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R. S.

L a d d t

Preparing Test Specimens Using Undercompaction

REFERENCE: Ladd, R. S., "Preparing Test Specimens Using I D Inside diameter


Undereompaetion," Geotechnical Testing Journal, GTJODJ, Vol. 1, L Cyclic strength index
No. 1, March 1978, pp. 16-23. Au Change in pore ,water pressure
Aac Change in cell pressure
ABSTRACT: A specimen preparation procedure is presented that
offers an improved method of preparing reconstituted sand specimens
for cyclic triaxial testing. The method leads to more consistent and
repeatable test results. This procedure (1) minimizes particle segrega- Introduction
tion, (2) can be used for compacting most types of sands having a
wide range in relative densities, and (3) permits determination of the The specimen preparation procedure most commonly described
optimum cyclic strength of a given sand at a given dry unit weight. in the literature on cyclic triaxial strength testing [1-3] requires
the sand to be saturated, poured into a water-filled forming mold
KEY WORDS: sands, compaction, triaxial tests, specimen prepara-
tion, percent undercompaction, dynamic testing (usually attached to the bottom pedestal of a triaxial cell), and
then densified to the required density by some means, usually
by vibrations. This method is referred to herein as the wet-pouring
Nomenclature (pluvial) method.
Several problems are associated with this wet-pouring method.
~3c Effective isotropic consolidation stress
The two most significant are (1) the segregation of particles when
+--Od Cyclic axial deviator stress
using silty and relatively well-graded sands, and (2) the difficulty
D10, D30, Soil diameters of which 10, 30, 50, and 60% of
D50, and D6o soil weights are finer, respectively of readily preparing test specimens having a prescribed dry unit
weight with uniform density. A more precise means of preparing
Cc Coefficient of curvature
specimens is needed so that cyclic test results will be consistent,
c. Coefficient of uniformity repeatable, and less influenced by specimen preparation.
D, Relative density
Presented herein is a method of reconstituting cyclic triaxial
+ tYd/2ff3c Applied cyclic stress ratio strength test specimens that minimizes most of the problems
epp Peak-to-peak axial strain
outlined previously. In addition, the concepts presented can be
N Number of loading cycles
applied to the preparation of reconstituted test specimens for
Ne Number of loading cycles to obtain a given peak-
other types of tests and materials. It should be noted that there
to-peak axial strain
is no inference here that this method of reconstitution results in
Number of loading cycles to failure
specimens which are representative of in-situ conditions.
N / N f Normalized number of cycles The procedure incorporates a tamping method of compacting
W T Total wet weight of material required
moist coarse-grained sand in layers. Each layer is compacted to a
3/dr Required dry unit weight of test specimen selected percentage of the required dry unit weight of the spec-
Wa Average water content (as a decimal) of prepared
imen; this procedure differs from the application of a constant
material
compactive effort to each layer required by ASTM Tests for
Vm Final volume of compacted material Moisture-Density Relations of Soils, Using S.5-1b (2.5-kg) Ram-
WL Weight of material required for each layer
mer and 12-in. (304.8-mm) Drop (D 698-70) and ASTM Tests
h. Height of compacted material at the top of the for Moisture-Density Relations of Soils, Using 10-1b (4.5-kg)
layer being considered
Rammer and 18-in. (457-mm) Drop (D 1557-70). This new
ht Final (total) height of the specimen
approach was selected since it is generally recognized (especially
nt Total number of layers
for loose- to medium-dense sands) that when a typical sand is
n Number of the layer being considered
compacted in layers, the compaction of each succeeding layer can
u. Percent undercompaction for layer being considered
further densify the sand below it. The method uses this fact to
Uni Percent undercompaction selected for first layer
achieve uniform specimens by applying the concept of under-
Unt Percent undercompaction selected for final layer compaction. In this case, each layer is typically compacted to a
ni First (initial) layer
lower density than the final desired value by a predetermined
u. Average percent undercompaction for layers
amount which is defined as percent undercompaction U,. The
compacted U, value in each layer is linearly varied from the bottom to the
1Associate and laboratory director, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, top layer, with the bottom (first) layer having the maximum
Clifton, N.J. Member of ASTM. U. value. The method of variation is illustrated in Fig. 1. (See
0149-6115/7810003-0016500.40 16 © 1978 bythe American Society for Testing and Materials

