i

Location of Soil and Rocks Mechanics Laboratory

The Soil Mechanics and Geology Laboratory (SMAGL) is located on the second floor of the Fong Yun-wah Building; room number FYW 2330. One convenient way to reach the SMAGL is via Lift 11.

& Rock Mechanics Laboratory Soil Mechanics and Geology Laboratory

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong

Table of contents

ii

Table of Contents
Location of soil and rock mechanics laboratory Table of contents Safety and security guides in laboratories Preparation and submission of laboratory reports Experiment 1 Determination of Particle Density (Density Bottle Method)

pa ge
i ii 1-2 3-4 5-8 9-12

Experience 2A Determination of Particle Size Distribution – (Wet Sieving Method) Experiment 2B Determination of Particle Size Distribution – (Pipette Method) Experiment 3A Determination of Atterberg Limits – (Liquid Limit Test) Experiment 3B Determination of Atterberg Limits – (Plastic Limit Test)

13-18 19-23 24-26

Experiment 4

Determination of Dry Density /Moisture Content Relationship

27-32 33-37

Experiment 5A Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample – (Constant Head Test) Experiment 5B Determination of he Permeability of a Soil Sample – (Falling Head Test) Experiment 6 Experiment 7 Experiment 8 Experiment 9 Consolidation Test (Oedometer) Direct Shear Test Triaxial Test Determination of Moisture Content (Oven-Drying Method)

38-42

43-54 55-60 61-83 84-86 87

Bibliography and Reference Appendix Cover page for soil laboratory testing report

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong

and if in doubt. • Beware of dangerous voltages developed during the course of using any item of apparatus. Electricity • Switch off and isolate the power supply before opening cabinet doors or attempting to make any adjustments to equipment. Safety precautions must be observed at all times. • Special care should be taken when bare conductors are being used to carry any current. • If in doubt. 5. 3. Safety 1. 4. correct or operate any apparatus before reading the instructions. • Know the properties of the chemicals before attempting to handle them. • Use protective equipment when provided. • Check all circuits before switching on the power supply. • Beware of others working in the vicinity. corrosive or explosive substances. 2. 2. • Alert others in the vicinity when handling poisonous. Chemicals • Treat all chemicals with extreme caution. • Do not work on any electrical apparatus with wet hands. Department of Building and Construction. There will be special precautions needed for any handicapped persons using the laboratories. ask for assistance. Disciplinary actions will be taken against offenders. but these are outside the scope of this set of notes. toxic. No running. • Always switch off and isolate the service supplies after using any apparatus. General Behaviour 1. No smoking. • Do not tamper with any switches or protective gears. seek the assistance of the laboratory staff. throwing objects or foolish behaviour allowed. General • Treat every piece of apparatus with caution. Do not attempt to install. playing games.Safety and Security Guides in Laboratories 1 Safety and Security Guides in Laboratories Introduction These notes deal with the safety precautions and security measures that should be observed and taken by all users of laboratory facilities. 3. • Understand all safety precautions before working in the laboratories. City University of Hong Kong . Observe any instructions or advice given by the laboratory staff. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.

• Never leave any radioactive substance unattended. If the fire alarm sounds. 5. • Report any loss or damage to laboratory equipment immediately to laboratory staff. Security • Take care of your own valuables. • Clean up any spilled combustible fluids immediately. evacuate from the laboratories immediately and assemble at the ground floor lobby. Machines • Do not operate any machines unless you have been trained to do so.Safety and Security Guides in Laboratories 2 4. • Never transfer any radioactive substance without a proper protective container. • Only enter and exit the laboratories through the established route. Radiation hazards • Use protective equipment when handling any radioactive substance. • Do not leave any machines in operation unattended. 7. • Switch off and isolate the machines when not in use. • Do not remove any piece of equipment from the laboratories unless authorised to do so. • When a gas leak is suspected. unless there is a broadcast for other actions over the internal public address system. • Ensure there is enough ventilation before starting any combustion process. extinguish all naked flames. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. • Handled inflammable substances with care. City University of Hong Kong . 6. • Do not attempt to enter or remain in the laboratories outside the opening hours. Department of Building and Construction. • Use protective equipment when provided. Fire hazards • Check for any possible danger of fire in the vicinity before producing any naked flame. • Extinguish all flames before refuelling any equipment. • Observe the directives given by laboratory staff.

Do not use the first person (I. Obtaining (perhaps from the library) a text on technical report writing and consulting it for writing tips. our. Separate pages should be used for all graphs and tables." in stead use "It was found that …" Use correct spelling ⎯ when in doubt. me. and Bibliography and/or Reference. Apparatus (should include descriptions and annotated diagrams). A primary purpose of the report is to give the lecturer an indication of what you learned from the project. While you are graded primarily on the project and the presentation of data (and not report writing). Do not write such statements as. Results and Calculations. Theory.) in writing a technical report. Not writing in such a hurry that you tend to drop letters off the ends of words or spell a word as it sounds. City University of Hong Kong . A neatly marked-through word or two will be better received by the lecturer than a report that is poorly written. Discussion(s). Report Writing (Bowles 1992) A soil report should follow good technical report writing form. and should be produced on a word processor or typewriter. 3. …etc. a poorly written report will generally result in a lower grade than a well-written one. Conclusion(s). It will also indicate that you went over the report before submitting it. should be in a folder. "I found that …" or "My group found …. All reports should be drafted on A4 size paper. Many of these problems can be avoids by: • • • • Writing the report and then reading it over a day or so later. All reports should have the following sections . A few well-put-together sentences are far more impressive than a long. we. 2. Department of Building and Construction. Procedure (should include details of any special precautions taken to improve the reliability and precision of the measurements taken). and do not change from past tense to present tense in the same sentence or paragraph. Thinking about what you are going to write and being brief. Other major benefits are obtained from practice in report writing and presenting engineering data. consult the dictionary. including the citing of any references used. All reports must have a completed standard cover and title page. • • • • • • • • Objective(s). poorly written report that says nothing. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Try to use good sentence construction. 4.Preparation and Submission of Laboratory Reports 3 Preparation and Submission of Laboratory Reports Format of Laboratory Reports Students should adhere to the following guidelines when drafting and submitting their laboratory reports: 1.

be aware that report writing is an essential part of the work of most engineers. or the first sheet of a set (numbered with a. and you submit the project data using whatever format you think is appropriate. Data Sheets There is a data sheet numbered to match the test in the back of your manual which can be detached to summarize data collection and reduction.Preparation and Submission of Laboratory Reports 4 In a commercial environment the report is the project information record that documents to the client the scope of work performed. Further. Submission of Reports All laboratory reports must be submitted to the Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory of the Building and Construction Department not later than one week after the completion of the relevant laboratory work. The data sheet. neat. Great care is required in its preparation since the contents may be used later in any project peer review or as evidence if legal action is brought against the engineer. if well written. will be easy to follow. Drawing Graphs Summarizing laboratory work is greatly facilitated by presenting the results in the form of some kind of graph. both for design use and for payment authorization. Computation and Precision The only computations in this manual that justify using two decimal places (to the nearest 0.01) in the final answer are the specific gravity test and ⎯ if done in SI units ⎯ the compaction test. and the line rulings should be used as lettering guidelines. The others tests listed in this manual as possible laboratory exercises can hardly justify more than one decimal (to the nearest 0. however. contains spaces for general project information that should always be filled in. always place them on the graph sheet so that the left and lower margins are both at least 2 cm wide. When drawing the graph axes. Student users may not yet fully appreciate the formality involved in the reports. even when averaging two or more test results. if you are not involved in soil mechanics work until several years after graduation you will have some refresher material ready at hand ⎯ old laboratory reports ⎯ which. Department of Building and Construction. and easy to understand.1 (or to 0. All lettering on the axes should be written the ruled portion of the sheet.1). …). b. City University of Hong Kong . A graph should be legible. Therefore. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.01 for the three tests cited). round off and report the answer to the nearest 0. If there is no data sheet then none is required.

where the volume includes any sealed voids contained within solid particles.e.0mm) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. the sequence of observations remains the same (Mandal and Divshikar 1995). The value of the specific gravity of soil is also used in the computations of most laboratory tests. The specific gravity is employed in the classification of minerals. However. City University of Hong Kong . (Mandal and Divshikar 1995). Particle density is related to the density of water at 4 oC. such as clean quartz sand. or both.Determination of Particle Density . the difference in the density of water between 4 oC and 20 oC is less than 0. porosity and degree of saturation. The spaces between solid particles of soil may contain gas (usually air) or water. Specific gravity is the ratio of the mass of dry particles to the mass of water they displace. The density bottle method is used only for fine gained soils.00 mm. students should refer to their textbook and handout. However. Theory A soil consists of an accumulation of particles which may be of a single mineral type. But for a soil consisting of a variety of minerals we are concerned only with the mean particle density of the mass as whole. The unit weight of a moist soil is computed.3%). It is often used in relating a weight of soil to its volume. For a more detailed explanation of the relationship between void ratio. provided the bulk density and the moisture are known.Density Bottle Method 5 Experiment 1 Determination of Particle Density (Density Bottle Method) General The specific gravity of soil solids can be defined as the weight in air of a given volume of soil particles to the weight in air of an equal volume of distilled water at a temperature of 4 o C. but most laboratory tests are carried out at an ambient temperature of about 20 oC. Material 1. Unit weights are needed in nearly all loadsettlement and stability problems in soil engineering. within 0. Objective To familiarise the density bottle method of obtaining the specific gravity of a dry clean sand. The average mass per unit volume of the solid particles in a sample of soil. so for practical purposes this discrepancy can be neglected. The density bottle method is the standard method used in laboratory. Department of Building and Construction. Applications Knowing the specific gravity of soils makes it easier to compute the values of void ratio. In BS 1377: 1990 the term "particle density" has replaced "specific gravity" as a measure of the average density of the solid particles which make up a soil mass. each with a different particle density. porosity and degree of saturation of soil. It is of limited value for identification or classification of soils because the specific gravity of most soils falls in narrow range. in all the various methods employed. finer than 2. or more usually a mixture of a number of mineral types. The concept of density refers to mass per unit volume. The amount of void space within a soil has an important effect on its characteristics (Head 1992).003 g/cm3 (i. Dry clean sand (finer than 2. and this is the sense in which the term is used here. For a single mineral type the particle density of the solids comprising a mass of the soil is that of the mineral itself.

Make a total of 3 nos. Computation and Results 1. insert the stopper and immerse in the constant. repeat stage 7 and weight (Bottle + stopper + liquid) to 0.000 g/ml for most purposes ). Department of Building and Construction.2oC. Glass funnel. remove all bottles from the desicator and add more air-free liquid to fill the bottle.001g (m4). If there is a decrease in volume of the liquid. Remove the stoppered bottle form the bath and wipe it dry. Vacuum desicator with protective cage. 5. 9. Clean the density bottle and stopper.temperature bath as before. 2. Calculate the particle density ρs of the sand in each bottle from the following equation. 4.Density Bottle Method 6 2. reduce the pressure gradually and leave under vacuum for at least one hour or until no further loss of air can be seen. m1 = Mass of density bottle (g) m2 = Mass of bottle + dry sand (g) m3 = Mass of the bottle + sand + liquid (g) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Procedure 1. and fill completely with de-aerated liquid. Place the bottles (without stopper) together with two beaker full of 600ml distilled water in the vacuum desicator. 8. 6. 7. Density bottles (50 ml) with stopper and numbered (see Figure1. 5. 7.001g (m3). Obtain 20 g of dry sand. Constant-temperature water-bath. City University of Hong Kong . Add the distilled water carefully to each bottle so that the sand is just covered and the bottles are not more than half full. Pour the sand into the density bottle with a funnel and weigh each bottle with sand to 0.001g (m2). Beaker 600 ml capacity.20C. Wash bottle containing distilled water. Weight the whole to 0.1) ρL = density of the Liquid used at the constant temperature.001g. Distilled water Apparatus 1. Source of vacuum. set temperature at 250C leave for it to attain the temperature of the bath. (m2-m1) ρs = (m -m )-(m -m ) ρL 4 1 3 2 (2. 6. Insert the stopper and immerse the bottle up to the neck in the constanttemperature bath. remove the stopper and top up. ρL maybe assumed to be equal to 1. able to maintained at 250C±0. 3.1) 2.Determination of Particle Density . Clean out each bottle.001g(m1). Release the vacuum. Thermometer reading to 0. Analytical balance reading to 0. 4. dry by rinsing with alcohol-ether mixture and then blowing warm air through it @1050C±50C and weigh to the nearest 0. 3. 8. (if distilled water is used.

the test should be repeated.Density Bottle Method 7 m4 = Mass of bottle + liquid only (g) The average of three values is calculated. 2. City University of Hong Kong .Determination of Particle Density . The average value derived is reported to the nearest 0. Department of Building and Construction.1 50 ml density bottle Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.03 Mg/m3. If any one value differs from the average by more than 0.01Mg/m3 as the particle density of the material. Figure 1.

Determination of Particle Density . Department of Building and Construction.1 Particle Density (pyknometer) Soil description : Small pyknometer Pyknometer number Mass of bottle + soil + water Mass of bottle + soil Mass of bottle full of water Mass of bottle Mass of soil Mass of water in full bottle Mass of water used m3 m2 m4 m1 m2 .m1 m3 .m2) Water temperature (m2-m1) Particle density ρs = (m -m )-(m -m ) ρL 4 1 3 2 Average value ρs C Mg/m3 Mg/m3 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.(m3 . City University of Hong Kong .m1 m4 .m1) .m2 g g g g g g g ml o Volume of soil particles (m4 .Density Bottle Method 8 Form 1.

002 mm. The dimension of specific surface is squared length divided by mass. Grain-size analysis for these soils is done. medium and fine. As the particle size D decreases. is an important characteristic of small soil particles. silt. the engineering soil classification systems such as ASTM D422. therefore. The standard gain-size analysis test determines the relative proportions of different gain sizes as they are distributed among certain size ranges. while those of flat and platelike clay particles such as kaolinite and montmorillonite are 10 and 1000 m2/g. If a soil sample contains both large and small particles. Objective The objective of this experiment is to group the particles into separate ranges of sizes. The ratio of smallest and largest masses is enormous 105:1.65 g/cm3. because of the very small size sieve opening that would be required and the difficulty of getting such small particles to pass through. is widely used in engineering classification of soils. the number of particles contained in a unit mass of soil increases proportionally to 1/D3 and their individual mass decreases in the same ratio. Soil particles have sizes ranging from greater than 200 mm down to less 0. the mass of several spheres with diameters ranging from 100 to 0. which is the total surface area of particles per unit mass. by another methods – (hydrometer analysis.03 m2/g. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. which says that the larger the grain size. and its unit is mm2/g or m2/g. natural soil particles have much more complicated shapes than those of spheres. Theory As shown in Table 1. and USCS. the specific surface of fine sand particles is about 0. BS 1377. Specific surface. and so determine the relative proportions. the greater its settling velocity in a fluid. Department of Building and Construction. However. which is often the case. and clay ⎯ with an optional subdivision indicating coarse. The ratio between these extremes is 105: 1.Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels (Wet Sieving Method) 9 Experiment 2A Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels (Wet Sieving Method) General Grain-size analysis. This method is based on Strokes' law. by dry mass.The specific surface of spheres increases proportionally to 1/D. For illustration. It largely influences the interaction between small soil particles which depends on electrostatic forces.001 mm is calculated for a typical mineral unit mass ρs= 2. its grain-size analysis can be performed using a combination of the two methods. Soils with small grain sizes cannot generally be analysed using sieves. City University of Hong Kong . gravel. sand. AASHTO. which is among the oldest of soil tests. divide soil particles on the basis of size into categories ⎯ boulders. of each size range. The hydrometer) Sedimentation by the pipette method analysis. cobbles.

