CE 2251 – Soil Mechanics – Assessment Test 1 – Key
1. What are the two major categories of classification of soils under USCS? a. Coarse - grained soil b. Fine – grained soil 2. What are the phase constituents of soil? Three phases of soil – Solids, Moisture and Air 3. Define coefficient of gradation? Coefficient of gradation is a measure of symmetry and the shape of the gradation curvature. It is given by the equation Cz = 4. What do you understand by the term gap-graded soil? If the soil sample has some certain intermediate grain sizes are not present, then the specimen is gap graded. 5. With a sketch show various Atterberg Limits of soil.
Part B (8 marks)
6. a) Enumerate the relevance of study of soil characteristics for a civil engineer.
Soil survey interpretations estimate suitability of the soil as construction material and show where to locate material that can be mined. Material that compacts readily and has high strength and low shrink-swell potential is preferred as base material under roads and foundations. Gravel and sand are used for concrete, road surfacing, filters in drainage fields, and other uses. Organic soil material is used widely as horticultural mulch, potting soil, and soil conditioner. Mineral soil material of good physical condition, is generally rich in organic matter and is applied to lawns, gardens, roadbanks, and the like. Soils can be rated as probable sources of these materials. The quality of a particular site, however, usually cannot be specified. Building Sites Interpretations are made for the construction of small buildings; for the installation of roads, streets, and utilities; and for the establishment of lawns and the landscaping of the grounds around the building. Such soil uses involve high capital expenditures in relatively small areas. Usually, onsite evaluation is necessary. Soil survey interpretations are useful for comparing alternative sites, in planning onsite investigations and testing, and in land-use planning. Soil maps can assist in selecting building sites that are near areas suitable for utilities, parks, and other needs The preparation of building sites may alter soil properties markedly. To this extent, some interpretative soil properties for the undisturbed sites must be applied cautiously. Upper horizons may have been removed and locally translocated, which might either increase or decrease the depth to horizons important to behavior. The pattern of soil-water states may be changed. Areas may have been drained and, therefore, are not as wet as indicated. On the other hand, irrigation may be employed to establish and maintain vegetation leading to a more moist soil and possible deep movement of water. Pavements, roofs, and certain other aspects of construction increase runoff and may cause inundation at lower elevations where the soil survey does not indicate such a hazard. Roads, Bridges, Pilpelines, etc. The performance of local roads and streets, parking lots, and similar structures is often directly related to the performance of the underlying soil. Pipelines and conduits are commonly buried in soil at shallow depth. The properties of the soil may affect cost of installation and rate of corrosion. Soil material is used directly as topsoil, roadfill, and aggregate for concrete. Soil interpretations can predict some suitabilities and limitations of different kinds of soil for these uses, although soil interpretations cannot predict performance of highways, major streets, and similar structures. For such construction, onsite testing is necessary. Use of soil surveys information, however, may reduce the number of borings and engineering tests. Soil information in conjunction with engineering testing can identify those soils that can be stabilized in place for a road base and establish where gravel or crushed stone will be needed. Soil surveys can be helpful in deciding methods of stabilizing cuts and fills. Soil properties may affect the cost of installation and length of service of buried pipelines and conduits. Shallow bedrock, for instance, greatly increases the cost of installation. Rate of corrosion is related to wetness, electrical conductivity, acidity, and aeration. Differences in properties between adjacent horizons, including aeration, enhances corrosion in some soils. Soil properties affect the cathodic protection provided by sacrificial metal buried with pipes. Rock fragments can break protective coatings on pipes. Shrinking and swelling of some soils may preclude the use of certain kinds of utility pipe. Soil survey interpretations may be particularly useful in the prediction of problems likely to be encountered along proposed routes. Hydrologic information and other data combined with interpretative soil properties, such as the hydrologic group, can be helpful for the estimation of potential runoff for design of culverts and bridges. The probability of bedrock and unstable soils that require removal or special treatment can be determined from soil surveys.
OR b) Discuss the terms void ratio, porosity and degree of saturation. Volume relations As the amounts of both water and air are variable, the volume of solids is taken as the reference quantity. Void ratio (e) is the ratio of the volume of voids (Vv) to the volume of soil solids (Vs), and is expressed as a decimal.
Porosity (n) is the ratio of the volume of voids to the total volume of soil (V ), and is expressed as a percentage. Void ratio and porosity are inter-related to each other as follows: and The volume of water (Vw) in a soil can vary between zero (i.e. a dry soil) and the volume of voids. This can be expressed as the degree of saturation (S) in percentage.
For a dry soil, S = 0%, and for a fully saturated soil, S = 100%.
