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Laboratory Manual

CIE 337
Introduction to
Geotechnical
.Engineering
2013
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Syracuse University

CIE 337
Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering


Laboratory Manual

Instructor
Dr. Shobha Bhatia
Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Syracuse University


Lab Instructors/TA’s
Amsalu Birhan
Mahmoud Khachan
Rupakheti,Prabesh





Syracuse University 2013




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Copyright © 2013 by:
The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science
Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.





All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed in any form or by any
means, or stored in a retrieval system without the prior written permission of the authors.












Printed in the United States of America








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Contents

i. Lab Rules ................................................................................................................................... 5
ii. Typical Lab Report Format ....................................................................................................... 6
iii. Lab Report Grading Sheet ......................................................................................................... 7

Laboratory Exercises

1. Geotechnical Engineering Materials ................................................................................................ 9
2. Soil Classification
A. Particle Size Analysis .............................................................................................................. 22
B. Plasticity and Atterberg Limits ................................................................................................ 30
3. Soil Borrow Site Selection Using GIS ........................................................................................... 38
4. Compaction .................................................................................................................................... 46
5. Permeability of Coarse Soils ......................................................................................................... 54
6. Consolidation ................................................................................................................................. 62
7. Shear Strength of Sand................................................................................................................... 68
8. Shear Strength of Clay ................................................................................................................... 76

Appendix A: Lab Schedule ………………………………………………………...………….87



Appendix B: Standards and References …………………………….…………………...……92

Standard Reference Material for Different Laboratory Procedures
Example Lab Report
*

Student & Faculty Guide to Improved Technical Writing
*


* Available on Blackboard (blackboard.syr.edu)









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CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Fall 2013

LAB RULES


1. Report to Lab ON TI ME
Repeated lateness of any group members will be negatively reflected in the lab
grade for your group. Please notify your Teaching Assistant if you think you may
be late to a lab.

2. You MUST attend every Laboratory Session AND participate in the Laboratory
Experiment AND the writing of the Laboratory Report
o Labs #1 & #5 will be written individually (everyone turns in a lab).
o Labs #2, #4, #3, #6, #7, #8 are group reports.
o You will be given the opportunity to make revisions to and resubmit Lab
Report #2A.
o Each group member must act as a Group Leader for at least one Lab Report.
o At the end of the semester, each student will be asked to assess the
participation of other members of his/her lab group. These comments will be
considered in determining the lab component of your grade.

3. The lab room MUST be CLEAN before your group leaves
Lack of effort to maintain the labs will be negatively reflected in your grade.




Undergraduate Laboratory
Link 0002



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Syracuse University
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering


Typical Lab Report Format:
It is expected that all laboratory reports will have a professional appearance. The reports should
be written using technical writing, and should not contain spelling and/or grammatical mistakes.
It is recommended that your lab reports contain the following elements:

1. Cover Sheet
The cover sheet should include the following:
o Name and Number of the Lab
o Date of the Lab & the Submission Date
o Names of all group members (1
st
being the Group Leader in bold)
o Class Instructor – Dr. Shobha Bhatia
o Graduate Teaching Assistants Names
2. Table of Contents
The table of contents should include:
o a listing of all elements of your report along w/ page numbers
o a listing of tables, figures, and appendices
3. Introduction
The 1
st
part of your introduction should briefly describe the concepts behind what was
done in the lab and why the testing is important.
The second part, should briefly describe what you did in the lab, your objectives, and
your results.
Ex. “In this lab, we tested two different soils for grain-size distribution and
Atterberg limits. The main objectives of the lab were to … This report presents a
description of the soils tested, equipment used, and test procedures used to achieve
the objectives. The results of the tests are presented and discussed in this report.”
4. Materials and Equipment
o List soil used – describe fully (color, moisture, consistency, angularity of grain,
soil type, and any other characteristics)
o List equipment used (everything from spoons to drying ovens)
5. Procedures
o Laboratory procedures that were used for the lab should be included in the body
of your report.
o Reference ASTM standards, if applicable
6. Results and Discussion
o This section should present your results (the use of table is encouraged)
o Sample Calculations and raw data should be included in an Appendix
o Discuss your results in paragraph form (Were your results reasonable? why? or
why not? What sources of error were there in the lab?)
7. Conclusion
Briefly summarize what was done in the lab, why it was done, and what you learned.

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LAB REPORT GRADING SHEET

The lab report MUST be handed in at the beginning of the following lab, in accordance with the
class schedule. The report should be stapled or clipped with a binder clip.


CIE337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab Report Grading Sheet

Lab: ___________________________ Group Number: _________
Date Due: ______________________ Names: ___________________
Date Submitted: _______________ ___________________
___________________
___________________
___________________
___________________

Item Points Points Received
Lab Participation 10
Lab Submittal 5
Cover Sheet & Table of Contents 5
I. Introduction 10
II. Materials & Procedures 5
III. Results and Discussion 30
IV. Conclusion 10
Appendices
o Sample Calculations 5
o Graphs, Tables, & Lab Data 5
Grammar and Spelling 10
Neatness 5
Total 100



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Lab #1
Geotechnical Engineering Materials








RQD
Particle Shape Fines
Engineering Materials
Moh’s Hardness Scale
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CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab #1 – Geotechnical Engineering Materials


I. Introduction

Geotechnical engineering materials come in many forms, i.e. soil, rock, wood, concrete, foam and
textiles, all of which can all be used in design and rehabilitation. Understanding how these materials
behave is essential for the success of an aspiring engineer or construction manager. The behavior of some
materials can be attributed to the mode of formation (geology), micro and macrostructure, and physical
properties. To better understand how these materials will behave when subjected to loads, environmental
factors and time, one must be able to describe the way these materials look, feel and weigh. In addition,
one must be able to depict the continuity or discontinuity of the sediments and rocks, and their
relationship with groundwater at a particular site through various methods of sub-surface investigations.

This lab will include a basic introduction to rock and soil formation, geotechnical engineering materials
and an introduction to sub-surface investigation techniques and interpretations.


1. Rock and Soil

Geologists and engineers typically divide earth materials into two categories: rock and soil. A geologist
may claim a rock as “any naturally formed aggregate or mass of mineral matter, whether or not coherent,
constituting an essential and appreciable part of the earth’s crust”. Engineers may consider a rock to be a
“hard, durable material that cannot be excavated without blasting”.

It is important to make a distinction between rock and soil because it often determines the kind of
subsurface data we need to acquire, the tests we need to perform and the analyses we need to conduct.


2. Rock Forming Minerals

Olivine: olive green to black, translucent, with a conchoidal fracture. Olivine phenocrysts are relatively
common in some basaltic rocks (like those found in Hawaii), contrasting with the black groundmass of
the basalt. A semi-precious variety occurs (peridot), which can be cut and faceted like any other
gemstone.
Pyroxene: green to black, nearly opaque, 2 cleavages at approx. 90°. Enstatite is a common
member of the pyroxene family, and can be found in gabbro and mafic diorites. Pyroxenite, an
igneous rock composed totally of pyroxene minerals, is related to ultramafic terrains and is
therefore relatively rare at the surface of the earth's crust.
Amphibole: mostly black, forms long, slender crystals with 2 cleavages at 60° and 120°. The
most common member of the amphibole family is hornblende, which is easy to identify in
diorite, granodiorite, and some granites. Amphibolite is a metamorphic equivalent of basalt, and
can contain extremely coarse grained specimens of hornblende.
Feldspar: all have 2 cleavages at approx. 90° and a hardness of 6. Approximately 60% of the
earth's crust is composed of feldspar. The mafic variety (plagioclase) may have striations (very
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fine "razor-cut" grooves on selected cleavage faces), but not always. The felsic variety
(orthoclase) can often be pink and has no striations. Both can be white, which can make a
specific determination of which feldspar a bit awkward (especially if there are no visible
striations).
Mica: translucent to black (felsic to mafic), with one (1) perfect cleavage, causing it to easily
break into thin sheets. The mafic mica is called biotite, with the more felsic member of the
family affectionately referred to as muscovite.
Quartz: hard, durable, relatively inert, and no cleavage (but a great conchoidal fracture). Quartz
is the last mineral to form in a felsic (granitic) rock, and can generally be found filling in
between all of the other minerals. When allowed to cool and crystallize in open space, quartz
commonly forms 6-sided (hexagonal) crystals which are highly prized and sought after by many
people for a variety of natural (and super-natural) uses.

3. Geologic Cycle






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4. Field Classification of Soil

Drilling and field sampling often requires a soil classification without a gradation analysis or Atterberg
limits. This is often recorded on the boring log. The boring log is then checked in the laboratory for
determination of which samples should be used for additional laboratory testing. Samples for additional
testing are typically chosen at different layers pre-determined by the boring logs.

Standard Reference

ASTM D2488- Standard practice for description and identification of soils

Terminology

Gravel: Particles passing 3 inch (76.2 mm) sieve and retained on #4 (4.75 mm) sieve
- Coarse gravel – passing 3 inch (76.2 mm) sieve and retained on ¾ inch (19.0 mm) sieve
- Fine Gravel – passing ¾ inch (19.0 mm) sieve and retained on a No. 4 (4.75 mm) sieve

Sand: Particles passing #4 (4.75 mm) sieve and retained on #200 (0.075 mm) sieve
- Coarse sand – passing a #4 (4.75 mm) sieve and retained on #10 (2.00 mm) sieve
- Medium sand – passing a #10 (2.00 mm) sieve and retained on a #40 (0.425 mm) sieve
- Fine sand – passing a #40 (0.425 mm) sieve and retained on a #200 (0.075 mm) sieve

Silt: Soil passing a #200 (0.075 mm) sieve that is non-plastic to slightly plastic and
exhibits minimal strength.

Clay: Soil passing a #200 (0.075 mm) sieve and exhibits plasticity within a range of water contents;
exhibits strength when air-dried.

Organic Silt: Silt with a significant organic content.

Organic Clay: Clay with a significant organic content.



















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Additional Descriptive Information for Soils

Angularity: Describes the angularity of the sand and gravel particles as angular, sub-angular,
sub-rounded, or rounded. Ranges can be utilized such as sub-rounded to
rounded. Refer to Figure 1 for reference.



Dilatancy: Dilatancy or reaction to shaking. Add enough water to make the soil soft but
not sticky. Place soil in palm of hand and shake horizontally, striking
vigorously with the other hand. Use Table 2 for response references.

