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Contents

Title: Unconsolidated Undrained Triaxial Test/ Triaxial Compression Test.................................. 2


Aim: ................................................................................................................................................ 2
Objective: ........................................................................................................................................ 2
Apparatus: ....................................................................................................................................... 2
Theory: ............................................................................................................................................ 3
Procedures: ...................................................................................................................................... 4
Results:............................................................................................................................................ 5
Sample Calculations: .................................................................................................................... 12
Discussion: .................................................................................................................................... 13
Conclusion: ................................................................................................................................... 15
Title: Consolidation Test............................................................................................................... 16
Aim: .............................................................................................................................................. 16
Objective: ...................................................................................................................................... 16
Apparatus: ..................................................................................................................................... 16
Theory: .......................................................................................................................................... 17
Procedures: .................................................................................................................................... 18
Results:.......................................................................................................................................... 18
Sample Calculations: .................................................................................................................... 20
Discussion: .................................................................................................................................... 21
Conclusion: ................................................................................................................................... 22
Bibliography: ................................................................................................................................ 23
Appendix:...................................................................................................................................... 24

Title: Unconsolidated Undrained Triaxial Test/ Triaxial Compression


Test
Aim:
The aim of this test was to carry out a triaxial test to determine the soil strength parameter for a
cohesionless soil.

Objective:
The objectives set forth for this experiment were, to determine:
i)
ii)

the friction angle,


the cohesion, c, for the given sample.

Apparatus:

Compression Machine
Triaxial Cell
Specimen mold
Rubber membrane
Porous stones
Vacuum pump
Air-pressure source
Calipers

Figure 1 Diagram of a Triaxial Cell (Soil Mechanics & Foundations 3rd Edition, Budhu)

Theory:
The strength of a soil develops from contact between particles which have the capacity to
transmit vertical (normal) forces as well as shear stresses (i.e. interparticle forces). If at any point
in a plane within a soil the shear stresses becomes equal to its shear strength, subsequently,
failure may ensue. The effect of water (moisture) on the soil is also of importance. Said water
can lead to the creation of either positive or negative (suction) pressures in the soil according to
its concentration, bringing about effective stresses.
The relationship between the soil strength parameters is given by the equation:

where

is the shear strength,

is the cohesion,

is the effective normal stress and

is the

internal friction angle.


The triaxial test, is one in which a cylindrical soil sample is used to estimate cohesive strength
and the angle of shearing resistance. A cylindrical soil sample is contained in a rubber tube and
surrounded by water under pressure inside a cylinder. A load is applied by a piston to pressurize
the water and subject the sample to an all-around pressure. Deformations, loads and pressures are
recorded. Undrained tests are rapid but drained tests are slower. This test one of the means
through which the strength parameters of a soil can be ascertained. These parameters are the
internal friction angle and cohesion. Its results can be used to plot an approximation of the MohrCoulomb failure curve.
The following formulae was used in order to carry out the necessary calculations required to
analyse results of this experiment:

Procedures:
1. A volume of water was measured, added to the soil sample to achieve the required
moisture content and mixed thoroughly.
2. The sample was then placed into the mould in three (3) layers with fifteen (15) tamps per
layer and then extruded.
3. The height and diameter of the specimen was measured at several locations, as well as,
the mass and an average value for each parameter was determined.
4. The extruded specimen was placed into the membrane along with the base and top caps.
5. The specimen was then placed in the compression machine, the cell was filled with water
and pressurized.
6. The sample was then loaded continually and the dial (deviator) readings were recorded at
regular intervals until they became redundant.
7. Subsequently the sample was then removed from the machine and placed into the
moisture tin and weighed. The weight of the tin was previously determined.
8. Next, the moisture tin was placed into the oven and the following day it was weighed
again.
9. Procedures one (1) to eight (8) were repeated for two (2) other samples and cell
pressures.
10. These results were tabulated and used to determine the required parameters.