Part C – Answer ANY TWO (16 x 2 = 32 marks)
A soil specimen has a moisture content of 20%, void ratio of 0.80, and Gs = 2.7. Determine its bulk density and degree of saturation. If the specimen is compacted until full saturation is obtained, calculate the final bulk density and final porosity.
Let’s assume the volume of the specimen as 1 cm3 and work out for other parameters for this volume of specimen. (1) V = 1 cm3; then Vv + Vs = 1; Given e = Vv / Vs = 0.80 Solving for these simultaneous equations, we get, Vv = 0.44 cm3 and Vs = 0.56 cm3. Ms = Vs Gs ρw = 0.56 x 2.7 x 1.0 = 1.512 g Moisture content w = 20% = Mw / Ms = Mw / 1.512. Therefore Mw = 0.20 x 1.512 = 0.302 g.
Mv = Mw + Ma = Mw, which is equal to 0.302g; as Ma = 0 for all practical purposes. M = Ms + Mv = 1.512 + 0.302 = 1.814 g.
Bulk density ρbulk = M / V = 1.814 / 1.0 = 1.814 g/cm3 Vw = Mw / ρw = 0.302 / 1.0 = 0.302 cm3 Sr = Vw / Vv = 0.302 / 0.44 = 68.6 %
(2) If Sr is 100% then the specimen would have been compressed such a way that Vw = Vv = 0.302 cm3. Now V = Vs + Vw = 0.56 + 0.302 = 0.862 cm3
ρbulk = M / V = 1.814 / 0.862 = 2.104 g/cm3
Since the specimen is 100% saturated, Vv = Vw = 0.302 cm3 e = Vv / Vs = 0.302 / 0.56 = 0.539. n = e / (1+e) = 0.539 / (1+0.539) = 35.02 %
8. Results of the sieve analysis are shown below. Plot the particle size distribution and determine the coefficient of uniformity, coefficient of gradation and the specimen’s classification. Sieve size (mm) 63 37.5 19 13.2 9.5 6.7 The worked out table is as below; Size (mm) 63 37.5 19 13.2 9.5 6.7 gms (retained) 0 30 42 12 Cumulative retained (gms) 0 30 72 84 Finer than (gms) 412 382 340 328 % finer than (gms) 100% 93% 83% 80% Weight retained (gms) 0 30 42 12 Sieve size (mm) 4.75 2.36 1.18 0.6 0.212 0.075 Weight retained (gms) 70 120 55 41 26 16
4.75 2.36 1.18 0.6 0.212 0.075 Total
70 120 55 41 26 16 412
154 274 329 370 396 412 gms
258 138 83 42 16 0
63% 33% 20% 10% 4% 0%
100 % 90 % 80 % 70 % 60 % 50 % 40 % 30 % 20 % 10%
From the graph, we get; There is discontinuity in the graph as there are some gradations missing. Hence this specimen can be classified as GAP-GRADED specimen. D10 = 0.6 mm; D30 = 2.2 mm; D50 = 3.75 mm; D60 = 4.5 mm Coefficient of uniformity = Cu = D60 / D10 = 4.5/0.6 Coefficient of gradation = Cz = = 7.5
= 2.22/4.5 x 0.6 = 1.79
There are no fines less than 200 sieve (0.075 mm). Therefore the soil is Course grained soil – GW / GP / SW / SP. But the CU is greater than 4 and CZ = between 1 & 3. Hence the soil is GW – well graded gravels or gravel sand mixtures with no fines. Further since CU is greater than 6, we shall say it’s well graded sand mixture with no fines.
The liquid limit and plastic limit of the soil are 39% and 29%. When the soil is dried from its state at Liquid Limit to Dry State, the reduction in volume is found to be 30% of its volume at LL. The corresponding volume reduction from the state of Plastic Limit to Dry state is 22% of its volume at PL. Calculate its shrinkage limit and shrinkage ratio.
wL = 39% and wP = 29% Let the volume at liquid limit is VL and at plastic limit it is VP. Then the volume at dry state VD = VL – 0.30VL = 0.70 VL VD is also = VP – 0.22VP = 0.78 VP Therefore 0.70 VL = 0.78 VP; ie VP = 0.90 VL
wS = wL – AB From similar triangles, ABE and CDE
BE = 0.30 VL DE = VL – 0.90 VL = 0.10 VL CD = wL – wP = 39% - 29% = 10% AB = CD
wS = wL – AB = 0.39 – 0.30 = 0.09 = 9% is the shrinkage limit
( ) ( )
Shrinkage ratio = SR =