Table 2
Reaction Visual Response
Low No visible change.
Medium Water appears slowly on shaking and disappears slowly on squeezing.
High Water appears quickly on shaking and disappears quickly on squeezing.

Color: Describe color of the soil when wet

Odor: Organic or unusual

Moisture Condition: Describe the moisture condition as dry, moist or wet

Dry Strength: Obtain a few dry lumps and crush the sample between the fingers. Use
Table 3 for dry strength descriptions.

Table 3
Strength Visual Response of Dry Specimen
None Crumbles with handling
Low Crumbles with light finger pressure
Medium Breaks with considerable finger pressure
High Requires thumb pressure to break
Very High Cannot be broken with thumb pressure




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Exercise 1 Name: .

Using the Mohs Hardness Scale provided at each station, identify and describe the following:

Four Igneous Rock Samples
Four Sedimentary Rock Samples
Three Metamorphic Rock Samples

Igneous
Rock Samples
Hardness Description



Biotite Granite




Basalt




Obsidian




Pumice






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Sedimentary
Rock Samples
Hardness Description



Red Sandstone




Gray Sandstone




Siltstone




Limestone













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Metamorphic
Rock Sample
Hardness Description



Slate (gray)




Mica Schist




Dolomite Marble






















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Exercise 2 Name: .

Another method of determining the engineering properties of rock in the field is by using the Rock
Quality Designation (Deere 1964) or RQD. This involves measuring the lengths of rock core segments
and using the following ratio to establish a quantitative index.

Sum of intact lengths 4” or greater from core x 100
Total length of core run


Table 1 provides a relationship between RQD as a percent and quality of rock.

Table 1
RQD, percent Rock Quality
< 25 Very Poor
25 < 50 Poor
50 < 75 Fair
75 < 90 Good
90 < 100 Excellent


For question #6 (questions section), determine the RQD for the rock core at your table.




























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Exercise 3 Name: .

Describe the soils labeled 1-10 on the sample jars using anything applicable from the checklist below.

1. Group name (Cobble, gravel, sand, silt, clay, etc)
2. Percentage of gravel, sand, and fines
3. Particle size range (fine to coarse)
4. Grain angularity
5. Plasticity of fines (yes or no)
6. Dry strength (low to high)
8. Odor
9. Moisture (dry to wet)
10. Color
11. Geologic interpretation (can be geologic origin-Igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic or can be way of
formation – residual or transported like beach sands, etc)


Sample Classification Comments

1.


2.



3.

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4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9


19

10.


Other Geomaterials Descriptions

Exercise 3-A

For the samples labeled 1- 4, describe how they feel, estimate their density, and if possible identify them.

Sample Description

1.
2.
3.
4.


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Questions

1. Refer to the metamorphic rock “Mica Schist”, explain the pros and cons of this rock if used as a
foundation material for a highway embankment if it is dipping or sloping only 0 degrees. Now
consider the problem with this rock if it is dipping or sloping 20 degrees.

2. What soil would be more heterogeneous: a deposit from a shallow landslide near a road-cut or a
fluvial deposit from a synoptic flooding event of a major river (Mississippi River)? Why?

3. Which would probably provide better support for a 7-story building, a soil composed of angular
grains or a soil composed of rounded grains?

4. Where and when would the use of shredded tire chips be beneficial?

5. What is the difference in weight between a cubic foot of gravel and a cubic foot of Geofoam?

6. What is the RQD as a percent and rock quality of the rock cores provided at your lab table?


























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Lab # 2A
Soil Classification - Particle Size Analysis















Sieve Analysis



















Hydrometer Test








23

CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab #2A – Soil Classification – Particle Size Analysis

I. Introduction

In this lab, one of the most fundamental tests used to classify soils will be performed:
particle-size analysis. The particle-size analysis test is one of the simplest ways to characterize
soils. Sometimes this test is called the grain-size distribution test. In the test, soil is sieved
through various sieves of known opening size. The sieves are stacked in order from largest to
smallest openings. The sieves have standard opening sizes. For example, a #200 sieve has sieve
openings of 0.075 mm. This is the point where particles can no longer be measured using the
mechanical sieve. Therefore, this test is usually used for granular soils with few fines.
The hydrometer test is used to characterize particles finer than a #200 sieve. The smallest
particle-size determined by this procedure is about 0.001 mm. During a hydrometer analysis soil
particles will settle individually in a dispersed state. It’s assumed that the soil particles are
spheres, and the settling velocity can be determined from Stoke’s Law:
2
s w
-
*
18
D v
¸ ¸
q
=
(1)

where v = velocity (cm/s)
γ
s
= unit weight of soil grains (g/cm
3
)
γ
w
= unit weight of water (g/cm
3
)
ŋ= viscosity of water (g*s/cm
2
)
D= diameter of the soil particle

II. Procedure
Part I – Particle-Size Analysis

A-Sieve Analysis
Test Method
1. Examine the soil sample and give a visual description.
2. Obtain between 500 and 1000g of soil sample. Determine and record the actual mass.
3. Obtain a set of sieves with pan and cover.(#4, #10, #30, #60, #80, #140, #200)
4. Weigh each sieve and the pan.
5. Stack the sieves in coarse to fine and pan order.
6. Pour the sample into the top sieve and cover.
7. Install the sieve assembly onto the shaker and fasten. Start the timer and shake for
about 5 min.
8. Determine the mass of each sieve with the retained soil. Also determine the weight of
the pan and retained soil and record in Table 1-2A
9. Compare the sum of mass retained on each sieve with the initial weight. If the
difference is more than 2 percent, reweigh all retained portions and recheck.
10. Keep soil passing the 200 sieve separated, it will be used for the hydrometer test.
11. Combine the remaining soil into the container as initially supplied.
12. Reduce the data and plot the log of % finer by weight vs. opening size (mm).

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B-Hydrometer Test
Test Method
1. Take 50 g of soil passing the #200 sieve
2. Mix the soil into a slurry using 125 ml dispersing agent solution for 60 seconds using
the mixing apparatus
3. Transfer the slurry into the graduated cylinder and fill to the 1000 ml mark with
distilled water
4. Using a rubber glove cover the graduated cylinder and mix by rotating the
cylinder upside down and back for 1 minute
5. Set the graduated cylinder down and immediately start the stop watch. Using
the hydrometer take readings at 15,30, 60 seconds (the readings should be
taken from the top of the meniscus)
6. Remove the hydrometer after the 60 second reading and with a spinning motion
place it in a cylinder of distilled water (this cleans the hydrometer)
7. Take additional readings at 2, 5,15,30,60,120 and 1140 minutes. After each
reading the temperature of the suspension should be determined
8. Report the calculations for the hydrometer analysis in Table 2-2A. Calculate the
percent finer based on the total sample.
9. Plot a combined graph on semi-log for percent finer versus grain-size distribution
for the sieve analysis and hydrometer test

III. Calculations

Diameter of soil particles

The diameter of soil particles is calculated according to Stoke’s Law, which assumes particles
are spherical:
( ) / D mm K L T =
where,

D = diameter in millimeters
K = a constant that depends upon specific gravity of the solid particles and temperature
L = the depth at which the density of the suspension is being measured (cm)
T = the elapsed time (min)

Percentage of soil in suspension

The percentage of soil remaining in suspension at the level at which the hydrometer is measuring
density:



cp
s
a R
Percent finer
W
= x 100

where,
a = correction for specific gravity (assume 2.65 and a=1 for Hydrometer 152H)
R
cp
=Hydrometer reading
25

W
s
= dry weight of soil used for the hydrometer analysis
Percent finer based on the total sample

Percent finer based on the total sample:
percentage of soil passing #200 sieve
Percentage of soil in suspension ( )
100
PT = ×

IV. Report

At a minimum, your lab report should contain the following:

I. Visual Identification

1. Visual descriptions of each sample. Visual descriptions should include color, moisture,
consistency, angularity of grains, soil type, and any other characteristics.


II. Sieve Analysis

1. Plots of the results on semi-log paper (% Finer by Weight vs. Sieve Opening (mm)).

2. Calculate the C
u
, C
c
, and D
10
of the soil.

3. Discuss the shapes of the curve and discuss importance of C
u
, C
c
, and D
10
in engineering
applications.

4. Give examples of when a geotechnical engineer may require a particle size analysis of a
soil.



III. Hydrometer Analysis

5. Using the combined plots of the sieve analysis and hydrometer determine the gradation
characteristics of the soil. (i.e. well graded, poorly graded, gap-graded)

6. Estimate the percentage of clay-sized particles.

7. How would temperature influence settling velocity of soil particles?

8. How does the presence of clay-sized particles influence soil behavior?





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Table 1-2A

Sieve Analysis for Soil Sample

Description of soil___________________________________________
Mass of dry sample, W______ g
Location_______________________________________________________________
Tested by _______________________________________________________
Date _______________

Sieve
No.
Sieve
opening
(mm)
Mass of
sieve or
pan
(g)
Mass of
sieve or pan
and retained
soil
(g)
Mass of
soil
retained on
each sieve,
W
n

(g)
Percent of
mass
retained on
each
sieve, R
n

Cumulative
percent
retained,
ΣR
n
Percent
finer,
100-
ΣR
n

























Pan

-----

Σ_______= W
1


Mass loss during sieve analysis = 100
1
×
÷
W
W W
=_____% (OK if less than 2%)





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Table 2-2A
Hydrometer Analysis for Soil Sample

Description of soil___________________________________________
Sample No. _______________
Mass of dry sample, W
s
______ g
Location_______________________________________________________________
Tested by _______________________________________________________
Date _______________

Time
T
(1)
Hydrometer
reading,R
cp
(2)

Percent finer
in suspension
(3)

a=1
Corrected
Length
L (cm)
Refer to
Table 3-2
A
(4)
K
(5)
D (mm)

