You are on page 1of 14

Procedure order for classification of soil

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
RESEARCH DESIGNS AND STANDARDS ORGANISATION
LUCKNOW-226 011

PROCEDURE ORDER
FOR
CLASSIFICATION OF FORMATION SOIL
INCLUDING
GUIDELINES FOR TESTING

CIRCULAR NO. GE- P1

GEO-TECHNICAL ENGINEERING DIRECTORATE

MAY-2003

DEN/Coordination through Divisional. 1. when required.2003 to IRPWM-para 211(1)(V) Scope: This procedure order details the methodology to be followed for classification of soils of existing formations. 1) 1.3. Zonal or any other agency. duly modified and simplified for our purpose to the extent that no clay content calculation will be made based on hydrometer analysis.0 Definitions: 1.2 Subgrade: It is part of embankment/cutting provided above subsoil by borrowed soil of suitable quality upto bottom of blanket/ballast. 2.3.5 kilometres. 1.4 Subsoil: Soil of natural ground below subgrade. 2. 2.3 Collection of samples and testing of the same shall be organised at divisional level by Sr. granular material of designed thickness provided over full width of formation between subgrade and ballast.3. The work may be phased as per para 2.3 Phasing of work load: 2. 1.0 The following procedure for classification of formation soil shall be followed. 2. testing requirement and procedures of various engineering and other materials in addition to other things.3.3 Blanket: Blanket is a layer of specified coarse. BIS lays down standard terminology. The testing procedure has been included in brief. as well as create database for up-gradation of formations.1 Classification: Formation soil will be classified as per BIS Classification contained in IS -1498 -1970 (enclosed as Annexure-I). are to be recorded during construction itself.Procedure order for classification of soil PROCEDURE ORDER FOR CLASSIFICATION OF FORMATION SOIL Ref: Correction Slip no: 89 dated 19. 2. Engineer in open line will have the soil samples collected from the section at the rate of one sample per block section. 1.1 Classification of soils will be done at one location per 2. sub-grade and subsoil. starting with more important routes.2 Asstt.1 Formation: It is a general term referring to the whole of blanket. 2.2 below.5 BIS: Bureau of Indian Standards (formerly known as ISI). (Fig.09.2 Grouping of soils: Grouping of soils for the purpose of planning of works having bearing on soil behaviour will be done as per Annexure-II. definitions. . both embankments and cuttings for the purpose of maintenance of details in track diagram. The principles of classification and reporting are equally applicable to new constructions where formation soil classification and blanket depth etc.

(sample proforma enclosed). ensuring that only qualified staff is posted to carry out work in the laboratory and the same is equipped well. 4. 6.0 Monitoring of progress: Chief Track Engineers of the Railways may monitor the over all progress of this activity at least once in a year through track diagrams.0 Construction Records: Dy.3.CE's in-charge of construction projects shall maintain details of subgrade soil classification along with the thickness and particle size distribution records of the . 3. 8.Procedure order for classification of soil 2. 10. 9. Classification of soil will be done as per simplified procedure based on IS Code 1498 . 5. 7.0 Storage of samples: The samples may be kept in a self-sealing polythene bag alongwith a paper slip showing location (chainage/kilometre) and other details.0 Assistance: Assistance to the divisions in establishment of testing facilities may also be rendered by the GE Organisations of all the Zonal Railways.0 Transportation: The samples so collected can be transported to the laboratory by normal means at the end of the day.DEN (Coordination) every month for monitoring the progress of work and incorporation of the data generated in the track diagram.1970 as explained in para 2 above.0 Compilation of results: Results so obtained may be entered in a register which may be seen by the Sr.4 The work of collection of data should be done in a phased manner depending upon the importance of routes.0 Testing: Only two types of test would be performed on the test samples as per the details enclosed in Annexure-III. problem of maintenance and possibility of running of heavier axle loads.0 Collection of samples: Simple sampling tools normally available with the permanent way inspector may be used for collection of samples. However. it may be preferable to complete the entire work in four to five years and effort should be made to do the first classification from each block section within two years of issuance of this circular. ( Sampling procedure is enclosed as Annexure- III).

----------------------- .Procedure order for classification of soil blanket material used for every kilometre of the project and handover the same to open line counterparts while handing over the section.