Results:
Sample1

Compression
Gauge
0.002

ProvingRingGauge

0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
450
500
600
700
800
900
1000
1100
1200
1300
1400
1500
1600
1700
1800
1900
2000
2100
2200
2300
2400
2500
2600
2700
2800
2900
3000
3100
3200
3300
3400

0.00573

Deformation
(mm)

Load(kN)

Deformation
(m)

Strain

Corrected
Area(m2)

Stress(kN/m2)

0
20
30
39
45
52
57
62
66
71
74
81
87
91
96
99
103
106
108
110
112
114
115
117
118
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
128
130
130
130
131
132

0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1.0
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2.0
2.2
2.4
2.6
2.8
3.0
3.2
3.4
3.6
3.8
4.0
4.2
4.4
4.6
4.8
5.0
5.2
5.4
5.6
5.8
6.0
6.2
6.4
6.6
6.8

0.00
0.11
0.17
0.22
0.26
0.30
0.33
0.36
0.38
0.41
0.42
0.46
0.50
0.52
0.55
0.57
0.59
0.61
0.62
0.63
0.64
0.65
0.66
0.67
0.68
0.69
0.69
0.70
0.70
0.71
0.72
0.72
0.73
0.73
0.73
0.74
0.74
0.74
0.75
0.76

0.0000
0.0001
0.0002
0.0003
0.0004
0.0005
0.0006
0.0007
0.0008
0.0009
0.0010
0.0012
0.0014
0.0016
0.0018
0.0020
0.0022
0.0024
0.0026
0.0028
0.0030
0.0032
0.0034
0.0036
0.0038
0.0040
0.0042
0.0044
0.0046
0.0048
0.0050
0.0052
0.0054
0.0056
0.0058
0.0060
0.0062
0.0064
0.0066
0.0068

0.0000
0.0012
0.0023
0.0035
0.0047
0.0059
0.0070
0.0082
0.0094
0.0106
0.0117
0.0141
0.0164
0.0188
0.0211
0.0235
0.0258
0.0282
0.0305
0.0329
0.0352
0.0376
0.0399
0.0423
0.0446
0.0469
0.0493
0.0516
0.0540
0.0563
0.0587
0.0610
0.0634
0.0657
0.0681
0.0704
0.0728
0.0751
0.0775
0.0798

0.0011515
0.0011528
0.0011542
0.0011556
0.0011569
0.0011583
0.0011597
0.0011610
0.0011624
0.0011638
0.0011652
0.0011679
0.0011707
0.0011735
0.0011763
0.0011792
0.0011820
0.0011849
0.0011877
0.0011906
0.0011935
0.0011964
0.0011993
0.0012023
0.0012052
0.0012082
0.0012112
0.0012142
0.0012172
0.0012202
0.0012233
0.0012263
0.0012294
0.0012325
0.0012356
0.0012387
0.0012419
0.0012450
0.0012482
0.0012514

0.00
99.41
148.93
193.39
222.88
257.24
281.64
305.99
325.34
349.58
363.91
397.39
425.81
444.33
467.62
481.08
499.31
512.62
521.03
529.39
537.71
545.98
549.42
557.61
561.00
569.11
572.44
575.74
579.02
582.28
585.52
588.73
591.92
595.09
593.59
601.35
599.83
598.31
601.38
604.43

3500
3600
3700
3800
3900
4000
4100
4200
4300
4400
4500
4600
4700

132
133
133
134
135
135
136
136
137
137
137
137
137

7.0
7.2
7.4
7.6
7.8
8.0
8.2
8.4
8.6
8.8
9.0
9.2
9.4

Sample2

Compression
Gauge
0.002

0.00573

0.76
0.76
0.76
0.77
0.77
0.77
0.78
0.78
0.79
0.79
0.79
0.79
0.79

0.0070
0.0072
0.0074
0.0076
0.0078
0.0080
0.0082
0.0084
0.0086
0.0088
0.0090
0.0092
0.0094

0.0822
0.0845
0.0868
0.0892
0.0915
0.0939
0.0962
0.0986
0.1009
0.1033
0.1056
0.1080
0.1103

