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YouarehereCivilNotesSoilMechanicsSieveAnalysisandSoilClassification

SoilMechanics
SoilConstituents
Atterberg'sLimits
PermeabilityofSoil SieveAnalysisandParticleAnalysisofSize&Passing
BearingCapacityofSoil SieveTest,particleanalysis,grainsizeanalysisorparticlesizing
ClassificationofSoil Thegrainsizecharacteristicsofsoilsthatarepredominantlycoarsegrainedareevaluatedby
Advertisements a sieve analysis. A nest of sieves is prepared by stacking test sieves one above the other
Compactionofsoil
withthelargestopeningatthetopfollowedbysievesofsuccessivelysmalleropeningsand a
EarthPressure catchpanatthebottom.Openingmeshsizesofcommonlyusedsievesareshownin table
below.
CivilEngg.Subjects

ProfessionalEthics Procedureofparticlesizeanalysis:
MaterialsEngineering Asampleofdrysoilispouredontothetopsieve,thenestiscovered,anditisthenshaken
by hand or mechanical sieve shaker until each particle has dropped to a sieve with
EngineeringEconomics openingstoosmalltopass,andtheparticleisretained.Thecumulativeweightofallmaterial
TechnicalReportSkills largerthaneachsievesizeisdeterminedanddividedbythetotalsampleweighttoobtainthe
percent retained for that sieve size, and this value is subtracted from 100% to obtain the
Surveying&LevelingII percentpassingthatsievesize.
HydraulicStructures Results are displayed by plotting the percent passing (on a linear scale) against the sieve
Strengthofmaterials openingsize(onalogscale)andconnectingtheplottedpointswithasmoothcurvereferred
toasagrainsizedistributioncurve.
EngineeringGeology
Also Read: GeoTextiles | GeoTechnical Engineering | Geodetic
BuildingConstruction SurveyMethod
SteelStructures Particlesizepassingthesieves:
Hydraulics RelatedPages
ThenotationDxxreferstothesizeD,inmm,forwhichxx
ReinforcedConcrete percentofthesamplebyweightpassesasievemeshwith
anopeningequaltoD.TheD10size,sometimescalledthe SoilConstituents Soil
Hydrology effective grain size, is the grain diameter for which 10% of

PastPapers
thesample(byweight)isfiner. Classification CompactionofSoil Earth
Itisdeterminedfromthegrainsizedistributioncurveat
ProjectPlanning the point where the curve crosses a horizontal line through Pressure PalmIslandsDubai
SteelStructureLectures the 10% passing value on the y axis. Other D sizes are
foundinasimilarmanner.TheD50size,calledthemedian
CivilEngineering grain size, is the grain diameter for which half the sample GeotechnicalEngineering SoilMechanics
Ebooks (byweight)issmallerandhalfislarger.Twoparametersare

VideoTraining
used to describe the general shape of the grainsize Books AASHTOChart Bearing
distributioncurve.
Tutorial
SieveStandards Capacity EngineeringGeology Soil
AutoCADVideos
VICOConstructor Properties
SAP2000Training
SieveNo. Millimeters
MSProjectTutorials
CivilRelatedLinks 4 4.75
Jobs
10 2.00

EngineeringProjects 20 0.841
40 0.420
Suggestus,Whatto
70 0.210
Add
100 0.150

200 0.075

01 ParticleAnalysis 03 CivilEngineeringPDFBooks

02 SieveAnalysis 04 FreeEngineeringBooks

Inchesseives Millimeters

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1.5 38.1

1.0 25.4

0.75 19

0.5 12.5

Graphofsandsieveanalysistodetermineeffectivesizeanduniformitycoefficient
ClicktheimagetoEnlarge

Classificationofsoil
SoilMechanicsBooks
There are two soil classification systems in common use for engineering purposes. The Unified Soil Classification System is used for virtually all
geotechnical engineering work except highway and road construction, where the AASHTO soil classification system is used. Both systems use the
resultsofgrainsizeanalysisanddeterminationsofAtterberglimitstodeterminesoilsclassification.Soilcomponentsmaybedescribedasgravel,sand,
silt,orclay.Asoilcomprisingoneormoreofthesecomponentsisgivenadescriptivenameandadesignationconsistingoflettersorlettersandnumbers
whichdependontherelativeproportionsofthecomponentsandtheplasticitycharacteristicsofthesoil.