(6)
PT



0.0133


0.0133


0.0133


0.0133


0.0133


0.0133


0.0133


0.0133
0.0133





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Table 3-2A. Effective length (L)
Actual
Hydrometer
Reading
Effective
Depth, L,
cm
Actual
Hydrometer
Reading
Effective
Depth, L,
cm
Actual
Hydrometer
Reading
Effective
Depth, L,
cm
1.000 16.3 0 16.3 31 11.2
1.001 16.0 1 16.1 32 11.1
1.002 15.8 2 16.0 33 10.9
1.003 15.5 3 15.8 34 10.7
1.004 15.2 4 15.6 35 10.6
1.005 15.0 5 15.5 36 10.4
1.006 14.7 6 15.3 37 10.2
1.007 14.4 7 15.2 38 10.1
1.008 14.2 8 15.0 39 9.9
1.009 13.9 9 14.8 40 9.7
1.010 13.7 10 14.7 41 9.6
1.011 13.4 11 14.5 42 9.4
1.012 13.1 12 14.3 43 9.2
1.013 12.9 13 14.2 44 9.1
1.014 12.6 14 14.0 45 8.9
1.015 12.3 15 13.8 46 8.8
1.016 12.1 16 13.7 47 8.6
1.017 11.8 17 13.5 48 8.4
1.018 11.5 18 13.3 49 8.3
1.019 11.3 19 13.2 50 8.1
1.020 11.0 20 13.0 51 7.9
1.021 10.7 21 12.9 52 7.8
1.022 10.5 22 12.7 53 7.6
1.023 10.2 23 12.5 54 7.4
1.024 10.0 24 12.4 55 7.3
1.025 9.7 25 12.2 56 7.1
1.026 9.4 26 12.0 57 7.0
1.027 9.2 27 11.9 58 6.8
1.028 8.9 28 11.7 59 6.6
1.029 8.6 29 11.5 60 6.5
1.030 8.4 30 11.4
1.031 8.1
1.032 7.8
1.033 7.6
1.034 7.3
1.035 7.0
1.036 6.8
1.037 6.5
Hydrometer 151H Hydrometer 152H

29















































30


Lab # 2B
Soil Classification - Plasticity and Atterberg Limits


Liquid Limit Device



Plastic Limit Test












31


CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab #2B – Soil Classification – Plasticity and Atterberg Limits

I. Introduction

The Atterberg limits test will be performed in this lab. The test consists of three parts: liquid
limit (LL), plastic limit (PL) and shrinkage limit (SL). The Atterberg limits are water contents at
which critical changes in soil behavior occur.

LI < 0 0 < LI < 1 LI > 1

Solid Semisolid Plastic Liquid


Shrinkage Plastic Liquid
Limit Limit Limit

The liquid limit is the water content at which soil passes from a liquid to a plastic state. Above
this limit, the soil and water are in suspension; below this limit, the soil is in a plastic state.
When the soil is plastic, it can be deformed or remolded without the formation of cracks and
without change in volume. The range of water contents at which the soil is plastic is called the
Plasticity Index, it is the difference between the LL and the PL (PI = LL – PL). The plastic limit
is the point at which soil changes from a plastic to a semisolid state. The shrinkage limit is the
point at which air starts entering the voids and the soil becomes an unsaturated, brittle solid. The
Liquidity Index (LI) is an index for scaling the natural water content (Wn) (LI = (Wn% –
PL)/PI).

The first Atterberg limits test is the Liquid Limit (LL) test. For this test, we put soil in the
Casagrande liquid limit device, make a notch, and count the number of blows it takes to close a
½-inch groove in the soil. The number of blows (N) should be in the range of 5 to 50. If the soil
is too dry, N will be greater than 50, and water will need to be added to the sample. If the soil is
too wet, N will be less than 5, and the sample will need to be dried. When the number of blows
to close the ½-inch groove in the soil is in the right range, a sample of the soil should be
collected for water content. The water content corresponding to 25 blows is the liquid limit.

The second Atterberg limits test is the Plastic Limit (PL) test. For this test, a soil sample is
rolled to get it into a semisolid state. The PL is defined as the water content at which a thread of
soil will just crumble when rolled to a diameter of 1/8-inch.

The third Atterberg limits test is the Shrinkage Limit (SL) test. Although we will not perform
this test in the lab, the SL can be estimated using the Plasticity Chart.





32

II. Procedure

Part I – Atterberg Limits

A – Soil Description and Natural Water Content
1. Describe the soil provided for Atterberg limit testing.
2. Use about 30g of wet soil for each of two natural water content determinations. Use
sensitive, 0.01g resolution, scale for water content determination.
3. Determine the natural water content of the soil.
a) Select, label, and weigh moisture can.
b) Place soil sample in can.
c) Reweigh the can with soil.
d) Place the can with soil in the drying oven for 24 hours. Do not place the lid
securely on the can.
e) Reweigh the can and soil.
f) Calculate natural water content.

B – Plastic Limit, PL
1. Roll about 30g of soil over the glass plate to a thread that begins to crumble at about 1/8-
inch diameter.
2. Use all of the soil that was rolled into 1/8-inch thread for a water content determination.
This water content represents the plastic limit.
3. Each student should make one plastic limit determination independently.
Note: If the soil rolls to a thread much thinner than 1/8-inch diameter, spread the soil over
the glass plate. Allow to dry slightly and try again.

C – Liquid Limit, LL
1. Take about 150g (no need to measure, just guess) of soil and mix in a ceramic bowl to a
smooth paste using a spatula.
2. Inspect the drop height of liquid limit cup. Adjust to a height of fall of 1 cm using the
calibration end of the grooving tool, if necessary.
3. Place a portion of the paste into the liquid limit device and level the surface to a smooth
finish with the spatula. The maximum depth of the soil in the device should not exceed
1/2 inch.
4. Establish a symmetrical notch with the grooving tool.
5. Turn the crank at about two revolutions per sec counting the blows until the notch closes
for a length of 1/2 inch.
6. If the blow count is between 5 and 50, take a sample of the soil along the closed groove
for water content, be sure to cover the water content sample until weighing or weigh
immediately.
7. Return the remaining soil sample in the liquid limit device to the mixing bowl.
8. Add water to increase the water content slightly.
9. Remix thoroughly and repeat steps 3 to 8. Each student should perform a set of steps 3 to
8 at least once.
10. Determine the water content for each blow count.
11. Plot the log of number of blows against water content.
33

12. Fit a straight line through the data points.
13. The water content corresponding to 25 blows is the liquid limit.

Note: It is best to proceed from a higher to a lower number of blows by increasing the water
content (from dry to wet). Attempt to have an even distribution of blow between 5 and 50.
Ignore blow counts outside this range. The number of data points defining the flow line must
be 3 or more.

D – Shrinkage Limit, SL
1. After the liquid limit and plastic limits are determined, compute the plasticity index as:
PI=LL-PL
2. Locate the soil on a plasticity chart (plot of LL vs. PI).
3. Extend the A-line and the U-line of the plasticity charts to intersect.
4. Draw a line through the intersection and the point representing the soil.
5. The water content at the LL axis intercept of the line drawn is a reasonably good estimate
of the shrinkage limit for most soils.




III. Report

At a minimum, your lab report should contain the following:

1. The Atterberg limit (liquid limit and plastic limit) results. Each student will perform a
minimum of one plastic limit (PL) and one liquid limit (LL) test.

2. Visual description of the soil. Visual descriptions should include color, moisture,
consistency, soil type, and any other characteristics.

3. What do the PL and LL tell us about the soil? How do these indices compare to the
natural water content of your sample?

4. Calculate the plasticity index (PI) and liquidity index (LI) for both tests. What do the
results mean?

5. Based on your results, estimate the shrinkage limit for each test. What do the results
mean?

6. Can you have a PL greater than LL?

7. Based on your results, classify the soil according to the USCS.
a. Classify the soil from Lab #2-A using Atterberg limits to be posted on
Blackboard and your grain size results.
b. Classify the new soil provided in lab today assuming that all of the soil will
pass the No. 200 U.S. Standard Sieve.
34


Determination of Natural Water Content


Description of soil___________________________________________
Sample No._____________
Location________________________________________________________________
Tested by _______________________________________________________
Date ____________

Can No.


Mass of can, W
1
(g)


Mass of can + wet soil, W
2
(g)


Mass of can + dry soil, W
3
(g)


Mass of moisture, W
2
-W
3
(g)


Mass of dry soil, W
3
-W
1
(g)


Moisture content, w (%) = 100
1 3
3 2
×
÷
÷
W W
W W



Average Moisture content, w (%)



35

Liquid Limit Test

Description of soil___________________________________________
Sample No._____________
Location_________________________________________________________
Tested by _______________________________________________________
Date ____________
Test No. 1 2 3
Can No.
Mass of can, W
1
(g)
Mass of can +moist soil, W
2
(g)
Mass of can +dry soil, W
3
(g)
Moisture content, w (%)= 100
1 3
3 2
×
÷
÷
W W
W W


Number of blows, N



Liquid limit =____________________________________ (to be obtained from plotted data)
















36

Plastic Limit Test

Description of soil___________________________________________
Sample No._____________
Location_________________________________________________________
Tested by _______________________________________________________
Date ____________


Test No. 1 2 3
Can No.
Mass of can, W
1
(g)
Mass of can +moist soil, W
2
(g)
Mass of can +dry soil, W
3
(g)
PL= 100
1 3
3 2
×
÷
÷
W W
W W



Average PL (%)




Plasticity index, PI = LL – PL = __________%__














37








































38

Lab #3

Soil Borrow Site Selection Using GIS



















39

CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab #3 – Soil Borrow Site Selection Using GIS
I. Introduction

Many construction projects with significant earthwork operations require importing soil from a
borrow source. Importing soil means that the soil will be obtained from a site outside of the
project boundaries. To select the borrow site we need to know the material requirement, material
properties, material cost, transportation cost, amount of material needed, etc. The engineering
objectives of the earthwork construction are defined in the design phase of a project. For
example, if a landfill is being built with an impermeable liner as the bottom layer, then a
compacted clay soil is the material requirement. Here the engineering objective is an
impermeable liner and material requirement is a compacted clay layer.
In this laboratory you will be using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to solve an
engineering problem. A GIS is a system composed of electronic maps, database information and
software. A software package manages this information and allows you to perform analysis to
support engineering decisions.
You will be assigned a particular construction site with a specific engineering objective. You are
to select one soil borrow site for the construction site you were assigned. In addition to meeting
the engineering objective your selection needs to be the most cost effective.
Construction
Project
State County City
Engineering
Objective
Material
Amount (CY)
Plaza Hotel New York Tioga
Newark
Valley
Structural Fill 1850
Hines Landfill Florida Dixie Hines Landfill Liner 370
Pipe Networks California Shasta Ingot
Subsurface
Drain
880
Cleveland Mall Ohio Cuyahoga Cleveland Structural Fill 2500
Bog
Conservation
Florida
Hardee
County
Gardner Peat Bunds 300



40

Upon completion of this lab you should:
1- Select appropriate borrow site for a particular construction project based on engineering
properties, as well as economic feasibility.
2- Calculate the cost of the chosen material based on the quantity needed for the project, this
includes transportation and material costs.

