Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 8

Program Based Learning for KA21603

Geotechnical Engineering 1, Semester 2, 2017/2018



Nurul Huda binti Muhamad Fauzi, BK16110267

Civil Engineering Program, School of Engineering and Information Technology

Universiti Malaysia Sabah, 88400, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

ABSTRACT. Borrow pit is one of the method to improve the engineering properties of soil.
These two different type of soil shows some properties that relevant and fulfill the requirement to
construct the bypass road. The objective here to investigate either one of the soil is suitable to be
used for constructing bypass road. The soil sample were prepared in accordance British
Standard. There are several tests had been conducted that shows the soil properties. It gives the
value of well-graded for both soils. Then, several test shows Bukit Botak having most of highest
value rather than the Faculty of Medicine. But, in this case not all of the highest value good to be
choose related to the objective. Here it shows that either the test followed the requirement given
by the client or not. Then, the client would choose the most suitable among the two soils for
construction project of bypass road.
KEYWORDS. Engineering properties, soil sample, borrow pit, road, moisture content.

Geotech.Co was hired by the construction company to test two locations as borrow pit
which been appointed by the authority to construct a bypass road connecting two Sabah State
Government Administration Centres (Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah and Kompleks
Pentadbiran Sabah. To construct the bypass road, a number of key practices techniques can be
used to prevent the adverse impacts on roads. First, a road must serve the need of the user
through good transportation system planning, long-term cost effectiveness and minimizing the
adverse impacts. Beverley C. Wemple, Gordon E. Clark, Donald S. Ross, Donna M. Rizzo.
(2017) These borrow pit was going to be identified to obtain the backfilling materials (subgrade)
for the road. The borrow pit location that had been chosen to be investigate were Bukit Botak,
Sepanggar and Faculty of Medicine, UMS. There are several requirement given by the client
which the borrow pit location must within 30km from the proposed bypass road, plasticity
index must be low to medium plasticity, the acidity or basidity must between 4.0-8.5, the
maximum dry density must above 1300kg/m3 and the optimum water content must in
between 4-17%. The term ‘borrow pit’ is generally utilized by the Contractor when a project
requires a larger amount of fill material versus amount of usable material obtained from cut

Program Based Learning for KA21603
Geotechnical Engineering 1, Semester 2, 2017/2018

sections. It involve of excavating and digging material activity which use as fill section at
another site.


Geotech.Co was conducted six test to identify the engineering properties of both soil
sample as needed by the client’s requirement. The test are Sieve Analysis, Atterberg Limit,
Specific Gravity Test, Standard Proctor Compaction Test and pH Value Test. These were
repeated 2 times because of two different location of soil sample.
Firstly, 5kg each of soil sample was taken from both location to be tested. Shovel was
used to dig the soil sample in depth of 1m. Both soil sample were prepared by dry the soil in an
oven 24 hours for 110oC temperature. After cooling period of another 24 hours, the soil is
crushed using hammer on the base plate into smaller particles and then is sieved to obtain
particle less than 0.075 mm. The duration that take place in sieving was about 10 minutes. Each
of the mass of sieve was been weighed. Then, the mass of sieve with soil was obtained.
Secondly, liquid limit was obtained by using fall cone method. This test was using soil
that passing opening sieve size of 425m with mass of 200g. The soil sample mixed with water
and then filled in the penetration cup. The cone penetrometer was released and reading could be
taken. It’s consider done until meet the failure which penetrate above 320mm.
Thirdly, plastic limit was determined by using rolling hand method. The amount of water
is referring to the percentage in LL for the soil to be rolled without sticky. The soil was rolled
until it reach about 3mm. Rolled until crumble. Both, PL and LL test was oven-dried for 24

The specific gravity test was obtained using soil passing opening sieve size 425m and
mixed until obtained 22g. Filled in the soil and water and then shake it. After that, it connected to
the vacuum for 10 minutes which to remove the air trapped. After shake, mark the point that
shows bubble. After that the content was removed and it can be weighed.
The compaction test required 2.5kg of soil. The soil was mixed by addition of 100ml of
water each of trial. Then, the soil been compacted in the mould using hammer for 3 layers and 27
blows per each layer. The compaction would stopped after the last two value were dropped. Each
of the trial need to be oven-dried for 24hours.
Lastly, the pH meter test was conducted about 30g. The soil was added to the beaker with
addition of 10ml of water to be stirred. The mixture was then covered with glass cover. The
temperature was taken after 10-15 minutes and repeated until reach 1 hour. After 1 hour, the pH
meter was immersed in the beaker and the value was obtained.