0.0012546
0.0012578
0.0012610
0.0012643
0.0012675
0.0012708
0.0012741
0.0012774
0.0012808
0.0012841
0.0012875
0.0012909
0.0012943

602.89
605.90
604.35
607.33
610.28
608.71
611.63
610.04
612.93
611.33
609.72
608.12
606.52

ProvingRingGauge

Load(kN)

Deformation
(mm)
0.0

0.00

Deformation
(m)
0.0000

100

0.2

0.01

200

20

0.4

400

61

600

Strain
0.0000

Corrected
Area(m2)
0.0011515

Stress
(kN/m2)
0.00

0.0002

0.0023

0.0011542

4.96

0.11

0.0004

0.0047

0.0011569

99.06

0.8

0.35

0.0008

0.0094

0.0011624

300.70

88

1.2

0.50

0.0012

0.0141

0.0011679

431.73

800

110

1.6

0.63

0.0016

0.0188

0.0011735

537.10

1000

134

2.0

0.77

0.0020

0.0235

0.0011792

651.15

1200

151

2.4

0.87

0.0024

0.0282

0.0011849

730.24

1400

162

2.8

0.93

0.0028

0.0329

0.0011906

779.65

1600

171

3.2

0.98

0.0032

0.0376

0.0011964

818.97

1800

178

3.6

1.02

0.0036

0.0423

0.0012023

848.33

2000

185

4.0

1.06

0.0040

0.0469

0.0012082

877.37

2200

192

4.4

1.10

0.0044

0.0516

0.0012142

906.08

2400

199

4.8

1.14

0.0048

0.0563

0.0012202

934.47

2600

202

5.2

1.16

0.0052

0.0610

0.0012263

943.84

2800

205

5.6

1.17

0.0056

0.0657

0.0012325

953.07

3000

207

6.0

1.19

0.0060

0.0704

0.0012387

957.53

3200

209

6.4

1.20

0.0064

0.0751

0.0012450

961.90

3400

210

6.8

1.20

0.0068

0.0798

0.0012514

961.60

3600

211

7.2

1.21

0.0072

0.0845

0.0012578

961.25

3800

210

7.6

1.20

0.0076

0.0892

0.0012643

951.78

4000

209

8.0

1.20

0.0080

0.0939

0.0012708

942.37

Sample3

Compression
Gauge
0.002

0.00573

ProvingRingGauge

Load(kN)