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LADD ON SPECIMEN PREPARATION USING UNDERCOMPACTION 17

MaximumValue in this paper. In addition, to illustrate how the cyclic behavior is


affected by the Uni value selected, a series of cyclic triaxial
strength tests was performed on specimens of Monterey No. 0
sand in which the Uni value was varied.
nder m n in la n

,on
8
,,=, Material Tested
r~ ~ ~ n t l ~x~ -ilerfa~tilrc=nt ii(ir_
5¸ compaction The particle size distribution curve and the selected index
properties of the Monterey No. 0 sand, obtained by Mulilis [4],
are shown in Fig. 2 and Table 1, respectively. The sand is a
==
washed uniform medium-to-fine beach sand (SP). The maximum
and minimum dry unit weight determinations were performed in
MinimumValue general accordance with ASTM Test for Relative Density of
(usuallyzero) n i = 1 n nt
Cohesionless Soils (D 2049-69) and Kolbuszewski's method [5],
LAYER NUMBER
respectively. The specimens tested had initial relative densities
Where: A. Percentunder-compactionin layerbeingconsidered,Un Dr of approximately 60%.

Un = Uni -
pUni- u.tl
L n--~-~_
1 x (n- 1)
]
Specimen Preparation Procedure
B. Averagepercentunder-compactionfor layerscompacted, On
_ Un Each test specimen, 74 mm (2.9 in.) in diameter and 152 mm
Un= ~ (6 in.) high, had an initial molding water content of approxi-
Uni = Percentunder-compactionselectedfor first layer mately 6% and was compacted in eight layers in a split com-
Unt = Percentunder-compactionselectedfor final layer(usuallyzero)
paction mold not attached to the triaxial cell ("external" split
compaction mold). Further details of this method of specimen
n = Numberof layerbeingconsidered preparation are given in Appendix A.
ni = First (initial) layer After compaction, the split mold was removed and the weight,
nt = Total numberof layers(final layer) height, and diameter of the specimen were measured. The spec-
imen was then placed in the triaxial cell and confined with a
FIG. 1--Concept of undercompaction procedure. rubber membrane. The triaxial cell was filled with deaerated
water, and a cell pressure o3~ of 36 k N / m z (750 psf) was applied.

also Appendix A.) If this method of variation is appropriate and


Test Procedure
the proper/.1, value is selected for the first layer (U,i), the end
product is a specimen having a virtually uniform unit weight Each specimen was saturated prior to being consolidated by
throughout. flushing deaerated water through the specimen under a back
The method used to arrive at this proper U,i value is presented pressure of between 625 and 960 kN/m 2 (13 000 and 20 000 psi).

COBBLES COARSE I FINE cq,ARSE [ MEDIUM I FINE SILT OR CLAY I


DIAMETER U,S. STANDARD SIEVE SIZE UNIFIED SOIL CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
6" 4" 3" l'h" 3/4" 3/8 " 4 10 20 40 60 100 200
I- I
II
1]:1 l [ Ill ] [ IliIl'~ I Illl
I-
-r
so! Ill[
I~l 1 1 lI l J Ill
]l[I[ Ill i
r~ 70 Igl
]~l ~____ [! [ ! ~I]lll ]l',I]i
i!;i [ i
>.
gD so lffl llJ]
[~[ L
Z s0 I~l 1-~ - - i

F-
4o Ig] I. [I
O
rr
3o] ! II J '..... ' " '.... + ~ ..... III[~I[ I I-- I[
20 I I
I
200 100
-I-.. -I .... IIIt:[:t.:[-
10
.
1,0
GRAIN SIZE iN MILLIMETERS
0.1
--Ill!Ill- I L
I
0.01
I
0.001

FIG. 2--Particle size distribution curve.