Equipment / Materials:
- Software: ArcGIS / ArcView
- Data Packet to from http://NationalAtlas.gov
Procedure:

1- Open your web browser of choice and download the following datasets from the
http:nationalatlas.gov website, should you have problems downloading the data sets, we
have appended a copy of the files onto Blackboard. Download the following files onto
a folder in your desktop. Should your H-Drive run out of space, create a folder within
the C-Drive of your computer:

2- Open ArcMap10



Type File Name Format
Boundary County Boundaries, 2001 Shapefile
Map Reference Cities and Towns Shapefile
Geology Mineral Operations – Agricultural Shapefile
Geology Mineral Operation - Construction Shapefile
Geology Mineral Operations – Sand & Gravel Shapefile
41

3- To add data, first click on the “add data” button in ArcMap10, and then create a
connection to the folder you have created.














4- Once you have created a connection to your folder, add your county boundary file with
the “.shp” formatting onto ArcMap10.

5- If a warning about spatial referencing appears, follow these instructions in order to set a
coordinate system for your map. If not warning occurred, ignore this step.
1- Click on “Greoprocessing” / “ArcToolbox” / “Data Management Tools” /
“Projections & Transformations” / “Define Projection”
2- Input your “county” layer in the first field box, and then browse for your
projection: “Select” / “Geographic Coordinate System” / ” North America” / ”NAD
1983.prj”

6- Once you have defined the projection, input the rest of your datasets.
7- Before you can begin mapping, it is important to take a minute and think about what
you actually want to map. You have just imported a lot of data onto your map, think
42

about your specific project location, and the material you require.

8- Look through the attribute table of your Geology datasets and see if any of the files
contain information that you may need for your project. If they do not contain any
information pertinent to your project, you may turn off or remove them from the map.
1- “Right click” on a given layer, and select “Open Attribute Table”

9- The data sets you have downloaded contain information about the entire Unites States,
depending on where your project location is you may need to narrow down the data into
something more user friendly (i.e. the state or region your project is located in).

10- In order to narrow down a data set you will need to define a query. To do this, double
click on each layer name and go to the “Definition Query” tab, and then click on
“Query Builder…”. By going in to the query builder an additional pop-up window will
appear to help guide you in this process.

A definition query allows you to work with specific features within each layer












43

11- Once you have accessed the Query Builder you may begin defining the features within
a layer that are appropriate for your use. Keep in mind that you are setting restrictions
on the data you want to view.
12- You will need to become familiar the SQL Operators in order to better define your
needs:
- “ = “ equal to (selects only the attributes that you selected)
- “<>” not equal to (selects all attributes outside your selection)
- “<=” less than or equal to (selects numerical data less than or equal to selection)
- “<” less than (selects numerical data less than your selection)
- “>=” greater than (selects numerical data greater than or equal to your selection)
- “>” greater than (selects numerical data larger than your selection)
- “And” selects attributes that matches your two criterion
- “Or” selects attributes that matches one of your criteria
- “Not” deselects the attributes you have specified
In order to create your definition first “double click” an attribute from the query
builder, apply your SQL operator and select “get unique values” in order to define
your criteria of choice.

Ex. “State” = „Al‟
(will only show data from selected layer that can be found in the state of Alabama)

Ex. “Material” = „Ball Clay‟
(will only show data from selected layer that contains Ball Clay as its material)

Note: The definitions you are applying come directly from the column headers
and rows found within the Attributes Table. It is easier to set these definitions if
you know what you want to isolate within your map.


44

13- If you wish to highlight specific points on the map you may use the “selection” tab on
the top of the screen and use the “select by attributes” or “select by location” option.
You will open up a screen similar to the query builder, but this option only highlights
your selection, rather than excluding the data outside your given parameters.



















14- Use these tools to narrow down your map, find your cities, and the construction
materials of interest.




45

15-Use the Following Table to calculate your material costs:
Material Material Cost ($ / Ton)
Gravel 23.00
Clay / Silt 10.00
Silt / Sand 17.00
Sand and Gravel 19.00
Ball Clay 13.00
Common Clay 14.00
Peat 100.00

16-Narrow down the list of potential borrow sites and estimate your material properties and
testing costs using the following table:
Natural
Water
Content
Gran Size
Analysis
(Sieve)
Grain Size
Analysis
(Hydrometer)
Atterberg
Limits
(Pl, LL)
Proctor
Compaction
Hydraulic
Conductivity
(Permeability)
$10 $40 $50 $35 $200 $40
Assume that whatever testing you decide on, you will conduct it on every 3
d
truck in
order to ensure quality control.
17-Use “Google maps” or any other program which can calculate distances to estimate the travel
distance from your borrow site to the construction site. These will be rough estimates; you
may use city to city estimates. (Neglect any shrink/swell that may occur in the process and
assume all the materials weigh 1.62 tons per cubic yard). Trucks have a capacity of 9CY.
Distance (miles) Cost / Distance / Trip ($ / mi)
0 – 40 22
40 – 80 15
80 – 100 18
100 + 20

46

18-Determine the total cost of borrow material including material, transportation, and testing
costs. You will need to determine the number of truck trips required and the mileage per
trip to determine the transportation costs.
19-Write 1 – 2 paragraphs explaining your choice based on the engineering properties of the soil
in regards to your construction project as well as project economics. Include a summary of
all the costs and include a typical lab cover page.
Report:
At minimum, your lab report should include the following:
1- Statement with project description, soil specifications, and the name of the soil
borrow site selected.
2- List of laboratory tests used to determine the soil type at the borrow site.
3- Cost of the imported soil including transportation and testing costs.
4- Justification (1 – 2 paragraphs) of why this selected soil borrow site is recommended
based on the engineering properties of the soil and project economics.
5- A description of “sustainable” alternatives for your project.















47

































48

Lab #4
Compaction





49

CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab #4 – Compaction

I. Introduction

In this lab, we will perform compaction tests. Compaction is a way to densify soil. Compaction
(1) decreases compressibility, (2) reduces permeability, and (3) increases strength of the soil.
Compaction is not an index property of the soil, meaning that it is not a unique property of the
soil, but depends on how the soil is compacted, such as how much moisture is present and how
much effort it took to compact it (type, weight, number of passes of construction equipment,
thickness of lifts, etc.)

The Proctor compaction test gives us a method to test different soils for compaction
characteristics using standard testing methods. We want to find the relationship between water
content and dry density of the soil so that we can use this information in the field. In the
standard Proctor compaction test, we take a cylinder that has a volume of 1/30 cubic feet (cf) and
an inside diameter of 4 in. First, we weigh the bottom cylinder. After we weigh the cylinder, we
add the extension piece. It is only there to hold any soil that goes above the mold in place.
Then, we place soil in the cylinder in approximately 3 equal layers. Each layer is compacted by
25 blows with the tamper, which falls freely over a distance of 12 in. After compaction, we level
the soil with the top of the cylinder and weigh the soil and the mold. We then use a jack to
extract the soil from the mold. We then take a sample from the middle of the compacted soil for
water content. From the weight and volume of soil we can calculate the unit weight of the soil.
This gives us one point on our water content vs. dry unit weight curve. This procedure is
repeated three times with soil of different water contents so that we can plot the compaction
curve. We start with low water contents and continually increase.

Sometimes in the field we need to be able to compact to higher dry unit weights than we can get
using the standard test (standard effort). When this occurs, we need to do a test that will tell us
what the compaction curve will look like if we use more energy. This is the Modified Proctor
test. We follow the sample procedure, except we use a tamper that weighs more and falls from a
greater height, and we use more lifts than in a standard test. Conversely, we also have a reduced
test that will give a compaction curve for a lower amount of effort than the standard test. The
following table presents typical compaction requirements for soils used for various structures:

Required Density Max. Lift Thickness,
Compacted (inches)
Structure Support 95% Modified (Proctor Compaction) 12
Pipe Backfill 95% Standard 8
Earth Dam 92-95% Modified 12
Embankment 90% Standard 8
Clay Layer 95% Modified 6
50

II. Procedure

General

1. Record all test information on the data sheet.

2. Use large moisture cans for water content.

3. Assume a specific gravity of 2.65 for the soil.


Procedure

1. Obtain about 3 kg of air-dry soil.

2. Examine the soil sample and give a visual description. The soil sample should be prepared
by sieving through a #4 sieve (It done for you here. Thus no sieving for now).

3. Break down any large lumps and discard organics.

4. Perform either a standard, modified, or reduced Proctor compaction test. Check with the TA
in choosing which test to perform. A 4-in diameter mold will be used for all tests. Compute
compaction energies for each of the three tests.

Method Hammer (lb) Drop (in) Layers Blows
Standard 5.5 12 3 25
Modified 10 18 5 25
Reduced 5.5 12 3 15

5. Weigh the compaction mold and base empty.
6. Install the collar and securely clamp both the mold and the collar to the base.

7. Run an initial test with soil as is (i.e. natural moisture) following steps 8 to 14.
8. Place 2 to 3 inches of loose mixed soil in the mold and compact by the number of blows
required for each layer.

9. Place and compact additional layers as required.

10. After compaction of the final layer, loosen and remove the collar by first rotating to shear
along the perimeter and lifting. The soil sample should have extended into the collar.

11. Trim the soil top flush with the edge of the mold using a steel ruler. Fill in and compact
uneven spots manually.

12. Weigh the mold and wet compacted soil.

51

13. Remove the mold from the base and extrude the compacted soil using the hydraulic jack.

14. Take a representative sample from the middle of the compacted sample for water content
determination. Weigh the water content sample immediately.

15. Break up the remaining sample and re-mix the soil.

16. Add 150 g of water to the soil and mix thoroughly then follow steps 8 to 15. Repeat this
until you obtain two successive reductions in wet weight.

17. Oven dry and determine the water contents and compute the corresponding dry densities.

18. One group will repeat steps 1-17 using the automatic proctor hammer

III. Report

At a minimum, your lab report should contain the following:

1. Standard, modified, and reduced compaction results. Each group will need at least three
points to graph results (either standard, modified, or reduced.)

2. Visual descriptions of the soil sample. Visual descriptions should include color, moisture,
consistency, soil type, and any other characteristics. Assume a specific gravity of 2.65 for
the soil.

3. Compaction curves for each test (standard, modified, and reduced) should be plotted
(water content vs. dry soil density) separately. Data from the other groups in your lab
section should be included. The following information should be included in each graph:

b. Zero air voids curve

c. 80% and 90% saturation lines

d. Optimum water content and dry soil density.

