You are on page 1of 4


Determination of Coefficient
Falling Head Apparatus




 Objective
This test method measures hydraulic conductivity also known as co-efficient of permeability of
fine grained materials (soils) with a rigid-wall mold permeameter. Such materials can be tested
whose hydrullic conductivity is less than or equal to 10-3 to 10-6cm per sec.

 Need And Scope of The Experiment

This test method applies to one-dimensional, laminar flow of water within laboratory-

compacted, porous materials
The hydraulic conductivity of porous materials generally decreases with an increasing
amount of air in the pores of the material. This test method applies to porous materials

containing little or no air.
The test method is designed to minimize the amount of air in the test specimen.

 Theory
 Factor affecting permeability (k)
 Fluid viscosity is inversely proportional to k.
 Pore size distribution is directly related to k.
 Grain size distribution is directly related to k.
 Shape of particles are related to permeability if particles are of irregular shape than
permeability will increase.
 Void ratio is directly proportional to k.
 Roughness is inversely proportional to permeability.
 Degree of saturation is directly proportional to k.
 Temperature is directly proportional to k.
 ɤ is inversely proportional to k.

rising tail-water elevation (Test Method C).Falling Head Permeability Test Apparatus The general expression for k is k= h 2. The head loss shall be measured with a pressure gage.  Premeameter Cell The Premeameter cell shall consist of a rigid-wall compaction mold into which the material to be tested is compacted and in which the compacted material is permeated.303 aL log 10 1 At h2  Apparatus  Falling Head: The system shall allow for measurement of the applied head loss. the ratio of initial head loss divided by final head loss over an interval of time shall be measured such that this computed ratio is accurate to within -/+ 5 %. Falling head tests may be performed with either a constant tail-water elevation (Test Method B). engineer’s scale. Unlike Constant . In addition. electronic pressure transducer. thus hydraulic gradient. to within -/+5 % or better at any time. or increasing tail-water elevation (Test Method D). graduated pipette. or any other device of suitable accuracy.

one at the bottom of the test cylinder.  Open all the three valves and start pouring water into the manometric column.other at top of the test cylinder and the rest is attached at the bottom of monomeric column. Now open the valve and let the manometric column drop to a specific height. The whole assembly contains three valves. Perform the same for two more readings. The Premeameter shall be designed and operated so that permeant water flows downward through the test specimen.  Beaker  Weighing Balance  Hammer  Procedure  Take the soil sample of 1 kg into a pre-weighed container. Level the soil at the top and place other porous stone and cap onto the surface and tight the three nuts/clamps.  Compact each layer by hammer to achieve a compacted mass. Cell is made so as to perform test on clays and very very fine grained soils.  Let the sample saturate completely and make sure that air bubbles are removed completely through bottom valve of test cylinder.  Calculate the co-efficient of permeability for all three falling heads and report the average of the three as co-efficient of permeability of representative sample. Now Place a porous stone at the bottom of test cylinder and pour the soil into the test cylinder in three layers.  Observations & Calculations Cross-sectional area of the soil column = A = 1000 mm2 Length of specimen = L = 200 mm Area of stand pipe = a = 40 mm2 .  Record the time accounting for the drop of water at the same time.  The test cylinder is connected to a monomeric head which is connected directly to the reservoir.  Close the valve and let the water rise into the manometric column to a specific height.head test the Premeameter cell in this case consist of porous stone at the top and bottom instead of porous disc.

00227 cm sec cm sec  Reference ASTM D5084 Standard Test Method for Measurement of Hydraulic Conductivity of Saturated Porous Materials using a Flexible Wall Permeameter  Comments In this experiment.Head at t1= 0 = h1 = 500 mm Head at t2 = 180 sec = h2 =300 mm k =2. we determined the coefficient of permeability by falling head method.4 ) (20) 50 log 10 30 ( 10 ) (180) k =2.303 h aL log 10 1 At h2 ( 0.00227 cm/sec. Our coefficient of permeability is 0.27 ×10−3 k =0. 303 k =2. Coefficient of permeability is used to assess drainage characteristics of soil. to predict rate of settlement founded on soil bed. Greater the value of coefficient of permeability more easily water can flow through the soil. .