075mm (75 micron)  Silt : 75 – 2 micron  Clay : less than 2 micron Particle size distribution of a soil is determined by a combination of sieving and sedimentation analysis as per procedure detailed in IS: 2720 (Part 4) – 1985 and its plasticity characteristics are determined by Liquid Limit and Plastic Limit as per procedure detailed in IS:2720 (Part 5) –1985.  Gravel : 80 – 4. Bureau of Indian Standards adopted. Primary Letter Secondary Letter G: Gravel W: well-graded S: Sand P: poorly graded M: Silt M: with non-plastic fines C: Clay C: with plastic fines O: Organic soil L: of low plasticity P: Peat I : of medium plasticity H: of high plasticity Other soil parameters required for soil classification:  Cu : Coefficient of Uniformity = D60 / D10 . which was revised in 1970.  Plasticity Index.30 and 10 percent soil particles by weight are finer than these sizes.  Coarse-grained soils: Soils having fines ( particles of size less than 75 micron) < 50%.  Fine grained soils: Soils having fines more than 50%.Plastic Limit ( PL). D30 & D10 are particle sizes.Procedure order for classification of soil Annexure –I (Page 1 of 5 ) BRIEF DETAILS OF SOIL CLASSIFICATION (Ref: IS: 1498 . .75mm – 0. Brief procedure for Classification of soils has been explained in tabular form and Flow Chart. Plasticity Chart required for classification of fine grained soils has also been given. over the world.  D60. The soil classification system developed by Casegrande was subsequently modified and named as 'Unified Classification’ system. PI = Liquid Limit (LL) . In 1959. soils are primarily classified based on dominant particle sizes and its plasticity characteristics. Soil particles mainly consist of following four size fractions. According to BIS classification system.  Cc : Coefficient of Curvature = (D30)2 / (D60 * D10) .1970) Background and Basis of Classification: The Geotechnical Engineers/Agencies had evolved many soil classification systems. Symbols used in Soil Classification: Symbols and other soil properties used for soil classification are given below.75 mm  Sand : 4. below which 60. the Unified classification system as a standard.

classification should be done as per procedure explained in the following table/Flow Chart.  Conduct liquid limit and plastic limit test on soil samples as per procedure given in Annexure III.  Based on above soil parameters. .Procedure order for classification of soil Annexure –I (Page 2 of 5 ) Brief Procedure for soil classification:  Conduct Sieve analysis and Hydrometer analysis on soil sample and plot particle size gradation curve and determine Cu and Cc. The classification should be done in conjunction with the Plasticity Chart given below.

sandy gravels. Not satisfying 12 %.line of Plasticity Chart limit > 50) . with Cu > 6 Sands little or no fines SW 0-5 1 < Cc < 3 particles more than Poorly graded sands/. clayey sandy gravels Above A.75mm) Silty gravels. sandy soils. sandy clays CL Plasticity Index more than 7 soils of low plasticity particles Inorganic silt and clay of low plasticity CL-ML Plasticity Index between 4 and 7 (size less than 75 Silts and Inorganic silts .line or Dual symbols.Procedure order for classification of soil TABLE EXPLAINING BIS SOIL CLASFICATION SYSTEM Annexure -I (Page 3 of 5) Description Group Laboratory criteria Notes Symbol Fines (%) Grading Plasticity Well graded gravels. soils: larger than with little or no fines GP 0-5 GW requirements Fine 4. Coarse Gravels with little or no fines GW 0-5 1 < Cc < 3 if fines are 5 – grained (particles Poorly graded gravels. silty sandy gravels Below A. with slight plasticity grained Limit <35) Inorganic clays.line of Plasticity Chart 50% plasticity Silts and Inorganic silts of high plasticity MH Below A-line of Plasticity Chart clays (Liquid Inorganic clays of high plasticity CH Above A.line fraction (size or PI < 4 above 75 micron) Clayey sands SC > 12 Above A.line and and 4 < PI < 7 than 75 coarse GC > 12 PI > 7 micron) less fraction than 50% Well graded sands. if particles more than GM > 12 PI < 4 above A-line (size smaller 50% of Clayey gravels. with Not satisfying 50% of little or no fines SP 0-5 SW requirements coarse Silty sands SM > 12 Below A. sandy gravels. Cu > 4 A dual symbol. silty or clayey fine ML Plasticity Index less than 4 Fine clays (Liquid sands. clayey silt with MI Below A-line of Plasticity Chart micron) clays (Liquid medium plasticity more than limit 35-50) Inorganic clays.line and PI > 7 Silts and Inorganic silts .sandy soils. silty clays. silty clays of medium CI Above A.