4. Your report should include sample calculations on how you calculated the dry soil density,
zero air voids curve, and saturation lines. In addition, your discussion should include
differences associated with using the automatic proctor hammer and the manual proctor
hammer, as well as any other information you deem necessary.

5. Explain what zero air void unit weight is? Is it possible to have values above the zero air
voids curve?

6. A composite figure showing the compaction curves for the standard, modified, and reduced
tests. Draw the line of optimums. In your discussion, include an example of when the line of
optimums might be useful.
52


7. When working in the field, is it better to be on the dry side of optimum or the wet side of
optimum when constructing (a) a sub-base for a road, or (b) a soil liner for a landfill?

8. Give examples of when you would specify the modified test instead of the standard test.

9. Is compaction a unique property of soil?



53

Standard/Modified/Reduced Proctor Compaction Test
Determination of Dry Unit Weight

Description of soil___________________________________________
Sample No. ___------------_____________
Location___------------_________________________________________
Volume Weight of Number of
of mold _________ft
3
hammer ___________lb blows/layer __________

Tested by _______________________________________________________

Date _______________

Test 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Weight of mold, W
1
(lb)

2. Weight of mold + moist
soil, W
2
(lb)

3. Weight of moist soil, W
2
-
W
1
(lb)

4. Moist unit weight,
) / (
30 / 1
3 1 2
f t lb
W W ÷
= ¸

5. Moisture can number

6. Mass of moisture can, W
3

(lb)

7. Mass of can + moist soil,
W
4
(g)

8. Mass of can + dry soil, W
5

(g)

9. Moisture content,
100 (%)
3 5
5 4
×
÷
÷
=
W W
W W
w

10. Dry unit weight of
compaction
100
(%)
1
) / (
3
w
f t lb
d
+
=
¸
¸


54

Standard/Modified/Reduced Proctor Compaction Test
Zero-Air-Void Unit Weight

Description of soil___________________________________________
Sample No. __------------_____________
Location____------------_____________________________________________
Tested by _______________________________________________________

Date _______________

Specific gravity of
soil solids, G
s

Assumed moisture
content,
w (%)
Unit weight of
water, ¸
w

(lb/ft
3
)
¸
d
(lb/ft
3
)
(S=80%)
(Eqn. 1)
¸
d
(lb/ft
3
)
(S=90%)
(Eqn. 2)
¸
zav
(lb/ft
3
)

(S=100%)
(Eqn. 3)

2.65

5

62.4


2.65

10

62.4


2.65

20

62.4


2.65

30

62.4


2.65

40

62.4


2.65

50

62.4


1) (Eqn. - - - - - - -
1
80
%
%) 80 (
s
w
d
G
w
+
=
¸
¸

2) (Eqn. - - - - - - -
1
90
%
%) 90 (
s
w
d
G
w
+
=
¸
¸

3) (Eqn. - - - - - - -
1
100
%
s
w
zav
G
w
+
=
¸
¸






55









































56


Lab #5
Permeability of Coarse Soils




Figure 5.1 "Preparation of soil media"




Figure 5.2 "Finalized soil stratum"




57


CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab #5 – Permeability of Coarse Soils


I. Introduction

Permeability tests tell us about the hydraulic properties of soil, such as how fast it will drain. Soils are
permeable because they contain continuous voids. There are large differences in the degree of
permeability of various soils. The permeability tests will allow us to calculate the coefficient of
permeability of the sand, k. We use a device called a permeameter. We can perform either a constant
head test or a falling head test. Fluids of different viscosities can be used in the tests; however, since
water is generally used, we can say that permeability is a property of the soil.

Constant head tests are usually used for highly permeable soils, such as clean sands and gravels. In the
test, we put sand in a permeameter and measure the volume of water that is collected over a certain
amount of time.

k
t
= V L / h A t or k = Q L / h A

Where k
t
= permeability at temperature t (cm/sec)
V = quantity of discharge (total discharge volume) (cc)
L = length of the flow path through the soil sample (cm)
A = cross-sectional area of the soil sample (cm
2
)
h = hydraulic head (distance from top of water to outlet) (cm)
t = time (sec)
Q = quantity of discharge per unit time (Q=V/t) [cc/sec]


Falling-head tests are usually used for tests on materials of low permeability because the dimensions of
the apparatus can be adjusted so that the measurements of head and time may be carried out with high
accuracy over a wide range of k values.

k
t
= 2.3 (a L /A t) log
10
h
0
/h
1
.

Where k
t
= permeability at temperature t (cm/sec)
a = cross-sectional area of the standpipe (cm
2
)
L = length of the flow path through the soil sample (cm)
A = cross-sectional area of the sample (cm
2
)
t = time (sec)
h
o
= original hydraulic head (cm)
h
1
= final hydraulic head (cm)







58


CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering Name: .
Fall 2010 Date: .

Permeability Lab – Assignment Worksheet

Constant Head Permeability Test
Set-up #1 1 2 3
Average flow, V (cm
3
)

Time of collection, t (sec)

Head difference, h (cm)

Diameter of specimen, D (cm)

Length of specimen, L (cm)

Area of specimen,
2
4
D A
t
= (cm
2
)

V L
k
Aht
= (cm/sec)

Average k
1
=________________cm/sec

Set-up #2 1 2 3
Average flow, V (cm
3
)

Time of collection, t (sec)

Head difference, h (cm)

Diameter of specimen, D (cm)

Length of specimen, L (cm)

Area of specimen,
2
4
D A
t
= (cm
2
)

V L
k
Aht
= (cm/sec)

Average k
2
=________________cm/sec




59

Set-up #3 1 2 3
Average flow, V (cm
3
)

Time of collection, t (sec)

Head difference, h (cm)

Diameter of specimen, D (cm)

Length of specimen, L (cm)

Area of specimen,
2
4
D A
t
= (cm
2
)

V L
k
Aht
= (cm/sec)

Average k
3
=________________cm/sec


Variable Head Permeability Test

Set-up #4 1 2
Standpipe diameter, d
p
(cm)

Cross-sectional area of the standpipe
2
4
p
d A
t
= (cm
2
)

Diameter of specimen, D (cm)

Length of specimen, L (cm)

Original hydraulic head, h
o
(cm)

Final hydraulic head , h
1
(cm)

Time for head from h
o
to h
1
, t (sec)

Area of specimen,
2
4
D A
t
= (cm
2
)

k
t
= 2.3 (a L /A t) log
10
h
0
/h
1
(cm/sec)
Average k
4
=________________cm/sec





60

Questions:
1. Identify the soil types of set-ups 1 through 3 using the coefficient of permeability calculated
above using Table 7.1 (p. 222) in your text.

2. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) requires drainage
layers of landfills to have a minimum permeability of 1x10
-2
cm/s as determined by laboratory
testing. Based on this requirement, which of the above materials would satisfy this requirement?
What could you do during installation to ensure that the permeability requirement can be met?

3. Using your test results, calculate vertical and horizontal permeability, assuming the stratum as
described in the figure below.
Stratum 3, k
3
, H
3

i i
horizontal
i
k H
k
H
E
=
E

Stratum 2, k
2
, H
2

i
vertical
i
i
H
k
H
k
E
=
| |
E
|
\ .

Stratum 1, k
1
, H
1

H
1
+ H
2
+ H
3
= 10m
H
1
= 1.5H
2

H
3
= 2.5H
2
4.


Figure 5.1 Earth dam cross-section
el. 620ft
61

4. The earth dam shown in Figure 5.1 is to be built on gravelly sand with silt and cobbles. This
dam will extend a distance of 850 ft perpendicular to the cross-section. To reduce the flow rate
through these soils, a concrete cutoff wall will be built as shown. Redraw this cross-section to a
scale of 1 inch = 40 feet, draw a flow net, and compute Q. Then, identify the area in the flow net
that has the greatest hydraulic gradient. Estimate the hydraulic gradient and explain why this is
important.

Example Flow Nets:

Figure 5.2 Example of finalized flow net


Figure 5.3 Common mistakes in sketching a flow net





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x
e
r
c
i
s
e

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(
a
)
:

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w

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t

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a
t
e

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r
a
u
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i
c

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r
a
d
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e
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.

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?

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x
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62








































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(
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.




63








































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x
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(
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.




64





Lab #6
Consolidation






Laboratory Consolidation



















65

CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab #6 – Consolidation

I. Introduction

When a load is applied to a coarse-grained soil (gravels, sands), settlement occurs almost instantaneously
(immediate settlement.) The soil structure readjusts and void ratio decreases. The water has very little
flow resistance and can quickly flow out, as observed during the permeability tests. In fine-grained
material (silts, clays), the time for the soil structure to deform and the void ratio to decrease takes much
longer. It depends on the degree of saturation and coefficient of permeability of the soil, viscosity and
compressibility of the pore fluid, and length of the flow path. The primary difference between settlement
in coarse-grained and fine-grained soils is time. Time-dependent settlement is called consolidation
settlement.

In this lab, we will show you how a sample is prepared and placed in the consolidation apparatus. Since it
is a very long test, we will not perform the test, but rather provide you with data from a previously
conducted test. The sample that we are going to prepare and the data that you will be given is for
Skaneateles clay. This is the same soil that you performed Atterberg limits testing.

We are going to prepare a sample for a fixed-ring consolidation test. The fixed-ring test means that all
deformation is downward. The sample is not allowed to deform laterally (one-dimensional test).
Although we are going to take our sample from a block of clay, normally we would use an undisturbed
sample. In addition, care would be taken to maintain constant water content, the sample would be
handled very carefully, and the porous stones would be saturated for 24 hours before using them.

Following sample preparation and placement in the consolidometer, the consolidometer is filled with
water and placed in a load frame for testing. In the test, pressure is applied to the sample and the
deformation of the sample over time is measured. The pressure is the total stress being applied to the
sample and instantaneously the pore water pressures in the sample increase. Since the sample is
sandwiched between two porous stones (drainage boundaries), with time, the excess pore water pressure
starts dissipating. For the Skaneateles clay, it generally takes 24 hours for these pore pressures to
dissipate. The pressure is held constant for a 24-hour period and deformation is measured with an LVDT
for 24 hours. The pressure is then instantaneously increased and the test repeated. A data acquisition
system is used to collect data. At the completion of each load increment, time vs. displacement data is
obtained. Six or seven different pressures are typically applied. The pressures are usually doubled with
each increment. The response of the soil during unloading can also be measured by decreasing the
pressures incrementally.