Procedure 1. Balance readable to 0. 7. a little at a time. Department of Building and Construction. Micro-wave oven or drying oven able to maintain 105o±5oC. 4. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. 10. lid and receiver (for dry sieving purposes). 4.18mm. wire and soft. Transfer the whole sample to a washing sieve. 2. Source of water supply with rubber tubing connection. 5. 1. without losing any particles. If there is a layer of clean water above the washed sample. continue washing until the water passing the test sieve is virtually clear. Sieve brush. then switch off the power. allowing the material passing the 63µm sieve to run to waste. ensure that neither test sieve is over loaded in the process.00mm test sieve nested in a 63µm test sieve. 2. Seat the container on the stirrer. 5. 5. 8. 6. 3. Washing sieves (2. Mechanical sieve shaker (hand shaking can also be accepted). 300µm. Test sieves having the following aperture sizes. 9. 600µm. Wash any soil particles adhering to the stem back into the container. Collect all the material retained on the sieve into a micro-wave container. carefully poured or siphoned off. Place the sample into the container of the mechanical stirrer. either with solids or with water. 63µm.5g. Micro-wave evaporating dish. through a 2. set the speed to 1. Let the stirrer to run for 10 mins. 3. Apparatus 1. 2. Weigh the oven-dried test sample of about150g to 0.0mm.36mm.0mm and 63µm). City University of Hong Kong .1% of its total mass (m1). Allow the soil particles in the container to settle for several minutes. 6. Mechanical stirrer.Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels (Wet Sieving Method) 10 Table 1 Engineering Soil Classification Systems Materials Fine-grained soil. Fill in water of about 300 cc. 150µm.

take the sample out with a tong or wearing protective glove.18 0. Plot the curve for percentage passing on a p.2) Remarks: Micro-wave drying method is not normally being recommended as a usual practice.s.S.00 2.) SAMPLE (mm) (m4) (g. Calculate the percentage of material on each individual sieve retain. chart.36 1.30 0.150 0. Put the micro-wave container into the micro-wave-oven. (Form 2a.Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels (Wet Sieving Method) 11 7.1) 2. Of Sample as Tested (m1) g : MASS OF MASS OF CONT. Sieve the dried fractions through the appropriate sieve down to the 63µm test sieve. Weigh to the amount retained on each individual sieve (m2). 9. m % on the 1 working sheet provide.063 Pan Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. + B. allowed to dry for 15 minutes @5 minutes per-round. Department of Building and Construction.1 Aggregate Sieve Analysis Record Sheet Sample Description : Total Wt. Calculation and expression of results m2 1. set the sieve shaker to 15 minutes. City University of Hong Kong .60 0. wait until cool.) INDIVIDUAL MASS OF SAMPLE RETAINED m2= m4-m3 (m2) (%) ACCUMULATE SAMPLE PASSING (%) 5. Form 2A. DRY SIEVE m3 (g. The standard drying method is to use oven at 105oC±5oC. When the sample is virtually dry. (Form 2A.d. 8.S CONT. the adoption here is for time saving only.

Department of Building and Construction.2 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels (Wet Sieving Method) 12 Form 2a. City University of Hong Kong .

add about 100mL of distilled water to the soil. to be determined. Apparatus 1. 15. 9. Transfer the suspension that has passed through the sieve to the 1 Litre cylinder and make up to the mark given with distilled water. Funnel. and clay. shake vigorously until all the soil is in suspension. City University of Hong Kong . then add 50mL of dispersant solution from a measuring cylinder.001g (see Note 1). Pour the suspension in the mechanical device and agitated for 20 mins. Wash bottle or pressurised sprayer with distilled water. These percentages can be linked to the curve obtained by test no. re-sieve this material on the sieve down to the 63µm sieve as specified in the test no.Pipette Test 13 Experiment 2B Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels (Sedimentation by pipette method) General This method covers the quantitative determination of the particle size distribution in a soil from the coarse sand size to the clay size (about 2µm). Precise balance able to read 0. 3. Place the test sample in the beaker. Transfer the suspension from the container to the 63µm test sieve placed on the receiver. Weigh about 30g of dry soil to 0. medium and fine silt. 100mL cylinder. The test is not usually necessary if less than 10% of the material passes the 63µm test sieve as in test no. with rubber bung to fit. 13. Mechanical stirrer. 8. 3. 7.1). having a capacity of approximately 10mL (fig.5oC into which the cylinder can be immersed up to the 1000mL mark. graduated @1000 ±10mL volume marked. and wash the soil in the sieve using a jet of distilled water. Glass cylinder. 16. 6. Transfer the material retained on the 63µm test sieve to a container and dry in an oven. Sample preparation 1. 10. 5. 14.2B. 4. 4. Reagent. Sampling pipette. 650mL beaker. Drying oven able to maintain 100 ± 5oC.6 to provide a single curve for the whole material. 63µm and receiver. The procedure enables the percentages of the coarse. 6.Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels . (mo). The analysis of data requires that the particle density of the soil specimen is known or can be assumed. 12. Constant temperature water bath able to maintain at 25 ±0. 5.001g. Stop watch. 2. 6 was found. Test sieve. Glass rod. 2. 11. When cool. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Stands. Department of Building and Construction. the amount of water used during this operation shall not exceed 700mL and make sure to collect all the washed. Numbered weighing bottles of 25mL capacity. 6 sum up all material retained as (ms)..

when the particles are close enough to influence each other. This procedure shall be followed when a fresh batch of dispersant solution is used.2B. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Close the tap B and open tap E to pipette G (see fig. Determine the mass of solid residue (mr) in the sample to 0. Department of Building and Construction. Note 2: In the wet sieving operation for the separation of sand particles. From this mass calculate the internal volume. grains with diameters just slightly smaller than the apertures of the 63µm test sieve tend to be retained due to the surface tension of the water held between the sieve meshes. 4. Added any material passing the 63µm sieve to the sedimentation cylinder (see Note 2). Dissolve 33g of sodium hexametaphosphate and 7g of sodium carbonate in distilled water to make 1Litre of solution. Make three determinations of the volume as above and take the average value as Vp(in mL).Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels . 2. City University of Hong Kong . It is not applicable to a highly concentrated suspension. Following the procedure given in procedure from Sedimentation (Steps 5-9) except that there is no need to time the sampling operation and the depth of the sampling is not important. Between any of the time(30 min) at which samples are taken from the sedimentation cylinder.Pipette Test 14 7.001g refer to form no. If it is found that a large part of the sample passes the 63µm test sieve during dry sieving operation. Dispersing agent correction 1. take a sample of Vp(in mL) from the cylinder containing the dispersant solution using the pipette. Discharge the water contained in the pipette and tap E into a glass weighing bottle of known mass. and determine the mass. Pour off surplus water drawn up into the cavity at D through F into the small beaker and give waste. dry it and immerse the nozzle in distilled water at 25 oC.05mL. This solution is unstable and shall be freshly prepared approximately once a month. 2B 1). the material passing should be added to the suspension in the measuring cylinder prior to the sedimentation Calibration of pipette 1. Vp(in mL) of the pipette and the tap to the nearest 0. 3. The date of preparation shall be recorded on the bottle. suck water up into the pipette until it rises about E to D. Close tap E and remove the pipette from the water. By means of a rubber tube and suction device attached to C. Clean the sampling pipette.1 Reagents Sodium hexametaphosphate solution. 2. Note 1: Stokes’ Law applies to a single sphere falling in a large body of liquid.

Add 50mL of the dispersant solution from a pipette or measuring cylinder to the second 1000mL sedimentation cylinder and dilute with distilled water up to the 1000mL graduation mark. Place the weighing bottle and contents in the oven maintained at 105oC to 110oC and evaporate the sample to dryness. Withdraw the pipette from the suspension cylinder. take out the cylinder containing soil suspension. D and E into the pipette G and then into the weighing bottle.002mm. 6.001g. 2. 5.001g. Remove the rubber bungs. Place a weighing bottle of known mass. At the instant the cylinder with the soil suspension is replaced upright in the bath. Wash out with distilled water from the bulk A into D and out through F until no suspension remains in this part of the system. Cool in the desiccator. m2 and m3 (see Note 3). weigh the bottle and contents to the nearest 0. shake it and place it in the constant-temperature bath so that it is immersed in water up to the 1000mL graduation mark. take care not to overflow the bottle. 3. is drawn up into the pipette by the suction device. The sampling operation shall take about 10 s to complete. Department of Building and Construction. Note 3: If required. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. 8. 4. so that a sample of soil suspension.Pipette Test 15 Procedure 1. additional readings. Determine the mass of solid material in the sample to 0. This operation shall take about 10 s. Insert the rubber bung and place this cylinder in the constanttemperature bath alongside the first. lower the pipette.001g. Carry out (steps 5 to 9) twice more at the times specified in table 2B.1).06mm to 0. measured to 0. Wash any suspension left on the inner walls of the pipette into the weighing bottle by allowing distilled water from the bulb A to run through B. City University of Hong Kong . under the end of the pipette and open tap E connected to G so that the contents of the pipette are delivered into the bottle.1. carefully and lay them lightly on the top of each cylinder.Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels . About 15 s before a sample is due to be taken (see table 2B. Take great care to avoid turbulence in the suspension. when plotted on a logarithmic scale. 10. Close the tap E when there is a small amount of suspension has been drawn up into the bulb D. Insert the rubber bung into the cylinder containing the soil suspension. In this test due to time limited student are requested to take the 1st and 2nd sample only. shake it vigorously by applying about 120 end-over-end cycles in 2 min and immediately replace them in the bath. Open tap E with way connected to the pipette(G). Vp(in mL). start the timer. 0. After at least 1 h or when the cylinders and contents have reached the temperature of the bath. with tap E closed (see figure 2B) vertically into the soil suspension until the end is 100 ±1mm (H) below the water surface. 7. The successive masses of the solid material determined are denoted by m1. may be taken to give a good spread of points over the silt particle size range. The 3rd sample will be taken by the technician. 9. Run the content of bulb D into a beaker down the outlet tube F by opening the tap E with way connected to F.

006mm & 0.005531 is a constant.2. by plotting on a semi-logarithmic chart of the type shown as Form 2A. etc. 4. to the nearest 1%.Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels . of sampling sequence should not more than SIX. m1 or m2 etc W1. D(in mm) for each sampling operation in respect to the time given in table 2B. Note: Would there be any additional sampling being taken apart from the time given for the relevant particle density of soil in table 2B. 2. W2. Department of Building and Construction. it’s equivalent particle diameter D(mm) has to be calculated from the equation: ηH D = 0.002mm only. For Sedimentation. Form No.2B2. W2. t is the pipette sampling time (in min).1 for 0.1. 0. etc − Wr K= 1 2 × 100 mo when mo is the mass of dry soil used (in g). Obtain the equivalent particle diameter. Vp is the calibrated volume of the pipette (in mL) (Calibration of pipette). Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. m2 etc are the masses of material from the first. D(in mm).2A). 3. Express the results of the sedimentation analysis and the sieving analysis if appropriate. 0. second. Calculate the proportion of soil retained on each sieve as a percentage of the dry mass of soil used. Similarly the mass of solid material in 1000mL of disperant solution Wr (in g) is given by the equation: m Wr = ( r ) x 1000 Vp where mr is the mass of residual as determined from (Dispersing agent correction).02mm. W .2. ρs is the mean particle density (in Mg/m3). of particle smaller than each equivalent particle diameter. W1. in the form of a continuous curve. etc = ( ) x 1000 Vp where m1. mo(in g).005531 ( ρ s − 1)t where η is the dynamic viscosity of water at the test temperature (in mPa. etc. express the results in terms of various size fraction in the form of a table showing. The total no. H is the sampling depth (in mm). Calculate the percentage by mass (K). City University of Hong Kong . (in g) in 1000mL of suspension for each pipette sampling time from the equation. for all the material retained on 63µm (refer to test no. calculate the mass of solid material. the percentage finer then each fraction. sampling (in g).s) as listed in table 2B.Pipette Test 16 Calculation and expression of results 1. Alternatively. W .

02mm s 30 20 10 5 0 50 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 min 50 49 47 46 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 0.Pipette Test 17 Table 2B.85 2.1 Pipette sampling times and equivalent particle diameters Particle density of silt and clay fraction Times after shaking of starting sampling operation 1st sample 2nd sample 3rd sample Mg/m3 2.00 3.05 3.80 2. Department of Building and Construction.002mm Table 2B.60 2.65 2.20 Equivalent Particle diameter min 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 0.10 3.95 3.137 1.2 Viscosity of water Temperature T o Viscosity of water η C mPa.798 10 15 20 25 30 Note: Intermediate values may be obtained by interpolation.s 1.75 2.Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels .006mm s 30 0 30 0 30 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 h 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 min 35 21 7 54 42 30 20 10 0 50 41 33 25 18 10 0.90 2.70 2.002 0.15 3.891 0.50 2.55 2.304 1. City University of Hong Kong . Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.

063 * delete or fill as appropriate Form No. Weighing bottle no. Sec. Pipette mass calculation Weighing bottle no. 2B Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Bottle + sample Bottle Mass of (A-B) sample (A) (B) m3 g g g m3x1000 = Vp W3 (W3) Wr (W3-Wr) x 100 = mo % g g *0.02 (W1) Wr (W1-Wr) x 100 = mo 2nd Mins. 1st Time (t) Mins.002 / ( ) 4th About 30 mins.006 3rd Hr. Sec. Bottle + sample Bottle Mass of sample mr (A) (B) (A-B) g g g mrx1000 = Vp (Wr) ms x 100) = 100-( mo % 0.Determination of Particle Size Distribution for Fine Gravels – Pipette Test 18 Pipette sedimentation test results and calculations Soil description : Mass of sample Mass retained 63µm Volume of pipette No. Weighing bottle no. City University of Hong Kong . Weighing bottle no. Bottle + sample Bottle Mass of (A-B) sample (A) (B) m1 g g g Mass in 1000ml (W) suspension m1x1000 = Vp Cumulative percentage finer Calculation (K) W1 g g % Equivalent Particle Diameter D (mm) 0. Bottle + sample Bottle Mass of (A-B) sample (A) (B) m2 g g g m2x1000 = Vp W2 (W2) Wr (W2-Wr) x 100 = mo % g g 0. Sec. of pipette mo ms Vp = = = = g g ml Particle density Temperature = = Mg/m3 o C Pipette sample no. Department of Building and Construction.

