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Engineering and Technology Program

Butuan City
Tel. 342-1830 Local 1926

LABORATORY WORK NO. 03

DETERMINATION OF LIQUID LIMIT OF SOIL

NAME: ______________________ SECTION: _____ GROUP NO.: _____


DATE PERFORMED: _______________ DATE SUBMITTED: ______________
INSTRUCTORS SIGNATURE: ____________________ RATING: ________ %

LABORATORY WORK NO. 3


DETERMINATION OF LIQUID LIMIT OF SOIL

I.

OBJECTIVE
To demonstrate the procedure of determining the liquid limit of soil
sample and presenting the resulting data and plotting the flow curve.

II.

APPARATUS
Evaporating dish
Spatula
Liquid limit device/Casagrande apparatus
Grooving tool
Container
Oven with temperature control
Weighing scale
Sieve No. 40

III.

PROCEDURE
1. Weigh about 100g of soil sample taken from thoroughly mixed material
passing sieve no. 40. Be sure to break the lumps down for sieving.
Discard the residue remaining on the sieve.
2. Mix the sample with 15 to 20 mL of distilled water. Mix it thoroughly by
alternately stirring and kneading with spatula. Further addition of water
shall be made by 1 to 3 mL increments.
3. Place a portion of the paste in the brass cup of the liquid limit device, level
off the surface with a spatula to a maximum depth of 100mm and divide
the soil pat into two segments by means of the standard grooving tools.
4. Mount the brass cup to the carriage such that it can be raised and allowed
to drop sharply on the base through a height of 10mm by rotating the
crank at an approximate rate of two rotations per second until the closure
of the groove about in. (13mm) from the bottom. Each drop is counted
as one blow. The closure should be by flow of the soil and not by slippage
of the cup.
5. Take a slice of approximately the width of the spatula extending from edge
to edge of the soil cake at right angles to the groove. Place the sample in
a drying can for moisture content determination.
6. Remove the remaining soil from the cup and mix with the sample left from
the earlier mixing. Clean the liquid limit cup.
7. Repeat steps 3 to 6 with different moisture contents of the soil in the range
of 15 to 35 blows. A total of 4 determinations should be made. Disregard
results greater than 40 or less than 10.
8. Draw the flow curve by plotting the data on semi-logarithmic coordinates
where water content is in the arithmetic scale and blow contents (N) in the
logarithmic scale.
9. Draw the best straight line through three or more points obtained.
10. Determine the liquid limit corresponding to a blow count of 25.

IV.

CALCULATION
1. Calculate the percentage of moisture to the nearest whole percent.
=

W 1W 2
100
W2

Where:
= moisture content in percent
W1 = weight of wet soil sample
W2 = weight of oven-dried soil sample
2. Plot the percent moisture content as ordinate on an arithmetic scale
against the number of blows as abscissa on a logarithmic scale. Draw a
straight line connecting these points. The plot is called the flow curve.
3. The liquid limit is expressed as the moisture content corresponding to 25
blows.
V.

DATA AND RESULTS


Liquid Limit

Determination No.
Container + Wet Soil,
g
Container + Dry Soil, g
Moisture loss, g
Container, g
Dry Soil, g
Moisture content, %
Number of blows, N

Moisture content at 25 blows = ______________

VI.

DRAWING

VII.

QUESTIONS
1. What do you understand by liquid limit?
2. What changes in soil properties do take place at liquid limit?

3. What is the relationship between liquid limit and natural water content of
the soil?

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