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Soil Compaction Tests

There are many types of Soil compaction tests which are performed on soil. Some of these are :-

1) The Sand Cone Method
One of the most common test to determine the field density of soil is the sand-cone method. But it has a major limitation that this test is not suitable for saturated and soft soils

The formula used are
Volume of soil, ft3 (m3)=[weight of sand filling hole, lb (kg)] /[ Density of sand, lb/ft3 (kg/m3)]

% Moisture = 100(weight of moist soil – weight of dry soil)/weight of dry soil

Field density, lb/ft3 (kg /m3)=weight of soil, lb (kg)/volume of soil, ft3 (m3)

Dry density=field density/(1 + % moisture/100)

% Compaction=100 (dry density)/max dry density

Maximum density is found by plotting a density–moisture curve.

2) California Bearing Ratio
The California bearing ratio (CBR) is used as a determine the quality of strength of a soil under a pavement. It also measures the thickness of the pavement, its base, and other layers.
CBR = F/Fo
F = force per unit area required to penetrate a soil mass with a 3-in2 (1935.6-mm2 ) circular piston (about 2 in (50.8 mm) in diameter) at the rate of 0.05 in/min (1.27 mm/min)

F0 = force per unit area required for corresponding penetration of a standard material.

3) Soil Permeability
Darcy’s law is applicable in determining the soil permeability. Darcy law states that
V = kiA

V = rate of flow, cm3 /s,
A = cross-sectional area of soil conveying flow, cm2
k = Coefficient of permeability which depends on grain-size distribution, void ratio and soil fabric. The value varies from 10 cm/s for gravel to less than 10–7 for clays.

To check Various Lab Test On Soil see this

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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44 comments on "Soil Compaction Tests"



haidar abdul rahemen says:

iam civil engineer .

amit kumar says:

for soil compaction test what are the paramere required.espeasially for road project.please let me know

monasexy says:

y?u dont have any book to read ?


The Atterberg limits are a basic measure of the nature of a fine-grained soil. Depending on the water content of the soil, it may appear in four states: solid, semi-solid, plastic and liquid. In each state the consistency and behavior of a soil is different and thus so are its engineering properties. Thus, the boundary between each state can be defined based on a change in the soil’s behavior. The Atterberg limits can be used to distinguish between silt and clay, and it can distinguish between different types of silts and clays.

abdullah bn hussain says:

for soil compaction test what are the paramere required.espeasially for road project.please let me know

abdullah bn hussain says:

for soil compaction test what are procedures,precaution,observation and source of errors?

sanjeeb says:

what is different bet compaction test and cbr test

pramuka says:

please explane how to do CBR test for road compaction and procedure.

R Subhani says:

How to calculate soil compaction factor of field compacted soil

rakesh tank says:

hello, i need all compaction methods in details, so plz sent me related material for me.

Norbert says:

what are some of the errors we do encounter in soil permeability and consolidation test in the lab

Chris Bell says:

What is the relevance on a laboratory proctor test to the sand replacement test?>

claire balucan says:

do you have information about plastic as a soil stabilizer?

adebayo funmilayo says:

pls i information abt soil compaction, tests procedure,lab and error

peter says:

pls i need information on how to make a GIS soil database a related literature.

Mahipal Singh says:

Plz help me to get test procedure of soil compaction by core cutting method

ajit kumar sahu says:

thanks for information

subash says:

Dear sir Please send me Core cutter test procedure and calculate for core cutter test

Yousuf says:

Pease explain plate load test in detail.where it will be used and how?

Hasnor says:

for soil compaction test what are the parameter required in building and road?
please let me know.

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