Objective To familiarise the general relationship between moisture content and the boundaries of states of soils in terms of limits (i. Thus it is a fact that the behaviour of the soil is related to the amount of water in the system (Mandal and Divshikar 1995).Determination of Atterberg Limits – Liquid Limit Test 19 Experiment 3A Determination of Atterberg Limits (Liquid Limits Test) General Water plays an important role in soil mechanics practice when dealing with density. solid) of the fraction of soil passing a 425 µm sieve.1. plastic limit and shrinkage limit).H. Liquid limit.1 Phases of Soil and the Atterberg Limits (K. plastic. thereby facilitating the sliding effect between adjoining particles. If the addition of water is continued. Fine-grained soils in particular can be in one of several states depending on the amount of water in the soil. are illustrated in Figure 3A. Theory The moisture contents of cohesive soil corresponding to empirically-defined boundaries between states of consistency (liquid.Head. passes from the plastic state to the semi-brittle solid state. City University of Hong Kong . settlement and strength characteristics of either disturbed or undisturbed soils. the individual particle is covered with adsorbed water forming a thin film around it. 1989) Liquid limit (WL) is the moisture content at which a soil. Plastic limit (Wp) is the moisture content at which a soil on losing water.e. When water is added to dry soil. These boundaries. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. on losing water. and the soil phases they define. Figure 3A. Department of Building and Construction. passes from the liquid to the plastic solid state. and becomes too dry to be plastic. the thickness of the water film will continue to increase. void ratio.

after continued use. Take a sample of about 300g from the soil paste and place it on the glass plate. wa − w p IL = Ip 100 wa = • w% where Pa in which w% is the moisture content of the whole soil. Department of Building and Construction.2(b and d). the plastic range ). (from appendix A) Liquid Limit (Cone-penetration method) Materials Soil sample with all particles passing 425µm sieve. (see Appendix A) Apparatus 1. 2. Gradually lower the stem until the tip of the cone is exactly in contract with the surface of the sample. 6. 5. The mass of the cone together with its sliding shaft shall be 80. bored through a metal plate 1. Procedure 1.) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. City University of Hong Kong . Apparatus for moisture content determination (Experiment 9). to ensure that the point remains sufficiently sharp for the purposes of the test.00 ± 0. A flat glass plate 10 mm thick and about 500mm square. in which it can be moulded without cracking. When the tip of the cone is pushed through a hole 1. Hold the stem with one hand. (Figure 3A. Place the cup under the centre of the cone. Two palette knives or spatulas. 2.1mm thick.02mm in diameter. (When the cone is in correct position. 4. Mix the paste for at least 10 min using the two palette knives. Can give indication of shear strength . Pa is the percentage by dry mass of the portion passing a 425µm sieve. Strike off excess soil with the straightedge to give a smooth level surface. A cone of stainless steel or duralumin approximately 35mm long with a smooth. Push a portion of the mixed soil into the cup with a palette knife taking care not to trap air.2) 3. 3.5± 0. a slight movement of the cup will just mark the soil surface.75±0. A penetrometer (Figure 3B. One or more metal cups not less than 55mm in diameter and 40mm deep with the rim parallel to the fat base. IP= WL-WP Liquidity Index (IL) Relates the moisture content of the fraction of soil which passes a 425µm sieve (wa %) to the liquid and plastid limits. Press the manual release button and let the stem free. 7. the cone shall be replaced if. the point can no longer be felt when brushed lightly with the tip of the finger. 5. A wash bottle or beaker. polished surface and an angle of 30±10.1g (Figure 3A. 6.Determination of Atterberg Limits – Liquid Limit Test 20 Plasticity index (IP) is the range of moisture contents within which the soil is in the plastic solid state (ie. 4. containing distilled water. 7.2(a)).

City University of Hong Kong . Turn the gear actuator control knok clockwise until the lock shaft touches the top of the stem. If the overall range is then not more than 1mm. After the 5 sec. If the difference between the first and second penetration readings is less than 0. Press the start button.5mm and less than 1mm different from the first. The amount of water added shall be such that a range of penetration values of approximately 15mm to 25mm is covered by the four or more test runs and is evenly distributed. taking care not to trap air. If the second penetration is more than 0. 10. 13. (a) (b) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. countdown finished. 14.Determination of Atterberg Limits – Liquid Limit Test 21 8.1 mm as per step 8 be (R2).5 mm record the average of the two penetration. take a second reading to 0. If at any time during the above procedure the soil has to be left for a while on the glass plate cover the soil with the evaporating dish or a damp cloth to prevent the soil from drying out.1mm. 12. wash and dry the cup. Department of Building and Construction. This is the first cone penetration. 11. This is the first reading (R1). 15. Take a moisture content sample of about 10g from the area penetrated by the cone and determine the moisture content. Lift out the cone and clean it carefully to avoid scratching. 18. Proceed from the drier to the wetter condition of the soil. If the overall range is more than 1mm remove the soil from the cup. remix and repeat until consistent results are obtained. make the surface smooth as in 3 and repeat steps 4 to 12 for second penetration. Repeat at least three more times using the same sample of soil to which further increments of distilled water (about 4-5 cc) have been added. 17. take a reading of the pointer on the gauge to 0. 16.R1). Each time soil is removed from the cup for the addition of water. 9. Adjust the automatic release and locking device to 5 sec. Record the difference between the two readings (R2 . record the average of the three penetrations. Add a little more wet soil to the cup. carry out a third test.

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Calculate the moisture content of each penetration test made. Computation and Results: 1. City University of Hong Kong . 6. Department of Building and Construction. (b) Cone and Gauge Plate. 5. (c) Mixing Water into soil for LL Test. Express the percentage of material passing the 425µm test sieve. both on linear scales. Draw the best straight line fitting the plotted points.Determination of Atterberg Limits – Liquid Limit Test 22 (c) (d) Figure 3A. and (d) Cross Section of Cone Pentrometer. Plot the relationship between moisture content and cone penetration with the percentage moisture contents as abscissae and the cone penetrations as ordinates. Express the moisture content corresponding to a cone penetration of 20mm to the nearest whole number and report it as the liquid limit (wL) of the soil sample.2 Apparatus for Cone Penetrometer Liquid Test: (a) Cone Penetrometer with Automatic Timing Device. and cone & gauge plate. From the linear graph read off the moisture content corresponding to a cone penetration of 20mm to one decimal place. 3. 4. 2.

Determination of Atterberg Limits – Liquid Limit Test 23 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Department of Building and Construction. City University of Hong Kong .

do not reduce the pressure as the thread diameter approaches 3mm. Repeat steps 4 to 8 on the other three portions of soil. (Figure 3B. Allow the soil to dry partially on the plate until it becomes plastic enough to be shaped into a ball. 3mm in diameter and about 100mm long. 5. placing them all in the same container. Repeat steps 4 to 9 on the duplicate sample. place it on the glass mixing plate. either as a ball or as threads. With soils that are marginally plastic it is often difficult to obtain the correct crumbling condition. Some heavy clays will require 10 to 15 movements when the soil is near the plastic limit because the soil hardens at this stage. 10. of one hand and the surface of the glass rolling plate. mould it between the fingers to dry it further. Divide this sample into two subsamples of about 10g each and carry out a separate determination on each portion. 8. City University of Hong Kong . 4. 9. Procedure 1. 3. Take a sample of about 20g from the soil paste prepared as for Liquid Limit Test. Repeat step 6 until the thread shears both longitudinally and transversely when it has been rolled to about 3mm diameter. Department of Building and Construction. as gauged by the rod. 7. b)) NOTE. forward and back. 4. 2. smooth and free from scratches. Divide each subsample into four more or less equal parts and treat each part as per steps 4-5. the first crumbling point is the plastic limit. 3. transfer them to a suitable container and replace the lid immediately. from finger-tip to the second joint. A length of rod. NOTE. Two palette knives or spatulas. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Gather together the portions of the crumbled soil thread. Pick up the soil. Use enough pressure to reduce the diameter of the thread to about 3mm in five to 10 complete. 6. Mould the soil in the fingers to equalize the distribution of moisture. not by continual rolling. movements of the hand. Apparatus for the moisture content determination of fine-grained soils. which produces a dried crust. 2. do not gather the pieces of soil together after they have crumbled. form it into a thread and roll it out again as in 4-5. Mould the ball of soil between the fingers and roll it between the palms of the hands until the heat of the hands has dried the soil sufficiently for slight cracks to appear on its surface. Roll the thread between the fingers.Determination of Atterberg Limits . It is important to maintain a uniform rolling pressure. A flat glass plate.Plastic Limit Test 24 Experiment 3B Determination of Atterberg Limits (Plastic Limit Test) Apparatus 1. then form the soil into a thread about 6mm diameter between the first finger the thumb of each hand. Determine the moisture content of the soil in the container (Experiment 9).1(a. on which threads are rolled. Gradually drying of the soil is effected by alternately rolling and moulding. in order to reform a thread and to continue rolling.

This also applies if the plastic limit is equal to or greater than the liquid limit. Calculations and expression of results. Calculate the moisture content of both samples tested. 2. Calculate the average of the two moisture content values and express the value to the nearest whole number. If the two results differ by more than 0. the soil is reported as non-plastic (NP).5% moisture content. Plasticity Index : The difference between the liquid limit and plastic limit is calculated to give the plasticity index (IP) of the soil: IP=wL-wP (3B. If it is not possible to perform the plastic limit test. Department of Building and Construction. repeat the whole test. (a) (b) (c) TOO WET (d) AT THE PLASTIC LIMIT Figure 3B. wP. This is the plastic limit.Determination of Atterberg Limits . City University of Hong Kong .1) This value is also reported to the nearest whole number. (b) Soil Thread before and after Rolling.1 Plastic Limit Test: (a) Apparatus. (c) and (d) soil sample Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.Plastic Limit Test 25 Computation and Results 1.

the following procedure should be used. or overnight. so that it can partially dry. Collect the washed material retained on the sieves. m(g) by difference. Break down the soil pieces and stir until the mixture forms a slurry.g. excess water may be removed by filtration (using vacuum or pressure). Take a similar representative sample and determine its moisture content. and enables the coarse particles to be removed without the need for drying pestling and dry sieving. However if the soil contains water-soluble salts which might influence its properties.Determination of Atterberg Limits . mR (g). but continue washing until the water passing the 425µm sieve runs virtually clear. 2mm) if appropriate. Alternatively. This is the procedure specified in BS 1377:1990. this may be carefully poured or siphoned off. Allow the soil particles in the beaker to settle for several hours. Transfer all the washings passing the sieve to a suitable beaker without losing any soil particles. Pour the slurry through the sieve or sieves. Department of Building and Construction. City University of Hong Kong . Weigh. Stir the soil/water mixture frequently to prevent local over-drying. Rest a 425µm sieve on a receiver. or shred with a cheese-grater. or in a current of warm air. When the mixture forms a stiff paste (such that the penetration of the cone penetrometer would not exceed 15mm) the soil is ready for mixing on the glass plate as described above. on top of an oven). and determine the mass of soil. and place in a weighed beaker. under a guard sieve (e. do not remove any water except by evaporation. collecting all of the washings in the receiver. dry in the oven and determine the dry mass. and wash with distilled or de-ionised water. If there is a layer of clear water above the suspension. Dry mass of soil in the test sample. Use the minimum amount of water necessary. Pa = (mD-mR)/mD x 100% Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. mD =m(100/100+w) Add enough distilled water or de-ionised water to the beaker to just submerge the soil. of soil in the original sample retaining the 425µm sieve (Pa). Calculate the percentage.g. Chop into small pieces.Plastic Limit Test 26 Appendix A WET PREPARATION If the soil includes particles retained on a 425µm sieve which are not practicable to remove by hand. This quantity allows for a liquid limit and a plastic limit test. by dry mass (mD). w(%). Stand the container in a warm place (e. Protect form dust. without losing any soil particles. Take a representative sample of the soil at its natural moisture content to give at least 350 g of material passing the 425µm sieve.

Figure 4. degree of saturation = 100%.. However. City University of Hong Kong . For 100% saturation. the maximum dry unit weight at a given moisture content with zero air void (zav) is γzav = Gsγw/(1+e). For similar compacting efforts. additional moisture tends to reduce the dry unit weight because water takes spaces that might have been occupied by solid particles. Objective The objective of the test is to obtain relationships between compacted dry density and soil moisture content. the compaction characteristics of a soil generally depends on the soil type and the compaction effort.1) Where γzav = dry unit weight at zero air voids γw = unit weight of water e = void ratio w = moisture content Gs = specific gravity of soil solids Besides moisture content. The soil particle slip on each other and move into densely packed positions. i. Theory The degree of compaction of soil is measured in terms of dry unit weight. In order to duplicate and control the quality of field compaction. thereby increasing the dry density of the soil. the theoretical maximum dry unit weight is obtained when no air is in the void spaces.1 shows the general nature of the relation of dry unit weight to moisture content for a given soil and compacting effort. beyond a certain point. Proctor (1933) developed a laboratory dynamic compaction test method later called the standard Proctor test (Das 1979). Thus. Department of Building and Construction. e = wGs. The dry density which can be achieved depends on the degree of compaction applied and on the amount of water present in the soil. For a given moisture content. For a given degree of compaction of a given cohesive soil there is an optimum moisture content at which the dry density obtained reaches a maximum value (BS 1377: part 4: 1990). Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.Determination of Dry Density / Moisture Content Relationship 27 Experiment 4 Determination of Dry Density / Moisture Content Relationship General Compaction of soil is the process by which the solid particles are packed more closely together.e. During compaction. the dry unit weight will increase with the increase of moisture content. The moisture content at which the maximum dry unit weight is obtained is called optimum moisture content. therefore γ zav = Gsγ w γw = 1 + wG s w + 1 / G s (4. usually by mechanical means. water is added to the soil and acts as a lubricating agent on the soil particles.

4. Measuring cylinder 200 ml or 500 ml.5kg. Caliper. 10kg capacity reading to 1g. steel straight-edge. Equipment for moisture content determination. Large metal tray. 6. and that the lifting knob is secure. 9. Balance. 3. weighing 2. Weigh the mould body without extension collar to the nearest 1g (m2).1 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. sliding freely in a tube which controls the height of drop to 300mm.g. and calculate the mean dimensions and internal volume of the mould (in cm3). but this may change slightly with wear. 5. Small tools: palette knife. Mix the sample thoroughly with the amount of water as per Table 4. 600 x 600 x 60mm deep. Each group is provided with 4kg of dry sample. Procedure 1. City University of Hong Kong . Measure its internal diameter (D mm) and length (L mm) in several places to 0.5mm high. 7. Check that the lugs or clamps hold the extension collar and base-plate securely to the mould.1 Dry Density / Moisture Content Relationship Curve Materials Soils containing particles no larger than 20mm. The mould is designed to give a volume V = 1000 cm3. in which all passing 20mm British Standard sieve. 300mm long. scoop and cleaning brush. 4. e. 3. Apparatus 1. 2. and assemble them together. Jacking apparatus for extracting compacted material from the mould. 8. Check the rammer to ensure that it falls freely through the correct height of drop. This gives a volume of 1000 cm3. internal dimensions: 105mm diameter and 115. Department of Building and Construction. 2. Metal rammer with 50mm diameter face. The mould is fitted with a detachable base-plate and removable extension collar. Cylindrical metal mould.Determination of Dry Density / Moisture Content Relationship 28 Figure 4.1mm using vernier calipers.

Add loose soil to the mould so that after compaction the mould will be one-third filled. Soil must not be allowed to collect inside the tube of the rammer. Do not attempt to grab the lifting knob before the rammer has come to rest. which are applied to soil in a very loose state. as indicated in Figure 4.5 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Figure 4. should be applied in a systematic manner to ensure the most efficient compaction and maximum reproducibility of results. because this will impede the free fall of the rammer.Determination of Dry Density / Moisture Content Relationship 29 5. Department of Building and Construction. so that the blows are uniforming distributed over the whole area. After that the rammer should be moved progressively around the edge of the mould between successive blows.3b. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Take care to see that the rammer is properly in place before releasing.2.2 Compacting with Hand Rammer 8. 6. Compact the soil by applying 27 blows of the rammer dropping from the controlled height of 300mm Figure 4. 7. Make sure that the end of the tube is resting on the soil surface. By this means the effort dissipated in displacing loose material is kept to a minimum.3a) should be followed for the first four blows. The sequence shown in (Figure 4. Place the mould assembly on a solid base. The hand which holds the tube must be kept well clear of the handle of the falling rammer. City University of Hong Kong . before releasing the rammer. a finger to thumb trapped between knob and tube can sustain a nasty injury. Table 1 Dry Soil Weigh (4kg) Water (ml) Added 400 80 80 80 60 M/C (%) 10 12 14 16 17. The first few blows of the rammer. and does not catch on the edge of the mould.