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18 GEOTECHNICAL TESTING JOURNAL

TABLE 1--Index data for Monterey No. 0 sand. Test Results and Discussion

Unified soil classification system symbol SP The results of the cyclic triaxial strength tests are summarized
Particle size data in Table 2. A plot of the cyclic strength index versus the percent
Ds0, mm 0.36 undercompaction of the first layer of each specimen is given
Cc~ 0.9 in Fig. 3. The cyclic strength index Ic is defined as the ratio of
Cu 1.5 the number of cycles to obtain a given peak-to-peak axial strain
Dry unit weight data e
Maximum, lb/ft 3 105.7 Are to the product of relative density in percent D, and applied
Minimum, lb/ft 3 89.3 stress ratio _+ad/2F3~, that is, Ne/Dr( +-Od/253c); Ic was used to
normalize small differences in relative density and applied stress
aCc= (1)30)2/(960 × D10). ratio from one test to another.
bcu = D60/D~o.
c 1 lb/ft 3 = 16 kg/m 3. The data show that Ic, which is directly related to the cyclic
strength, varies with U,i or the uniformity of dry unit weight
within a test specimen. For the U,i values evaluated (0 to 18%),
During back-pressuring, an effective confining stress of 36 k N / m 2 the number of cycles to obtain a peak-to-peak axial strain of
(750 psf) was maintained. This low confining stress minimizes 10% at an applied stress ratio of 0.26 varied between 16 and 41
unrecorded volume changes during saturation; however, if the (see Table 2). Furthermore, a peak Ic value (optimum cyclic
specimen has a tendency to swell, higher values should be selected. strength) was obtained. The U,i value where this peak occurred
In addition, a small axial stress, sufficient to maintain the spec- is defined as the optimum percent undercompaction.
imen in an isotropic state of stress, was applied. Saturation was Another important factor in understanding the cyclic behavior
assumed when the B factor (ratio of the change in pore water of sand is its strain development characteristics. Axial strain in
pressure Au to the change in cell pressure Aa~) was equal to or compression and extension versus the logarithm of the number of
greater than 95%. loading cycles is plotted in Fig. 4. The shapes of the curves vary
The specimen was then consolidated to the required effective considerably, and it was almost impossible to determine trends
stress F3~. Changes in volume and axial height were recorded visually. To determine whether there was a relationship between
during consolidation. The relative density of the specimen prior U,i and the strain development characteristics, as was found with
to cyclic loading is based on these measurements. cyclic strength, the cyclic data were normalized. The curves of
The specimens were cyclically loaded without drainage by the normalized peak-to-peak strain versus the normalized number
using an eleetrohydraulic closed-loop loading system manufactured of cycles are plotted in Fig. 5. The normalized peak-to-peak
by the MTS Systems Corp. The MTS system applied a sinusoidally strain e,p/~pp = 10% is defined as the ratio of peak-to-peak
varying load about an ambient load at a frequency of 1 Hz. strain at a given number of cycles N to a peak-to-peak strain of
Therefore, a cyclic sinusoidally varying axial deviator stress +_oa 10% (selected failure criteria), while the normalized number of
was applied to the specimen in which the stress varied between cycles N / N f is defined as the ratio of the number of cycles re-
peak compression and peak extension values. During cyclic quired to obtain a given e,p to the number of cycles required to
loading, the cell pressure was kept constant, and the changes in obtain an Epp of 10%. This figure shows that as U,~ becomes
axial load, axial deformation, and pore water pressure were closer to the optimum percent undercompaction, the normalized
recorded. strain development curves become more concave.

TABLE 2--Summary of results of tests preformed on Monterey sand No. O.