1.MITSystemofsoilclassification:
Clay

ClayisalsoknownasCohesiveSoil,FrictionlessSoilorExpansiveSoil
Composedofveryfineparticles(lessthan0.002mminsize)
Flakyinshape,thushavingconsiderablesurfacearea
Havehighinterparticleattractionandthushavingsufficientcohesion
Susceptibletoswellingandshrinkage,andpossesslowpermeability
Commonlybrownincolour

Silt

Siltparticlesranginsizefrom0.002mmto0.06mm
Havehighcapillarityandverylowdrystrength
Sinceparticlesizerangesinbetweenthatofclayandsandthuspossessingpropertiesofbothsandandclaysi.e.itshowsslight
cohesionandalsofriction.
Thecolourofsiltysoilismostlybrown

Sand

SandisalsoknownasFrictionalSoilorCohesionlessSoil
Particlesizerangingfrom0.06mmto2mm.
Itmayberoundedtoangularinshape
Greyincolour
Noplasticity
Possesshighstrengthinconfinedstateandhasconsiderablefrictionalresistance
Angularparticleshavehighfrictionalresistancethanroundedones
Ithashighpermeabilityandlowcapillarity

Gravel

Particlesizerangesfrom2mmto60mm
Gravelformgoodfoundationmaterial
Showshighfrictionalresistance
Angularparticleshavehighfrictionalresistancethanroundedones
Thegravelsproducedbycrushingofrocksareangularinshapewhilethosetakenfromriverbedsaresubroundedtorounded

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CobblesorBoulders

ParticleslargerthangravelsarecommonlyknownasCobblesorBoulders
Cobblesrangeinsizefrom60mmto200mm
Themateriallargerthan200mmaredesignatedasBoulders

2.AASHTOclassificationsofsoils:

TheAASHTOsystemclassifiessoilsintosevenprimarygroups,namedA1throughA7,basedontheirrelativeexpectedqualityforroadembankments,
subgrades,subbases,andbases.Someofthegroupsareinturndividedintosubgroups,suchasA1aandA1b.Furthermore, a Group Index may
becalculatedtoquantifyasoilsexpectedperformancewithinagroup.TodetermineasoilsclassificationintheAASHTOsystem, one first determines
therelativeproportionsofgravel,coarsesand,finesand,andsiltclay.

AASHTOClassificationChart

GranularMaterials(35%orlesspassingthe0.075mm SiltClayMaterials(>35%passingthe0.075
GeneralClassification
sieve) mmsieve)
A1 A2 A7
GroupClassification A3 A4 A5 A6
A1a A1b A24 A25 A26 A27 A75A76
SieveAnalysis,%passing
2.00mm(No.10) 50max
0.425(No.40) 30max 50max 51min
35 35 35 35
0.075(No.200) 15max 25max 10max 36min 36min 36min 36min
max max max max
Characteristicsoffractionpassing0.425
mm(No.40)
40 41 40 41
LiquidLimit 40max 41min 40max 41min
max min max min
10 10 11 11
PlasticityIndex 6max N.P. 10max 10max 11min 11min
max max min min
Usualtypesofsignificantconstituent stonefragments,gravel fine siltyorclayeygraveland
siltysoils clayeysoils
materials andsand sand sand
Generalratingasasubgrade excellenttogood fairtopoor

Note:PlasticityindexofA75subgroupisequaltoorlessthantheLL30.PlasticityindexofA76subgroupisgreaterthanLL30

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IntheAASHTOsystem:

gravelismaterialsmallerthan75mm(3in.)butretainedonaNo.10sieve
coarsesandismaterialpassingaNo10sievebutretainedonaNo.40sieveandfinesandismaterialpassingaNo.40sievebut
retainedonaNo.200sieve.
MaterialpassingtheNo.200sieveissiltclayandisclassifiedbasedonAtterberglimits.
Itshouldbenotedthatthedivisionbetweengravelandsandismadeatasmallersize(No.10sieve)intheAASHTOsystemthanin
theunifiedsystem(No.4sieve).

Secondly,ifanyfinesarepresent,Atterberglimitsaredeterminedandtheplasticityindexiscalculated.Asoilisagranularmaterialiflessthan35%of
thesoilbyweightpassestheNo.200sieve(#200).GranularmaterialsareclassifiedintogroupsA1throughA3.Soilshavingmorethan35%passingthe
No.200sievearesiltclayandfallingroupsA4throughA7.Havingtheproportionsofthecomponentsandtheplasticitydata,oneentersoneofthetwo
alternatives AASHTO classification tables and checks from left to right until a classification is found for which the soil meets the criteria. It should be
noted that, in this scheme, group A3 is checked before A2. Soils classified as A1 are typically wellgraded mixtures of gravel, coarse sand, and fine
sand.SoilsinsubgroupA1acontainmoregravelwhereasthoseinA1bcontainmoresand.

Adsby Google SieveAnalysis SoilClassification ParticleAnalysis

SoilsingroupA3 are typically fine sands that may contain small amounts of nonplastic silt. Group A2 contains a wide variety of borderline granular
materialsthatdonotmeetthecriteriaforgroupsA1orA3.SoilsingroupA4aresiltysoils,whereasthoseingroupA5 are highplasticity elastic silt.
SoilsingroupA6aretypicallyleanclays,andthoseingroupA7aretypicallyhighlyplasticclays.Withingroupscontainingfines, one may calculate a
groupindextofurtherevaluaterelativequalityandsupporting value of a material as subgrade. The group index is calculated according to the following
empiricalformula:

GroupindexF35()0.20.005LL40()+[]+0.01F15()PI10()

3.Unifiedsoilclassificationsystem(USCS):

