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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:

Plastic limit tests: PL =13.4%

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.