Water Content, Dry Unit Number of Cycles for


% Weight, lb/ft 3a Dr, %
Peak-to-Peak
Percent After ,After After Initial Strain, %
Under- Consoli- Consoli- Consoli- Lique-
Test compaction Initial dation Initial dation Initial dation +_Od/2iY3
c faction 2.5 5 10 20 Remarks b

1 0 6.0 24.7 98.3 99.2 59.2 64.0 0.26 24 24 26 30 54 see Note 1


2 2 8.8 24.8 98.6 99.4 60.8 65.5 0.25 23 22 24 28 42 see Note 1
3 4 6.0 24.6 98.5 99.7 60.3 67.2 0.26 33 33 36 41 67 see Note 1
4 6 5.8 25.6 98.4 99.3 59.8 65.0 0.26 33 33 36 40 57
5 8 5.8 23.8 98.8 99.5 61.7 66.3 0.26 20 19 22 27 62 see Note 1
6 10 6.3 24.9 98.0 98.9 57.2 62.6 0.25 22 22 24 29 47
7 12 5.7 24.2 98.2 99.1 58.7 63.8 0.26 19 18 20 25 44
8 14 6.0 24.6 98.5 99.3 60.3 65.0 0.26 30 28 30 35 64 see Note 1
9 16 6.0 25.1 98.5 99.3 60.1 65.0 0.26 18 18 20 24 130 see Note 1
10 18 6.0 25.3 98.5 99.6 60.4 66.9 0.26 10 9 11 16 43 see Note 1

a 1 lb/ft 3 = 16 kg/m 3.
b Notes:
1. A significant (> 10%) decrease in peak-to-peak axial load occurred after a peak-to-peak axial strain of 10% had occurred.
2. Test specimens were 74 mm (2.9 in.) in diameter by 152 mm (6 in.) in height and were compacted in eight layers by using the moist tamp-
ing method presented in Appendix A.
3. Consolidation pressure 03c equaled 44.6 kN/m 2 (2088 lb/fl 2).

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LADD ON SPECIMEN PREPARATION USING UNDERCOMPACT~ON 19

Test Conditions
Peak to Peak Relative Density, Dr (%) Stress
Symbol Axial Strain, %
After (~-3c Ratio
O 5 Consoli-
A lO Initial Ib/ft 2 +_ l:Td/2 ~3c
57-62 63-67 2,088 0.25-0.26
Note: 1 KN/m 2 = 20.88 Ib/ft 2
Number of Cycles to Obtain a Given
Cyclic Strength Index = Peak to Peak Axial Strain
X Optimum Cyctic Relative Density (%) x Stress Ratio
,,' 3 Strength Index - ~
E3
z
-1-
i-
L9
zuJ 2 /0 \
n~
A --. _ A l l \ A E)

O 0 0
.J
~D
>- 1
cD
O
~ 1 Optimum Percent Under-Compaction
I I I I I I I I I
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

PERCENT UNDER-COMPACTION OF FIRST LAYER

FIG. 3--Cyclic strength index versus percent undercompaction of first layer for Monterey No. 0 sand.

