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# ATTERBERG’S LIMIT

a. LIQUID LIMIT (The liquid limit (LL) is often conceptually defined as the water content at which the behavior of a
clayey soil changes from plastic to liquid)
Using Casagrande Cup Method Using Fall Cone Method

b. PLASTIC LIMIT (The plastic limit (PL) is determined by rolling out a thread of the fine portion of a soil on a flat,
non-porous surface until hairline cracks begins to appear)

## c. SHRINKAGE LIMIT (The shrinkage limit (SL) is the

water content where further loss of moisture will not result
in any more volume reduction.)

 M  M 2   Vi  V f  
SL   1    w  100%
 M 2   M 2  

d. SHRINKAGE RATIO
 V 
 
V
SR   f  M2

 M  V f  w
 
 M2 
e. SPECIFIC GRAVITY
1
Gs 
1 SL

SR 100
SOIL INDICES

## SOIL INDICES REMARKS

PI  0 Non-Plastic
0  PI  7 Low Plastic
PI  LL  PL 7  PI  17 Medium Plastic
PI  17 Highly Plastic
PI
TI  -------
FI
w  PL LI  0 Brittle
LI  0  LI  1 Plastic
LL  PL LI  1 Viscous
CI  0 Liquid State
LL  w CI  0 Plastic State at Very Soft State
CI  0  CI  1 Plastic State
LL  PL CI  1 Plastic State at Very Stiff State
CI  1 Semisolid or Solid State
FI  slope of the flow line -------
PI A  0.75 Inactive
A 0.75  A  1.40 Normal
% clay fraction A  1.40 Active

PROBLEMS

1. Results from liquid and plastic limit tests conducted on a soil are given below.
Liquid limit tests:

## a. Draw the flow curve and obtain the liquid limit.

b. What is the plasticity index of the soil?
c. Determine the liquidity index of the soil if win situ =32%
2. A saturated soil used to determine the shrinkage limit has initial volume Vi =20.2 cc, final volume Vf =14.3 cc, mass of wet
soil M1 = 34 g, and mass of dry soil M2 = 24 g. Determine the shrinkage limit and the shrinkage ratio.
3. Four different types of soils were encountered in a large project. Their liquid limits (LL), plastic limits (PL ) and their
natural moisture contents (w) were as given below:
%Finer
SOIL TYPE LL% PL% w%
Than 2μm
A 120 40 150 50
B 80 35 70 55
C 60 30 30 45
D 65 32 25 48
Determine the liquidity indices of the soils, (ii) the consistency of the natural soils (i.e., whether soft, stiff, etc.). Also,
classify the soils according to their activity values.
4. A liquid limit test carried out on a sample of inorganic soil taken from below the water table gave the following results:
Fall cone penetration y (mm) 15.5 18.2 21.4 23.6
Moisture content, w% 34.6 40.8 48.2 53.4
A plastic limit test gave a value of 33%. Determine the average liquid limit and plasticity index of this soil and give its
classification.

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