13. This must be done immediately. so the soil should be removed. If the correct amount of soil has been used. Take up representative samples in moisture content containers for measurement of moisture content. Place the tube gently on the soil surface. Repeat with a third layer. City University of Hong Kong . 17. the compacted surface should be at about one-third of the height of the mould body. Repeat stages 3 to 9 for each increment of water added. If the soil level is higher than this. well pressed in. Lightly scarify the surface of the compacted soil with the tip of a spatula or point of a knife. and mix with the remainder of the prepared sample. and compact with 27 blows as before. broken up and remixed. If the level differs significantly (by more than. approximately equal layer of soil in the mould. Fit the mould on to the extruder and jack out the soil. carry out one or more additional tests at suitable moisture contents. say. Add an increment of water as per Table 1. 12. 16. Weigh soil and mould to the nearest 1g (m1) then remove the base-plate. before the soil begins to dry out. The measurement is denoted by w%. which should then bring the compacted surface in the extension collar to not more than 6mm above the level of the mould body. the result will be inaccurate. The range of moisture contents should be such that the optimum moisture content (at which the dry density is maximum) is near the middle of that range. Any small cavities resulting from removal of stones at the surface should be filled with fine material.Determination of Dry Density / Moisture Content Relationship 30 9. Break up the material on the tray. Break up the sample on the tray. mix it with the remainder of the prepared material and start this stage again. Cut away the excess soil and level off to the top of the mould. 15. If necessary to define the optimum value clearly. Keep a running plot of dry density against moisture content so as to see when the optimum condition has been passed (see Figure 4. remove the soil. 6 mm) from this. 11.1). Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. and the test repeated with slightly less soil in each layer. 14. The guide tube must be held vertically. Figure 4. so that at least five compactions are made. using the standard procedure described in M/C determination test. Remove the extension collar carefully.3 Sequence of Blows Using Hand Rammer 10. break it up. checking with the straight-edge. Place a second. Mix in the water thoroughly. Department of Building and Construction.

against the corresponding moisture content. Draw a smooth curve through the points. b. A typical graph is shown in Figure 4. ρw is the density of water (in Mg/m3).1.2) b. w%. Where. c. Computation a. Calculate the bulk density of each compacted specimen from the equation.100 ρd = 1 w + ρs 100ρw where Va is the air voids expressed as a percentage of the total volume of soil.4) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. City University of Hong Kong . corresponding to an air voids content of Va (in%) is given by the equation Va 1. ρD. ρ = m1-m2 3 V Mg / m (4. ρs is the particle density (in Mg/m3). (4.Determination of Dry Density / Moisture Content Relationship 31 Computation and Results 1. Plot each dry density. Results a. which includes three air voids lines. Department of Building and Construction. m2 = mass of mould (and base if included) and m1 = mass of soil and mould (and base if included). Calculate the corresponding dry density form the equation ρD= (100+w ) ρ Mg/m3 100 (4. Calculate the average moisture content. ρD (Mg/m3). assumed equal to 1. The curves for 0. w. Air voids specification.65) w is the soil moisture content (in %). The dry density. (given 2.3) 2. 5 and 10% air voids may be plotted as well. for each compacted specimen.

Determination of Dry Density / Moisture Content Relationship 32 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Department of Building and Construction. City University of Hong Kong .

and measuring the consequent rate of flow of water. or average discharge velocity If a soil sample of length L and cross-sectional area A is subjected to a differential head of water (h1. The flow of water through soils of all types. which is fully saturated.1) or A Where q = discharge per unit time A = total cross-sectional area of soil mass. Objective The objective is to familiarise two types of laboratory test for the direct measurement of the permeability of soils. from "free-draining" gravels and sands to "impervious" clays. q = KiA q V = = Ki (5A. that is. then the hydraulic gradient (i) will be given by the equation h1 − h2 L By substituting for i. The fluid may be either a liquid or a gas. The degree of permeability is determined by applying a hydraulic pressure difference across a sample of soil. and the liquid is usually understood to be water. in equation (5A. which enables water to pass through them. even though a clay can be ten million times less permeable than a sand (Head 1992). soils are "permeable" to water. Soils consist of solid particles with voids between them. The difference between the permeability characteristics of extreme types of soil is merely one of degree. The "coefficient of permeability" is expressed in terms of a velocity.h2). the voids are interconnected. the rate of flow or the discharge per unit time is proportional to the hydraulic gradient. Theory The flow of water through soils was first studied by Darcy. In general. who demonstrated experimentally that for laminar flow conditions in a saturated soil. Department of Building and Construction. i= Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. but soils engineers are concerned only with liquid permeability.Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Constant-Head Test) 33 Experiment 5A Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Constant-Head Test) General The permeability of a soil is a measure of its capacity to allow a fluid to flow through it.1) h − h2 q=K 1 A L when the hydraulic gradient is unity K=V. are governed by the same physical laws. perpendicular to the direction of flow i = hydraulic gradient K = Darcy's coefficient of permeability V = velocity of flow. City University of Hong Kong .

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. measure the time taken for a fixed quantity of water flow from the sample (say 500 cc).Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Constant-Head Test) 34 Thus the coefficient of permeability (K) is defined as the average velocity of flow that will occur through the total cross-sectional area of soil under a unit hydraulic gradient. When the head difference is steady. 2. By Constant-head Method Materials Clean sand. a gravely sand. This is measured by means of the measuring cylinder which catches the water. A 1 litre glass measuring cylinder. 4. 6. Apparatus 1. to drain through the outlet. Measuring tape. Observe the head differences across the fixed length of the sample. 5. Constant-head permeability apparatus (Figure 5A. the essential details of which are illustrated in Figure 5A. Procedure 1. 3. City University of Hong Kong . Spare Perspex cylinder (for determining A and h of the sample). 4. Turn the sink tap to allow water to flow into the constant-head tank at the top of the apparatus. This is a standard commercial set-up. The test sample.1(a) and (b). is ready packed in the Perspex cylinder. through the glass manometers. Repeat the test three times. Thus. 5. 2. Thermometer. the dimensions of the coefficient of permeability K are the same as those of velocity.1(c)). 3. A stop clock. Caliper. 7. Department of Building and Construction.

and (c) Permeameter Cells for Constant Head Test (75mm diameter) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Constant-Head Test) 35 (a) (b) (c) Figure 5A.1 (a) General Arrangement for Constant Head Permeability Test (down flow). (b) Details of Constant Head Permeability Cell. City University of Hong Kong . Department of Building and Construction.

q. City University of Hong Kong .5 0 0 10 20 30 40 Laboratory temperature. If there are three gland points.2) where Q1. between the manometer gland points using the equation h (5A. ToC Figure 5A. …Qn (in mL) is the volume of water collected from the outlet reservoir during each time period t (in s). q2 etc (in mL/s). 3.2 Temperature Correction Factor Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Q1 q1 = t (5A. 2 Correction factor. k(in m/s). for the set of readings at one hydraulic gradient. Calculate the coefficient of permeability. 4. for one set of readings from the equation ⎛q⎞ ⎛Rt⎞ K20 = ⎜ i ⎟ ⎜ A ⎟ (5A. Calculate the hydraulic gradient.2). to standardize the permeability to 20oC (from Figure 5A. Calculate the rate of flow. Rt 1.5 1 0.4) ⎝ ⎠⎝ ⎠ where A is the area of cross section of the sample (in mm2). Department of Building and Construction. during the period of each observation of flow from the equation. y is the difference between the corresponding gland points (in mm). q1. 2. Calculate the average rate of flow. Note: The intermediate manometer point is (or points are) used to provide a check on the uniformity of the hydraulic gradient between the outer points.Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Constant-Head Test) 36 Computation and Results 1. Q2. Rt is the temperature correction factor for the viscosity of water.3) i=y where h is the difference between the two manometer levels (in mm). i. y = x1 + x2.

ρ Test temperature o mm2 mm cm3 mg/m3 C Constant Head Test dataa Test no. City University of Hong Kong . say. a = mm2 Mass of sample + mould Mould Sample Moisture content ρS Voids ratio= . Simplify by using the same h1 and h2 each time. 1 2 3 4 Average k= h1 (mm) h2 (mm) t (sec) Qin (cm3) Qout (cm3) T (oC) 2. so you can average k. α = Rt = _________ k20 = k x α = a b Use averaged values only if there is a small difference in test temperature.) Q (ml) h (mm) y (mm) ( )( ) q i Rt A = m/sec Falling Head Standpipe = diameter[burette. Department of Building and Construction. Mass soil + pan Final Mass of Sample mm g g g area A Length L volume V Density. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. 1 2 3 4 Average K20 = t (sec.1 Coefficient of Permeability (Constant-head) Soil description Sample Diameter D Mass soil + pan Init.3026 a. 1 Log10 H1 .Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Constant-Head Test) 37 Form 5A. other specify)] Soil description Method of preparation Sample diameter D length L mm mm g g g % area A volume V Particle density ρs Measured Bulk density ρ Dry density ρD Test temperature mm2 cm3 mm Area standpipe./sec.t1 A m/sec m. 1-2oC.1= ρD mg/m3 mg/m3 o C Test datab Test no.Log10 H2 x x 10-3 = t 2 .

Place the assembled cell in the immersion tank. 6. Source of de-aired and distilled or de-ionised water. Use some of the soil trimmings for determining the moisture content of the sample. Immersion tank. Check that the sealing rings are in good condition and lightly coat them with silicone grease. on the base-plate with the sealing ring in place. each with a valve at its base and connecting tubing. and that watertight joints are made when the sealing rings and end plates are clamped in position. It can also be used to take a test sample from a block sample. Tilt the cell to release any entrapped air from underneath the cell top. Tighten down the wing nuts on the straining rods progressively and evenly. it should be stood on flat spacer pieces to allow free access of water. Weigh the sample in the cell to the nearest 0. Assemble cell Fit a wire gauze disc to each end of the sample. 2. 5. Preparation of sample The core cutter type of cell body is designed for taking an undisturbed sample of cohesive soil in-situ. so that it is compressed fairly tightly when the top is screwed down on the cell. Ensure that the sealing ring is in place so that a watertight joint is made.5 mm. which are suitable for low permeability soils such as silty clays (Figure 5B(b)).5. Permeameter cell (Figure 5B(a)). City University of Hong Kong . Gaps or cavities should be well packed with the fine “matrix’ portion of the soil. Standpipe panel fitted with glass standpipe tubes of different diameters. 3. Ensure that the ends of the cell body are true and free from distortion. Fill the space in the cell top with wire wool.1 g (m1). Apparatus 1. Measure the mean internal diameter (D) and length (L) to the nearest 0. and weigh it to the nearest 0. Preparation of cell Dismantle the cell. 2. See that the cell body is clean and dry.1 g (m2). 3. and fill with de-aired. If the cell has a flush base without projecting feet. distilled or de-ionised water up to the overflow level. and undamaged. with overflow. Department of Building and Construction.5 mm. Stop-clock (minutes timer) or stopwatch. A typical range of tubes comprises diameters of 1. 4. 4. Thermometer. Connecting Cell Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. or with plasticine. 1. 3 and 4. Place the cell body. cutting edge downwards. or from a conventional tube or piston sample. and that there are no cavities around the perimeter through which water could pass.Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Falling-Head Test) 38 Experiment 5B Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Falling-Head Test) Materials Fine-grained soil. Procedure Procedure 1-6 will be carried out by technician. It is essential in all instances to ensure that the sample is a tight fit in the body.

To the other branches of the tee-piece are fitted short length of similar tubing. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. 7. Top up the water in the soaking tank to bring it level with the overflow outlet. Connect the vacuum tube to branch K of the glass tee-piece. M (Figure 5B(b)). This indicates that the sample is saturated. and use connecting clips if necessary. until water is drawn up into the glass tee-piece above M. K and valve G2. 6. and fully open screw clip K. During test close valve G2. Saturating sample With screw clips M and K open. or for 24 hr or longer. Three or four test runs should be done consecutively. Close valve G2 and screw clip J. they can be removed by applying a low suction to the top end of the standpipe. and increase it slightly if necessary. • If the unit is connected up as the diagram (Figure 5B(b)). Close screw clip M. If any air bubbles are observed in the manometer or connecting tubes. Allow water to fill the tube to a level a few centimetres above the h1 mark by opening valves G2. Department of Building and Construction. Ensure that all connected tubing is completely filled with water before connecting to the cell. • Allow water to flow down through the sample. 5. Filling manometer system Select the manometer tube to be used for the test and open the valve at its base. • The standpipe can be re-filled for a repeat run by opening valves G2 and J. Maintain the suction.Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Falling-Head Test) 39 Connect the top inlet of the permeameter cell to the glass tee-piece with a short length of thick rubber or rigid plastic tubing fitted with a screw clip. and open M & K. If the water level in the tank falls by an amount greater than that due to evaporation loss it is a positive indication that the sample is taking up water. allow water to flow upwards through the sample under the small external head in the soaking tank and by capillary action. and when it reaches h2. Running permeability test • Fill the relevant standpipe tube up with de-aired water then connect this tube to the tee piece connected to the cell. clip J. start the timer clock. It may be necessary to allow this process to continue overnight. then stop the clock. J and K. Apply a smear of grease at the joints. the standpipe tube can be filled by opening clamps J. Observe and record the time when the level reaches h3. • Record the temperature of the water in the soaking tank (T0C). for a low permeability soil. and observe the water level in the standpipe. to ensure that the joints are airtight. City University of Hong Kong . As soon as it reaches the level h1. and close screw clip J. Continue the saturation process by applying a low suction (about 50 mm mercury) to the top of the sample by adjusting the vacuum line and air bleed valves. each with a screw clip (J and K). maintain the suction until the system is air-free. If air bubbles are present.

The result can be expressed as the permeability at 200C by multiplying by a factor obtained form the temperature conversion graph Figure 5.3026 a.2. mm.t 1 A (5B. sec. Department of Building and Construction. mm2. 1 x x 10-3 m/sec. 1) where = coefficient of permeability = bore area of standpipe tube = length of sample under test = cross sectional area of sample = initial head of water = head of water indicated at the end of a particular period of time t1 = start time t2 = time corresponding to H2 2.Log10 H2 2. sec. to two significant figures. mm2. The density and moisture content of the sample are also reported. loge to log10 k a l A H1 H2 m/sec. Report result The result is reported as the permeability of the sample at the temperature of the test. mm.3026 = conversion factor. t2 . mm.Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Falling-Head Test) 40 Computation and Results The coefficient of permeability is obtained from the formula:k= Log10 H1 . City University of Hong Kong . together with the voids ratio if the specific gravity of particles is known.A. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.

Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Falling-Head Test) 41 (a) (b) Figure 5B (a) Falling Head Permeability Cell. City University of Hong Kong . Department of Building and Construction. and (b) General Arrangement for Falling Head Permeability Test Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.

If the calibration mark is made at this height. then the time taken for the water to fall from the upper mark to the middle mark should be within 2 to 3 percent of the time taken for the water to fall from the middle mark to the lower mark.. Completely install the apparatus as shown in the Figure 5A.2) That is. then make a mark near each end of the tube. Measure the lengths between each mark on the tube. City University of Hong Kong . And to the lower mark is H2 cm. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.Determination of the Permeability of a Soil Sample (Falling-Head Test) 42 Appendix Calibration of Standpipe Tubes When the apparatus is first installed it is necessary to calibrate the standpipe tubes in the following manner. (5B. Note: When the calibration of the tubes has been made in the way described. the height of the middle mark will be H1 x H2 above the weir (H3). If the height to the upper mark is H1 cm.H1 x H2 )cm.3(b) but without the cell. Department of Building and Construction. the time for the water to fall from H1 to H1 x H2 will be the same as the time for the water to fall from H1 x H2 to H2. Fill the tube with water and collect the water emitted between each mark and check that they agree with the calculated volumes. Measure the height of each mark from the soaking tank overflow weir. then the third graduation mark (H3) is made at a distance from the upper mark of ( H1 . measure the bore diameter and calculate the volumes.