odour. particles of vegetable matter (sticks.75 mm IS Sieve fraction pass 4. HIGHLY ORGANIC SOILS COARSE GRAINED FINE GRAINED (Peat) 50% or less pass 75 micron IS More than 50% pass 75 micron IS Sieve Fibrous texture. minus 425 micron Examine grain symbol appropriate to grad. IS Sieve fraction size curve ing & plasticity characteristics. IS Sieve fraction for example. GW-GM for example. to have double Run WL & Wp on Examine grain symbol appropriate to grad. to have double Run WL & Wp on Borderline. very high moisture content. colour. minus 425 micron size curve ing & plasticity characteristics. SW-SM Below ‘A’ line Limit plot in Above ‘A’ line Below ‘A’ line Limit plot in Above ‘A’ line Well Poorly or hatched zone hatched zone on and hatched zone Well Poorly or hatched zone hatched zone on and hatched zone graded graded on plasticity chart plasticity chart on plasticity chart graded graded on plasticity chart plasticity chart on plasticity chart GW GP GM GM-GC GC SW SP SM SM-SC SC WL = Liquid limit Wp = Plastic limit *If fines interfere with free drainage properties use double symbol.75 mm IS Sieve Less than 5% pass Between 5% & 12% More than 12% pass Less than 5% pass Between 5% & 12% More than 12% pass 75 micron IS Sieve* pass 75 micron IS 75 micron IS Sieve 75 micron IS Sieve pass 75 micron IS 75 micron IS Sieve Sieve Sieve Borderline. such as GW-GM. In borderline cases determine amount passing 75 micron IS Sieve. .) Run sieve analysis (Details at next page 5 of 5 ) GRAVEL (G) SAND (S) Greater percentage of coarse fraction Greater percentage of coarse retained on 4. COARSE GRAINED OR FINE GRAINED. Procedure order for classification of soil Annexure – I LABORATORY IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURE (Page 4 of 5 ) Make visual examination of soil to determine whether it is HIGHLY ORGANIC. leaves etc.

possibly Colour. possibly Colour. possibly WL and Wp on oven dry WL and Wp on oven dry WL and Wp on oven dry soil soil soil Inorganic Organic Inorganic Organic Inorganic Organic ML OL ML-CL CL MI OI CI MH OH CH . odour. odour. Procedure order for classification of soil LABORATORY IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURE Annexure – I (Page 5 of 5 ) (Continued from previous page) FINE GRAINED More than 50% pass 75 micron IS Sieve Run WL & Wp on minus 425-micron IS Sieve fraction L I H Liquid limit less than 35 Liquid limit BETWEEN 35-50 Liquid limit greater than 50 Below ‘A’ line Limit plot in Above ‘A’ line or hatched zone hatched zone on and hatched zone Below ‘A’ line on Above ‘A’ line on Below ‘A’ line on on plasticity plasticity chart on plasticity chart plasticity chart plasticity chart plasticity chart Colour. odour.

which become muddy after coming into contact with water. GP-GC. for soils with dual symbol e.Procedure order for classification of soil ANNEXURE II Broad categorization of soil types The classified soil types shall be grouped in four broad categories for the purpose of planning of works (Blanket thickness requirement as indicated in bracket is for new constructions. d) Soils type D (needing 1m thick blanket):  Silt with low plasticity (ML)  Silty clay of low plasticity (ML-CL)  Clay of low plasticity (CL)  Silt of medium plasticity (MI)  Clay of medium plasticity (CI)  Rocks which are very susceptible to weathering Soils having fines passing 75 micron sieve between 5 & 12%. SW-SM. if any. c) Soils type C (needing 60cm thick blanket):  Clayey Gravel (GC)  Silty Sand (SM)  Clayey Sand (SC)  Clayey Silty sand (SM-SC) Note: The thickness of blanket on above type of soils shall be increased to 1m. b) Soils type B (needing 45cm thick blanket):  Poorly graded Gravel (GP) having Uniformity Coefficient more than 2. thickness of blanket should be provided as per soil of second symbol (of dual symbol). rocks consisting of shales and other soft rocks.  Poorly grade Sand (SP) having Uniformity Coefficient more than 2. if the plasticity index exceeds 7.e.. . i.  Well graded Gravel (GW)  Well graded Sand (SW)  Soils conforming to specifications of blanket material.g. etc. Planning for rehabilitation..g.) a) Soils type A (not needing blanket):  Rocky beds except those. is to be done in consultation with RDSO. which are very susceptible to weathering e.  Silty Gravel (GM)  Silty Gravel – Clayey Gravel (GM – GC).