For each load increment, displacement vs. log time will be plotted. Casagrande’s Logarithm of Time
Fitting Method and Taylor’s Square Root of Time Method constructions can be applied to each plot to
calculate the coefficient of consolidation (C
v
) of the clay. The coefficient of consolidation allows us to
estimate consolidation settlements.






66

II. Procedure


Equipment

1. Sensing Devices - mechanical and electrical.

2. Mechanical sensing devices convert physical changes to proportional mechanical movement, such as
in pressure and dial gauges.

3. Electrical sensing devices consist of transducers. A transducer is a device that outputs an electrical
signal in proportion to a physical change, such as in pressure transducers, displacement transducers
(LVDT), and force transducers.

Data Acquisition System. A data acquisition system reads and stores transducer readings at pre-set time
intervals. The data acquisition system records readings by measuring the output voltage from the load
cells and load actuators. The values initially recorded in the data file are therefore not in pounds or inches,
but in volts.

Sample Preparation

1. Examine the soil and give a visual description.

2. With the ring cutting edge lightly imprint the ring area on the soil block. Use the wire saw to cut a
uniform slice of about 2 inches thickness and a perimeter slightly larger than and enclosing the ring
imprint. Try to minimize waste and excess cutting.

3. Place the soil sample at the center of the trimmer. Using the wire saw and guide posts trim to size.

4. Install the ring onto the follower with cutting edge out and locate the cutting edge centrally over the
soil.

5. Advance the soil into the ring by gently pushing the ram. Observe the extrusion into the clear acrylic
follower. Stop pushing when soil is visible all around. Make sure the soil does not get pushed too far
and touch the base of the follower.

6. Remove the soil, ring, and follower from the trimmer.

7. Invert and place the sample on the bench top with the follower as base. Trim the top flush with the
cutting edge using the wire saw.

8. Locate the recess platen centrally and push. When a recess forms properly the platen will resist side
movement.

9. Invert and place the sample on the bench top with the recess platen as base. Gently remove the
follower and trim the top flush with the ring base using the wire saw.

10. The initial void ratio and degree of saturation can be determined from the sample weight, volume,
water content of trimmings and specific gravity of solids. This information will be provided along
with the consolidation data.

67

11. Place the sample on the base porous stone within the bath.

12. Carefully locate the top stone and cap in the recess at the cutting edge and place the loading ball.

13. Place and center the sample and bath below the piston-loading rod.

14. Advance the loading rod to come in contact with the ball imposing very little load and quickly adjust
the LVDT. Make sure the LVDT is set to allow sufficient travel in compression. Zero the LVDT.


III. Report

At a minimum, your lab report should contain the following:

1. Each group will be required to prepare a sample for a consolidation test. Since consolidation tests are
time consuming to perform, performance of an actual test will only be demonstrated. Data from an
actual test will be provided to you so that you can prepare your lab report and perform the required
analyses.

2. Your lab report should still contain the typical elements (introduction, materials and equipment,
procedures, results and discussion, and conclusion). A visual description of the soil sample prepared
should be included. The test data that you will be given is for the same Skaneateles clay that you will
prepare your sample from. Visual descriptions should include color, moisture, consistency, soil type,
and any other characteristics.

3. Each group will analyze all load increments. Each student will be required to independently analyze
a minimum of one load stage. For each load stage, the following should be provided:

a. Plot of deformation vs. log time (Casagrande’s Method)
- Find C
v


b. Plot of deformation vs. square root of time (Taylor’s Method)
- Find C
v

c. For each stage, calculate the void ratio at end of stage.

4. Combine all the results for the group and find change in void ratio (Ae), coefficient of compressibility
(a
v
), and permeability (k) (calculate k based on C
v
from either Casagrande’s or Taylor’s Method – just
say which one you’re using).

5. Once the plots are complete, the data from each stage should be combined in table format for the
following plots:

- Void ratio vs. log effective stress (use data from all load stages) (Casagrande’s Method)
1. Find the preconsolidation pressure, o’
p

2. Find the compression index, C
c

3. Find the recompression index, C
r


- Void ratio vs. effective stress (use data from all load stages)

68

- C
v
vs. log effective stress (use C
v
values from either Casagrande’s or Taylor’s Method)

- Permeability vs. void ratio (use C
v
values from either Casagrande’s or Taylor’s Method)

5. Your discussion should include the methods you used to determine the required information, sample
calculations, a comparison of results, and a discussion of each plot and what it means.

6. Based on your earlier Atterberg testing of the Skaneateles clay, how do your calculated C
c
values
compare to Terzaghi and Peck’s (1967) empirical equation C
c
= 0.009 (LL – 10)?. Are the values
within the 30% reliability range of the equation? Note: Here the LL is in percent and is taken from
your previous lab report on Atterberg limit tests






































69








































70


Lab #7
Shear Strength of Sand







Direct Shear Box























71

CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab #7 – Shear Strength of Sand

I. Introduction

In this lab, we are going to perform direct shear strength testing of Ottawa sand. When we talk about the
shear strength of sands, we are considering the strength of the soil, or frictional resistance of the soil to
shearing. What we want to find is |, the friction angle of the sand. | is also called the angle of internal
friction and is very similar to the familiar term µ (coefficient of friction) as it’s commonly used in
physics. | is made up of both friction, or sliding resistance, and interlocking of grains from particle shape
and density of packing.

t
f
= o tan |

where, t
f
= shear strength

o = total normal stress acting on the failure plane

| = friction angle of the sand

Since sands have a high permeability, it is reasonable to assume “drained” test conditions. In other
words, there should be no difference between total and effective stress parameters. Even if the sand is
saturated, any excess pore pressure should dissipate.

The value of | is affected by several factors including mineralogy, particle shape, gradation, and void
ratio, or density. In this exercise, the density is of most interest. It is important that test samples are
prepared in the same manner each time to insure that sample density remains relatively constant across a
series of tests. While the residual shear strength is a material property generally independent of density,
the peak shear strength is very much a function of density. The sample density dictates whether the shear
stress will peak sharply before declining to a residual stress level (dense), or if the stress will increase
more uniformly throughout the test to an asymptote at the residual level (loose). In order to obtain
“textbook” results, care must be taken to prepare multiple samples having near identical densities.

Direct shear tests provide information on how a soil deforms or strains versus shear stress, how volume
changes with strain (volumetric strain), and how void ratio changes with strain. In the direct shear test,
sand is placed in a split box, a load is applied, and the sample is then sheared by moving the top box
across a fixed lower box. This forces failure to occur along a thin zone of soil on the horizontal plane.
This initial stress state represents a K
O
condition. Vertical loading is applied by a load actuator and
remains constant for a test. Horizontal shear loading is also applied by a load actuator but is dynamic.
The horizontal actuator continually adjusts its loading output to maintain a constant rate of shear strain
throughout the test. The displacements and loads in both the vertical and horizontal planes are monitored
and recorded using a data acquisition system.






72

II. Procedure

Sample Preparation

1. Using a spoon slowly pour the sand/crushed glass on the table from a short height until the slope
made by the sand pile is constant. Measure the angle of repose of the sand/crushed glass using a
protractor.

2. After you measure the angle of repose, put the sand/crushed glass back to the bowl and weigh the
bowl with the sand/crushed glass.

3. Remove the reaction arm, loading ball, top cap, and one porous stone. Ensure that the top of the
spacer is level with a marking on the inside of the specimen box. If not leveled check that you have
only one porous stone inside.

4. After removing the spacer, measure the inside diameter of the specimen box and the thickness of the
spacer.

5. Carefully fill the box with sand/crushed glass to the height of the marking. Take care to avoid sample
loss. Densify the sand/crushed glass using a tamper and/or the spacer and re-level for dense samples.
Add sand/crushed glass and densify again if necessary to maintain the sand level at the marking.
6. Weight the bowl and the sand/crushed glass after placing the sand/crushed glass in the box.
Be sure to weigh the bowl and sand before and after each test and fill in the Table below. You will
need to know the weight of sand used in each test in order calculate its void ratio. Assume G
s
= 2.65.

Set Up & Testing

1. Install the top porous stone, top cap, loading ball, load
seat.

2. From the desktop open the DigiShear software if this has
not already been done.

3. Select File – Specimen Data. Next to “Project Number,”
enter an appropriate title such as “Dense-1” or “Loose-1”.
The rest of the entries are fine as is. Save the file with the
same name as the project number you’ve just created. Do
not save the file to the DigiShear program folder. Instead,
save directly to a flash drive. You may also save to the
desktop and email the file at the end of lab.

4. Select File – Test Data. Next to “Loading Schedule,”
Select “50 lbs”. You will be conducting 3 tests with
normal loads of 50 lbs, 100 lbs, and 150 lbs. Be sure the
rest of the entries match the screenshot located at right.
Failure to do so could result in either damage to very
expensive equipment or a time consuming test. Save the
entries.



73

5. Select Tools – Manual Mode – Vertical Axis. Next to
“Speed” and “Displacement,” enter “0.75” and “0.1”
respectively. Select the downward arrow button and
NOT the downward-end button (See Figure at Right).
Carefully move the load downward until the two load
seats are approximately 1/8’’ apart. Start and stop the
movement by selecting the start/stop button (Seen at
Right). Do not make contact between the load seats as
this will damage the equipment. Close the Vertical
Axis control box.

6. Select Tools – Manual Mode – Horizontal Axis. Next
to “Speed” and “Displacement,” enter “0.75” and “0.1”
respectively. Select left or right arrow button to align the load cell with the load seat.
7. Install the reaction arm carefully and tighten it. Unscrew the black pins halfway. Turn both yellow
pins 1 revolution inward. This lifts the top half of the box uniformly, ensuring that shearing involves
only the soil and not the surfaces of the box. Then completely remove the black pins and set them in
a safe location.

8. Select the “Start” button located at the bottom of the screen. The load will seat itself over the course
of a couple minutes. During this time make sure the load seats are perfectly aligned.

9. When seating has finished, select “start test”. The program now enters consolidation mode. However,
unlike clays and organic soils, our uniform sand does not consolidate and this step may be cut short.
After 30 seconds or so, select “Done”. This will give the equipment a few seconds to “hone in” on
the desired normal load.

10. Make sure your screen matches the figure at
right and adjust the entries if needed. Select
the “Start” button. The software will remind
you to remove the black alignment pins, which
you should have already done. Failure to
remove the black pins will result in damaged
equipment.

11. The test will now take 5 minutes to complete.
During this time select “View Plots” to monitor the test progress. Adjust the plot scale by selecting
the “Properties” button.