2(a). Since no lateral deformation is allowed it is a one-dimensional test. i.e.4mm thick. mv (in m2/MN) is given by the equation H1-H2 1000 mv =( H ) x (p -p ) m2/MN 1 2 1 (6. at the end of the Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. due to expulsion of pore water pressure.Consolidation Test – Oedometer 43 Experiment 6 Consolidation Test (Oedometer). Stage II: primary consolidation during which. mv. The test is performed in an oedometer.1. The test determines two important consolidation parameters of clays. coefficeient of volume compressibility.1) where H1 is the height of the specimen at the beginning of the stage(i. The test is carried out by applying a sequence of vertical loads to a laterally confined specimen having a height of about one quarter of its diameter. cv Theory The one-dimensional consolidation test procedure was first suggested by Terzaghi. A schematic diagram of an oedometer is shown in Figure 6. Objective The objective of the oedometer consolidation test is to determine consolidation characteristics of soils with low permeability. usually up to 24 hours. The plot shows three distinct stages that may be described as follows: Stage I: initial compression. and coefficient of consolidation. The vertical compression under each load is observed over a period of time. The general shape of the plot of deformation of the sample versus time for a given load increment is shown in Figure 6. the load is doubled. General The standard oedometer consolidation test for saturated clays is the main feature of this experiment. Usually each load is kept for 24 hours. The samples are usually 63. from which the one-dimensional consolidation parameters are derived. which is mostly due to preloading. the dry weight of the test sample is determined.5mm in diameter and 25. while measurement of the compression continues. is gradually transferred into effective stress. The sample is kept underwater during the test. The soil sample is placed inside a metal ring with a porous stone at the top of the sample and another at the bottom. thus doubling the pressure on the sample.e. Department of Building and Construction. The aim of the consolidation test is to determine two important consolidation parameters for the clay sample : 1. City University of Hong Kong . conventionally. At the end of the test. Stage III: secondary consolidation after complete dissipation of excess pore water pressure some deformation of the sample is caused by plastic readjustment of soil fabric. After that. Load on the sample is applied through a lever arm and compression is measured by a micrometer dial gauge. The coefficient of volume compressibility.

848 x t 90 90 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. which is the case in the oedometer test : When U = 0.9). The coefficient of consolidation.2) Since cv t Tv= h2 T90 2 h2 ∴ cv = t h = 0. For the condition of double drainage. Department of Building and Construction. cv ( in m2/year). may be determined by finding the time required for 90% consolidation of the sample (U = 0.Consolidation Test – Oedometer 44 previous stage ) (in mm).848 (6. The coefficient of consolidation. p1 is the pressure applied to the specimen for the previous loading stage (in kPa).1 Time-deformation Plot During Consolidation for Given Load Increment (source: Das 1979) 2. Figure 6. p2 is the pressure applied to the specimen for the loading stage being considered. H2 is the height of the specimen at the end of that increment (in mm). City University of Hong Kong . (in kPa) The required units are in m2/MN. cv.9 Tv= 0.

e.). (see Figure 6. Casagrande type oedometer (Figure 6. a loading device. Material Compacted decomposite granite Apparatus 1. height 20 mm. c. Stop watch or clock readable to 1 sec. 6.25 1000 cv = m2/year t 90 0. where ⎯H is the average specimen thickness for the load increments (in mm) H + H2 i. a fixed ring. The details of the theory of compressibility of soil. Apparatus for moisture content determination (experiment 9).01 mm having a travel of at least 10 mm. 3. 5. Department of Building and Construction. 4. d. 10. 9. students should refer to their textbook and handout. City University of Hong Kong .848( ) x 60 x 24 x 365.4) 2. Preparation of the sample (see Figure 6. internal diameter 75 mm. ⎯H = 1 2 In the standard oedometer consolidation test with double drainage the height H of the specimen is equal to 2h.2 (c) and (d)) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.112 2 2 cv = ⎯H m /year t 90 cv = where Tv is the time factor. 8.Consolidation Test – Oedometer 45 h 2 0. Glass plate 100 mm x 100 mm (approx.). a consolidation ring. consolidation cell.2) which includes : a. t is the time elapsed since the start of the consolidation (in min. a dial gauge reading to 0. Set of standard weights. b.1 g. Palatte knife.446h 2 2 m /year t 90 0. (6. Vernier callipers. Packet of 75 mm diameter filter papers. Top pan weighing balance reading to 0.2) Procedure 1. Silicone grease or petroleum jelly. cv is the coefficient of consolidation (m2/year). 7. h is length of the drainage path (H is the thickness of the clay sample at time t) (in mm).

into the soil until its upper most rim is just below the soil surface. 3. g. k. Place the consolidation cell in position on the cell platform of the oedometer. c. c. contained in the ring. ring the clay sample to the nearest 0. Connect the loading yoke of the oedometer with the top platen of the consolidation cell and adjust the counter balance weight of the beam so that it is slightly above the horizontal position. 2. bevelled sharp cutting edge downwards. Fill the consolidation cell with water at room temperature. i. Preparation and assembly of consolidation apparatus. Cover the top of the sample with a second wet filter paper and use the retaining screws to secure the collar of the consolidation cell to the base to hold the consolidation ring and sample firmly together. Assembly in load frame a.1) b. Press the cutting ring. d. j. d. b. Place the top porous stone and loading plate on tope of the filter paper. a. e. Notes : the height of the ring can be accepted as the initial height of the clay sample. Cut off the soil below the base of the consolidation cutting ring with the spatula. Place the glass plate on the top surface and gently slide the specimen clear using a palate knife to assist the process. Invert the ring containing the soil sample and trim off the upper surface of the clay level with the bevelled edge of the consolidation ring with the spatulas. Weigh the glass plate. m.1 mm in two perpendicular directions using the vernier calipers. Weigh the consolidation ring and glass plate separately to an accuracy of 0. Extrude a small amount of soil from the compaction mould using the mechanical extruder. Measure the internal diameter of the ring to 0. n. f. (Form 6. Any voids should be carefully filled with pieces of clay without compressing the sample. Calculate the mean diameter and the area in mm2.1 g. City University of Hong Kong . h. Extrude more of the soil so that the bottom of the ring is well clear of the edge of the mould. l. b. Cut two pieces of filter paper according to the internal and external diameter of the cutting ring. Department of Building and Construction. Lubricate the inside of the ring with a thin smear of silicone grease or petroleum jelly.05 mm at four equally spaced points using the vernier c. Place a 100g weight on the top pan of the weight hanger to give a very small positive downward load on the sample in the consolidation ring (seating load). Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Measure the height of the ring to 0. e. on it with the bevelled cutting edge of the ring uppermost.Consolidation Test – Oedometer 46 a. Check the beam ratio value and set it to 9:1.1g. Trim off the top of the soil with the palatte knife. Put a wet filter paper onto the porous disc at the base of the consolidation cell and place the sample.

Consolidation Test – Oedometer

47

f. Clamp the compression dial gauge in to position, allowing space for swelling as well as compression of the sample and record the initial dial gauge reading. g. Screw up the beam support jack so that the beam is held fixed, ready for the start of the test.

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

Figure 6.2 (a) and (b) Set up of Oedomenter, and (c) and (d) Preparation of the Sample 4. Test procedure

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong

Consolidation Test – Oedometer

48

Normally, in the consolidation test, a loading sequence is adopted to give a range of compression stresses suitable for the soil type and also for the effective pressure which will occur in situ due to the overburden and the proposed construction. The initial pressure should be large enough to ensure that the sample in the consolidation cell does not swell. A loading sequence of stages selected from the following range of pressures is considered appropriate (see BS 1377, 1990, Part 5, p. 5 section 3.5.1.). 6, 12, 25, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 kPa. A typical test comprises four to six increments of loading, each held constant for 24 hours and each applied stress being double that of the previous stage. Unloading decrements are usually half the number of loading increments. The single stage consolidation test to be performed will be for a stress of 100 kPa. a. Determine the value of mass (in kg) needed on the weight hanger pan to produce a stress of 100 kPa on the specimen (σ’vo) see Appendix A. b. With the screw jack support in supporting position, load the weight hanger with the necessary weights and set the dial gauge to zero. Remove the weight used for seating load. c. Check that the timing device (stop watch or clock) is working correctly, note the time of day and activate the timing device whilst at the same time lowering the beam support jack to allow the consolidation to begin. d. Take readings of the compression gauge at the following time sequence (minutes) 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, 100 and 121 min.(Form No. 6.2) A final reading, after approximately 24 hours can be taken by the technical staff. e. As the sample undergoes compression record the data and plot a graph of compression dial gauge readings versus time . (Figure 6.5) After 24 hours, when the consolidation will be virtually complete, unload the sample and record the following data. weight of consolidation ring + sample, wet weight of consolidation ring + sample, dry*
*after drying to constant weight in an oven at 105oC.

From this data the final moisture content and void ratio of the sample may be determined. f. Determine the values of

t

90

from the graph of compression vs time on Figure 6.5 by : • Draw the straight line of best fit to the early portion of curve (usually within the first 50% of compression) and extend it to intersect the ordinate of zero time. This intersection represents the corrected zero point, denoted by do.
Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong

Consolidation Test – Oedometer

49

Draw the straight line through the do point which at all points has abscissae 1.15 times as great as those on the best fit line drawn in above . The intersection of this line with the laboratory curve gives the 90% compression point, d90. • Read off the value of t90 from the lab. curve corresponding to the d90. • Determine the value of the coefficient of volume compressibility, mv(m2/MN) (see Equation 6.1) from the settlement data for this loading. • Determine the value of the coefficient of consolidation, cv(m2/yr) (see Equation 6.2). g. The record of data obtained from a full consolidation test with several stages of loading and unloading. Plot a graph of void ratio versus log10 of applied pressures. For the single stage test you are required to plot only settlement versus time in order to find t90 by Taylor’s curve fitting method. For the determination of t90 and cv for each stage over several stages a separate graph of settlement versus time will have to be drawn for each stage.

Appendix A

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong

Department of Building and Construction. supported by the specimen (kg). is the mass or equivalent mass.Consolidation Test – Oedometer 50 Calculation of mass (m) or equivalent mass (in kg) supported by the specimen σ’vo = 9810 × m × a kPa A σ 'vo ×A m = 9810 × a is the vertical stress applied to the specimen (kPa). is the lever arm ratio (9:1). is the area of the specimen in mm2. City University of Hong Kong . where σ’vo m a A (a) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.

Consolidation Test – Oedometer

51

Cell

Consolidation ring

Lateral restraint for ring

Loading cap

Fixing nuts

Porous plate

(b) Figure 6.3 (a) Section of a Typical Consolidation Cell, and (b) Details of a Consolidation Cell.

Figure 6.4 Section of a Loading Device

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong

Consolidation Test – Oedometer

52

Figure 6.5 Consolidation Curve Form 6.1 Soil description DIMENSIONS Inital specimen D mm A mm2 H mm V cm3 Initial specimen (a) (b) g g g g g
mo mo md md Ho

Overall change

Final specimen

Specimen Preparation Method

Diameter Area Height Volume WEIGHINGS

Re-moulded

Final specimen (c)

Wet soil + ring + tray Dry soil + ring + tray Ring + tray Wet soil Dry soil

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong

Consolidation Test – Oedometer

53

Water Moisture content (measured) Density Dry density Voids ratio Degree of saturation Height of solids

g % Mg/m3 Mg/m3
eo

%
Hs mm

So

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong

Consolidation Test .01 Cumulative compression mm ∆H Cumulative correction Net cumulative compression ∆H * Delete as appropriate Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory./date started Load kg/lb */pressure kPa Mean daily temperature oC Elapsed time h m Clock time s tmin t Gauge Reading x 0. Department of Building and Construction. City University of Hong Kong . Specimen diameter Lever ratio mm :1 Height Area mm mm2 LOADING/UNLOADING* Increment no.Oedometer 54 Form 6.01 Cumulative compression mm ∆H Clock time Gauge reading x 0.2 Soil description Machine no.01 Cumulative compression mm ∆H Clock time Gauge reading x 0. Cell no.

1 (a) and (b) for set up) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. The drained shear strength of cohesive soils.Shear box test 55 Experiment 7 Shear Box Test General One of the most important engineering properties of soil is its shearing strength or its ability to resist sliding along internal surface within a mass. The shear resistance of free-draining non-cohesive soils (i. It is also easiest to understand. while a constant load is applied normal to the plane of relative movement. These conditions are achieved by placing the soil in a rigid metal box.e. This strength materially influences the bearing capacity of a foundation soil. Objective The objective of this experiment is to measure the shear strength of soils in the laboratory. Apparatus (see Figure 7. the oldest and the most straightforward procedure for measuring the immediate or short-term shear strength of soils in terms of total stresses. in which shearing is applied relatively quickly. while a yoke supporting a load hanger provides the normal pressure. In principle the shear box test is an "angle of friction" test. is not a fundamental property of a soil in the same way as. The lower half of the box can slid relative to the upper half when pushed (or pulled) by a motorised drive unit. which is virtually independent of time. or the slope sides of an embankment. consisting of two halves. for which a slow rate of displacement and a large displacement movement are required. On the contrary shear strength is related to the conditions prevailing in situ and can vary with time. 2. 3. square in plan. The value measured in the laboratory is likewise dependent upon the conditions imposed during the test and in some instances upon the duration of the test. City University of Hong Kong . 1. Theory The term shear strength. The aspects of shear strength dealt with can be divided into four categories. Department of Building and Construction. The long-term or residual drained shear strength of soils such as over-consolidated clays. the compressive strength is a property of concrete. in which one portion of soil is made to slide along another by the action of a steadily increasing horizontal shearing force. back slope of a highway or railway cut. 4. The shear strength of very soft cohesive soils under undrained conditions. as applied to soils.e. for instance. sands and gravels). which depends upon the rate of displacement being slow enough to permit full drainage to take place during shear. a retaining wall. The shear box test is the simplest. bulkhead or other type of retaining structure. i. levee or earth dam. Shearing strength is the property which enables soil to maintain equilibrium on a sliding surface. Materials Dry sand. such as a natural hillside.

Adjust the shear box separate screws a very small amount to barely separate the two half of the shear box. and plastic hammer. Secured the horse on the loading ring in position and adjust the horse on the displacement gauge. c. 60 mm square internally. A loading yoke to apply the vertical stress. A carriage to hold the assembled shear box and sample which is supported by low friction bearings allowing movement in the longitudinal direction only. applied the appropriate load to the loading pan.and then add the loading cap. be sure to used all of the sand. Adjust the load and displacements dial gauges to the zero position. Compact the sand using the tamping . Clean off any excess sand. 5. make sure the shear box is securely in place. also tightly fasten the two separated screws. funnel. Secure the shear box in the carriage using the two screws at the front of the carriage box. 2. brush. g.01 g. Specimen Formmer 60 x 60 mm by 25 mm high. e. remove the two alignment screws holding the two piece of the shear box together (do not forget this step) place the two screws into the holes provided as shown.rod and the hammer. also in 3 separate layers. Set the horse on the displacement rate at 0. 60 m x 60 mm. Position the shear-box and sample into the carriage and adjust the drive unit manually to the correct starting position. so that the specimen former is completely filled with sand. Small tools: scoop. palette knife. d.5mm/min. b. adjust the level arm in horizontal position and also the vertical deformation dial gauge into the correct position as shown. do this in 3 layers. h. Test Procedure a. Attach the top pieces of the shear box and clamp the two pieces of the shear box together with the screws as shown. City University of Hong Kong . h. Calibrated load ring for measuring the horizontal force applied. Procedure 1. Department of Building and Construction. f. 9. 11. c. 8. f. Shear box apparatus 25 mm thickness. Tamping rod with square end. next transfer the sand carefully into the bowl and compact the sand in the similar manner into the shear box. Lift the loading yoke and seated on top of the loading cap. A loading cap to transmit the normal load into the sample in the shear box. Dial gauges for measuring the horizontal and vertical displacements. Pour the first layer of sand into the specimen former using the funnel as shown. using the palette knives and brush. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. 2. Preparation of the specimen a. 3.Shear box test 56 1. e. Take the bottom piece of the shear box and place the base plate followed by the porous stone into the shear box (note: the porous stone is only used as a spacer in this case). Weight the specimen former with sand.. A motorized loading device capable of applying horizontal shear to the vertically loaded specimen in the shear box at constant rates of displacement. Add the porous stone as the spacer on to the top . 10. 4. b. 7. Weight the specimen former on the balance. Balance readable to 0. g. Screw the support jack up. d. 6.

