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Adam Yuta Prayoga 1206292370
Asti Diar Safitri 1206292414
Nathan 1206292420

Date of Practicum : 4/5/2014
Practicum Assistant :
Date of Approval :
Score :
Assistants Signature :


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11.1. Introduction:
11.1.1. Objective:
To determine the value of the cohesion (c) and the angle of shear
(), and the water content of a soil sample.

11.1.2. Apparatus:
Direct shear test apparatus and shear box
Weight (5kg, 10kg, 15kg, 20kg, 25kg)
2 dial gauges for vertical and horizontal displacement
Specimen cutter for cutting cohesive soil
Tamper to compact cohesionless soil
Scale with an accuracy of 0.01 gr
Calipers with an accuracy of 0.01mm

11.1.3. Basic Theorem:
The shear strength of the soil sample can be measured directly by a
constant vertical (normal) loading on the sample and an addition of a
certain amount of shear force with a constant, slow rate to keep the pore
water pressure at zero, so the ultimate shear strength can be determined.
The normal stress can be determined by a division of the amount of
normal force and the shear-plane area or S= P/A
The shear stress can be determined by calculating the shear force
(G), which is gained from the maximum reading of the load ring dial after
being multiplied by the value of prooving ring calibration (LRC)


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In some reference books, it is stated that the cohesion of sand is (c)
= 0, and the shear angle () of sands ranging from 28
to 48
. The table
below is used to classify the type of soil using the value of shear angle:

Table The value of shear angle for some types of soil

11.2. Procedure:
11.2.1. Preparations
a. Measure the inner diameter of the cylinder in the shear box.
b. Balance the counterweight system so it is able to provide normal force
on the shear box.
c. Weight of the shear boxs cap, the shear box ball and the can.
d. Prepare the sands. Clean the sand from any kinds of impurities or
gravels by using sieve no. 18 ASTM.
e. Take a small portion of the sand, weight it and oven-dry it in order to
seek for the water content.

11.2.2. Practical Activity:
a. Insert the sand into the shear box. Fill part of the shear box with
sands, compact it with 15 tamper blows for each part is fulfilled. Do
not forget to put a lock on the shear box to prevent any translation.

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b. The surface of the sand should be flattened by using spatula or tamper.
The surface is then covered by the shear boxs cover and its ball.
c. Put the shear box in the apparatus, apply 5kg of loading, then release
the shear boxs key.
d. Set both of the horizontal and loading ring dials into 0
e. The shear box is given a shear force by applying the force in 1
f. The horizontal dial readings should be read every 15 seconds until the
loading dial stop turning.
g. Repeat step a-f for the loading of 10, 15, 20, and 25 kg.

11.3. Data Tabulation
Diameter of the shear box = 6.315 cm
Sample Area = 31.321 cm
Loading rate = 1mm/min
LRC = 0.15 kg/div
Weight of cap and ball = 0.84215 kg
Water Content = 16.492%

Table 11.3.1 Data Tabulation
Time (s)
Vertical Load (kg)
5 10 15 20 25 30
15 26 45 48 68 107 96
30 29 63 62 82 121 121
45 31 70 72 94 129 133
60 33 75 80 101 138 144
75 34 77 87 110 143 150
90 34 77 91 112 148 157
105 34 78 93 114 152 159
120 78 99.5 118 154 162
135 78 110 120 154 170
150 110 124 156 172
165 110 126 156 176
180 126 158 176
195 126 158 179

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210 158 180
225 180
240 180

11.4 Data Processing

These are how to calculate the normal stress and shear stress from the data
gained from the direct shear test. The results are input in a table to ease the result
Normal Stress ()
Vertical load = 10 kg
Total load = 10.84215 kg
Area of sample = 31.321 cm

Shear Stress ()
Max Horizontal Dial Reading = 78


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Table 11.4.1 Calcuation Results

Table 11.4.2 Shear Stress and Normal Stress

y = 0.8451x + 0.0526
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2





Normal Stress (Kg/cm2) ()
vs Graph
Vertical Load 5 10 15 20 25 30
Cap & Ball Load
(Kg) 0.84215 0.84215 0.84215 0.84215 0.84215 0.84215
Total Load (Kg) 5.84215 10.84215 15.84215 20.84215 25.84215 30.84215
Sample Area
(cm2) 31.321 31.321 31.321 31.321 31.321 31.321
Normal Stress
(Kg/cm2) 0.186525 0.346162 0.5058 0.665437 0.825074 0.984712
Max Horizontal
Dial Reading 34 78 110 126 158 180
Horizontal Shear
Force (Kg) 5.1 11.7 16.5 18.9 23.7 27
Horizontal Shear
Stress (Kg) 0.16283 0.373551 0.526803 0.603429 0.756681 0.862041

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Table 11.4.3 Linear Regression
X Y X2 Y2 XY
0.186525 0.16283 0.034792 0.026514 0.030372
0.346162 0.373551 0.119828 0.139541 0.129309
0.5058 0.526803 0.255833 0.277522 0.266457
0.665437 0.603429 0.442806 0.364127 0.401544
0.825074 0.756681 0.680747 0.572566 0.624318
0.984712 0.862041 0.969657 0.743115 0.711248
3.51371 3.285335 2.503663 2.123385 2.163248