Conclusions The procedure (1) produces specimens that have a relatively


uniform stress-strain response, (2) minimizes the tendency for
A specimen preparation procedure is presented in Appendix A
particle segregation, and (3) can be used to compact most types
that offers an improved method of preparing reconstituted sand
of coarse-grained soils, with a relative density ranging between
specimens for cyclic strength testing. The method leads to more
very loose and very dense. Although the procedure has been
consistent and repeatable test results and a reduction in the
developed for the preparation of cohesionless test specimens, the
number of uncertainties inherent in presently used procedures.
concepts presented can be applied to the preparation of many
This procedure, termed the undercompaction procedure, (1) min-
different material types for various types of tests.
imizes particle segregation, (2) can be used for compacting most
Specimens can be prepared either by attaching a split mold to
types of sands, which have a wide range in relative densities, and
the bottom pedestal of the triaxial cell ("internal" split mold), as
(3) permits determination of the optimum cyclic strength of a
shown in Fig. 6, or in a split mold which is separate from the
given sand at a given dry unit weight.
triaxial cell ("external" split mold), as shown in Fig. 7. A split
mold is required since it eliminates many of the problems associ-
Acknowledgment ated with the extrusion of the compacted specimen from a non-
split mold. Most specimens, especially those containing fines,
Portions of this investigation were sponsored by the Professional
compacted in an external split mold at relative densities above
Development Program of Woodward-Clyde Consultants (WCC).
about 50%, will have sufficient strength as a result of capillary
This support is acknowledged with appreciation. Special acknowl-
force so that they may be set up in the triaxial cell without sig-
edgment is given to P. Dutko of WCC who developed the percent
nificant change in their fabric. However, extreme care is required
undercompaction equations. Members of the staff of WCC who
in transferring specimens to avoid disturbing the specimen.
made considerable contributions are, in particular, K. Hau,
H. M. Horn, Y. Kim, and J. H. Wilson. Special thanks are also
due to D. Koutsoftas of Dames and Moore, M. L. Silver of the
University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, and D. J. Leery of Lan- 1. Adjust the water content of the air-dried material so that
gan Engineering Associates for their reviews of and comments on that initial degree of saturation of the compacted material will be
this paper. between 20 and 70%. Oven-drying of the material is not recom-
mended. The lower the percentage of fines in the material, the
lower the degree of saturation required. A degree of saturation
greater than 70% can be used if water does not bleed from the
specimen during compaction. The material should be mixed with
APPENDIX A--RECONSTITUTED water about 16 h before use.
SPECIMEN PREPARATION PROCEDURE 2. Determine the average water content of the prepared mate-
FOR COARSE-GRMNED SOILS rial using a minimum of t~vo determinations.
3. Assemble and check all the necessary equipment to be
A procedure is presented below for preparing coarse-grained used in preparing the test specimen. Determine the inside di-
specimens for dynamic cyclic testing or static triaxial testing. ameter and the height of the mold to within _+0.02 mm ( ± 0.001

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20 GEOTECHNICAL TESTING JOURNAL

20

15

10
uJ

O Percent under c o m p a c t i o n value


'for first layer

o ~pp = 10%
i I i

.~_ s

E 10
Z 8 L
<
eT- @
20
<
X
< 15
g

UJ

/ ,

~ 5
o.
E
8 10

15
10 50 100 200
NUMBER OF CYCLES

FIG. 4--Axial strain versus number o f cycles for Monterey No. 0 sand.

in.) and calculate the volume based on these measurements. If an WL = WT/nt


internal split mold is used, correct the diameter measurement for
the average thickness of the rubber membrane. 7. For the first layer to be compacted, select a value of Uni.
4. Select the number of layers to be used in the preparation of Typically, this value ranges between zero for the preparation of
the specimen. The maximum thickness of the layers should not dense specimens to about 15% for the preparation of very loose
exceed 25 mm (1 in.) for specimens having diameters less than specimens. For the preparation of very dense specimens, it has
102 mm (4 in.). Typically, the required number of layers increases been found that negative values are sometimes required. Each
as the required dry unit weight increases. Layers having a thick- subsequent layer receives a lesser percentage of undercompaction,
ness of about 12 mm (V2 in.) are recommended. conforming to the relationship shown in Fig. 1.
The correct (optimum) value of percent undercompaction may
5. Determine the total wet weight of material required for
be determined experimentally by one of the following methods:
sample preparation:
a. Run a series of cyclic triaxial strength tests with the same
WrfT~r x (1 + w = ) x Vm effective consolidation stress and applied stress ratio, but with
different U,i values, to determine the optimum value (see Fig. 8).
6. Determine the moist weight of material required for each b. Observe the behavior of the specimen during cyclic load-
layer: ing. Excessive necking or bulging in a layer or layers, either at

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LADD ON SPECIMEN PREPARATIONUSING UNDERCOMPACTION 21

1.0
I I
O Percent-under-compaction
II
of First i a y e r //~J
Q.

t~ 0.75
z"
<n -
o0
v
< 0.5
LU

0 ,ncreasingCyc,,cStrength
v
<
LU
a.
E3 0.25
LU
N
.J
<
n-
O
z
0
0 0.2 0.4. 0.6 0.8 1.0
NORMALIZEDNUMBEROF CYCLES,N/Nf = N/N Cpp = 10%
FIG.5--Normalized peak-to-peak strain versus normalized number of cycles.