The Unified Soil Classification System is based on the airfield classification system developed by Casa Grande during World War II. With some
modification it was jointly adopted by several U.S. government agencies in 1952. Additional refinements were made and it is currently standardized as
ASTM D 248793. It is used in the U.S. and much of the world for geotechnical work other than roads and highways. In the unified system soils are
designated by a twoletter symbol: the first identifies the primary component of the soil, and the second describes its grain size or plasticity
characteristics.Forexample,poorlygradedsandisdesignatedSPandlowplasticityclayisCL.Fivefirstlettersymbolsareused:

Gforgravel
Sforsand
Mforsilt
Cforclay
Ofororganicsoil

Clean sands and gravels (having less than 5% passing the No. 200 sieve) are given a second letter P if poorly graded or W if well graded. Sands and
gravels with more than 12% by weight passing the No. 200 sieve are given a second letter M if the fines are silty or C if fines are clayey. Sands and
gravels having between 5 and 12% are given dual classifications such as SPSM. Silts, clays, and organic soils are given the second letter H or L to
designatehighorlowplasticity.ThespecificrulesforclassificationaresummarizedasfollowsanddescribedindetailinASTMD2487.

1.Organicsoilsaredistinguishedbyadarkbrowntoblackcolor,anorganicodor,andvisiblefibrousmatter.

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2.ForsoilsthatarenotnotablyorganicthefirststepinclassificationistoconsiderthepercentagepassingtheNo.200sieve.
3.Iflessthan50%ofthesoilpassestheNo.200sieve,thesoiliscoarsegrained,andthefirstletterwillbeGorS
4.ifmorethan50%passestheNo.200sieve,thesoilisfinegrainedandthefirstletterwillbeMorC.

For coarsegrained soils, the proportions of sand and gravel in the coarse fraction (not the total sample) determine the first letter of the
classificationsymbol.ThecoarsefractionisthatportionofthetotalsampleretainedonaNo.200sieve.Ifmorethanhalfofthecoarsefractionisgravel
(retainedontheNo.4sieve),thesoilisgravelandthefirstlettersymbolisG.Ifmorethanhalfofthecoarsefractionissand,thesoilissandandthefirst
letter symbol is S. For sands and gravels the second letter of the classification is based on gradation for clean sands and gravels and plasticity of the
finesforsandsandgravelswithfines.

Forcleansands(lessthan5%passingtheNo.200sieve),theclassificationiswellgradedsand(SW)ifC6and1Cc3.Bothofthesecriteriamust
be met for the soil to be SW, otherwise the classification is poorly graded sand (SP). Clean gravels (less than 5% passing the No. 200 sieve) are
classifiedaswellgradedgravel(GW)ifCu4and1Cc3.Ifbothcriteriaarenotmet,thesoilispoorlygradedgravel (GP). For sands and gravels
wheremorethan12%ofthetotalsamplepasses the No. 200 sieve, the soil is a clayey sand (SC), clayey gravel (GC), silty sand (SM), or silty gravel
(GM).

Thesecondletterisassignedbasedonwhetherthefinesclassifyasclay(C)orsilt(M)asdescribedforfinegrainedsoilsbelow.Forsandsandgravels
havingbetween5and12%ofthetotalsamplepassingtheNo.200sieve,boththegradationandplasticitycharacteristicsmustbeevaluatedandthesoil
isgivenadualclassificationsuchasSPSM,SPSC,GWGC,etc.Thefirstsymbolisalwaysbasedongradation,whereasthesecondisalwaysbased
onplasticity.Forfinegrainedsoilsandorganicsoils,classificationintheunifiedsystemisbasedonAtterberglimitsdeterminedbythefractionpassing
theNo.40sieve.Theliquidlimitandplasticityindexaredeterminedandplottedontheplasticitychart.TheverticallineatLL=50separateshigh
plasticitysoilsfromlowplasticitysoils.TheAlineseparatesclayfromsilt.TheequationoftheAlineis

PI=0.73(LL20)

TheUlineisnotusedinclassificationbutisanupperboundaryofexpectedresultsfornaturalsoils.ValuesplottingabovetheUlineshouldbechecked
forerrors.Inorganicsoilswithliquidlimitsbelow50thatplotabovetheAlineandhavePIvaluesgreaterthan7areleanclaysandaredesignatedCL
thosewithliquidlimitsabove50thatplotabovetheAlinearefatclaysandaredesignatedCH.Inorganicsoilswithliquidlimitsbelow50thatplotbelow
theAlinearesiltandaredesignatedMLthosewithliquidlimitsabove50thatplotbelowtheAlineareelasticsiltsandaredesignatedMH.

Theplasticitycharthasashadedareasoilsthatplotinthisarea(abovetheAlinewithPIvaluesbetween4and7)aresiltyclayandaregiventhedual
symbolCLML.Ifthesoilunderconsiderationisthefinescomponentofaduallyclassifiedsandorgravel,thesoilisclassifiedasSMSCorGMGC.
Soilswithsufficientorganiccontentstoinfluencepropertiesthathaveliquidlimitsbelow50areclassifiedasOLthosewithliquidlimitsabove50are
classifiedasOH.Soilsthatarepredominantlyorganic,withvisiblevegetabletissue,aretermedpeatandgiventhedesignationPt.

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