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CONSOLIDATION LAB REPORT

By:
…………………………….

CEGR 3258 -001


Dr. Anderson

Performed on:
April 19, 2005

Submitted on:
April 19, 2005

Group Members:
…………………
……………………
……………….
……………….

Integrity Statement
I have committed no violations of the UNCC Code of Student Academic Integrity in
preparing and submitting this report.
……………………….: ___________ ____
Date: _______4/19/05 ________________________________________
Executive Summary

The objective of this report is to determine the compression index (Cc), recompression

slope (Cr), the preconsolidation pressure ( ’p), and coefficient of consolidation (cv) of two soil

samples. These properties were determined from a consolidation test. The details of the

consolidation test are provided in the report. From the consolidation test, graphs of void ratio

versus logarithm of pressure and coefficient of consolidation versus logarithm of pressure

were determined for each soil sample. The first soil sample Cc was found to be 0.215, the Cr

was found to be 0.02, and the ’p was found to be 2,700 lb/ft2. The second soil sample Cc was

found to be 0.234, the Cr was found to be 0.03, and the ’p was found to be 2,800 lb/ft2. The

results from the two tests are significant because they identified soil properties that were

within expected ranges and could be used with additional equations for settlement analysis.

i
Table of Contents

Executive Summary…..…..………………………...……………………….. i

Introduction……………………………………………………………………… 1

Procedure……………………………………………………………………….... 2

Results…………………………………………………………………………… 5

Analysis and Conclusion..……………………………………………………….. 15

References……………………………………………………………………….. 16

ii
Introduction

Since soil is the foundation of most structures and roads, a detailed knowledge of soil

properties is important. This report details and discusses the consolidation test which is used

to determine specific soil properties. The soil properties determined were the compression

index (Cc), recompression slope (Cr), the preconsolidation pressure ( ’p) and the coefficient of

consolidation (cv). Using the consolidation test data, graphs of void ratio versus logarithm of

pressure and coefficient of consolidation versus logarithm of pressure can be developed. On

the void ratio curve, Cc is the slope of the virgin compression portion and Cr is the slope of the

recompression portion. The ’p is the maximum pressure that has ever been imposed on the

soil sample and can also be determined from the void ratio curve. The cv indicates how

rapidly or slowly the consolidation process takes. These properties can be used to determine

the rate and magnitude of settlement of structures built on the soil.

Consolidation is defined as the process of compression of soil due to very slow

extrusion of water from the voids as a result of increased loading (Liu and Evett, 2003). Any

load applied to saturated soil is assumed to be initially carried by the incompressible water

contained in the voids. Over time the water will extrude out of the voids and the soil will

compress resulting in a reduced volume of voids. Measuring the time and soil deformation

during this process helps to determine the soil properties.

The consolidation test is generally performed on undisturbed fine-grain soil samples

sedimented in water. The consolidation test is detailed in the procedure section of this report

and is also given in ASTM D-2435 Test Method for One-Dimensional Consolidation

Properties of Soils (Liu and Evett, 2003).

1
Procedure

The consolidation test was performed using a consolidometer and various weights.

The consolidometer held the soil sample in a ring, provided a means of submerging the soil

sample under water, applied a vertical load to the soil sample, and measured the thickness of

the soil sample. This procedure was followed for two separate soil samples.

The lab instructor assembled the soil samples in the consolidometer and setup the dial

gauge to read the thickness of the soil samples. Samples from each test were taken and

weighed to determine the wet mass (mwet). The samples were then put into an oven at a

temperature of 110 +/- 5 degrees Celsius for 24 hours. The samples were then taken out of

the oven and weighed to determine the dry mass (mdry). The moisture content (w) of each test

was calculated using equation 1.

(m wet − mdry )
w= (1)
mdry

The lab instructor also provided the consolidometer ring diameter (DR), ring height

(H0), ring mass (MR), and the soil sample plus ring mass (MR+T0). The height of the solids

(HS) of each test was then calculated using equation 2.

( M R +T 0 − M R )
HS = (2)
π * DR2
(1 + w) * GS * ρW *
4

The initial void ratio (e0) of each test was then calculated using equation 3.

H0 − HS
e0 = (3)
HS

2
The next step was to add weights from 2kg to 32 kg to the consolidometer which

corresponded to loads (P) on the soil samples from 0.67 to 10.67 tsf. After the loads were

applied, the soil samples consolidated and the thicknesses at various times from 0.25 minutes

to 24 hours were recorded. This data was then used to create eleven time-deformation curves

(TDC) for each sample. During the loading process, the loads were also removed and

unloading TDCs were determined.