The dry density of the sand is given by the equation ρd = volume of specimen formmer (cm3) 2. unlock the ladder with force and reverse the machine until the shear box is alight again. The recommended normal effective stress for the three stages are: Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. The horizontal shear stress for any force P is given by the equation CR x R τ = A x 1000 kPa (7. The normal effective stress on the dry sand is determined from the force value of the lever arm which is a function of the weight on the hanger pan ∴ σn’ = 9810 x m x a A kPa (7. Computation and Analysis of the data 1. City University of Hong Kong . remove the shear box from the carriage. A is the initial plan area of contact along the pre-determined shear plane (in mm2). At maximum value of R. replace the clamping screws that hold the shear box together and release the fixing screws at the front of the shear box. Record the horse of the vertical and displacement position as well as the horizontal load. turn off the motor. remove the vertical load from the weight hanger and remove the loading yoke. 3. R is the load ring reading (div). k. Repeat this process at each recommended stresses. A is the plan area of contact along the pre-determined shear plane (in mm2). Lower the screw jack to apply the normal load and start the motor. j. CR is the mean calibration of the load ring (N/div). τ = τf Note that the value of A changes as shearing proceeds. After failure.2) where τ is the horizontal shear stress (kPa). The test is run three times using three different samples of the same sand at the same density.3) σn’ x A m = 9810 x a where m is the value of the hanger weights on the pan (kg).Shear box test 57 i.1) Horizontal force P applied to specimen is determined from the calibration data of the load ring used. a is the lever arm multiplying effect (10:1). mass of dry sand (g) (7. Department of Building and Construction. However this is not taken into account here.

as ordinates against the corresponding normal effective stress. Department of Building and Construction. City University of Hong Kong . σn’ (kPa) as abscissae. τf (kPa). • Plot each value of peak shear strength. 54. Since the sand sample is obtained by sieving. For each specimen-stage plot the following graphs a.Shear box test 58 a. δ1 is the horizontal displacement during shearing.0 kPa c. The slope of the line gives the value φ’ in degrees. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. both to the same linear scale (Graph 3 ). δh is the vertical displacement during shearing. Note: You should plot τ vs δ1 and δh vs δ1 on the same piece of graph paper. (Graph 2) c. Plot τf vs σn’ on a separate sheet. Assume that the relationship (τf vs σn’) is linear and the straight line passes through the origin of the axes. 163.5 kPa 4.5 kPa b. b. 109. Shear stress (τ)(kPa) as ordinates against horizontal displacement (mm) as abscissae (Graph 1). Vertical displacement (mm) as ordinates against horizontal displacement (mm) as abscissae. the grains are smooth so that for a fairly dense packing the value of φ’ will be about φ’ = 30o. From each of the three stress-displacement graphs • read off the value of the maximum shear stress (the ‘peak’ strength) and the corresponding vertical and horizontal displacements. The value of the intercept (c’) is zero.

(b) Form 7. City University of Hong Kong . Department of Building and Construction.1 (a) and (b) Set Up of Shear Box Teat (a) Figure 7.Shear box test 59 (b) (a) Figure 7.2 (a) and (b) Preparation of Shear Box Specimen.1 Shearbox test : shearing Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.

Department of Building and Construction. Machine no. Time Mean calibration (CR) N/division Rate of displacement Shear stress kPa Specimen size x mm/min Stress factor mm kPa/division Normal stress kPa Vertical deformation gauge cumulative reading mm x 0.Shear box test 60 Soil description: Force device no.01 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.01 Elapsed Force time gauge reading min (R) Horizontal displacement gauge cumulative reading mm x 0. City University of Hong Kong .

It should be borne in mind. In the course of time a series of conventional practices for considering soil strength have been develop. The true characteristics of a soil are determined only when pore-water pressures are taken into account during the laboratory test. compared to the maximum soil strength that may be found. The triaxial shear test apparatus was developed to permit control of these factors. the reduced strength can be regarded as a somewhat temporary condition. that the fact that triaxial testing has been used does not give assurance that the validity of the result is superior. there is a very great variation both from soil to soil and within a given soil type depending on how it was deposited or placed. It has been observed that much of the variation in soil strength can be attributed to pore-water pressure. Under this stress the soil grains are forced into more intimate contact and the volume of the soil mass is decreased somewhat. but with little regard to the kind of soil and almost no concern as to its condition. that is the resistance to sliding of one mass of soil against another. On the other hand. this test procedure in which pore-water pressures are measured is used for almost all its shear testing requirements. On the basis of this observation for the general case. Coulomb’s equation must be rewritten: S = c +(σ . Theory There are many factors which influence the shearing strength that cannot be evaluated with the direct shear test apparatus. this volume change must take place primarily in the voids or pores of the soil . The developed stress is called pore-water pressure. Objective The engineering computations concerned with the strength of a soil deal primarily with its shearing strength.If these pores are completely filled with water their volume cannot be changed unless some of the water is drained from the soil mass. In Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. but to a lesser degree. If drainage is prevented a stress will be developed in the pore water opposing the externally applied stress. City University of Hong Kong . Department of Building and Construction. These practices were based on the type of structure involved. therefore more rational approaches are desired. It is also frequently written: S = c΄+ σ tan Ø΄ Where tan Ø΄ is the apparent coefficient of internal friction. Even if the pores are only partially filled with water porewater pressures will develop. the shearing resistance will be reduced whenever positive pore-water pressure is present. Shearing strength is dependent primarily on the normal or confining stress. therefore. and rarely with the compressive or tensile strength. Since the pore-water pressure is opposed to the normal or confining stress. to an increasing extent situations are being encountered where lack of knowledge of strength can lead only to extravagant costs or to failure.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 61 Experiment 8 Determination of Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus General Soil has very little strength compared to other materials used for building a structure. Since in any soil the stressed pore fluid will eventually drain from the soil mass. Since the volume of the soil grains cannot be changed appreciably. Moreover.u) tan Ø Where u is the pore-water pressure.

Department of Building and Construction. O ring placing tool. Rubber membrane. Load ring. Air and water connection tubing. 8.50. Top-cap with drainage port. L/D ratio. 12. 9. Membrane placing tool. 16. 20.1 Typical Triaxial Cell for the Condolidated Drained / Undrained Test Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Caliper. 11. 8. 2. 7. 28. Porous disc. (1000 kPa capacity. Triaxial Cell with Pedestal. 19. 13.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 62 consequence considerable effort is being expended in construction control to minimize the effect of pore-water pressure so that initial and ultimate strength in an earth structure will be equal as practicable. Sample trimming device. 24. O rings. 6. Displacement guage. 8. Vacuuming device or heating system for saturating the porous disc. 10. Loading frame with speed control. necessary for fine grain soil only. 14. 3. Sample extruder. Volume Change measurement device. 18. 23. 27. Color Chart. 21. Pressure control regulator with pressure gauge.0 mm travel. Bladder Air/water cylinder.2:1. 15. Apparatus 1. please refer to Exp. Two part split former. Cutting wire.(for CU and CD test ) 22. Moisture content determination device. Disc perspex for UU test. Water de-airing device. Glass Plate of about 100 mm square and 10 mm thick. 17. 4. 26. Compressor. Filter Drain (optional). Piston Post and bracket for axial deformation measurement gauge Location for force-measuring device Piston bush or seal Air bleed plug Tie-rods O-rings Cell top Top cap Pressurised air free water Soil specimen Drainage line Porous discs Membrane Cell body Base pedestal Pore pressure valve Flushing system valve Pore pressure transducer O-rings Cell pressure valve Back pressure valve Base drainage valve fig. City University of Hong Kong . 5. Weighting balance.) 25.

Switch on the ADU. enter Esc for return to Reading stage. 31. 8. Save the data to the floppy disc. Turn to water supply position. and select the option stage for running the test. Then enter to the second stage or quit the program when all the stages is completed. 5. When the testing stage is completed. 9. Switch on the computer.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 63 Load frame Air bleed Cell pressure Pressure gauges Alternative positions for load measuring device Triaxial cell Pressure maintaining systems De-aerating block Flushing system Back pressure Pore pressure transducer Volume change indicator Drive from load frame fig. City University of Hong Kong . allowing water to fill the tank. 4. prevent overflow. 4. Data Acquisition System. Computer hardware and software. which included pressure. 3. 30. When the reading is in live situation. Enter F2 for new Sample. then off the tap. Or until the water is virtually clear . as required. Transducers of all kinds. For further details please refer to technical manual. Initialise the group of channels as per Machine used (refer to fig.2 Typical General Arrangement of a Triaxial Test Apparatus for the Condolidated Drained / Undrained Test Additional apparatus for computerized system with electronic device 29. 3. then all the transducers are ready for Zero setting. An option is now presented to enter the channel number. Enter F1=First stage. The above procedure is just a quick introductions only. Department of Building and Construction. displacement. Input all the information as per function keys. Turn to the de-airing position to de-aerated the water for 20 to 30 min. loading and volume change. allowing water to fill to the temperate storing reservoir. 3 for Machine layout ). Get into DS6 system enter level 2. Enter F2 for Re-set Transducers. then turn to the water supply position. 6. 7. Select F2 for initialise Transducer. 8. Water de-airing Step 1. Data logging set-up (For computerized system with electronic device only) 1. Select Machine no. 2. then turn off. Switch on the water de-airing apparatus. Finally Save Amendment On Disc (F8). 2. All Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. in drive A . Then enter the no. Turn on the tap for the supply of water to the water de-airing apparatus. then enter DS6 and insert a floppy disc.

Position the cell base on the machine. 7. Smash Silicon gel to the sealing ring . No back pressure supply and volume change connection is necessary.. CU and CD test 1. Checked that both the cell pressure and the back pressure air-bladder cylinder is fully charged with a supply of freshly de-aired water. Department of Building and Construction. City University of Hong Kong . Measure the size of the two-part split former in several locations. normally with the bottom end uppermost . Carefully house the sample with the split former. and jacked out a length of the required sample. 8. The membrane should be carefully inspected for flows or pinholes by stretched it in two directions while holding it against a bright light.G.) Procedure To determine the undrained shear strength of an undisturbed soil specimen when subjected to a constant confining pressure and to strain. turn on the valve for the supply of water which is allocated at the pressure control panel . 10.( UU test ) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. 2. the cell base . For UU test only the cell pressure connection is necessary for the cell and porous stone will be replaced by rigid corrosion –resistance materials or plastic.and the top cap . With a membrane stretcher. place the soaked rubber membrane in it. 4. 3. 9. 4. For further information please refer to Appendix (A) volume Change Apparatus instructions. ensured that there is enough travel for the supply of water for the test to be performed. 5. and M/C was known . 11. Attach the sampling tube to the extruder. Materials Soil. Weighted off both the former and the sample for the determination of density. 5. Place two O rings into the O ring placing tool. allowing the pressure supply is to reach 1000 kpa . (Completely Weathered Granite. 8. porosity and degree of saturation value when the S. Check that all the discharged lines. Preparation of test specimen 1. 3. Trimmed flat the sample on both ends with the palette knife. Pre-Sample set-up on cell Procedure for UU. as training is necessary for new comers. Checked that all the loading ring . voidratio.controlled axial loading with no change in moisture content. cut off the sample with a wire or knife.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 64 new operators are request to consult the technical staff before starting the above procedure. Any trimmed off samples could be for moisture content determination purpose according to Exp. no. Position the volume change pedal at water flow direction. Saturated the porous stone with de-airing water in the vacuum chamber.pressure gauge . Switch on the compressor. displacement gauge . 2.is function properly. ports are air free and connections are out of leakage. Now the Triaxial cell is ready for sample setting. 6. Open the appropriate valve in order to flush the connections with freshly de-aireated water.

place the rubber membrane around the soil specimen. Check the cell pressure periodically to ensure that it remain constant at within0. Unload the specimen and dismantle the test assembly. 14. which could aerate the water. 9. By opening the appropriate valve .5% or ±2 kPa whichever is greater. Fill the cell as quickly as possible but without allowing turbulence. closed the cell valve.. Department of Building and Construction. Start the shearing by switching on the compression machine. 3. Place the second disc on top of the specimen then the top cap. City University of Hong Kong . Calculation (1) From the set of readings .remove air pockets from between the membrane and the specimen by light stroking upwards. Place the disc by sliding on the triaxial base pedestal . 16. Allowing the piston to raise slowly until it just make contact with the bearing surface on the top cap. Assemble the cell body with the loading piston well clear of the top cap. Place the cell base with a pedestal of dimensions appropriate to the size of the test specimen on the compression machine. 6. Place the specimen on to the disc . Then open the cell valve in order to administer the pressure into the cell. Adjust it if necessary. 13. 18. 2. 8. 10.1% from the following equation : ⎛ δH ⎞ ε =⎜ ⎜ H ⎟ 100 ⎟ ⎝ o⎠ Where Ho is the initial height of the specimen (in mm) δH is the change in height of the specimen during compression (in mm) Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. . Adjust the displacement gauge and the loading ring. 12. 11. 15. when it is full. then closed the bleeding plug. whichever occurs first.calculate the axial strain of the test specimen to 0. raise the water pressure to the desired value with the loading piston restrained by the load frame of force-measuring device. Terminate the test at a axial strain of at least 5 % more than that after the peak deviator stress is reached or at an axial strain at least 20%. No excess air shall be sandwiched between the specimen and membrane 7. 19. Ensure that the axis of the soil specimen is in vertical alignment. to 15 min. 17. Fix the cell body with the tie rods. 4. Record sufficient sets of readings of the force-measuring device and the axial deformation gauge at intervals during compression so that the stress-strain curves can be clearly define. ensuring that all the air is displaced through the bleed plug. Using a membrane stretcher. With the water supply valve closed.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 65 1.fill the triaxial cell with de-aired tap water. Select a rate of axial deformation such that failure can be reached within a period of 5 min. then carried out a moisture content determination of the sample. 5. Seal the rubber membrane to the base pedestal using two rubber O-rings. Place two O-rings around the top cap.