12. When the test has finished, select “Done.” A text file
containing all recorded data has been saved to the location
you specified earlier. Verify that this file has been created
before proceeding.

13. Return the shear box to its original position by selecting
Tools – Manual Mode – Horizontal Axis. Select the left
arrow-end button (Figure at Right). When the boxes are
aligned, stop the motion. Use either arrow-end button to fine
tune the alignment if needed. And put the black alignment
screws back to the shear box and tighten them.
14. Raise the vertical load by selecting Tools – Manual Mode –
74

Vertical Axis. Select the “Up” arrow-end button and the load will travel to its upper range of motion.
After removing the reaction arm carefully tilt the shear box to remove it from the set-up. Put the sand
back to the bowel and reassemble the equipment.

15. You will now repeat the test procedure twice more using normal loads of 100 lbs and 150 lbs. Close
and open the DigiShear software to begin a new test each time.

Data Analysis

1. The data acquisition system records readings by measuring the output voltage from the load cells and
load actuators. The values recorded in the data file are therefore not in pounds or inches, but in volts.
Using the equations below, convert these values into useable units. Locate the relevant calibration and
excitation factors from the text file, under[sensors].






2. The horizontal load and actuator displacement must begin at zero. These values may be negative or
positive in your data, and will likely not begin at zero. Be sure to adjust the entire column of data
uniformly by the same amount so that start will be zero.


III. Report

At a minimum, your lab report should contain the following:

1. Direct shear test results. Each group will perform three replicates of a direct shear test on Ottawa
sand. The TA will assign groups to perform the test on either loose or dense samples. Groups should
share data with all lab section groups.

2. Visual descriptions of the soil sample. Visual descriptions should include color, moisture,
consistency, angularity of grains, soil type, and any other characteristics. Assume a specific gravity
of 2.65 for the soil.

3. Calculate the void ratio (e) of each sample tested. Based on Lambe and Whitman (1969), e
max
= 0.80
and e
min
= 0.50 for standard Ottawa sand. How would you characterize your samples based on these
values?

4. For each load increment of each test, plot the following (use the same scale for each plot):

- Shear stress (t) vs. horizontal displacement (δH) (label maximum shear stress)

- Vertical displacement (δV) vs. horizontal displacement (δH)

- Void ratio (e) vs. horizontal displacement (δH)

75

5. Once the individual plots are done, plot maximum shear stress (t
p
) versus normal stress (o) for each
load increment. Plot the results for all samples (loose and dense) on the same graph. Fit a line for
loose and dense samples and calculate the friction angle (|’
p
, and |’
r
) of each sample.

6. Based on your characterization of the soil (loose, medium, dense) from #3 above, how do your results
compare with theoretical plots for shear stress (t) vs. shear strain (¸
zx
), volume change (c
z
) vs. shear
strain (¸
zx
), and void ratio (e) vs. shear strain (¸
zx
)? Do your results resemble dense or loose behavior?

7. Your discussion should include sample calculations on how you calculated e, |’
p
, and |’
r
.

8. Discuss the difference in the | results for the two samples (loose & dense).

9. Assuming the failure plane in the direct shear test to be horizontal, draw Mohr’s circles at failure.

10. What is the angle of repose of the Ottawa sand? How does the angle of repose compare to your direct
shear results? Was the angle of repose higher or lower than your direct shear results? Why?

11. Based on the 30x magnification of Ottawa sand grains provided below, would you expect crushed
stone to have a higher or lower friction angle? Explain.

















12. Based on the correlation between |’ and Standard Penetration Test (SPT) results given by DeMello
(1971), how many blows/ft would the samples theoretically correspond to? (Figure is found in
Coduto’s 2
nd
edition book on page 583)

13. Which | (|’
p
, and |’
r
) would you use for design? Why?

76


Direct Shear Test on Sand
Void Ratio Calculation

Description of soil___________________________________________
Tested by _______________________________________________________
Date _______________


Item
Test
50lb 100lb 150lb
2. Specimen diameter, D (in.)

3. Specimen height, H (in.)

4. Mass of bowl + dry sand (before use), W
1
(g)

5. Mass of bowl + dry sand (after use), W
2
(g)

W
1
– W
2
(g)

6. Dry unit weight of specimen,
808 . 3
) (
4
) (
) / (
3
2
2 1 3
×
×
÷
=
in H
D
g W W
ft lb
d
t
¸

7. Specific gravity of soil solids, G
s


2.65
8. Void ratio, 1 ÷ =
d
w s
G
e
¸
¸

Note: ¸
w
=62.4lb/ft
3
; ¸
d
is in lb/ft
3


9. Angle of repose (degree)











77








































78

Lab #8
Shear Strength of Clay



Unconfined Compression (UC) Test





Unconsolidated Undrained (UU) Test





79

CIE 337 – Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering
Lab #8 – Shear Strength of Clay

I. Introduction

In Lab #6, we learned that shear strength is an important property of soil. Shear strength will tell us if our
foundation is strong enough to support a building, if slope stability is a problem, or if our retaining wall
will stand up. Shear strength is the maximum shear stress the soil can withstand, or in other words, its
resistance to shearing. When evaluating the shear strength of sands, we measure the friction angle of the
soil, |. This information is used in Coulomb’s equation to calculate the shear strength of a cohesionless
soil:

t
f
= o* tan (|)

where t
f
= shear strength

o = total normal stress acting at failure plane

| = friction angle of the sand.

However, for fine-grained materials, or clays, there is another component to Coulomb’s equation,
cohesion, c.

t
f
= o* tan (|) + c

| and c are known as strength parameters. We know that | is the interface friction angle, or the
interlocking of grains from particle shape and density of packing. In clays, we have what is called
cohesion. Clays are fine-grained soil and have plasticity. Water affects their behavior. Since sands have
no cohesion, Coulomb’s equation is written as t
f
= o tan | + 0 (c = 0). In soils that are composed of
many different types of soils, you can have both | and c.

In this lab, we are going to consider what happens to clays when sheared using four different types of
tests: vane tests, penetration tests, Unconfined Compression (UC) tests, and Unconsolidated Undrained
(UU) tests.


II. Procedure

Vane Tests

Vane tests are based on measuring resistance to rotation of blades inserted into the soil. The measured
resistance depends on the soil type and geometry of vanes. Both peak (max) and residual (min) strengths
can be determined.

Failure takes place along the circumference and vane ends. The soil between the vanes is immobile. The
resistance to rotation depends on the soil undrained shear strength as well as the diameter (D) and height
(H) of the vanes.

Two types of vanes will be used in this lab.

80

1. The first is a torvanewith a standard, large, and small vane for use in firm, stiff, and very soft to soft
soils, respectively. Readings on the knob must be converted by the following factors:

Vane Factor
Standard 1.0
Small 2.5
Large 0.2

a) Adopt the standard vane to the vane driver.

b) Re-set the dial on the knob to zero by turning the scale counter clockwise holding the stem fixed.

c) Push the vane blades into the soil block to a depth of the vane height.

d) Hold the vane in position and slowly rotate the knob clockwise until failure of the soil.

e) Based on the result of the standard vane, select the most desirable of the three vanes for a test at a
second position. One revolution of the knob represents 1 kg/cm
2
. If the above result in 0.6
kg/cm
2
or more, the small vane is desirable. However, if the above is 0.2 kg/cm
2
or less, the large
vane is desirable. For results between 0.2 and 0.6 kg/cm
2
repeat with the standard vane.
Remember to apply the appropriate factor for the vane.

2. The lab vane, as its name implies, is often used in the lab. There are no peripheral devices or supplies
required and it is relatively light and small in size. A lab vane may also be used at a field site and
there are adapters for performing vane tests directly in a Shelby (borehole sampling) tube. Both vane
sizes and resistance springs can be selected to adapt to different soils.

a) Position the soil block under the vane.

b) Re-set the dial.

c) Advance the vane downward into the block such that the top edge of the vane blade is below the
surface by no more than 0.25 in. This is to maximize use of the block as a source of test samples
for later use.

d) Begin shearing by rotating the loading wheel counterclockwise at a rate of about 2 sec per
revolution.

e) Record the maximum reading at the dial pointer. This corresponds to a peak strength.

f) Rotate the vane at the same position within the soil block for at least two revolutions.

g) Re-set the dial pointer and shear. Record the max dial value. This corresponds to a residual
strength.

h) Use the equation for Spring No.1 to convert the degrees of rotation to shear strength units. The
ratio of the peak to the residual strength represents the sensitivity of the soil.

i) Repeat this test at a second position on the block.


81

Penetration Tests

Penetration devices sense resistance to penetration by a specified size tip to a standard depth. The
measured resistance to penetration is the unconfined compressive strength (twice the shear
strength). Two types of penetration devices will be used.

1. A pocket penetrometer is a simple device that relates ¼-in penetration of a 1/4-in diameter stem to
unconfined compressive strength.

a) Re-set the load indicator collar to the bottom of the scale. Push the tip vertically into the soil
block and penetrate to the depth of the marker. Withdraw and read the scale value at the collar
edge facing the handle.

b) Re-set and repeat this test at two other locations.

2. Geotester (Penetrometer):- The geotester is a similar device to the pocket penetrometer. Yet it has
provisions for alternate sizes of penetrating tip to accommodate different soil types and strengths.
The dial scale reads force in kg. and pressure in kg/cm
2
. The pressure scale applies only to the ¼-in
tip. Both the ¼-in and 10-mm tips will be used.

a) Press the button on the side of the gauge to re-set. Push the ¼-in tip vertically into the soil block
and penetrate to the depth of the marker. Withdraw and read both inner and outer scale values.

b) Repeat this test using the 10-mm tip. The undrained strength may be estimated as:

C
u
(kg/cm
2
) = (0.18 * Q (kg)) / D
2
(cm
2
) where Q is the force reading


Unconfined Compression Test

The unconfined compression test is a uniaxial test without confinement. This test can only be performed
on a soil that can maintain form under zero confinement. Cohesive soils maintain form as a result of
negative pore pressure due to capillarity. This phenomenon is often referred to as representing
"cohesion".

1. Sample Preparation

a) Obtain an undisturbed soil element with minimum dimensions of about 2.5" x 2.5" x 4.5" from
the block.

b) Shorten to a length of 3.5" by cutting portions from both ends and making sure the cut ends are
right parallel. Use the miter box and save the cut end pieces for a water content determination.

c) Install the specimen centrally on the 1.4" diameter pedestal of the soil trimmer.

d) Also position the top centrally. Make sure the circumference of the top and also of the base are
entirely enclosed within the perimeter of the soil.

e) Rotate the sample in small steps and trim the sides with the wire saw to a smooth right circular
finish. Save the side trimmings for a second water content determination.