Each TDC was then used to determine the zero percent deformation (R0), the 100

percent deformation (R100), the 50 percent deformation (R50), and the time at 50 percent

deformation (t50). R100 was determined by drawing tangents to the middle portion and the

last portion of the TDC. The point where these two tangents crossed corresponded to R100.

R0 was found by arbitrarily choosing a point on the first portion of the TDC and drawing a

horizontal line. A second horizontal line was drawn at one-quarter t, where t is the time the

first horizontal line crossed the TDC. The distance (A) between the two lines was measured

and a third horizontal line was drawn at a distance A above the second horizontal line. The

deformation corresponding to the third horizontal line is R0. R50 was exactly in the middle of

R0 and R100. The time corresponding to R50 was t50.

Using the R0, R50, R100 and t50 values, the void ratio (e) and coefficient of

consolidation (cv) were calculated for each P using equations 4 and 5.

( R100 − R0)
e = e0 − (4)
HS

0.196 * [0.5 * ( H 0 − R50)]


cV = (5)
t 50

3
Graphs were then created of void ratio versus logarithm of pressure and coefficient of

consolidation versus logarithm of pressure graph. From the void ratio graph the

preconsolidation pressure ( ’p), the compression index (Cc), and the recompression slope (Cr)

were determined for each soil sample. Cc was the slope of the virgin compression portion of

the curve and Cr was the slope of the recompression portion of the curve. Both Cc and Cr were

reported as positive numbers. ’p was determined using the Casa Grande Method (McCarthy,

2002). ’p was found by drawing a tangent to the first portion of the void ratio curve. A

horizontal line was then drawn at the point the tangent touched the void ratio curve. A third

line was drawn that bisected the first two lines. Finally, the point where the third line crossed

the Cc line corresponded to ’p.

4
Results

The lab instructor provided the raw data used to calculate the moisture contents. This

data along with the calculated moisture contents for each soil sample are given in Tables 1

and 2.

TABLE 1
Moisture content raw and calculated data for sample 1 – C1

Can ID C1-1 C2-1


Mass of can (g) 31.92 31.62
Mass of can and wet soil sample (g) 83.91 75.35
Mass of can and dry soil sample (g) 62.31 62.70
Mass wet soil sample(g) 51.99 43.73
Mass of dry soil sample (g) 30.39 31.08
Moisture content (%) 71.08 40.70
Average moisture content (%) 40.70

TABLE 2
Moisture content raw and calculated data for sample 2 – C2

Can ID C1-2 C2-2


Mass of can (g) 31.66 32.24
Mass of can and wet soil sample (g) 76.63 85.82
Mass of can and dry soil sample (g) 62.27 70.38
Mass wet soil sample(g) 44.97 53.58
Mass of dry soil sample (g) 30.61 38.14
Moisture content (%) 46.91 40.48
Average moisture content (%) 43.70

The consolidometer dimensions and initial soil data were provided by the lab

instructor. This information was used to calculate the initial height of solid and initial void

ratio of the each soil sample. These values are given in Table 3.

5
TABLE 3
Consolidometer dimension and initial soil sample data

Sample 1 Sample 2
Ring diameter (in) 2.51 2.51
Ring height (in) 0.79 0.79
Ring mass (g) 64.52 63.66
Ring area (in2) 4.95 4.95
Ring volume (in3) 3.91 3.91
Mass of ring and wet soil sample (g) 173.31 171.51
Mass of wet soil sample (g) 108.79 107.85
Mass of dry soil sample (g) 77.32 75.05
Dry density of soil sample (g/in3) 19.78 19.21
Dry unit weight of soil sample (lb/ft3) 75.32 73.11
Density of water (g/cm3) 1.0 1.0
Specific gravity of soil sample 2.65 2.65
Initial volume of solids (in3) 478.13 464.12
Initial height of solids (in) 0.36 0.349
Initial saturation of soil sample (%) 90.23 91.78
Initial void ratio of soil sample 1.20 1.26

The loads applied to the soil samples along with the dates are given in Table 4.

TABLE 4
Permeameter Diameter Results

Date Day Load (tsf) Type


15-Mar T 2/3 Load
16-Mar W 4/3 Load
17-Mar H 8/3 Load
18-Mar F 16/3 Load
19-Mar S 8/3 Unload
20-Mar Su 4/3 Unload
21-Mar M 8/3 Load
22-Mar T 16/3 Load
23-Mar W 32/3 Load
24-Mar H 8/3 Unload
25-Mar F 2/3 Unload

The time-deformation curves on each date for each soil sample are given in Figures 1,

2, and 3.