Program Based Learning for KA21603
Geotechnical Engineering 1, Semester 2, 2017/2018

Type of Soil
Soil Classification using both British Standard (BS) and American Society for Testing
and Materials (ASTM) methods indicated that the soils have basic properties as shown in Table
Table 1: Basic Properties of Two Soil

Properties Soil Bukit Botak Soil Faculty of Medicine

Coefficient of Uniformity, Cu 15.43 10.36
Coefficient of Curvature, Cv 1.35 1.15
Specific Gravity, Gs 2.493 2.368
Liquid Limit, LL (%) 23 15.9
Plastic Limit, PL (%) 19.291 13.216
Plasticity Index, PI (%) 3.709 2.684
BS Classification GPu GPu
ASTM Classification SW GW
AASHTO Classification A-1-a A-1-a
USCS Classification GW-GM SW


Sieve Analysis Test
For sieve analysis test, the percentage of finer of soil on each opening size of sieve was tabulated
in Table 2 for both location of soil.

Table 2: Percentage Finer of Two Soil Sample

Opening Sieve Size (mm) % finer of Soil Bukit Botak % finer of Soil Faculty of
9.5 100 100
5 57.80 47.88
4.75 56.09 46.69
1.4 28.52 25.44
1 23.54 21.44
0.6 15.90 11.59
0.425 12.66 8.19
0.212 5.93 2.94
0.15 5.89 2.90
0.075 5.89 2.90
Pan 0.00 0.00

Program Based Learning for KA21603
Geotechnical Engineering 1, Semester 2, 2017/2018

Based on the data from Table 2, the percentage finer of soil was plotted against the
opening size of sieve on the semi-log graph.

Figure 1: Particle Distribution Curve of Two Soils

From the graph plotted above, the coefficient of uniformity and curvature was calculated by
using the formula shown below:
𝐷 (𝐷30 )2
𝐶𝑢 = 𝐷60 𝐶𝑐 = 𝐷
10 60 𝐷10

The value for Cu and Cv for both soil tabulated as in Table 1. The classification for both soils are
well-graded sand soil (SW).

Atterberg Limit Test

For atterberg limit test, the two chosen test we had conducted were the Liquid Limit Test
and the Plastic Limit Test. For determination of liquid limit (LL) for both soil sample, the
suitable method to use is fall cone method. The data was tabulated in Table 3.
Table 3: Penetration and Moisture Content for Two Soil Sample
Sample No. Penetration Moisture Sample No. Penetration Moisture
(mm) Content (%) (mm) Content (%)
Soil Bukit Botak Soil Faculty of Medicine
1 32 29.82 1 26 20.16

Program Based Learning for KA21603
Geotechnical Engineering 1, Semester 2, 2017/2018

2 27 24.25 2 83 27.71
3 11 27.27 3 60 20.63
4 30 25.42 4 39 22.06

5 53 29.03 5 70 28.95

From the data above, it shows that moisture content for both soil sample were increasing
because of the adding amount of the water to the soil. The comparison between both soil sample
is the soil sample from Bukit Botak gives the highest value of moisture content.
The graph was plotted of Penetration against Moisture Content in order to obtain the LL
for both soil sample by taking a 20mm depth penetration.

Penetration Soil Bukit
Penetration (mm)

80 Botak
60 Penetration Soil Faculty of
40 Medicine
20 Linear (Penetration Soil
0 Bukit Botak)
15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 Linear (Penetration Soil
Water Content (%), w Faculty of Medicine)

Figure 2: Graph of Penetration against Moisture Content

As shows above, the LL for Soil Bukit Botak is 23% meanwhile LL for Soil Faculty of Medicine
is 15.9%.
The Plastic Limit was determined using the rolling hand method. The PL value was
obtained by taking average value of moisture content. The data were tabulated in Table 4.
Table 4: Plastic Limit Data
Trial Soil Bukit Botak Soil Faculty of Medicine
1 19.35 13.89
2 20.00 13.51
3 18.52 12.24
Average of PL (%) 19.291 13.216

So now, the LL and PL value already been determined. Next, the Plasticity Index can be
known by referring to the formula below:

𝑃𝐼 = 𝐿𝐿 − 𝑃𝐿

Program Based Learning for KA21603
Geotechnical Engineering 1, Semester 2, 2017/2018

Soil Bukit Botak Soil Faculty of Medicine

Plasticity Index 3.709 2.684
This shows both of the plasticity is lower and tend to be more silt. Compared these two
soil sample, Bukit Botak soil have the highest value of PI. But, by referring to the Plasticity
Chart, Soil Bukit Botak in ‘hatched-zone’ while the Soil Faculty Medicine was in lower clay