= tan
= 40.201

11.5 Analysis
11.5.1 Procedure Analysis
The objective of this experiment is to determine the value of the
cohesion (c) and the angle of shear (), and the water content of a soil
sample. To do this experiment several apparatus and steps are required.
The main apparatus used in this experiment is direct shear test
apparatus and shear box. Another apparatus needed are weight (5kg, 10kg,
15kg, 20kg, 25kg), 2 dial gauges for vertical and horizontal displacement,
specimen cutter for cutting cohesive soil, tamper to compact cohesionless
soil, scale with an accuracy of 0.01 gr, calipers with an accuracy of
0.01mm, stopwatch, can, and oven. All the apparatus are provided in soil
testing laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering UI.
First thing to do is sieving the sample of soil, which is going to be
tested. To sieve the sample, students use sieve no. 18 ASTM. Fine grains

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of soil are preferable due to their homogenous properties that lead to more
accurate results. Fine grains will give more accurate results because the
stress will be disturbed properly. The sample must be added by several
amount of water in order to ease the compaction process. The can used as
the container of the sample of soil also must be weighted to determine the
water content.
The next step is measuring the diameter of the shear box. Students
only measure the internal diameter because the internal diameter is used in
determining the surface of the sample of soil. After that, students weight
the cap and the ball that also act as the load acting on the sample of soil in
the direct shear test.
The last step of preparation is soil compaction. To prevent the
sample of soil from moving two keys must fastened. The filling process
must be conducted with several compactions. Every soil addition of 1/3
part of the shear box must be compacted by 15 times with constant
strength. This step is repeated until the volume has reached of the shear
box, which is signed by a dot sign inside the shear box. After the sample is
compacted, place the cap and the ball on it. In placing the cap, the pattern
of the cap must be the same with the pattern that is located at the bottom of
the shear box. This is done in order to make sure the shear stress is well
After all the preparation steps are finished, the experiment is
started. The first thing to do is placing the shear box that contains of the
sample to the direct shear apparatus. This step must be done carefully, to
prevent the soil translation that may damage the soil structure. After being
placed, remove the key and set the dial to zero as the starting point. In the
loading process, students should make sure the ball, which is used to
distribute the load, touches the curvature. The direct shear test apparatus is
used manually; therefore the students have to maintain the translation rate
of 1mm/min properly in order to prevent error data. Students use
stopwatch and the dial to keep the constant translation rate. This is done to
prevent early failure. The horizontal dial reading is done every 15 seconds

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until the loading dial stop turning. These steps are repeated for weight of
10, 15, 20, 25 , and 30 kg.
11.5.2 Result Analysis
As we know the cohesion and shear angle are two factors that
influences the value of shear strength. The relation between the two factors
and the shear strength is shown in equation below:

where is the shear strength, c is the cohesion, shear stress, and
is the shear angle. From this equation, we know that the shear strength
increases while the shear angle and the cohesion also increase.
In the reading process, the shear strength gauge shows the high
increasing value of strength. However, after the direct shear test apparatus
being turned constantly, the gauge shows the small increasing value of
shear strength. The test is still continued until the shear strength gauge
shows the 3 (three) the same value. These values represent that the soil has
reached its maximum shear strength.
In the experiment, the direct shear test is conducted 6 (six) times
with different weight (5,10, 15, 20, 25, 30 kg). From the table 11.3.1, we
can see that the gauge shows bigger value in soil in more loaded condition.
For example, in the weight of 5 kg, the maximum shear strength is reached
when the direct shear test apparatus is turned for 105 seconds while in the
weight of 30 kg, the maximum shear strength is reached at 240

Through some calculations, normal stress and shear stress can be
obtained. The combination of normal stress and shear stress is plotted to a
graph. From the graph we can see the graph the normal stress increases as
the shear stress increases. By using linear regression method, the shear
angle is obtained, which has value of 40.201
. According to table
the type of the soil tested is dense angular grains sand because the value of
the shear angle is in the range 40-45. The cohesion also can be determined
by using linear regression method, which has value of Kg/cm


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11.5.3 Error Analysis
The water content may loss during the experiment makes the shear
strength read inaccurate.
The compaction is conducted inconstantly so that the shear stress is
not well distributed.
The direct shear apparatus is not turned in constant translation rate
makes the soil fail early.
Error dial reading may occur due to human error.
11.5.4 Application
Direct shear test is used to determine the shear angle and the
cohesion. This test is very important in geotechnical design. In
geotechnical design, direct shear test is conducted in building a structure
that is not to heavy so that the construction does not require precise
calculation of shear stress. To obtain more accurate calculation of shear
stress, triaxial test is more preferable. The advantage of the direct shear
test itself is it is simpler to be done compared to triaxial test that requires
more complicated procedures and analysis.
11.5.5 Conclusion
This experiment has an objective to determine the value of the
cohesion (c) and the angle of shear (), and the water content of a
soil sample.
The value of cohesion obtained is 0.0526kg/m2 and while the value
of shear angle is 40.201

Direct shear test is conducted in simple structure while the triaxial
test is conducted in building more complicated structure.

11.8. References
Budhu, Muni. Soil Mechanics. John Willey and Sons. New York. 2011
Craig, R.F. Craigs Soil Mechanics. Spon Press. New York. 2004
Das, Braja. Principles of Foundation Engineering. Thomson. Toronto.


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11.9. Attachments

Figure 11.9.1 Direct Shear Test Apparatus

Figure 11.9.2 Shear Box