6
Time-Deformation Curve 3-15 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-15 C2

0.0575 0.1088

R0
0.0576 0.1089 a

R0
a a
a
0.0577 0.1090
Defotmation, (inches)

Defotmation, (inches)
0.0578 0.1091
R50 R50

0.0579 0.1092

0.0580 0.1093
R100 R100

0.0581 0.1094
0.1 1 10 t50 100 1000 10000 0.1 1 10 t50 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t2 = (t1)/4
t1 Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Time-Deformation Curve 3-16 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-16 C2

0.0595 0.1110

0.0600
0.1115
R0 a
a
a
0.0605 a R0
0.1120

0.0610

Defotmation, (inches)
Defotmation, (inches)

0.1125
0.0615

R50
R50
0.0620 0.1130

0.0625
0.1135
R100
0.0630 R100
0.1140

0.0635

0.1145
0.1 1 10 t50 100 1000 10000 0.1 1 10t50 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t2 = (t1)/4
t1 Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Time-Deformation Curve 3-17 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-17 C2

0.0700 0.1220

R0
a 0.1240
R0
a
0.1260
0.0750
a
a
0.1280
Defotmation, (inches)

Defotmation, (inches)

0.1300
0.0800
R50
R50
0.1320

0.1340
0.0850

0.1360
R100 R100

0.1380

0.0900
0.1400
0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 0.1 1 t50 10 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t50 t2 = (t1)/4
t1 Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Time-Deformation Curve 3-18 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-18 C2

0.0950 0.1400

R0 0.1450
0.1000
a R0
0.1500
a
a
Defotmation, (inches)

Defotmation, (inches)

0.1050
a
0.1550
R50

R50
0.1600
0.1100

R100
0.1650

0.1150
R100
0.1700

0.1200 0.1750
0.1 1 t50 10 100 1000 10000 0.1 1 10 t50 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t2 = (t1)/4
t1 Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Figure 1: Time-deformation curves for 3-15 through 3-18

7
Time-Deformation Curve 3-19 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-19 C2

0.1174 0.1670

0.1176

0.1675
R100
0.1178
Defotmation, (inches)

Defotmation, (inches)
R100

0.1680
R50
0.1180 R50

0.1182 a
a 0.1685

a
a
0.1184 R0
R0
0.1690
0.1 1 t50 10 100 1000 10000 0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t2 = (t1)/4 t50
t1 Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Time-Deformation Curve 3-20 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-20 C2


0.1120 0.1620

0.1130 0.1630

R100 R100
Defotmation, (inches)

Defotmation, (inches)
0.1140 0.1640

R50 R50
0.1150 0.1650
a
a

a
0.1160 0.1660
a R0
R0

0.1170 0.1670
0.1 t501 10 100 1000 10000 0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t2 = (t1)/4 t50
t1 Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Time-Deformation Curve 3-21 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-21 C2

0.1140 0.1635

0.1640
R0
0.1145 R0

a
a a
Defotmation, (inches)

Defotmation, (inches)

0.1645

a
0.1150
R50 R50
0.1650

R100
R100
0.1155
0.1655

0.1160 0.1660
0.1 1 t50 10 100 1000 10000 0.1 t50 1 10 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t2 = (t1)/4
t1 Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Time-Deformation Curve 3-22 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-22 C2


0.1180 0.1680

R0
0.1190 0.1690
a
R0

a
0.1200 0.1700
a
a
Defotmation, (inches)

Defotmation, (inches)

0.1210 0.1710

R50 R50
0.1220 0.1720

R100 R100
0.1230 0.1730

0.1240 0.1740

0.1250 0.1750
0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 0.1 1 t50 10 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t50 t2 = (t1)/4
t1 Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Figure 2: Time-deformation curves for 3-19 through 3-22

8
Time-Deformation Curve 3-23 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-23 C2

0.1250 0.1700

R0
0.1750
0.1300
R0
a
0.1800

a
0.1350
a
Defotmation, (inches)

Defotmation, (inches)
0.1850
a

0.1400 0.1900
R50 R50

0.1950
0.1450
R100
R100 0.2000

0.1500
0.2050

0.1550 0.2100
0.1 1 t50 10 100 1000 10000 0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t2 = (t1)/4 t50
t1 Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Time-Deformation Curve 3-24 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-24 C2

0.1400 0.1920

0.1410 0.1930

R100
R100
0.1420 a 0.1940

Defotmation, (inches)
Defotmation, (inches)