Specific Gravity Test

Specific gravity test wants to determine the ratio of density of substance or material and
density of water. The highest value of Gs is 2.493 which in soil Bukit Botak.
Soil Bukit Botak Soil Faculty of Medicine
Gs 2.493 2.368

pH Meter Test
Based on the Table 5, both of soil sample fulfilled the requirement needed by the client. It shows
that the both of the soil more acidity than basidity.
Table 5: pH Meter Data
Time Interval of 10 mins Stir and Temperature (oC)
5 mins Rest
Soil Bukit Botak Soil Faculty of Medicine
1st 25.5 25.3
2nd 25.7 25.8
3rd 25.5 25.4
4th 25.5 25.4
pH value reading 4 4.1

Standard Proctor Compaction Test

As the data obtained below, from Figure 3 and 4, the maximum dry density and optimum water
content for soil sample Faculty of Medicine is 1680 kg/m3 and 14.2% meanwhile soil Bukit
Botak is 1590 kg/m3 and 18.5%. Regarding to Figure 3 and 4, it shows that the air void curve is
slightly high. This is because during the compaction the hand mixing probably not consistent and
some of the soil could be fully of air void. The air void ratio for Soil Bukit Botak is at 6.81%
meanwhile air void ratio for Soil Faculty of Medicine is at 5.2%.
Table 6: Dry Density and Moisture Content Data
Trial Dry Density Moisture Dry Density at Air Void Ratio
Content 0% 5% 10%
Soil Bukit Botak
1 1401.42 0.00 2493.0000 2368.3500 2243.7000
2 1450.96 5.88 2174.1651 2065.4568 1956.7486
3 1514.04 10.00 1995.5175 1895.7416 1795.9657

Program Based Learning for KA21603
Geotechnical Engineering 1, Semester 2, 2017/2018

4 1524.61 12.50 1900.6957 1805.6609 1710.6261

5 1564.05 20.00 1663.5526 1580.3750 1497.1974
6 1604.70 20.00 1663.5526 1580.3750 1497.1974
7 1499.19 25.00 1535.8078 1459.0174 1382.2270
8 1376.07 33.33 1361.5511 1293.4735 1225.3960
Soil Faculty of Medicine
1 1536.31 9.0909 1948.5338 1851.1071 1753.6804
2 1651.31 12.5000 1827.1605 1735.8025 1644.4444
3 1678.00 13.3333 1799.7568 1709.7690 1619.7811
4 1689.96 14.2857 1769.4278 1680.9564 1592.4851
5 1532.52 23.5294 1520.7011 1444.6661 1368.6310
6 1418.41 31.5789 1354.8543 1287.1115 1219.3688

Figure 3: Dry Density against Water Content for Soil Faculty of Medicine

Figure 4: Dry Density against Water Content for Soil Bukit Botak

Program Based Learning for KA21603
Geotechnical Engineering 1, Semester 2, 2017/2018

As the comparison between the two soil sample, the most suitable soil to be borrow pit is Soil
Faculty of Medicine. Among the 6 test had conducted, only one was not fulfill the requirement
which is the plasticity index. Meanwhile, the Soil Bukit Botak fail to fulfill the requirement
about two test which are also plasticity index and optimum water content which is more value
than needed from the client. The factor affect the plasticity index for most part simultaneously
and difficult to isolate. Factors that affecting the plasticity index is the soil content and type of
the soil. An increase in the percentage of type of soil causes the plastic limits to be higher with
the moisture content and increases the plasticity index. Furthermore, for compaction the
increased compactive effort enables greater the dry density to be achieved which the shape of the
no air voids line must occur at lower optimum moisture content. It is important to have good
control over moisture content during compaction soil layers.

The author would like to thank Sir Julius and other lab assistant of Geotechnical Laboratory for
their help in conducting the experiment. Also, I would like to thank Sir Jodin for giving the
opportunity to write this report journal. Besides, I would like to thank all of my classmates for
helping me on some inquiry matters according to this project.

1. Essays, UK. (November 2013). Borrow Pits In Construction Of Road Networks
Engineering Essay. Retrieved from
2. Beverley C. Wemple, Gordon E. Clark, Donald S. Ross, Donna M. Rizzo. (2017)
Identifying the spatial pattern and importance of hydro-geomorphic drainage impairments
on unpaved roads in the northeastern USA. Earth Surface Processes and
Landforms 42:11,1652-1665.
Online publication date: 21-Mar-2017.
3. M.J. Dumbleton and G. West (1966). Some Factors Affecting The Relation Between the
Clay Minerals in Soils and Their Plasticity. Clay Minerals (1966) 6, 179.
4. Atterberg Limits: Significance and Factors Affecting it. Retrieved from:
5. Compaction of Soil and Factors Affecting Compaction. Retrieved from: