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Soil Classification

Soil Texture

Soil Texture
The texture of a soil is its appearance
or feel and it depends on the relative
sizes and shapes of the particles as
well as the range or distribution of
Coarse-grained
Fine-grained soils:
those
sizes. soils:
Gravel

Sand

Silt

Clay

0.075 mm (USCS)
0.06 mm (BS) (Hong
Kong)
Sieve analysis

Hydrometer analysis
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1.2 Characteristics
(Holtz and Kovacs, 1981)

Grain Size and Grain Size


Distribution

Take note!!!
The sizes of particles that make up
soil vary
over a wide range. Soils are generally
called gravel, sand, silt, or clay,
depending on the predominant size of
particles within the soil. To describe
soils by their particle size, several
organizations have developed particlesize classifications.

Particle Size Distribution

60mm >
2mm
>
60 m >
2 m >

boulders > 60mm


gravel > 2mm
sand
> 60 m
silt
> 2 m
clay

Each class may is sub-divided into coarse, medium and


fine.
for sand:
2mm > coarse sand > 600 m
600 m > medium sand > 200 m
200 m > fine sand
> 60 m
Classification boundaries either begin with a '2' or a '6'.

Soil-Particle Size Classification

Grain Size

2.0

Clay

BS

Silt

Sand

Gravel

USCS 4.75

0.07
5
0.06

0.00
2

USCS: Unified Soil


Classification
BS: British Standard

Unit: mm

(Holtz and Kovacs,


1981)
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rticle Size Distribution (continued)


Data often presented as Particle Size Distribution
Curves with logarithmic scale on X-axis

clay

silt

sand

S - shaped - but some conventions of curves going left to


right,

article Size Distribution (continued)


A Problem
clay is used both as a classifier of size as above, and also
to define particular types of material.
clays exhibit a property known as cohesion
(the "stickiness" associated with clays).
General Properties
Gravels
----- permeability is of the order of mm s -1.
Clays
----- it is 10 -7 mm/s or less.
Compressibility of the soil increases as the particle size
decreases.
Permeability of the soil decreases as the particle size
decreases.

Sieve Sizes

(Das, 1998)

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(Head, 1992)

Grain Size Distribution (Cont.)


Experiment
Coarse-grained soils:
Gravel

Sand

Fine-grained soils:
Silt

Clay

0.075 mm (USCS)
0.06 mm (BS) (Hong
Kong)

(Head,
1992)

Sieve analysis

Hydrometer analysis
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Finer

Grain Size Distribution (Cont.)

Effective size D10:


0.02
D : mm D :
30

60

Log scale
(Holtz and Kovacs, 1981)
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Grain Size Distribution (Cont.)


Describe the shape
Example: well graded

D10 0.02 mm (effective size)


D 30 0.6 mm
D 60 9 mm

Coefficient of uniformity
D
9
C u 60
450
D10 0.02
Coefficient of curvature
(D 30 ) 2
(0.6) 2
Cc

2
(D10 )(D 60 ) (0.02)(9)

Criteria
Well graded soil
1 C c 3 and C u 4
(for gravels)
1 C c 3 and C u 6
(for sands)

Question
What is the Cu for a soil
with only one grain
size?
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Answer
Question
What is the Cu for a soil with only one
grain size?
Finer

Coefficient of uniformity
Cu

D60
1
D10

D
Grain size distribution
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SAMPLE PROBLEM
1. For a soil with D60 =0.42mm, and D30 =0.21mm, and
D10 =0.16, calculate and the coefficient of gradation.

Soln;
CU =D60 /D10 =0.42mm/0.16mm=2.625
CC = (D30 )2 /(D10 )(D60) =(0.21)2 / (0.16)
(0.42)=0.66

2. The following are the results of a sieve analysis:


US
Sieve
No.

Mass of Soil
Retained on Each
Sieve (g)

Openin
g

4
10
20
40
60
100
200
PAN

0
18.5
53.2
90.5
81.8
92.2
58.5
26.5

4.75
2.0
.850
.425
.250
.150
.075

Commulativ %
e Mass
Passing
0
18.5
71.5
162.2
244
336.2
394.1
421.2

100
95.608
82.977
61.491
42.070
20.180
6.434
0

a.) Determine the percent finer than each sieve size


and plot a grain-size
distribution curve.
b.) Determine D10 , D30 and D60 from the grain-size
distribution curve.
c.) Calculate the uniformity coefficient, Cu.
d.) Calculate the coefficient of graduation, Cc.

Grain-size distribution curve


120
100
80
60
40
20

0.01

0.1

10

Solution
c.) Cu = D60 /D10 =0.4/0.12= 3.33
d.) CC = (D)2/(D60)(D10) =1.01

3.The particle-size characteristics of a soil are


given in the table.
Sieve no.

Opening

% Passing

4
10
20
40
80
200

4.75
2.00
0.850
0.425
0.180
0.075

100
90
64
38
18
13

Calculate the uniformity coefficient ( Cu)


and coefficient of gradation ( Cc).

Soln:

Cu= D60/ D10= 0.73/0.019= 38.421


Cc = (0.29)2 / (0.73)(.019)=0.063

Grain Size Distribution


(Cont.)
Engineering applications

It will help us feel the soil texture (what the soil is)
and it will also be used for the soil classification (next
topic).
It can be used to define the grading specification of
a drainage filter (clogging).
It can be a criterion for selecting fill materials of
embankments and earth dams,
road sub-base
materials, and concrete aggregates.
It can be used to estimate the results of grouting and
chemical injection, and dynamic compaction.
Effective Size, D10, can be correlated with the
hydraulic conductivity (describing the permeability of
Thesoils).
grain size
distribution
is more important
to coarse(Hazens
Equation).(Note:
controlled
by small
grained
soils.
particles)
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Particle Shape

Coarse
graine
d soils

Rounde
d

Subangul
ar

Important for granular soils


Angular soil particle higher friction
Round soil particle lower friction
Note that clay particles are sheet-like.

Subround
ed

Angula
r
(Holtz and Kovacs, 1981)

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Thank you!!!