0.1430 0.1950

a
0.1440 0.1960
R50 R50
a
0.1450 0.1970

R0 a
0.1460 0.1980

0.1470 0.1990
R0

0.1480 0.2000
0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000 0.1 1 10 100 1000 10000
t2 = (t1)/4 t50 t1 t2 = (t1)/4 t50
Log of time, (minutes) t1 Log of time, (minutes)

Time-Deformation Curve 3-25 C1 Time-Deformation Curve 3-25 C2


0.1340 0.1860

0.1350
0.1870

0.1360

0.1880
R100
0.1370 R100
Defotmation, (inches)

Defotmation, (inches)

0.1890
0.1380

a
0.1390 0.1900
R50 R50
0.1400 a
a 0.1910
R0
a
0.1410
R0
0.1920
0.1420

0.1930
0.1430

0.1440 0.1940
0.1 t50 1 10 100 1000 0.1 t2 = (t1)/4 t1 t50 1 10 100 1000
t2 = (t1)/4 t1
Log of time, (minutes) Log of time, (minutes)

Figure 3: Time-deformation curves for 3-23 through 3-25

Using the time-deformation curves, the values of R0, R50, R100, and t50 for each soil

sample were determined and are given based on the date in Tables 5 and 6.

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TABLE 5
Load and time deformation curve data for sample 1 – C1

C1 Load Load R0 R100 R50 t50


Date tsf lb/ft2 in in in min
3/15 0.67 1333.3 0.0577 0.0580 0.0578 27
3/16 1.33 2666.7 0.0602 0.0632 0.0617 14
3/17 2.67 5333.3 0.0715 0.0875 0.0795 2.5
3/18 5.33 10666.7 0.0980 0.1151 0.1066 1.1
3/19 2.67 5333.3 0.1185 0.1175 0.1180 2.1
3/20 1.33 2666.7 0.1164 0.1138 0.1151 0.9
3/21 2.67 5333.3 0.1135 0.1145 0.1140 1.8
3/22 5.33 10666.7 0.1186 0.1231 0.1209 1.5
3/23 10.67 21333.3 0.1275 0.1480 0.1378 1.1
3/24 2.67 5333.3 0.1474 0.1418 0.1446 0.6
3/25 0.67 1333.3 0.1409 0.1366 0.1388 0.6

TABLE 6
Load and time deformation curve data for sample 2 – C2

C2 Load Load R0 R100 R50 t50


Date tsf lb/ft2 In in in min
3/15 0.67 1333.3 0.1089 0.1093 0.1091 20
3/16 1.33 2666.7 0.1116 0.1137 0.1126 12
3/17 2.67 5333.3 0.1241 0.1365 0.1303 2.5
3/18 5.33 10666.7 0.1480 0.1645 0.1563 0.9
3/19 2.67 5333.3 0.1687 0.1678 0.1683 2.3
3/20 1.33 2666.7 0.1662 0.1638 0.1650 0.75
3/21 2.67 5333.3 0.1642 0.1653 0.1648 0.65
3/22 5.33 10666.7 0.1693 0.1728 0.1711 1.2
3/23 10.67 21333.3 0.1780 0.1980 0.1880 0.68
3/24 2.67 5333.3 0.1935 0.1984 0.1960 0.45
3/25 0.67 1333.3 0.1919 0.1879 0.1899 0.65

Using the R0, R50, R100, and t50 values, the void ratio and coefficients of

consolidation were calculated for each soil sample and are given based on the date in Tables 7

and 8.

10
TABLE 7
Calculated void ratios and coefficient of consolidations for sample 1 – C1

C1 ∆H Hs ∆e e H cv
Date in in in in2/min
3/15 0.000 0.36 0.001 1.199 0.366 0.001
3/16 0.006 0.36 0.016 1.184 0.364 0.002
3/17 0.030 0.36 0.083 1.117 0.355 0.013
3/18 0.057 0.36 0.160 1.040 0.342 0.031
3/19 0.060 0.36 0.166 1.034 0.336 0.017
3/20 0.056 0.36 0.156 1.044 0.337 0.039
3/21 0.057 0.36 0.158 1.042 0.338 0.019
3/22 0.065 0.36 0.182 1.018 0.335 0.024
3/23 0.090 0.36 0.251 0.949 0.326 0.034
3/24 0.084 0.36 0.234 0.966 0.323 0.063
3/25 0.079 0.36 0.219 0.981 0.326 0.062

TABLE 8
Calculated void ratios and coefficient of consolidations for sample 2 – C2

C2 ∆H Hs ∆e e H cv
2
Date in in in in /min
3/15 0.000 0.349 0.001 1.259 0.395 0.002
3/16 0.005 0.349 0.014 1.246 0.394 0.003
3/17 0.028 0.349 0.079 1.181 0.392 0.015
3/18 0.056 0.349 0.159 1.101 0.391 0.043
3/19 0.059 0.349 0.169 1.091 0.395 0.017
3/20 0.055 0.349 0.157 1.103 0.396 0.053
3/21 0.056 0.349 0.162 1.098 0.395 0.061
3/22 0.064 0.349 0.183 1.077 0.394 0.033
3/23 0.089 0.349 0.255 1.005 0.390 0.061
3/24 0.090 0.349 0.257 1.003 0.394 0.094
3/25 0.079 0.349 0.226 1.034 0.396 0.064

Next, using the calculated void ratios and coefficients of consolidation, the graphs of

void ratio versus logarithm of pressure and coefficient of consolidation versus logarithm of

pressure were determined and are given in Figures 4, 5, 6, and 7.

11
Void Ratio versus Logarithm of Pressure -C1

1.25

1.2

1.15
Void Ratio, e

1.1

(6000,1.075)
1.05
(2000,1.045)
Cr
1
(20000,1.025)

0.95

Cc (30000,0.925)
0.9
1000.00 10000.00 100000.00
'_p
Pressure, P [log] (lb/ft^2)

Figure 4: Void ratio versus logarithm of pressure for soil sample 1 -C1

Void Ratio versus Logarithm of Pressure - C2

1.3

1.25

1.2

1.15
(4000,1.175)
Void Ratio, e

1.1 (20000,1.08)
(2000,1.11) Cr
1.05

1
(30000,0.97)
0.95
Cc
0.9
1000.00 10000.00 100000.00
'_p
Pressure, P [log] (lb/ft^2)

Figure 5: Void ratio versus logarithm of pressure for soil sample 2 - C2

12
Coefficient of Consolidation versus Logarithm of Pressure - C1

0.04

0.035
Coefficent of Consoldiation, cv (in/min^2)

0.03

0.025

0.02

0.015

0.01

0.005

0
1000.00 10000.00 100000.00
Pressure, P [log] (lb/ft^2)

Figure 6: Coefficient of consolidation versus logarithm of pressure for soil sample 1 - C1

Coefficient of Consolidation versus Logarith of Pressure - C2

0.07
Coefficent of Consoldiation, cv (in/min^2)

0.06

0.05

0.04

0.03

0.02

0.01

0
1000.00 10000.00 100000.00
Pressure, P [log] (lb/ft^2)

Figure 7: Coefficient of consolidation versus logarithm of pressure for soil sample 2 – C2

13
From the void ratio graphs, the compression index (Cc) and the recompression slope

(Cr) were determined for each soil sample were determined and are given in Table 9.

TABLE 9
Compression index and recompression slope for samples 1 and 2

Points used to find slope Slope


X y x y Cr or Cc
Sample 1 - Cr 2000 1.045 20000 1.025 0.020
Sample 1 - Cc 6000 1.075 30000 0.925 0.215
Sample 2 - Cr 2000 1.11 20000 1.08 0.030
Sample 2 - Cc 4000 1.175 30000 0.97 0.234

Finally from the void ratio graphs, the preconsolidation pressures ( ’p) were

determined to be 2,700 lb/ft2 and 2,800 lb/ft2 for first and second soil samples, respectively.

14
Analysis and Conclusions

Based on results of the consolidation test, graphs of void ratio versus logarithm of

pressure and coefficient of consolidation versus logarithm of pressure were determined for

two soil samples. From the coefficient of consolidation graph, it is determined that the

maximum pressure was not reach to show where the curve started so come back down.

Therefore, the results from the coefficient of consolidation graphs are inconclusive. The Cc

and Cr values from the void ratio graphs are within expected ranges. Cr is also approximately

ten percent of Cc which is expected. The ’p values describe soil samples that have been

exposed to about 2,700 lb/ft2 in the past. These properties can be used with additional

equations to determine the rate and magnitude of settlement of structures built on the soil, but

was not required for this lab.

Potential errors in these tests could be due to inexperience, misunderstanding the

procedure, and shortened time intervals. In conclusion, the results from the two tests are

significant because they identified soil properties that were within expected ranges and could

be used for further analysis.

15
References

ASTM D-2435 “Test Method for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soils”, 2000.
American Society and Materials, now ASTM International, W. Conshohocken, PA.

Liu, Cheng and Evett, Jack B., (2003). Soil Properties, Testing, and Measurement, and
Evaluation. 5th Ed., Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

McCarthy, David F., (2002). Essentials of Soil Mechanics and Foundations. 6th Ed., Pearson
Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

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