6-in.Travel---..._.~.~ ~Tamping Rod


Vertical Dal ~[~
~ Z ~ ) Rae
fmep~n~
eG~i~llarAssembiy

~ Bushings
I-
I J I
MembraneProtection
Collar
RubberMembrane
CompactionF o o t ~ I--]
(Diameter=V2ID ~L]TJ VacuumApplied
of Mold) - ' ~

PorousStone ~ ~ Split Mold


v"/////'~ n l ~ O-Ring
1I I =~[.
n ~[ ~ B o t [lt o m Drani age
ValvesLine

TriaxialCell / ~ Top DrainageLine

FIG.6--Split compaction mold attached to triaxial cell ("internal" split mold).

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22 GEOTECHNICAL TESTING JOURNAL

6-In. Travel Vertical Dial


Vertical Dial Setting-h n, Inches

? ____~
Reference-Collar

I
~i ~j~

X
I-~
Ihitial'Vertieal S~tting R, Inches

-Bushing.
~,f---Tamping Guide Assembly
? 1
/', I
--.

i\ .,.,%
I~" ~ Collar-~ /'I,I I

E=
I1 lI' l _l
Compaction Foot ~
/ (Diameter='A ID
of Mold)

~/Spacer'/~ Bottom Porous Stone II ~/,Spacer//


///~- / 1 / / 2 " I X / /1 K////'/ / / / / // /J

SYSTEM PRIOR TO COMPACTION SYSTEM DURING COMPACTION

Air Outlets
~
t~-~ If ~ ~ Spacer-Disk Assembly
' I I I
, / II
II
, !
'11
i;l
'
I;i '
III I v
.~
, rCo
L/
ar
II l,, Ill I II./
~ II Hi IP ,i i iv"
"1 I//A/ / // X / / / /V / ,I "~

I1 ~-~ Sintered Brass Disk

SYSTEM FOR COMPACTIONOF FINALLAYER

FIG. 7--"External" s p l i t compaction mold.

the top or at the bottom of the specimen, indicates a specimen men as a function of its height. A dry unit weight not uniform
with an inappropriate value of U.z. with height indicates an inappropriate value of U.i.
c. Observe the behavior of the specimen during unconsoli-
8. Calculate the required height of the specimen at the top of
dated-undrained loading. Nonuniform vertical strains indicate
thenth layer:
an inappropriate value of U.z.
d. Observe the fabric of the specimen. A honeycomb struc-
ture at either the top or the bottom of the specimen indicates an
inappropriate value of U.i. h
e, Measure the dry unit weight of the prepared test speci-