Place the saturated porous disc by sliding it on to a layer of water on the triaxial base pedestal without entrapping air.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 66 Note: Strains are calculated as cumulative strains . σmb. w void ratio. (to 0. the changes in dimension related to the initial reference dimension. is then sheared in compression. in mm2) calculated from the initial diameter Do. which has been saturated and subjected to an isotropic consolidation. e and degree of saturation.σ3)m. denoted by (σ1-σ3). (8) Calculate the value of the undrained shear strength. (σ1. calculate its crosssectional areas. (2) From the set of reading. calculate the axial force P (to 1 N) applied to the soil specimen by multiplying the difference between that reading and the initial reading of the force-measuring device (in divisions or digits) by its calibration factor (in N/division) . of the specimen from the following equation: Su = 1 (σ 1 − σ 3 )max 2 (9) Calculate the bulk density ρ . The correction . Sr of the specimen as well.3 (6) Subtract the membrane correction. (3) Assuming that the soil specimen deforms as a right cylinder. if appropriate.1kPa) for sufficient sets of readings to enable the maximum value to be derived.i. Department of Building and Construction. from the measured deviator stresses (σ1-σ3)m. from the following equation: ⎛ Ao ⎞ A= ⎜ ⎟ 100 ⎝ 100 − ε ⎠ Where Ao is the initial cross-sectional area of the soil specimen (which equals πDo2/4. from the following equation: ⎛P⎞ (σ1-σ3)m = ⎜ ⎟ 1000 ⎝ A⎠ (5) Apply a correction to the calculated deviator stresses to allow for the restraining effect of the membrane.1mm2).1 kpa).e. (7) Plot a graph of corrected deviator stress against axial strain. Obtain the maximum value of corrected deviator stress. Su (to o. to give the corrected deviator stresses. by increasing the axial strain. together with a filter paper disc of Whatman No. Drainage is not permitted. shall be obtained directly from Figure. (σ1-σ3)max. 54 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. (4) Calculate the measured principal stress difference. under a constant confining pressure. City University of Hong Kong . and ε is the axial strain (in %). the deviator stress.e. To determine shear strength of a soil specimen.8. CU test 1. moisture content. σmb. A (to 0. i.

Check alignment by allowing the piston to slide slowly until it just makes contact with the bearing surface on the top cap. Place a second saturated porous disc and filter paper disc . 5.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 67 filter paper or equivalent saturated in the same manner as the filter paper side drains if any. 6. increase the pressure in the back pressure line to a value equal to the cell pressure less the selected differential pressure neither be less than 5 kPa nor greater than 10 kPa. then retract the piston. ( or 50kPa if the pore pressure coefficient B. 7. Record the initial pore pressure when steady. 11. Apply an increment of cell pressure of not exceeding 25kPa. ensuring that all the air is displaced through the bleed plug. record them and close the back pressure valve. Fill the cell as quickly as possible but without allowing turbulence. 4. Seal the rubber membrane to the base pedestal using two rubber O-rings. Saturation of the specimen shall be achieved by alternative increments of cell pressure and back pressure Ensure the back pressure valve and the flushing system valve are closed. Observe the pore pressure until it reaches a steady value and record it δu 4. which could aerate the water. δσ3 is the change is in cell pressure 1. 6. 9. Apply the first cell pressure increment as soon as possible. exceeds 0. 8. Fill the traxial cell with de-aired tap water. Assemble the cell body with the loading piston well clear of the top cap. 2. Keep the air bleed plug open until the cell is ready to be pressured. in order to maintain the pressure at atmospheric. Record the reading of the back pressure line volume-change indicator when it reaches a steady value. Open the back pressure valve momentarily to moisten the top cap. Keeping the back pressure valve and the flushing system valve closed. Observe the pore pressure and the volume-change indicator readings. and that the drainage line from the top cap does not interfere with the setting up of the cell body. 5. 10. No excess water shall be sandwiched between the specimen and membrane.9) 3. 3. Ensure that the axis of the soil specimen is in vertical alignment. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Calculate the value of the pore pressure coefficient B from the equation B = δσ 3 Where δu is the change is pore pressure. Remove air pockets from between the membrane and the specimen by light stroking upwards. 2. calculate by step 4 below. City University of Hong Kong . with excess water removed. centrally on top of the specimen . as required by the saturation procedure. Place two O-rings around the drainage lead connected to the top cap. Place the soil specimen on the disc centrally without delay and without entrapping air. Open the back pressure valve to admit the back pressure into the soil specimen. and fit the cap onto the top porous disc without entrapping air. 7. Seal the membrane onto the top cap with the split-ring stretcher. Department of Building and Construction. When they reach steady values.

Repeat the above step 2 to 7 until the pore pressure coefficient B is greater than or equal to 0. 68 Calculate the volume of water taken in by (or draining out from) the soil specimen from the difference between the volume-change indicator readings record in step 5 and 7. Adjust the compression machine to give a rate of displacement dr in mm/minute as ε f Lc to. Adjust the machine platen. Record the pore pressure until a steady value ui (in kPa ) is reached. U = ⎛ ui − u ⎞100 Where U is the degree of consolidation and u is the pore pressure ⎜ ⎜u −u ⎟ ⎟ b ⎠ ⎝ i reading at a given time t. The effective stress in the soil specimen is increased to the desired value by raising the cell pressure and dissipating the resulting excess pore pressure to an appropriate back pressure.) Record the reading of the volume change indictor. Then repeat the above steps 5 to 7 again. 10.) = σ3 . 1 2 3 4 5 6 After completion of the saturation stage. Increase the cell pressure (σ3) and back pressure (ub) . until the cell loading piston is brought to within a short distance of the specimen top cap. that calculated as following relationship d r = 1.e. 7 8 Axial Compression Carry out compression of the specimen Set up the triaxial cell on the compression machine if it has been placed elsewhere during the saturation and consolidation stages 2. Record and plot readings of pore pressure against time to establish when a steady value is reached. The consolidated specimen is then ready for the compression test. at suitable intervals of time.ub. 9. The excess pore pressure to be dissipated is equal to (ui-ub. 3. Record and plot readings of the volume-change indicator and the pore pressure transducer. 100 Ft 100 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. City University of Hong Kong . U ≥ 95%. keep the back pressure valve closed and record the pore pressure and volume-change indicator readings. Calculate the total volume of water taken up by (or draining out from) the soil specimen into the air voids by the difference obtained in the above step 7. Allow consolidation to continue until the volume change indicator reading reaches a steady value and at least 95% of the excess pore pressure has been dissipated. to give a difference equal to the desired effective consolidation pressure(σ3) such that (σ3 .Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 8. i. but not exceeding. Isotropic Consolidation For CU and CD test Isotropic consolidate the specimen shall be carried out immediately after the saturation stage using the same apparatus. Record the pore pressure uc (in kPa).95 and the back pressure is greater than or equal to 200kPa. if necessary. either by hand or by motor drive. At a convenient moment start the consolidation stage by opening the back pressure valve. Record the reading of the volume-change indicator and calculate the total change in volume (δVc ) during the consolidation stage. except to leave the back pressure valve open for at least 12 hours in step 7 and close the back pressure valve afterwards. Department of Building and Construction.

1g. When multi-stage test is specified. 6.1) Make further adjustment to bring the loading piston just into contact with the seating on the top cap of the soil specimen. Terminate the compression at maximum effective principal stress ratio (σ1’/σ3’) . Sketch the mode of failure of the soil specimen Measure and process the tested specimen 1.1%. F is a coefficient which depends on the drainage conditions. and the type of compression test. Unload the specimen and dismantle the test assembly 1. Close the back pressure valve and ensure the cell pressure valve and pore pressure valve are open. Lc is the length of the consolidated specimen. terminate the test at an axial strain of at least 5% more than that after the peak deviator stress is reached or at an axial strain of at least 20%. force measuring device and pore pressure measuring device. Increase the cell pressure (σ3) but keep the back pressure (ub) at the same value as that at the consolidation phase of the first stage to give a difference equal to the desired effective consolidation pressure (σ3 ) for the next stage. 8. Ensure the back pressure valve and the pore pressure valve is closed. Unless otherwise specified. 5. carry out the procedures as follows: 1. top cap. while the test is still in progress. Reduce the deviator stress (σ1−σ3) to zero by reversing the motor. 4. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Apply compression to the soil specimen and simultaneously start the timer. 7. Record sufficient sets of readings of the deformation gauge. Close the pore pressure valve and open the flushing system valve to protect the transducer. Reduce the cell pressure to zero and drain the water from the cell. force-measuring device and pore pressure measuring device at intervals during the stress-strain curve can be clearly defined. 3. Stop the shearing. porous discs and the soil specimen from the base pedestal. and cell pressure. Repeat the steps (1) to (3) above for the third stage of the triaxial test but at the target effective consolidation pressure for that stage. filter paper side drains (if any) . 2. εf is the strain at which failure will occur as 0. 2. Dismantle the cell. Remove the axial force from the soil specimen. or the maximum deviator stress (σ1−σ3) whichever occurs first. pore pressure. 5. 3. Immediately weigh the whole soil specimen to determine its final wet mass to 0.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 69 Where 4. and t100 is the time for 100% consolidation obtained from the square-root time plot (table 9. Record readings of the deformation gauge. Department of Building and Construction. Remove the rubber membrane. whichever occurs first. Record the date and time to start the compression stage and the initial readings of the deformation gauge. 6. force measuring device. 4. Then repeat consolidation and compression stage as above. 9. 10. Calculate values of deviator stress (σ1−σ3) (in kPa) and effective principal stress ratio (σ1’/σ3’) . City University of Hong Kong .

4. δVc is the change in volume during consolidation as determined from the volume of water draining out of the specimen (in cm3). in mm) of the soil specimen after consolidation from the following equations. Cvi ( to 0. Calculations Using the data obtained from the consolidation stage. in cm3. 3. soak it in water until it is sufficiently softened for breaking up into individual particles. Calculate the dimensions (volume Vc.2 H 2 for H = o t50 2 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Describe the soil including its fabric. carry out the following calculations: 1. Ac. Plot a graph of the degree of consolidation(U) against logarithm of time and also plot the measured volume change (δVc) against square-root time. Take photographs of the tested specimen both before and after it is split vertically into two halves. 2. Ao is the original cross sectional area of the specimen (in mm2). in mm2 and height. Note 2: If the change in volume during saturation is significant.δVc ⎛ δV ⎞ Ac = Ao ⎜1 − c ⎟ ⎜ Vo ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ 2 3 ⎛ δV ⎞ Hc = H o ⎜ 1 − c ⎟ ⎜ Vo ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ 1 3 Where Vo is the original volume of the specimen prior to the saturation stage (in cm3).01 m2/year ). read off the t50 (in minutes ) corresponding to 50% consolidation . For undisturbed soil specimen. If there are particles of size larger than one-fifth of the diameter of the soil specimen. Department of Building and Construction. and Ho is the original height of the specimen(in mm) Note 1: Where net volume of water has drained out from the soil specimen during the saturation stage. Vc =Vo. Break it up for inspection.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 70 2. City University of Hong Kong . 4.1g. alongside a suitable scale and a colour chart. From the plot of degree of consolidation (U) against logarithm of time. it should be estimated and included with δVc. determine their percentage by mass and take photograph of them alongside scale and colour chart. Calculate the value of the coefficient of consolidation for isotropic consolidation. 3. Dry the specimen to constant mass at the same temperature as that used for the determination of moisture content and determine the dry mass to 0. V0 shall be taken to be the original volume of the specimen prior to the saturation stage less that net volume of water. from the equation: cvi = H + Hc 0. Hc. cross sectional areas.

) 6. from the following equation. Calculate the value of the coefficient of consolidation for isotropic consolidation.65D 2 for D = o λt100 2 Where D is the average diameter of the soil specimen during the consolidation stage (in mm). On the plot of volume change against square-root time. denoted by √t100 and calculate the time intercept of this point.01 m2/MN ).At the point where these lines intersect.1 Note: Where side drains have been used. 5. t50 is the value determined from the (3) above (in min ) Note: the above formula for the calculation of Cvi assumes drainage is vertical towards one end of the soil specimen and no side drains are used. Vo is the original specimen volume (in cm3). and λ is a coefficient which depends on the drainage conditions and the length to diameter ratio (r) of the soil specimen as shown in table 9.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 71 Where H and is the average height of the specimen during the consolidation stage (in mm). from the following equation: cvi = D + Dc 1. read off the value of square-root time. Calculate the value of the coefficient of volume compressibility for isotropic consolidation. ⎛ δVc ⎞ ⎜ ⎟ ⎜ Vo ⎟ 1000 mvi = ⎜ ui − u c ⎟ ⎜ ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ Where δVc is the change in volume of the specimen due to consolidation (in cm3). the value of Cvi derived in this way should not be applied to engineering settlement calculations because it has been shown to be grossly in error. draw the straight line which best fits the early portion of volume change against square-root time (this portion normally lies within the first 50% of the volume change readings) . Department of Building and Construction. t100 (in min. 7.01 m2/year ). Dc is the diameter of the consolidated specimen (in mm) derived from the value Ac obtained in Step (1) above.Draw a horizontal line through the final point of the plot . City University of Hong Kong . ui is the pore pressure at the start of the consolidation (in kPa). and Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. mvi (to 0. Cvi ( to 0.

εf to 0. dr (in mm/min). and Hc is the height of the soil specimen after consolidation (in mm) in equation (1). After the completion of the test. and is the time for 100% consolidation obtained from the square-root time plot. Note2: soils if relatively high permeability may give calculated times to failure that are unrealistically short.01 minute) for the compression test. and tf is the significant testing time (in min). assuming that it deforms as a right cylinder from the following equation: Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Calculate the rate of axial displacement. City University of Hong Kong . Estimate the strain at which failure will occur. and the type of compression test. Department of Building and Construction. 9. from the following equation: tf =Ft100 Where F t100 is a coefficient which depends on the drainage conditions. Calculate the significant testing time tf (to 0. i. the change in dimension relative to the initial reference dimension. to be applied to the soil specimen from the following equation: dr = ε f Lc 100t f Where Lc is the length of the consolidated specimen (in mm).1 ). as determined from the deformation gauge (in mm). (ii) Calculate the cross-sectional area.e. As (to 0.1%) from the following equation: ε1 = ⎜ ⎜ ⎛ δH ⎞ ⎟ 100 ⎟ ⎝ Hc ⎠ Where δH is the change in height (from the initial height ) during compression.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 72 uc is the pore pressure at the end of the consolidation (in kPa). Note: the factor F is based on 95% dissipation of excess pore pressure induced by shear. undrained or drained (obtained in table 8. εf is the strain at which failure will occur as estimated in step 9 above in( %). ε1 (to 0. carry out the following calculations: (i) Calculate the axial strain. which is acceptable for most practicable purposed. 8.1 mm2) of the soil specimen normal to its axis.e. strains are calculated as cumulative strain. Note: In this procedure. The maximum rate of axial displacement in these cases should be limited to 2% per hour.1% 10. i.