82

f) Remove the specimen from the soil trimmer and place centrally in a miter box. Cut the ends with
the wire saw.

g) Use the calipers to measure the diameter near the ends and the middle. Also measure the height
along three sides. Take the average of these measurements to represent the diameter and height
of the sample.

2. Installation and Set-Up

a) Open the Sigma-1 UC software if this has not already been done.

b) Select the “New Test” button. Next to “Project Number,” enter an appropriate title. Next to the
“Sample diameter” and “Sample height” put your measured values. The rest of the entries are
fine as is. Save the file with the same name as the project number you’ve just created. Do not
save the file to the Sigma-1 UC program folder. Instead, save directly to a flash drive. You may
also save to the desktop and email the file at the end of lab.

c) Next to “Strain Rate” and “Strain Limit” enter 2 and 24 respectively.

d) Place the clay specimen in the center of the load plate.


3. Testing & Data Analysis

a) Using the downward arrows and “Run” button, bring the
upper load plate to within 1/8’’ of the clay sample.

b) Once the load plate is in position, select “Start Test”.
The test will run for 12 minutes. During this time select
“View Plots” to monitor the test progress. Adjust the
plot scale by selecting the “Properties” button. Note that
due to the initial gap between specimen and load plate,
several minutes may be required before contact is made.
Keeping this in mind, be sure to “zero” the data so that
the plot does not include data collection prior to contact
between the load plate and sample.

c) Once the strain limit has been reached and actuator motion has ceased, select “End Test”. A text
file containing all recorded data has been saved to the location you specified earlier. Raise the
load plate and remove the sample. Sketch and measure the angle of the failure planes.

d) The data acquisition system records readings by measuring the output voltage from the load cells
and load actuators. The values recorded in the data file are therefore not in pounds or inches, but
in volts. Using the equations below, convert these values into useable units. Locate the relevant
calibration and excitation factors from the text file, under [sensors].






83


Unconsolidated Undrained Test

The unconsolidated undrained test is similar to the unconfined compression test except the sample is now
placed under a confining pressure, σ
3
. This is done by placing the sample in a water-filled cell that is
pressurized by air to a known value of σ
3
. The UU test will be demonstrated by the teaching assistants and
test data will be posted on blackboard. You will process and plot the data, however, and must understand
how the UU test works along with the significance of the results. As with the UC test, use the above data
acquisition equations for converting the results into familiar units.


III. Report

At a minimum, your lab report should contain the following:

1. Visual descriptions of the soil sample. Visual descriptions should include color, moisture,
consistency, soil type, and any other characteristics.

2. Torvane test results. Each student will perform three replicates of a torvane test on Skaneateles clay.

3. Lab vane test results. Each group will perform two lab vane tests on Skaneateles clay. Lab vane test
results should include peak strength and residual strength results. Sensitivity, the ratio of the peak to
residual strength, should be calculated for the test. Is the soil sensitive?

4. Pocket penetrometer test results. Each student will perform three replicates of a pocket penetrometer
test on Skaneateles clay.

5. Geotester test results. Each student will perform three replicates of a geotester test on Skaneateles
clay.

6. Unconfined compression (UC) test results. Each group will perform one unconfined compression test
on Skaneateles clay. The report should include sketches of the failure planes. Is the failure plane
what you expected?

7. Each test should be briefly discussed, along with any observations, test results, and average shear
strength results.

8. Your discussion should include sample calculations.

9. A summary table should be provided comparing the average shear strength results obtained by each
method. Care should be taken to make sure the shear strength results are presented in the same units
for each test and that the unconfined compressive strength (q
u
) and shear strength (t
f
) results are not
confused. Remember, 1/2 q
u
= t
f
= c. Reviewing pg. 505-507 in your textbook may be helpful in
understanding these concepts. Explain differences and similarities in results. * The unconfined
compressive strength (UC test) and σ
1
(UU test) are defined as either the strength at 15% strain or the
highest strength occurring before 15% strain, whichever is greatest. Generally q
u
and σ
1
occur at
15% strain for Skaneateles clay.

10. Plot stress vs. strain for the UC and UU tests. Note the maximum stress level and the corresponding
strain magnitude for each test. Remember to use the corrected area and not the initial area when
calculating the stress for each of these two plots.
84


11. Plot total stress Mohr’s circles for the UC and UU test results and draw a failure envelope. What
does the failure envelope represent? What is the slope of the failure envelope? What slope did you
expect and why?

12. Can you infer a failure plane orientation based on the envelope? How does your observed failure
plane compare with your envelope?

13. Give examples of when you would use each test































.

85

Vane Test
Description of soil_________________________________________
Specimen No. _______________
Test Type __Torvane (Measures Shear Strength Directly)_____________ ______
Calibration Initial __________________________ Standard Vane Results _______________________
Selected Vane _________________________________________________________________________
Tested by _______________________________________________________ Date _______________
Vane Type Test 1 Test 2 Test 3



Test Type _Lab Vane___(Measures Shear Strength Directly)_______________ _______
Spring No. _______________________________________________________________________

Test
No.
Max dial reading
( for peak strength)
(u in degrees)
Peak shear
strength
(lbs/ft
2
) *
Residual dial reading
( for residual strength)
(u in degrees)
Residual shear
strength
(lbs/ft
2
) *
Sensitivity
1




2





* Calibration formulas to use:
1) For Spring No.1 : t = 17.08*u
2) For Spring No.2 : t = 15.56*u
3) For Spring No.3 : t = 10.62*u
4) For Spring No.4 : t = 7.5*u
where u = is dial reading and t = the shear stress
86

Penetration Test
Description of soil_________________________________________ Specimen No. _______________
Test Type _Pocket Penetrometer_(Measures Twice the Shear Strength)_____________ __
Calibration _----------________________________________________________________________

Test No. Results
1
2
3


Test Type : Geotester_(Measures Twice the Shear Strength )
Specimen No. _________________

Test No. Tip Diameter Dial Reading
Undrained
Compressive Strength
Undrained Shear
Strength
1
2
3

87

Unconfined Compression Test
Description of soil___________________________________________ Specimen No. ______________
Length of specimen __________ Diameter of specimen __________
Area,
2
0
4
D A
t
= =____________in.
2
Strain Rate displacement_________________________________________________________________

Tested by _______________________________________________________ Date _______________

Sketch Failure Plane





Measure Failure Plane










Note: In the data manipulation for your report the corrected area will be used and is calculated as
Corrected area
c ÷
=
1
0
A
A
c





88

Unconsolidated Undrained Test
Description of soil___________________________________________ Specimen No. ______________
Length of specimen __________ Diameter of specimen __________
Area,
2
0
4
D A
t
= =____________in.
2
Strain Rate displacement_________________________________________________________________

Confining Pressure .
Tested by _______________________________________________________ Date _______________


Undrained Shear Strength, S
u
=0.5(σ
1
– σ
3
)
Where: σ
1
= Peak Strength
σ
3
= Confining Pressure
Corrected area
c ÷
=
1
0
A
A
c











89

Appendix A:
Standard Reference Material for Different Laboratory Procedures:

ASTM D2487 – 11
Standard Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (USCS)
“Describes a system for classifying mineral and organo-soils for engineering purposes
based on laboratory determination of particle-size characteristics, liquid limit, and
plasticity index.”

ASTM D6913 – 04
Standard Test Methods for Particle-Size Distribution (Gradation) of Soils Using Sieve Analysis
“This test method uses a square opening sieve criterion in determining the gradation of
soil between 3-in (75-mm) and No. 200 (75-µm) sieves.”

ASTM D422 - 63
Standard Test Method for Particle-Size Analysis of Soils
“Test method covers the quantitative determination of the distribution of particle sizes in
soil. The distribution of particle sizes larger than 75 µm is determined by sieving, while
particles smaller than 75 µm is determined by a sedimentation process using a
hydrometer to secure the necessary data.”

ASTM D4318 - 10
Standard Test Method for Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils
“These test methods cover the determination of the liquid limit, plastic limit, and the
plasticity index of soils as defined in Section 3 of Terminology”

ASTM 698 - 12
Standard Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Standard Effort
(12,400 ft-lbf/ft
3
)
“These test methods cover laboratory compaction methods used to determine the
relationship between molding water content and dry unit weight of soils compacted in a
4- or 6-in diameter mold with a 5.5-lbf rammer dropped from a height of 12-in
producing a compactive effort of 12,400 ft-lbf/ft
3
.”

ASTM D1557 – 12
Standard Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified Effort
(56,000 ft-lbf/ft
3
)
“These test methods cover laboratory compaction methods used to determine the
relationship between molding water content and dry unit weight of soils compacted in a
4- or 6-in diameter mold with a 10-lbf rammer dropped from a height of 18-in producing
a compactive effort of 56,000 ft-lbf/ft
3
.”





90


ASTM D2435/D2435M – 11
Standard Test Methods for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soil Using Incremental
Loading
“These test methods cover procedures for determining the magnitude and rate of
consolidation of soil when it is restrained laterally and drained axially while subjected
to incrementally applied controlled-stress loading”

ASTM D3080/D3080M – 11
Standard Shear Test of Soils Under Consolidated Drained Conditions
“Test method covers the determination of the consolidated drained shear strength of one
specimen of a soil material under direct shear boundary conditions. The specimen is
deformed at a controlled rate on or near a single shear plane determined by the
configuration of the apparatus.”

ASTM D2850 – 03a
Standard Test Method for Unconsolidated-Undrained Triaxial Compression Test on Cohesive
Soils
“Test method covers determination of the strength and stress-strain relationship of a
cylindrical specimen of either undisturbed or remolded cohesive soil. Specimens are
subjected to a confining fluid pressure in a triaxial chamber. No drainage of the
specimen is allowed during the test. The specimen is sheared in compression without
drainage at a constant rate of axial deformation.”

ASTM D4648/D4648M – 10
Standard Test Method for Laboratory Miniature Vane Shear Test for Saturated Fine-Grained
Clayey Soil
“This test method covers the miniature vane test in very soft to stiff saturated fine-
grained clayey soils (φ = 0). Knowledge of the nature of the soil in which each vane test
is to be made is necessary for assessment of the applicability and interpretation of the
test results.”


For sample lab reports and access to the “Student & faculty Guide to Improved Technical
Writing” book, go to www.blackboard.syr.edu and access your CIE 337 course page.











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