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Design Experiment


1. Objective(s):
1. The design experiment aims to determine the maximum settlement of base course layer of road along McArthur
2. Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs):
The students shall be able to:
understand the behavior of soil in relationship to time in the consolidation process
determine the settlements of soil due to consolidation of soil
describe the theory of consolidation
3. Discussion:
During application of loading, the behavior of coarse-grained soil very much differs to that of fine-grained
soil. Coarse-grained soil can facilitate drainage of excess pore water pressure due to its high permeability. The
drainage of pore water from the pore spaces would then lead to settlement and as the loads are transferred to the
soil skeleton.

This process however is slowed done in the case of fine-grained soil due to its low permeability. The
excess pore water pressure is drained slowly as the loads are transferred to the soil skeleton. This process is time-
dependent, hence called as consolidation.

A device used to measure the rate of consolidation is called an odometer. It is important for the engineer to
understand the rate of consolidation of the soil as this can help predict the differential and total settlement of the
soil. Undesirable magnitude of settlement can drastically damage the structure such as the case of the Leaning
Tower of Pisa wherein the differential settlement of the structure is unchecked, leading to catastrophic remedial
measures for the structure.
4. Resources:
1. Casagrande type odometer, which includes:
1.1 Consolidation ring, internal diameter 75 mm, height 20 mm.
1.2 Fixed ring, consolidation cell.
1.3 Dial gauge reading to 0.01 mm having a travel of at least 10 mm.
1.4 Loading device.
2. Flat glass plate, approximately 100 mm * 100 mm.
3. Oven with temperature control.
1 Top pan weighing balance reading accurate to 0.10 g.
1. Vernier calipers.
2. Packet of 75 mm Filter Papers.
3. Silicone Grease or Petroleum Jelly.
4. Set of Standard Weights.
5. Stopwatch or Clock readable to 1 second.
6. Palette Knife.
5. Procedure:
1. Sample Preparation
2. Weigh the odometer ring and 2 glass plates. Measure the inside diameter of the ring.
3. Select a cutter and/or trimming lathe having the same diameter as the ring.
4. Curve the sample to a diameter slightly greater than the ring and to a thickness of 2 inches.
5. Trim the sample to the exact diameter using the lathe and force the cutter over the sample.
6. Slide the sample into the ring and trim flush with the ring. Place a glass plate over the trimmed end, invert
the sample and trim the other side. Place a second glass plate on this side (for protection and to prevent
evaporation) and weigh.
7. Soak the porous plates in water and then wipe away the excess water. Place the plates and the sample in
the odometer and assemble it for use.

Determination of Specific Gravity:

The specific gravity of the soil specimen is to be determined using water pycnometer method. Unless the specific
gravity is predetermined before the specimen, the students are to get a soil sample to determine the specific gravity
while undertaking the experiment.

Test Procedure:
1. Balance and zero the loading machine. Place the oedometer beneath the loading beam and slowly bring
the beam to bear lightly on the spherical cap of the oedometer.
2. Re-balance and zero the loading machine. Adjust and read the micrometer gauge.
3. Apply the first load of 2.5 kPa, and read the micrometer dial at the following total elapsed times; min,
min, 1 min, 2min, 8 min, 16 min, 32 min, 1 hr, 2 hrs, 4 hrs, 8 hrs, 10 hrs, 24 hrs. Other times may be used
as long as the intervals are similar. Plot the curve of the dial reading vs. the logarithm time in minutes. This
will form a reversed S with a straight-line sloping tangent, which represents 100 percent consolidation. Do
not stop making readings until this shape appears.
4. After 100 percent consolidation has been reached, or after 24 hours, whichever is longer, increase the load
to 1000 psf and repeat step 3. The following loads usually comprise a routine test: 12, 25, 50,100, 200 kPa.
5. Care should be taken to prevent evaporation of water from the sample. The oedometer base should be
closed and all vents filled with saturated cotton. The top of the ring should be surrounded with a wick of
damp cotton. After a load about 16000 psf has been reached, the sample may be flooded and kept that
way until the end of the test.
6. After the final reading, dismantle the oedometer and dry the sample to determine the weight of solids.
7. When time-consolidation will take place in less than 24 hrs., the time readings may be emitted. Load the
sample at 24-hours intervals and read the settlement 24 hrs. later just before adding the next load.
8. Compute the void ratio corresponding to 100 percent consolidation for each load. Plot the curve showing
the void ratio as a function of the log of the stress. Compute the compression index and estimate the pre-
consolidation load.


Dry mass of the specimen (Md):

Md = Mwf / (1+f)

Mw = moist mass of the specimen after test
f = moisture content of the specimen after the test

Moisture content of the specimen before the test:

0 = (Mw0 Md) / Md

Mw0 = moist mass of the specimen before the test
0 = moisture content of the specimen before the test
Initial dry density of the specimen (d), Volume of dry solids (Vs) and Equivalent height of solids (Hs):

d = Md / V 0

Vs = Md / (Gs . w)

Hs = Vs / A

d = initial dry density of the specimen
V0 = initial volume of the specimen
Gs= specific gravity of soil solids
w= unit weight of water
A = specimen area, cm2

Void Ratio before test (e0) and after test (ef):

e0 = (H0 Hs) / Hs
ef = (Hf Hs) / Hs

H0 = height of specimen before test
Hf = height of specimen after test

Degree of saturation before test (S0) and after test (Sf):

(Mw0 Md)
S0 =
A. w. (H0 Hs)

(Mwf Md)
Sf =
A. w. (H0 Hs)

Plotting the Graph:

Plot the deformation readings, d in the y-axis versus the logarithm of time (in mins) in the x-axis for every
load increment.
Draw a straight line on the points that exhibit a trend in a straight line and a constant slope, Line A. On the
steepest part of the deformation curve, draw a tangent line, Line B. The intersection of Line A and Line B
represents the deformation d100 and time t100 corresponding to 100% primary consolidation. Compression in
excess of the primary consolidation is considered to be part of the secondary compression.
Determine the ratio corresponding to 0% primary consolidation by selecting two points that has a time ratio
in the range of 1 to 4. The deformation of the larger of the two times has to satisfy the criteria between to
of the total deformation of the load increment. The deformation representing 0% consolidation, d 0 is
calculated below:

d0 = di (df - di)

df = final deformation of specified time increment
di = initial deformation of selected time increment
Determine d50, by taking the average of d100 and d0. The value of t50 can be taken graphically from the
deformation, log-time curve representing the 50% consolidation.
Compute the coefficient of consolidation (cv) for each increment of load.

T . H2 D50
cv =

T = dimensionless time factor, use T50 = 0.197
HD50 = length of the drainage path at 50% consolidation (full specimen height for single drainage)

Load Deformation Properties:

Tabulate the deformation corresponding to each increment. Calculate the change in height H, relative to
initial specimen height for each reading.
Calculate the following values then plot the deformation results:

Void Ratio, e:
e = e0 - H/ Hs

Vertical strain, :
h/ H0 x 100%

Vertical stress, v:
v = P/A

Estimate the point of maximum curvature, set as point A. Draw a tangent line (Line X) from point A and a
horizontal line (Line Y) going to the right. Create a bisector between Lines X and Y and set as Line Z.
Extend Line X until it intersects line Z. The pressure corresponding to the intersection is the
preconsolidation pressure, c.

Course: CE 510 Design Experiment

Group No.: 9 Section: CE52FB2
Group Leader: Asuncion, Justine S. Date Performed: March 7, 2017
Group Members: Date Submitted: March 11, 2017
1.Abantas, Abs O. Instructor: Engr. Jennifer Camino
2. Bassig, Mariamar L.
3. Dacuno, Anthony J.
4.Tabisaura, April Mae S.
5. Tavas, Edrian Louis M.
6. Data and Results:

Specific Gravity, Gs=

Description Data Description Data
Moisture Content before Volume of dry solids (Vs)
test, o
Moisture Content after Equivalent height of
test, f solids (Hs)
Moist mass of the Void Ratio before test (e0)
specimen before the test,
Moist mass of the Void Ratio after test (ef)
specimen after the test,
Dry mass of specimen, Md Degree of saturation
before test (S0)
Initial dry density of the Degree of saturation after
specimen (d) test (Sf)

Loading = Loading = Loading =

Time (min) Dial Reading Time (min) Dial Reading Time (min) Dial Reading
0 0 0
0.1 0.1 0.1
0.25 0.25 0.25
0.5 0.5 0.5
1 1 1
2 2 2
4 4 4
10 10 10
15 15 15
30 30 30
60 60 60
120 120 120
240 240 240

Loading = Loading = Loading =

Time (min) Dial Reading Time (min) Dial Reading Time (min) Dial Reading
0 0 0
0.1 0.1 0.1
0.25 0.25 0.25
0.5 0.5 0.5
1 1 1
2 2 2
4 4 4
10 10 10
15 15 15
30 30 30
60 60 60
120 120 120
240 240 240

Time Deformation Curve

Analysis of Consolidation Test Data

Evaluation of Preconsolidation Pressure

7. Conclusion:
8. Assessment (Rubric for Laboratory Performance):

Performance Beginner Acceptable Proficient

indicator 1 2 3
Identify the Designs an experiment Designs an experiment
Fails to design an
procedures involved satisfying the minimum exceeding the
experiment following
in designing the requirements of the requirements of the
experiment procedures procedures
Develops a protocol to Develops a protocol to
Develop a protocol Fails to develop a
conduct an experiment conduct an experiment
to conduct an protocol to conduct an
satisfying the minimum exceeding the
experiment experiment
requirements minimum requirements
Total Score
Mean score=(Total Score/2)
Percentage Score= (Total Score/6) x 100%

9. References
Budhu, M. (2008). Foundations and Earth Retaining Structures. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons

American Society for Testing and Materials (1989). One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soil using
Controlled-Strain Loading (D-4186). Pennsylvania: ASTM International