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De La Salle University Manila

Civil Engineering Department


LBYCVG1 EI1

Experiment 10
Permeability Test for Granular Soils
(Constand-Head Test)
Submitted by:
Mary Grace DC. Odiamar

Submitted to:
Engr. Sevilla

Date Performed: November 9, 2015


Date Submitted: November 23, 2015

I.
Theory

Introduction

Soils are permeable because of voids through which water can flow from
points of high energy to points of low energy. Hydraulic conductivity, also
known as coefficient of permeability is one of the major physical parameters
of soil that controls the rate of seepage of water through it. The hydraulic
conductivity of soils is dependent on several factors: fluid viscosity, pore-size
distribution, grain-size distribution, void ratio, roughness of mineral particles,
and degree of saturation. For clayey soils, structure, ionic concentration and
thickness of layers of water affect their permeability.
The constant-head test is one of the two standard laboratory tests used to
determine the hydraulic conductivity of soil. In this type of laboratory setup,
a constant flow rate is established where the difference of the head between
the inlet and the outlet remains constant throughout the experiment.
The equation for hydraulic conductivity through the constant-head test is
QL
given by k =
where:
Aht
k = hydraulic conductivity
Q = flow rate
L = length of soil
A = permeameter cross sectional area
h = height of constant head
t = time [1].

Objectives
This experiment aims to:

II.

Obtain the hydraulic conductivity k through the constant-head test


Show the relationship between hydraulic conductivity k and void ratio e
through a graph

Data and Calculations

Table 1. Dimensions.
Group 1

Group 2

Group
3

Group 4

Permeameter diameter, cm
Permeameter cross-sectional area, cm^2
Volume
Mass of permeameter, kg
Mass of permeameter + soil, kg
Mass of soil
Height of constant head, cm
Moisture content of air-dried sample, %

6.115
6.4225
29.369
32.397
375.9176 447.07171
991
45
3.12
2.91
3.773
3.73
0.653
0.82
72.4
73.5
0
0

6.27
30.876
398.61
3
1.85
2.52
0.67
75
0

Table 2.

Setup 1 Ottawa Sand


Trial

Time, s

Temperature, C

66

27.4

67

27.3

66

27.1

Length of soil, cm

12.8

Setup 2 Ottawa Sand


Trial

Time, s

Temperature, C

68.96

27.5

74

27.5

80.66

27.6

Length of soil, cm

13.8

Setup 3 Ottawa Sand


Trial

Time, s

Temperature, C

70.34

27.1

70.3

27.2

70.78

27.4

Length of soil, cm

12.91

Setup 4 Ottawa Sand


Trial

Time, s

Temperature, C

Length of soil, cm

1
2

73.533
75.66

28.1
27.5

13.4

6.325
31.420
421.032
615
2.45
3.16
0.71
76
0

78.27

27.7

Table 3.
Dry unit
weight,
kN/m3

Void ratio,
e

k, cm/s

k20, cm/s

Trial 1

17.04079

0.52555

0.04561

0.03844

Trial 2

17.04079

0.52555

0.04492

0.03795

Trial 3

17.04079

0.52555

0.04561

0.03869

Trial 1

17.99309

0.44480

0.04202

0.03534

Setup 2

Trial 2

17.99309

0.44480

0.03916

0.03293

0.03281

Setup 3

Trial 3
Trial 1
Trial 2

17.99309
16.48893
16.48893

0.44480
0.57660
0.57660

0.03593
0.03963
0.03965

0.03015
0.03362
0.03356

0.03346

Trial 3

16.48893

0.57660

0.03938

0.03319

Trial 1

16.54291

0.57146

0.03816

0.03167

Trial 2

16.54291

0.57146

0.03708

0.03119

Trial 3

16.54291

0.57146

0.03585

0.03073

Setup 1

Setup 4

Average
k20, cm/s

0.03836

0.03120

Calculations for Group 2 Data


Calculations for dimensions
Volume=Permeameter cross sectional arealength of soil
Volume=32.39713.8=447.079 cm

Mass of soil=( Mass of permeameter + soil ) Massof permeameter


Mass of soil=3.732.91=0.82 kg

Calculations for Setup 2


Calculations for k,

k=

Trial 1 @ Temp = 27.5 C

QL
Aht

and k20 ,

Kcorrection factor
k=

(500)(13.8)
=0.042
(32.397)(73.5)(68.96)

k 20=0.0420.841=0.035340
Trial 2 @ Temp = 27.5 C
(500)(13.8)
k=
=0.0392
(32.397)(73.5)(74)
k 20=0.03920.841=0.032933

Trial 3 @ Temp = 27.6 C


(500)(13.8)
k=
=0.0359
(32.397)(73.5)(80.66)
k 20=0.03590.030149=0.030149

Calculations for e,
Setup 2
e=

2.65(0.4470717)
1=0.44480
447.0717

Chart Title
0.70000
0.60000
f(x) = 0.50000
- 0.12x + 0.54
R = 00.40000
0.30000

Void Ratio, e

Linear ()

0.20000
0.10000
0.00000
0.1

0.01

Hydraulic conductivity, k

Figure 1. e vs k.

III.

Discussion of Results

As the theory suggests, void ratio is directly proportional to hydraulic


conductivity. However, as shown in the results, there was no significant trend
as the values were erratic in order. This is most likely due to errors incurred
in the experiment. As demonstrated in the data, the void ratio increased
along with the hydraulic conductivity for the first two setups, then the
hydraulic conductivity decreased as the void ratio increased for the last two
setups.
IV.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This laboratory activity allowed the students to apply the concept of


permeability test for granular soils by constant-head test theoretically and
practically. The primary aim of the activity was for the students to be able to
determine the hydraulic conductivity in this specific sample of soil. This
experiment also showed the relationship of void ratio to hydraulic
conductivity. As the void ratio increases, the hydraulic conductivity also
increases. This is not only seen in the experiment, but theoretically, having a
larger void ratio also means having a greater chance for water to flow
through the voids. The study of flow of water through permeable soil media
is significant in soil mechanic. These values are important for estimating the
quantity of the seepage of water for investigating problems involving the
pumping of water for underground construction and for making stability
analyses of earth dams and earth-retaining structures that are exposed to
seepage forces [1].
The experiment was performed with some perceptible errors. The
experiment took place in the same environment, the laboratory. Prior to the
experiment, the students should ensure that the instruments and equipment
to be used are working properly. The instructions, methods and safety
procedures should be followed religiously in order to obtain accurate results.
In this particular experiment, it should be ensured that no water leaks. It
should also be noted that the weighing scales accuracy should be checked.
During weighing of the samples and containers, the students should steer
clear in order to guarantee the precision of the equipment. In transferring
samples, it should be ensured that no sample spills. For computations, the
formula and values to be applied should be checked by several members.
Several trials of computation could also be done to ensure accuracy of the
result.
V.
[1]

References
B. Das and K. Sobhan, Soil Compaction in Principles of Geotechnical
Engineering, Eighth Edition. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2012.