You are on page 1of 6

Proceedings of Indian Geotechnical Conference

December 22-24,2013, Roorkee



V. K.* Gade, Research Scholar, IIT Bombay,

T. N. Dave, Assistant Professor, PDPU Gandhinagar,
V. B. Chauhan, Research Scholar, IIT Bombay,
S. M. Dasaka, Assistant Professor, IIT Bombay,

ABSTRACT: Preparation of uniform and repeatable sand beds of required density is a prerequisite for obtaining
reliable results from laboratory tests on reconstituted sand specimen. A portable traveling pluviator (PTP), working
on the principle of air pluviation, is used in the present study to achieve the above objectives. PTP is a simple
device which is widely adopted for preparation of large size specimens of cohesionless soils. The PTP essentially
consisted of a hopper, orifice plate for varying deposition intensity, combination of flexible and rigid tubes for
smooth travel of material, and a set of diffuser sieves to obtain uniformity of pluviated sand bed. Effect of height of
fall, deposition intensity and number of diffuser sieves on the uniformity, and density of sand specimen are studied.
From the preliminary studies it is noticed that sand beds with a wide range of relative densities, in the range of
41.2%-100%, can be achieved using PTP. It is also observed that denser sand beds can be achieved by controlling
deposition intensity, whereas, lower density samples could be obtained by controlling height of fall.

In the past sand specimens were prepared for LITERATURE REVIEW
laboratory model testing by using Tamping, For the last 4 decades air pluviation techniques
vibration and pluviation techniques [2, 13]. Among have been used to prepare large and small sand
these methods pluviation method is widely adopted specimens to conduct model foundation testing
by various researchers because of its unique [21], calibration chamber testing [6, 9], centrifuge
advantage, wide range of density of sand bed can model tests [15, 19, 21], model tests using shaking
be achieved compared to other techniques and table [8], and triaxial tests [12, 17]. A wide range
there is no possibility of particle breakage during of densities were achieved by controlling the sand
preparation of sand specimen. It is easy to prepare flow from hopper by using roller and deflector
the sand samples in stages, which facilitate [21], shutter and diffuser [18], nozzle and diffuser
placement of instrumentation, such as load cells, [22] orifice, rigid tube and diffuser [7].
pressure cells or accelerometers, etc., at various
locations within the specimen during the sample EXPERIMENTAL SETUP
preparation process. Present study uses portable travelling pluviator
The method employed to prepare the reconstituted (PTP) device, as shown in Figs.1, 2 and 3
sand specimen has to fulfill the following criteria, developed by Dave and Dasaka [7] for sand bed
as suggested by Kuerbis and Vaid [8]: 1) the preparation. PTP device was designed on the basis
method must be able to produce loose to dense of simultaneous control of number of sieves, height
sand beds in the unit weight range expected within of fall (distance between the lowermost diffuser
an in-situ soil deposit; 2) the sand bed must have a sieve to the top of the sand bed) and deposition
uniform void ratio throughout; 3) the samples intensity (mass of soil falling in the chamber per
should be well mixed without particle segregation, unit effective area of diffuser per unit time) to
regardless of particle gradation or fines content; 4) achieve a wider range of RD. This device has an
sample preparation method should simulate the advantage of preparing large size sand specimens
mode of soil deposition commonly found in the for laboratory model testing.
soil deposit being modeled.

Page 1 of 6
Gade, Dave, Chauhan and Dasaka .

kPa. From the analysis of direct shear test results,

angle of internal friction () of the sand is obtained
as 34.680.

Fig.2 Details of diffuser sieve set schematic

diagram (Dave and Dasaka, 2012)

Fig.1 Details of Portable travelling pluviator

assembly (Dave and Dasaka, 2012)

Indian standard sand, commercially known as
Ennore sand, is used in the present study, hereafter
referred to as Grade II sand. Typical particle size
distribution curve of Grade II sand is shown in Fig.
4. From the results of the particle size analysis, it
can be observed that Grade II sand is uniformly
graded medium to fine sands and classified as SP
according to the Unified Soil Classification System
(USCS). Some of the important physical properties
of sand are presented in Table 1. Direct shear tests
are performed on Grade II samples placed at 68%
relative density, as per IS: 2720-Part 13 [10]. All All dimensions are in mm
samples are sheared at a constant rate of
displacement of 1.25 mm/min under four normal Fig.3 Diffuser sieve set assembly (Dave and
stresses, viz. 50 kPa, 100 kPa, 150 kPa and 200 Dasaka 2012)

Page 2 of 6
Portable traveling pluviator to reconstitute specimens of cohesionless soils

Table 1 Properties of sand used in the study accordance with the standard procedure of
Property Value inverting cylinder (ASTM D4254-00)[2] and other
Gs 2.62 procedures, viz., can method and funnel method,
D50 (mm) 0.57 suggested by Mehdiratta and Triandafilidis [16],
Cu 1.36 and the results are reported in Table 2. Among all
Cc 0.95 the three methods, more consistent results are
emin 0.538 achieved by inverting cylinder method.
emax 0.848
d min (kN/m )
14.18 (ASTM D4254-00) Table 3 Relation between orifice size and
d max (kN/m3) 17.04 (Pluviator) deposition intensity
Size of orifice (mm) Deposition intensity
Gs Specific gravity of soil solids, D50 Mean (g/cm2/sec)
diameter of soil particles, Cu Coefficient of 5 0.468
uniformity, Cc Coefficient of curvature, emin 6 0.584
Minimum void ratio, emax - Maximum void ratio, 8 1.857
dmin Minimum dry unit weight, dmax 10 3.69
Maximum dry unit weight 12 4.832
15 11.529
Table 2 Minimum unit weight of sand (kN/m3) by
ASTM D4254 and methods suggested by
Mehdiratta and Triandafilidis (1978)

Funnel Cylinder
Can method
method method
14.50 14.28 14.34
14.60 14.18 14.48
14.39 14.18 14.45

Fig.5 Effect of deposition intensity and height of

fall on relative density

Tests are performed in order to evaluate effect of
HF (varied from 2.5 cm to 30 cm), DI (using
orifice diameter of 5 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm, 10 mm and
12 mm), and number of diffuser sieves (varied
from 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10) on RD of pluviated
specimen. Sieves are rotated 450 horizontally with
respect to each other [18]. A cylindrical mould of
Fig.4 Grain size distribution curve of Grade II sand volume 3213 cm3 is used for preliminary studies on
evaluation of DI and density of sand bed. The
Maximum unit weight is determined by air effect of orifice size on the DI for Grade II sand is
pluviation, avoiding particle crushing, following presented in Table 3. Observed DI increases with
the procedure suggested by Lo Presti et al. [13]. increase in diameter of orifice. Lower density of
The minimum unit weight is obtained in sand specimens can be achieved at higher DI,

Page 3 of 6
Gade, Dave, Chauhan and Dasaka .

however at higher DI sand specimens may not be

uniform. A linear relationship is observed between
RD and HF for low DI values. Effect of HF on
density of sand bed for constant DI and without
diffuser sieves is observed very high, such as
73.4% to 100% as shown in Fig. 5, which is line
with observation made by Choi et al. [6].

Fig.7 Effect of number of sieves and height of fall

on relative density for orifice dia 10 mm on Grade
II sand

Fig.6 Effect of number of sieves and height of fall

on relative density for orifice dia 8 mm

Similarly, effect of DI, number of diffuser sieves,

and HF on unit weight of sand are reported in Figs.
4 to 6. Increase in the unit weight of sand specimen
is observed with increase of HF, for a constant DI.
As the number of diffuser sieves increases lower
density sand specimens can be achieved, and these Fig.8 Effect of number of sieves and height of fall
finds are in agreement with the observations made on relative density for orifice dia 12 mm on Grade
by Rad and Tumay [18] and Choi et al. [6]. II sand
Difference of RD achieved without sieves and with
2 sieves is more pronounced compared to CONCLUSIONS
difference of RD achieved with 2 and 4 sieves or 4 Portable travelling pluviator, used in the present
and 6 sieves etc., as shown in Fig 6 to Fig 8. study, consists of multiple diffuser sieve
Change in RD of sand specimens with the number arrangement for obtaining uniform sand rain and
of diffuser sieves is significant up to 8 sieves and set of orifice plates for DI control. In this paper
further increase in the diffuser sieves has little or pluviation studies are carried out using Indian
no significance on RD of sand specimen. In Standard Sand Grade II, and the following major
conclusion, RD increases with increase in HF, conclusions are drawn from the study:
decrease in number of sieves and decrease in DI. Relative density of sand specimens increases
with increase of height of fall and decrease
From Figs. 4 to 6 it is observed that, irrespective of with increase of DI.
height of fall, the decrease in RD is more Without diffuser sieves higher relative densities
pronounced with increase in number of sieves for can be achieved, at the cost compromising on
lower DI than for higher DI. uniformity of sand bed.

Page 4 of 6
Portable traveling pluviator to reconstitute specimens of cohesionless soils

RD decreases with increase in number of sieves 10. IS: 2720-Part 13 (2002). Method of test for
for any particular height of fall and DI. As DI soils Direct shear test. Bureau of Indian
increases effect of number of sieves on RD Standards, New Delhi.
decreases at higher height of fall. 11. Kuerbis, R., and Vaid, Y. P. (1988). Sand
With diffuser sieves arrangement, a range of sample preparation The slurry deposition
RD from 41.2% to 100% can be achieved. method, Soils and Foundations, 8(4), 107-118.
12. Lagioia, R., Sanzeni, A., and Colleselli, F.
REFERENCES (2006). Air, Water and Vacuum Pluviation of
Sand Specimens for the Triaxial Apparatus.
1. ASTM D4253-06 (2006). Standard Test Soils and Foundations 46(1), (2006)61-67.
Methods for Maximum Index Density and Unit 13. Lo Presti, D. C. F., Pedroni, S., and Crippa, V.
Weight of Soils Using a Vibratory Table. (1992). Maximum dry density of cohesionless
Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM Intl., soils by pluviation and by ASTM D 4253-83: A
West Conshohocken, PA. comparative study. Geotechnical Testing
2. ASTM D4254-00 (2006). Standard Test Journal, 15(2), 180-189.
Methods for Minimum Index Density and Unit 14. Lo Presti, D. C. F., Berardi, R., Pedroni, S., and
Weight of Soils and Calculation of Relative Crippa, V. (1993). A new traveling sand
Density. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, pluviator to reconstitute specimens of well-
ASTM Intl., West Conshohocken, PA. graded silty sands. Geotechnical Testing
3. Butterfield, R., and Andrawes, K. Z. (1970). Journal 16(1), 18-26.
An Air Activated and Spreader for Forming 15. Madabushi, S. P. G., Houghton, N. E., and
Uniform Sand bed. Geotechnique, 20(1), 97- Haigh, S. K. (2006). A new automatic sand
100. pourer for model preparation at Univeristy of
4. Bolton, M. D., Gui, M. W., Garnier, J., Corte, Cambridge. Proc., 6th International
J. F., Bagge, G., Laue, J., and Renzi, R. (1999). Conference on Physical Modeling in
Centrifuge Cone Penetration Tests in Sand. Geotechnics, Hong Kong, Taylor & Francis,
Geotechnique, 49(4), 543-552. London, 217-222.
5. Cresswell, A., Barton, M. E., and Brown, R. 16. Mehdiratta, G. R. and Triandafilidis, G. E.
(1999). Determining the maximum unit (1978). Minimum and Maximum densities of
weight of sands by pluviation. Geotechnical granular materials. Geotechnical Testing
Testing Journal, 22(4), 324-328. Journal, 1(1), 34-40.
6. Choi, S.K., Lee M.J., Choo, H., Tumay, M. T., 17. Miura, S., and Toki, S. (1982). A Sample
and Lee, W. (2010). Preparation of a Large Preparation Method and its Effect on Static and
Size Granular Specimen Using a Rainer System Cyclic Deformation Strength Properties of
with a Porous Plate. Geotechnical Testing Sand. Soils and Foundations, 22(1), 61-77.
Journal, 33(1), 1-10. 18. Rad, N. S, and Tumay, M. T. (1987). Factors
7. Dave, T. N. and Dasaka, S. M. (2012). Affecting Sand Specimen Preparation by
Assessment of portable traveling pluviator to Raining. Geotechnical Testing Journal, 10(1),
prepare reconstituted sand specimens. 31-37.
Geomechanics and Engineering An 19. Stuit, H. G. (1995). Sand in the Geotechnical
International Journal, 4(2), 79-90. Centrifuge, Ph.D. thesis, Tech. Uni. Delft,
8. Dief. H. M., and Figueroa, J. L. (2003). Shake Netherlands.
table calibration and specimen preparation for 20. Vaid, Y. P., and Negussey, D. (1988).
liquefaction studies in the centrifuge. Preparation of Reconstituted Sand
Geotechnical testing journal, 26(4), 1-8. Specimens. Advanced Triaxial Testing of Soil
9. Fretti, C., Lo Presti, D. C. E., and Pedroni, S. and Rock, ASTM STP 977, ASTM
(1995). A Pluvial deposition method to International, West Conshohocken, PA, 405-
reconstitute specimens well-graded sand. 417.
Geotechnical Testing Journal, 18(2), 292-298.

Page 5 of 6
Gade, Dave, Chauhan and Dasaka .

21. Walker, B. P., and Whitaker, T. (1967). An

apparatus for forming uniform beds of sand for
model foundation tests. Geotechnique, 17,

22. Zhao, Y., Gafar, K., Elshafie, M. Z. E. B.,

Deeks, A. D., Knappett, J. A., and Madabushi,
S. P. G. (2006). Calibration and Use of New
Automatic Sand Pourer. Proc.,6th
International Conference on Physical Modeling
in Geotechnics, Hong Kong, Taylor & Francis,
London, 265-270

Page 6 of 6