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LADD ON SPECIMEN PREPARATION USING UNDERCOMPACTION 23

remove the specimen from the split mold (using extreme caution
to prevent disturbance) and obtain its weight, height, and di-
ameter. The weight should be determined to the nearest 0.01 g;
however, for specimens weighing greater than 1000 g, measuring
"',\ to the nearest 0.1 g is adequate. The height and diameter should
×
cl / ~- Material sensitive t o percent under compaction be determined to the nearest 0.02 mm (0.001 in.) using a dial
I \ gage comparator. The dial gage contact points on these instru-
15
I \
i~ 8°
~ o I
I \
\
ments should have a flat surface with a minimum diameter of
about 5 mm (IA in.).
u ~g
I \ F Material relatively insensitiveto percent
For specimens compacted in an internal split mold, the initial
under compaction
weight cannot be directly checked. Therefore, the oven-dry
weight of the specimen should be checked after the test. How-
ever, the height and diameter of the compacted specimen should
be measured after a slight vacuum is applied and the mold is
removed. A pi tape (Pi Tape, Lemon Grove, Calif.) is recom-
mended for measuring the diameter.
PERCENT UNDER COMPACTION OF FIRST LAYER
The author has also used this procedure, with some modifica-
FIG. 8--Expected relationship between strength index and percent tions, for compacting fine-grained soils and found that appro-
undercompaction of first layer. priate specimens are obtained much more readily than when the
Harvard compaction apparatus [6] is used. In the latter case, one
must determine experimentally the appropriate compactive effort
(number of layers, number of tamps per layer, and the tamping
9. Weigh the amount of material required for the layer, as
force) required to obtain the prescribed value of ~/dr"
determined in Step 6, and place it into a closed container. If
A brief description of the required modifications is as follows:
each layer requires a weight greater than about 80 g, it is usually
easier to weigh the amount of material required for each layer a. A U,i value of zero should be used.
and place it into small closed containers. b. The compaction of each layer is initiated by using a Har-
10. Adjust the reference collar on the tamping rod to obtain vard tamping device [6], having a spring force of 18 kg
the proper h , . Weigh, if you have not already done so, the (40 Ib) and with a compaction foot having a diameter
amount of material required for the layer, and place it into the equal to about 1/4 the diameter of the specimen. The
mold. During weighing, care must he taken to lose as little compaction is continued by using this tamper until the
moisture as possible. Using the tamping rod, guided by the surface of the material is relatively level. The tamping
tamping guide assembly, compact the surface of the material force should be reduced if the compaction foot appears to
(after it has been leveled) in a circular pattern starting at the penetrate below the proper h, value. Then the tamping
periphery of the mold and working toward the center of the mold. rod, as mentioned in Step 10, is used to compact the
Initially, a light tamping force should be used to distribute and material to the proper h, value.
seat the material uniformly in the mold. The force should then
be gradually increased until the reference collar uniformly hits
References
the top of the tamping rod guide assembly. For the last few cov-
erages, it may be necessary to hit the tamping rod with a rubber [1] Finn, W. D. L., Picketing, D. J., and Bransby, P. L., "Sand
mallet in order to compact the material into a dense state. Next, Liquefaction in Triaxial and Simple Shear Tests," Journal of the
scarify the compacted surface to a depth equal to about one tenth Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, Proceedings of the Ameri-
can Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 97, No. SM4, April 1971, pp.
of the thickness of the layer. 639-659.
11. Repeat Steps 9 (if required) and 10 until the last layer is in [2] Lee, K. L. and Fitton, J. A., "Factors Affecting the Cyclic Loading
place. During the compaction of the last layer, the tamping rod Strength of Soil," in Vibration Effects of Earthquakes on Soils and
should be used until the surface of the compacted material is Foundations, STP 450, American Society for Testing and Materials,
about 0.4 mm (1/64 in.) higher than required. Then, for specimens Philadelphia, 1969, pp. 71-95.
[3] Lee, K. L. and Seed, H. B., "Dynamic Strength of Anisotropically
prepared in an external split mold, place the spacer disk as- Consolidated Sand," Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations
sembly into position and lightly strike it with a rubber mallet Division, Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers,
until it is seated; see Fig. 7. For specimens prepared with the Vol. 93, No. SM5, Sept. 1967, pp. 169-190.
internal split mold, place the top cap and the porous stone [4] Mulilis, J. P., "The Effects of Method of Sample Preparation on the
Cyclic Stress-Strain Behavior of Sands," Ph.D. dissertation, Univer-
directly on the specimen. The top cap should be attached to the
sity of California, Berkeley, 1975.
loading piston, which, in turn, should be guided by the bushing [5] Kolbuszewski, J. J., in Proceedings of the Second International Con-
located in the top of the triaxial cell. Then lightly strike the ference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Rotterdam,
loading piston with a rubber mallet until the compacted material 1948, Voi. 7, pp. 47-49.
reaches the prescribed height. This procedure ensures that there [6] Wilson, S. D., "Suggested Method of Test for Moisture-Density
Relations of Soils Using Harvard Compaction Apparatus," in
is proper alignment and seating of the top cap in relation to the Special Procedures for Testing Soil and Rock for Engineering Pur-
specimen and the loading mechanism of the triaxial cell. poses, STP 479, American Society for Testing and Materials, Phila-
12. For specimens compacted in an external split mold, delphia, 1970, pp. t01-103.

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