iii) The excavation pit shall be at least 100 mm below the bottom of ballast. divisions alongwith name of zonal railway shall be placed in the poly bag. just below the blanket level. so that.1 Sampling tools: i) Crow bar and pickaxe alongwith khurpi etc. chunk sampling 1.1 Only two types of tests shall be performed on each sample. a) Equipment: i) Mechanical /LL apparatus ii) Grooving tool . Casagrande. IS Sieve 4254 of a 600 mm x 600mm glass sheet. ii) Hand carved sampler . ASTM iii) Procelain evaporating dish. iv) Collected soil sample shall be kept in a poly bag with seal.2 Sampling Procedure: i) Ballast shall be removed up to the bottom of ballast penetration.0 Testing: 2.Procedure order for classification of soil ANNEXURE III 1. section.e.0 kg) shall be collected by excavation or other means.1 Atterberg limit tests: IS: 2720 pt V 1985. fines are preserved.0 Sampling: 1.2 Laboratory equipment and procedure: 2. a) Atterberg limit tests (Liquid Limit and plastic limit). 2. (160 cm from CL of track or 20-30 cm away from the edge of the sleeper) ii) Disturbed /undisturbed soil sample (min 2. v) A slip of location (km/chainage).2. and/or upto the top of subgrade i. b) Grain size analysis (Mechanical sieving).. ix) A soil sample weighing about 120 gm . 2. vi) The excavated pit shall be refilled with local material and be well compacted. 12 to 15cm dia iv) Spatula v) Balance (Physical or electronic) vi) Oven vii) Wash Bottle viii) Air tight container.

Procedure order for classification of soil b) Procedure: i) Liquid limit:  Air dry the soil sample remove the organic matter like tree roots. of drops on log scale as abscissa and moisture content on natural log scale as ordinate.  The cup is made to fall freely through a height of 1cm by turning e ram at the rate of two revolutions per second.  About 270gm of air dried pulverised soil which is already sieved through 425 micron. the leftover soil paste is worked with a spatula on glass sheet to drive away a part of moisture content to make it plastic enough to be shaped into a ball.  Determine the moisture content in each case. of drops required to close.  The water content at 25 drops is read from the graph.  The no.  A graph is plotted on semi log paper. the grave by about 12mm in the central portion is noted.  A small mass of the plastic mass is taken of rolled on a glass sheet by pressure of the palm into a solid thread 3mm dia until it crumbles. ii) Plastic limit:  After doing liquid limit test. Generally these points lie on a straight line.  A standard groove is made in the soil paste by the grooving tool suitable for the type of soil.  With increasing water content. The average content is reported as plastic limit. .  These rolls are collected of put into oven for drying for moisture for each test. Clayey soil left to stand for 24 hours. pieces of bark etc.  Determine moisture content of representative slice of soil from the groove and including the soil flowed. It is the liquid limit (LL) for the soil sample. the number of drops required to close the groove shall not be more than 35 or less than 15. with no.  Water is added with air dried soil to make a paste and ensure uniform distribution of moisture through out the soil mass. IS Sieve is taken .

IS sieve is taken. 4. 3.212mm and 0. 5.212mm. Wash Bottle 4. Porcelain dishes 5. 405mm 0.2. Soil particles retained on various sieves will be weighed. The remaining sample will be sieved through 2. Distilled water b) Procedure:  Air dried soil sample free from organic matter like tree roots. and10mm and weights retained are recorded.e.75 mm is weighed in physical balance and washed through 0. pieces of bark etc and sieved through 4.425mm.6mm 0. The difference gives the weight of the soil below 0.0 Plotting of data: 3. Electric stirrer 7. 0. 2.75mm. and 0. The sample may be sieved through the above sieve set either by hand or by electrically operated sieve shaker.075mm with bottom pa 2.75mm. Physical Balance to 0. Sieve set of 20. i.2 Grain Size Analysis Test IS: 2720 Pt IV 1985 a) Equipment: 1.01gm 3. The left over portion is oven dried and weighed again. and then the bottom pan.2 Classification of soil will be done as per the chart given in Annexure II. . 2mm. These results will be tabulated and cumulative percentage of weights passed through various sieve sizes will be found out. Stop watch 6. the content of fines. 4.75 mm is sieved separately though 20mm.0mm.  Method of sieve analysis (dry) 1.1 Plotting of sieve analysis data shall be done on a semi-log graph either manually or on a computer.  Sample above the size of 4. 3. 3.075 mm sieve.Procedure order for classification of soil 2.075 mm size. mm 10mm. Rubber pastle 8. In this test a set of standard IS sieves having square opening will be needed.  Sample passing 4.

Procedure order for classification of soil FIG 1: BG track showing nomenclature of track foundation components NW RAILWAY JU DIVISION SOIL CLASSIFICATION FL-JU SECTION Block Blanket SNo Chainage LL PL PI %Gravel %Sand %Fines Classification Section thickness FIG 3: Proforma for keeping records in a register .