σ1 (to0. City University of Hong Kong . σmb. (x) Calculate the effective principal ratio = σ1’/σ3’ Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.e.2 .σdr (viii) Calculate major principal. i. P (to I N).1kpa ) from the following equations: σ1’ =σ1-u σ3’ =σ3-u Where u is the pore pressure.1 kPa) from the following equation: (σ 1 − σ 3 )m = ⎜ ⎜ ⎛ P⎞ ⎟ 1000 ⎟ ⎝ As ⎠ (v) Read out the membrane correction.σmb . Note: this equation is based on the assumption that the volumetric strain is zero in an undrained test on a fully saturated soil specimen (iii) Calculate the axial force. σdr if vertical side drains have been used (vii) Calculate the corrected deviator stress. (σ1’ and σ3’ respectively) (to 0. (σ1-σ3) (to 0. or digit ) (iv) Calculate the applied axial stress. (vi) Read out the side drain correction factor from table 9. Department of Building and Construction.1kPa) from the following equation: (σ1-σ3 ) = (σ1-σ3 )m . applied to the soil specimen additional to that due to the cell pressure from the following equation: P = Cr × R Where R is the reading of the force-measuring device (in division ) Cr is the calibration factor of the force-measuring device (in N / div.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 73 As = Where 100 Ac 100 − ε 1 Ac is the initial area of soil specimen normal to its axis after consolidation (in mm2) . the measured principal stress difference. or deviator stress (σ1-σ3)m (to 0.1kPa) from the following equation: σ1 =(σ1-σ3 )+σ3 Where σ3 is the cell pressure (ix) Calculate the effective major and minor principal stresses.

s’ and t (to 0. of the specimen after consolidation from the following equations: Wcon = Wsat - 100ρ wδVcon .01Mg/m3). Wsat (to 0.01Mg/m3) . in term of effective stress from the following equations: P’ =(σ1’+2σ3’)/3 q = (σ1-σ3 ) bulk density. md ρ sat = 1000(mo + ρ wδVsat ) Ao H o is the density of water=1. ρsat (to 0.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 74 (xi) Calculate the coefficient Af A f = u − uo (σ 1 − σ 3 ) Where uo is the pore pressure in the soil specimen at the start of compression. md ρo = 1000mo Ao H o Where mo is the initial wet mass of the specimen ( in g). Ao is the initial cross-sectional area of the specimen (in mm2). in terms of effective stress from the following equation: s' = (σ '1 +σ ' 3 ) 2 t = (σ 1 − σ 3 ) 2 (xiii) Calculate the stress path parameters. and bulk density.and δVsat is the total volume of water taken in by the specimen during saturation stage (in cm3). (xii) Calculate the stress parameters.of the specimen after saturation from the following equations: Wsat = Wo Where ρw 100ρ wδVsat . and u the pore pressure at failure. Wo (to 0. ρo (to 0. Ho is the initial height of the specimen (in mm). md is the final dry mass of the specimen ( in g).1% . σcon (to0. and bulk density. Department of Building and Construction.0Mg/m3. (xv) Moisture content. City University of Hong Kong . p’ and q (to 0. (xvi) Moisture content.1kpa ). md Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.1kPa). wcon (to 0.1%).01Mg/m3).and Wo = 100(mo − md ) .1%). (xiv) Initial moisture content.

and pore pressure as ordinate. City University of Hong Kong . wf (to 0. on a plot in which the vertical and horizontal scales are the same. in which case a sensible interpolation should be made. The corresponding values of strain (εf) and pore pressure (uf) are also read off. (2) Effective principal stress ratio σ´1 / σ´3 plotted as ordinate. using the same abscissa as in 1). ρf (to 0. against the axial strain (usually expressed as percentage )as abscissa.void ratio. against the axial strain as abscissa. σ´1. The curve might indicate that the maximum value lies between two sets of readings. The point on each plot corresponding to the failure criterion of maximum deviator stress is marked.1%). Values of σ´3. Department of Building and Construction. end of the saturation and consolidation stages and the final stage as well. with values of p’ as abscissa and q as ordinate. ρf =1000mf /AoHo-1000δVcon Wf = 100(m f − md ) md . ρf = 1000m f Ao H o − 1000δVcon (xviii) Calculate the dry density .01Mg/m3). plotted as ordinate. σ´1 /σ´3 and Ā (denoted by Āf ) corresponding to the ‘failure condition are calculated as described above. and (5) Pore pressure change curve. Plot the following graphs: (1) Deviator stress.negative for volume of water taken in during a swelling stage ). with values of s’ as abscissa and t as ordinate. and the line of best fig is drawn Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. on a plot in which the vertical and horizontal scales are the same. (4) Stress path for effective stresses. and bulk density. FAILURE CRITERIA From the curve of deviator stress against strain the maximum value (at the ‘peak’ point or ‘failure’ condition) is located.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 75 ρ con = 1000(mo + ρ wδVsat − ρ wδVcon ) Ao H o − 1000δVcon Where δVcon is the total volume of water expelled during the consolidation stage (in cm3 . Mark clearly the initial pore pressure during the compression stage on the graph. and denoted by (σ1-σ3)f. of the specimen from the following equations: wf =100(mf-md)/md. (xvii) Calculate the final moisture content. and degree of saturation .of the specimen at the initial stage. Results from a set of three specimens can be presented on one test report sheet by grouping the graphs together .The stress path plots of t against s’ for the set of specimens are drawn on one sheet. (3) Stress path for effective stresses.

City University of Hong Kong . and its intercept with the t (vertical) axis is denoted buy to. The volumetric strain is equal to εv =(δV/Vc ).100% and the deviator stress is calculated from the equation. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. C´ = to / cos Ø ´ (σ 1 − σ 3 )m = P 100 − ε x x 1000kPa Ac 100 − ε vs If there is no significant change in pore pressure there is little to be gained from calculating the principal stress ratio because when plotted it will give a curve identical in shape to the stress/strain curve. The angle of slope of the line to the horizontal axis is denoted by θ. The shear strength parameters (c´ (Ø´) are calculated from the following relationships Sin Ø´= tan θ Shear Strength – CD test Calculations and corrections The symbols used to illustrate shear strength calculations are the same as for the CU test Axial strain (ε%) and axial force ( P newtons ) are calculated as for the CU test. In calculating the deviator stress (σ1-σ3)f. kpa the change in volume of the specimen due to drainage is an additional factor to be taken into account.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 76 through the set of points. Department of Building and Construction.

5 150 2.8 2.1 1.1 Factors for Calculating cv and Time to Failure Drainage Conditions Values of λ during Consolidation L/D = 2 L/D = r Values of F (for r = 2) Drained Test Undrained Test From one end From both ends From radial boundary and one end From radial boundary and two ends 1 4 80 100 r2/4 r2 3.2 Corrections for Vertical side Drains Specimen diameter (mm) 38 50 7 70 5 100 3.5 Drain correction σdr (kpa) 10 Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.5 14 16 0.3 Table 8.53 2.2(1 + 2r)2 4(1 +2r)2 8. Department of Building and Construction.5 8.Determination of Moisture Shear Strength of Soils Using Triaxial Apparatus 77 Table 8. City University of Hong Kong .

ρ (in Mg/m3) Dry Density. A0 (in mm2) Volume. Depth Date Consolidated-unddrained/consolidated-drained* triaxial compression test Type of speciimen Undisturbuted/compacted* Preparation procedure Initial specimen Length (in mm) Diameter (in mm) Mass. Specimen + container Container Specimen Dry specimen + contain Dry specimen Moisture Moisture content g g g g g g % m0 md w0 mf md wf Test specimen Initial condition After test m Nominal diameter mm Mean D0 Density.Triaxial test: specimen data Soil Description Sample no. Form 8. md (in g) Area. w0 (in %) Dry Mass. V0 (in cm3) Mean L0 Weightings Soil trimmings Container no.1 . ρd (in Mg/m3) * Delete as appropriate. m 0 (in g) Moisture content.

Form 8. + Total water taken up (mL) If required.Triaxial saturation Soil Description Sample no. Saturation procedure:* Cell Pressure and back pressure increments/At constant moisture content Other Pressure (kPa) Value σ3 Back Pore Pressure Reading Increment u δu B δu Volume-change indicator + Before After V2 Difference Date started Cell no. Depth Date Consolidated-unddrained/consolidated-drained* triaxial compression test With/without* side drains Pressure system no. completed Nominal diameter mm m Pressure (kPa) Increment (kPa) δσ3 value (mL) δσ3 V 1 Remarks * Delete as appropriate.2 .

(u i . Lo (in mm) Initial area. Ao (in mm2) Initial volume. Cell no.3 . Vo (in cm3) Triaxial consolidation Soil description 0 Dissipation U (%) 0 0 Final difference = total consolidation volume change ∆V c Form 8. Required effective pressure.ub) (in kPa) Consolidation data Date Time Elapsed time √t t (min) Volume change Pore pressure indicator Reading Difference Reading Difference (ui .u b.u) u (mL) (mL) (kPa) (kPa) 0 0 Initial length. Depth m Date Consolidated-undrained/consolidated-drained*triaxial compression test With/without*side drains Date started Completed Pressure system no.σ 3'(in kPa) Initial diameter. (in kPa) Pore pressure after build-up. u i (in kPa) Excess pore pressure. σ3 (in kPa) Back pressure.Sample no. Do (in mm) Cell pressure.

1/3 εV) mm Consolidated area. L c = Lo (1 . V c = Vo . ε f = Calculated rate of axial displacement. cvi = 2. tf = Ft100 = cm3 Coefficient of volume Compressibility mvi = 1000 εV (ui .4 mm/min mm/min . A c = Ao (1 .uc) mvi = m2/MN Coefficient of Consolidation. √t100 = Significant testing time. Form 8.∆Vc Volumetric strain. d r = εfLc = tf Selected machine speed * Delete as appropriate. εV = ∆Vc Vo Consolidated length.2/3 εV) mm2 Value of λ Value of F t100 = From graph.volume change (cm ) 3 square root time (in minutes) After consolidation Consolidated volume.1 Ac λt100 = m / year 2 min min Significant strain : assumed failure/ reading intervals*.

deviator stre Nominalσ 3' Start of compression mm Lc mm criterion Max. m kPa kPa mm/min % per h Stress path* Axial force σ1' Cr σ3' Ratio read.Consolidaton undrained triaxial compression test with measurement of pore pressure soil description Pressure system no. Cell no. erence 2 R R-Ro (N/div.∆L ε ing (mm) 0 0 membrance thickness with/without* side drains Area As sample no. Depth Date Consolidated undrained triaxial compression test Date Failure Max. Date Time Axial strain Read.DiffP u u-u 0 (σ1-σ3)m (σmb-σdr) (σ1-σ3) σ1 σ1'/σ3' ing. . machine no. Force device no. stress ratio Cell pressure 2 * Ac Critical state Machine speed mm 3 Vc Axial strain of %rate of strain cm Pore pressure Deviator stress Principal stresses A coeff. (N) (kPa) (kPa (kPa) (kPa) (kPa) (kPa) (kPa) (kPa) (mm ) ) ) 0 0 0 0 1 u-u 0 s' t' σ1-σ3 (kPa) (kPa) 0 *Delete as appropiate.

deviator stress Pressure system no.Consolidaton drained triaxial compression test with measurement of volume change Location soil description Test method Clause 8 of BS 1377: Part 8: 1990Consolidated undrained triaxial compression test Membrance Failure Max. Force device no. c machine no.) (N) (kPa) (kPa) 0 0 (kPa) (kPa) (kPa) (kPa) (kPa) 0 *Delete as appropiate.∆L ε reading. Start of compression thickness mm L criterion* mm Cell no. R (mm) R 0 0 cm sample Area volume u u-u 0 ε v As (mm2) 0 Principal stresses Stress path* σ1' σ3' s' t' (σ1-σ3)m (σmb-σdr) (σ1-σ3) σ1 (kPa) (kPa) (kPa) 0 (N/div. . Borehole/ Pit ref: sample no. ing. Date Time Axial strain with/without* side drains Axial force Difference R-Ro Cr P Ac Vc mm 2 3 Job ref. Depth Date Date Nominalσ 3' Cell pressure Machine speed rate of strain m kPa kPa mm/min % per h Critical state Axial strain of Deviator stress % Read.

3. and place the container with its lid and contents in the oven and dry at 1050C±50C.Scoop of suitable size.01g (m2). and replace the lid. The moisture of a soil is the characteristic which is most frequently determined.01 g. capable of maintaining a temperature of 1050C±50C.Clean and dry the metal container and weigh it to the nearest 0. 3. crumble and place loosely in the container. can provide an extremely useful method of classifying cohesive soils and of assessing their engineering properties (Head 1992). Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory.110 oC. (The period required for drying will vary with the type of soil and the size of sample but the sample shall be deemed to be dry when the differences in successive weightings of the cooled sample at intervals of 4hr. 2. both in the natural state and under certain defined test conditions. Apparatus 1.Balance readable to 0. Objective To measure the moisture content of a soil using oven-drying method Material Fine . City University of Hong Kong .Airtight corrosion-resistant metal container. expressed as a percentage of the mass of dry soil. and applies to all types of soil.01g (m3).1% of the original mass of the sample.grained soil. Measurement of moisture content. usually for a period of about 12 . In non-cohesive granular soils this procedure removes all water present. Procedure 1.Drying oven. The amount of water in soil can influence their behaviour.) 4.Desiccator containing anhydrous silica gel. By "dry" is meant the result of oven drying at that temperature to constant mass. 5. 4.24 hours.Remove the lid. do not exceed 0. Department of Building and Construction.Oven-Drying Method 84 Experiment 9 Determination of Moisture Content (Oven-Drying Method) General Naturally occurring soils nearly always contain water as part of their structure.After drying. 5. 2.Replace the lid and then weigh the container and contents to the nearest 0.Determination of Moisture Content .Take a sample of at least 30 g of soil. Then weigh the container and contents to the nearest 0. The moisture content of a soil is assumed to be the amount of water within the pore space between the soil gains which is removable by oven drying at 105 . remove the container and contents from the oven and place the whole in the desiccator to cool.01 g (m1).

The drying time will also depend on the amount of material in the oven. m2-m3 w =( m -m ) 100% 3 1 (9. but certain soil types and larger or very wet samples will require a longer period. m3 is the mass of container and dry soil (in g). m2 is the mass of container and wet soil (in g).1% from the equation.1) where m1 is the mass of container (in g). City University of Hong Kong .Oven-Drying Method 85 Computation and results 1.Determination of Moisture Content . Note: Sixteen to 24 hours are usually are sufficient for drying most soils.Calculate the moisture content of the soil specimen. w as a percentage of the dry soil mass to the nearest 0. Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Department of Building and Construction.

Determination of Moisture Content . Department of Building and Construction.m3) Mass of dry soil (m3 .Oven-Drying Method 86 Form 9.m1) m2-m3 Moisture content w =( m -m ) 100 3 1 g g g g g % Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. Mass of wet soil + container (m2) Mass of dry soil + container (m3) Mass of container (m1) Mass of moisture (m2 . City University of Hong Kong .1 Moisture Content Soil description : Container no.

Earth Manual OXFORD & IBH Geotechnical Engineering office. Mandal J. BSI. U.N. Volume 1 and 2. Compaction-related Tests. Experimental Soil Mechanics. Netherlands.D. Civil Engineering Department .G.Bibliography and Reference 87 Bibliography and Reference Bardet.S. General Requirements and Sample Preparation. Pentech Press Limited. Vickers. London. New Jersey. London. Head. Prentice Hall. (1992). J. Part 1. (1997). Department of Civil and Structural Engineering. BSI. New Jersey. and Divshikar D. 3rd Edition. Granada. (1978). Soil Technicians Handbook. 4th Edition.P.A. A. and Evaluation. Prentice Hall. Part 4. British Standard Methods of Test for Soils for Civil Engineering Purposes. British Standard Methods of Test for Soils for Civil Engineering Purposes.I. K. Measurement. Balkema. K. C. (1992).H. London. Bowels. London. J. Soil Testing in Civil Engineering. Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing. Laboratory Work in Soil Mechanics. Shear Strength Tests (Total Stress). BSI. B. 2nd Edition. (1997). City University of Hong Kong . Part 7. Soil Properties Testing. London. Head.H. and Evett. British Standard 1377:Part 4: 990. Department of Building and Construction. Pentech Press Limited. (1989). Liu. 2nd Edition. British Standard 1377:Part 1:1990.B. (1995). British Standard 1377:Part 7:1990. Engineering Properties of Soils and their Measurement. J. British Standard Methods of Test for Soils for Civil Engineering Purposes. Laboratory Manual for Soil Mechanics. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Model specification for soil testing Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory. London. McGraw-Hill. Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory Soil Laboratory Testing Report Experiment Title: Experiment No: Group No: Student Names and IDs: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Testing Date: Submission date: .Department of Building and Construction.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful