 close valve B.

Pentech Press London.2. Plymouth. References: Manual of Soil laboratory Testing. h2 = end level manometer tube =y1-hO (m). A = cross section area of sample in permeameter cell (mm2).hO (m).1.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 74 Close all the valves. 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. Remarks Permeability can also be derived from data obtained during an oedometer test. By: K.1 permeameter test falling head Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. Volume 2: Permeability Shear Strength and Compressibility Tests. Head. Thimphu Bhutan .00001 ⎝ h2 ⎠ Kt = A∗t Where: (m/s) Kt = permeability (m/s) a = cross section area of used manometer tube (mm2). Calculation. h1 = start level manometer tube = y1 . The permeability of the sample is calculated by: ⎛ h1 ⎞ 3. fig 8.1.H. t = measured time interval (s).84 ∗ a ∗ L ∗ log⎜ ⎟ ∗ 0. L = length of sample (m).

The values read on the scale must be divided by 2. When pushing the instrument into the ground.1: Pocket compression tests on the same series of samples. 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. It is a lightweight and easily transportable device for classifying cohesive soils in terms of consistency. A drag unit is taken along during this operation. determining the approximate unconfined compressive strength and the estimation of the undrained shear strength. diameter 8.55mm diameter) readings multiplied by 2. This force compresses the spring.35mm diameter)r readings as indicated on the scale For the largest point (8.35mm. The smallest point has a section half of that of the standard. the undrained shear strength of purely cohesive materials can be obtained by dividing the UCS reading by two. The standard point has a diameter of 6. The penetrometer is placed perpendicularly on the soil surface and pressure is exerted until the calibration mark (approx.98mm has a area twice the standard point. Be sure that the sliding indicator not slides back if the penetrometer is extracted from the soil. Apparatus The pocket penetrometer is composed of a steel tube. drying etc. the pin encounters a force of the ground. is fully extended to the "0" position. and a scale. a spring.5MPa.1. Range up to 0. 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. a drag unit. 6 mm) is level with the surface.1 Pocket penetrometer. Range up to 2MPa Test procedure Before using the penetrometer ensure that the sliding indicator. Thimphu Bhutan . Report your values in kPa Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM. For the standard point (6. 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.89mm diameter) readings divided by 2 For the smallest point (4. The largest point. The readings on the penetrometer are given for this point the range is up to 1MPa. of the surface. In theory. These tests were run concurrently with unconfined Figure 0. Heavy duty pocket penetrometer Scope of the test The pocket penetrometer is intended for in situ soil investigation at the surface. The instrument should not be used for obtaining foundation design data. The heavy duty penetrometer has a special designed penetration rod which allows relatively deep penetration of the soil (up to 6cm). which shows on the scale the maximum that has been encountered. Smooth the surface of the area to be tested. The values read on the scale must be multiplied by 2.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 75 9. This reduce mistaken and uncertainties typical of shallow measurements which are often affected by remoulding. and the scale readings on the penetrometer penetrometer correspond to unconfined compressive strength. The heave duty penetrometer has 3 interchangeable points. (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. a flat-tipped measuring pin.

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

Geotechnical Laboratory of DGM.14/06/2005 Soil mechanics laboratory manual 77 When measuring the shear strength at greater depths we can ad extension rods. 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. Thimphu Bhutan . the friction between the clay and the extension rods can be appreciable preferable we take the measurements in a borehole.

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