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Title

Atterberg Limit Tests

Introduction
The following moisture conditions - liquid limit, plastic limit, along with
shrinkage limit are referred to as the "Atterberg Limits", after the originator
of the test procedures.

Figure (1)
This lab is performed to determine the plastic and liquid limits of a fine grained
soil. The liquid limit (LL) is arbitrarily defined as the water content, in percent,
at which a part of soil in a standard cup and cut by a groove of standard
dimensions will flow together at the base of the groove for a distance of 13
mm (1/2 in.) when subjected to 25 shocks from the cup being dropped 10 mm
in a standard liquid limit apparatus operated at a rate of two shocks per
second. The plastic limit (PL) is the water content, in percent, at which a soil
can no longer be deformed by rolling into 3.2 mm (1/8 in.) diameter threads
without crumbling.
The Swedish soil scientist Albert Atterberg originally defined seven limits of
consistency to classify fine-grained soils, but in current engineering practice
only two of the limits, the liquid and plastic limits, are commonly used. (A third
limit, called the shrinkage limit, is used occasionally.) The Atterberg limits are
based on the moisture content of the soil. The plastic limit is the moisture
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content that defines where the soil changes from a semi-solid to a plastic
(flexible) state. The liquid limit is the moisture content that defines where the
soil changes from a plastic to a viscous fluid state. The shrinkage limit is the
moisture content that defines where the soil volume will not reduce further if
the moisture content is reduced.
A wide variety of soil engineering properties have been correlated to the liquid
and plastic limits, and these Atterberg limits are also used to classify a finegrained soil.

Theory
Liquid Limit test- The liquid limit of a soil is the moisture content,
expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dried soil, at the
boundary between the liquid and plastic states of consistency. The
moisture content at this boundary is arbitrarily defined as the water
content at which two halves of a soil cake will flow together, for a
distance of in. (12.7 mm) along the bottom of a groove of standard
dimensions separating the two halves, when the cup of a standard liquid
limit apparatus is dropped 25 times from a height of 0.3937 in. (10 mm)
at the rate of two drops/second.
Plastic Limit Test- The plastic limit of a soil is the moisture content,
expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dry soil, at the
boundary between the plastic and semisolid states of consistency. It is
the moisture content at which a soil will just begin to crumble when
rolled into a thread in. (3 mm) in diameter using a ground glass plate
or other acceptable surface.

Apparatus
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Liquid limit device


Porcelain (evaporating) dish
Flat grooving tool with gage
Eight moisture cans
Balance
Glass plate
Spatula
Wash bottle filled with distilled water,
Drying oven set at 105C.

Figure (2)

Experimental Procedure
Liquid Limit Determination

o We were calibrated the liquid limit apparatus to 10mm, falling height


using the space gauge on the grooving tool hand.
Then we were taken 100g of moist soil passing through sieve No.40 and
mix it thoroughly with distilled water to form a uniform paste.
Next we were placed a portion of the paste in the cup of the liquid limit
devices to smooth surface off to a maximum depth of inch, holding the
tool perpendicular to the cup at the point of contact.
After that we were turned the crank handle at a rate of two revolutions per
second, and counted the blows necessary to close the groove in the soil for
s distance of inch.
The groove was closed by us because a flow of the soil and not by slippage
between the soil and cup.
We were obtained a consistent value in the range of 10 to 50 blows had
been obtained, then we were taken approximately 10g of soil from near
closed groove for a water content determination.
We were added extra water of the soil and repeated steps.

Figure (3)

Plastic Limit Determination

We were mixed thoroughly about 15g of the moist soil used for the liquid limit test.
Then we were rolled the soil on a glass plate with the hand until it was approximately
3mm in diameter.
Next we were repeated the step 2 with changing water content until a 3mm diameter
thread shows signs of crumbling.
We were taken some of the crumbling material obtained in step 3 for the water content
determination.
Finally we were repeated step 2-4 to obtain three determinations which could be
averaged to give a plastic limit.

Figure (4)

Conclusion
The subject of the study is the liquid limit that is an empirically determined
state at which transition from a softly plastic to liquid state occurs,
therefore after its achieving soil starts to behave as a liquid substance. The
liquid limit measurement is principal especially for finding consistency
states playing
a decisive role for determining the key standard characteristics of soils repr
esentingimportant geotechnical parameters of fine-grained soils for
investigations of the so-called first geotechnical category. In conclusion
before realization of the tests the sample set up for 24 hours for
the purpose of even distribution of moisture.

After we have done the experiment (Liquid limit and Plastic Limit tests), we
found that the plastic index of the soil is equal to and the liquid limit of the
soil is equal to .

References
Terzaghi, K., Peck, R.B. and Mesri, G. (1996), Soil Mechanics in
Engineering Practice3rd Ed., John Wiley & Son.
Holtz, R. and Kovacs, W. (1981), an Introduction to Geotechnical
Engineering, Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Das, B.M., 2010. Principles of geotechnical engineering. Cengage
Learning, Stamfort, U.S.A., 666 p.
Coduto, Donald et al. (2011). Geotechnical Engineering Principles and
Practices. New Jersey: Pearson Higher Education.