Deformation
(mm)
0.0

Corrected
Area(m2)
0.0011515

Stress
(kN/m2)
0.00

50

0.1

0.01

0.0001

0.0012

0.0011528

4.97

100

0.2

0.02

0.0002

0.0023

0.0011542

14.89

150

0.3

0.03

0.0003

0.0035

0.0011556

29.75

200

42

0.4

0.24

0.0004

0.0047

0.0011569

208.02

250

69

0.5

0.40

0.0005

0.0059

0.0011583

341.34

300

91

0.6

0.52

0.0006

0.0070

0.0011597

449.64

350

109

0.7

0.62

0.0007

0.0082

0.0011610

537.95

400

124

0.8

0.71

0.0008

0.0094

0.0011624

611.25

450

137

0.9

0.79

0.0009

0.0106

0.0011638

674.53

500

148

1.0

0.85

0.0010

0.0117

0.0011652

727.83

600

167

1.2

0.96

0.0012

0.0141

0.0011679

819.31

700

181

1.4

1.04

0.0014

0.0164

0.0011707

885.89

800

193

1.6

1.11

0.0016

0.0188

0.0011735

942.36

900

203

1.8

1.16

0.0018

0.0211

0.0011763

988.82

1000

211

2.0

1.21

0.0020

0.0235

0.0011792

1025.32

1100

218

2.2

1.25

0.0022

0.0258

0.0011820

1056.79

1200

223

2.4

1.28

0.0024

0.0282

0.0011849

1078.43

1300

228

2.6

1.31

0.0026

0.0305

0.0011877

1099.94

1400

232

2.8

1.33

0.0028

0.0329

0.0011906

1116.53

1500

236

3.0

1.35

0.0030

0.0352

0.0011935

1133.02

1600

239

3.2

1.37

0.0032

0.0376

0.0011964

1144.64

1800

246

3.6

1.41

0.0036

0.0423

0.0012023

1172.41

2000

250

4.0

1.43

0.0040

0.0469

0.0012082

1185.64

2200

254

4.4

1.46

0.0044

0.0516

0.0012142

1198.67

2400

257

4.8

1.47

0.0048

0.0563

0.0012202

1206.83

2600

260

5.2

1.49

0.0052

0.0610

0.0012263

1214.84

2800

262

5.6

1.50

0.0056

0.0657

0.0012325

1218.07

3000

263

6.0

1.51

0.0060

0.0704

0.0012387

1216.57

3200

265

6.4

1.52

0.0064

0.0751

0.0012450

1219.63

3400

266

6.8

1.52

0.0068

0.0798

0.0012514

1218.02

3600

268

7.2

1.54

0.0072

0.0845

0.0012578

1220.92

3800

268

7.6

1.54

0.0076

0.0892

0.0012643

1214.66

4000

269

8.0

1.54

0.0080

0.0939

0.0012708

1212.91

4200

270

8.4

1.55

0.0084

0.0986

0.0012774

1211.11

4400

271

8.8

1.55

0.0088

0.1033

0.0012841

1209.26

4600

271

9.2

1.55

0.0092

0.1080

0.0012909

1202.93

0.00

Deformation Strain
(m)
0.0000
0.0000

4800

272

9.6

1.56

0.0096

0.1127

0.0012977

1201.02

5000

272

10.0

1.56

0.0100

0.1174

0.0013046

1194.66

5200

272

10.4

1.56

0.0104

0.1221

0.0013116

1188.31

5400

270

10.8

1.55

0.0108

0.1268

0.0013186

1173.26

5600

269

11.2

1.54

0.0112

0.1314

0.0013258

1162.64

Sample1

Sample2

Sample3

V
214.18

A
214.18

F2/H2
214.18

N/A
196

331.69
201.2

330.77
207.62

MassofTinandSample(Before
Drying)(g)
MassofTinandSampleAfter
Drying)(g)
Before(g)

329.71

317.02

323.56

318.02

306.05

313.51

N/A

117.51

116.59

BeforeDrying(g)

133.71

115.82

115.94

AfterDrying(g)
MoistureContent

122.02
0.096

104.85
0.105

105.89
0.095

Tin
MassofHolder(g)
MassofHolder&Sample(g)
MassofTin(g)

Height(m)

85.15

85.21

85.26

85.21

0.0852

Diameter(m)

38.29

38.31

38.27

38.29

0.0383

Area(m )
Volume(m2)

1151.491
98114.725

1.2E03
9.8E05

BulkDensity
(kg/m3)
DryDensity
(kg/m3)
UnitWeight
(kN/m3)
DryUnit
Weight
(kN/m3)

1362.79

1243.65
13.37
12.20

GraphShowingStressvs.StrainforSample1
700.00

600.00

500.00

400.00

Stress
(kN/m2)

300.00

200.00

100.00

0.00
0.0000

0.0200

0.0400

0.0600

0.0800

0.1000

0.1200

Strain

GraphShowingStressvs.StrainforSample2
1200.00

1000.00

800.00

Stress
(kN/m2)

600.00

400.00

200.00

0.00
0.0000

0.0100

0.0200

0.0300

0.0400

0.0500

0.0600

0.0700

0.0800

0.0900

0.1000

Strain

GraphShowingStressvs.StrainforSample2
1400.00

1200.00

1000.00

800.00

Stress
(kN/m2)
600.00

400.00

200.00

0.00
0.0000

0.0200

0.0400

0.0600

0.0800

0.1000

0.1200

0.1400

Strain

10

GraphShowingMohrCircleConstruction
(MohrCoulombFailureCriterion)
900

700

500

300

100

0.00

200.00

400.00

600.00

800.00

1000.00

1200.00

1400.00

1600.00

1800.00

100

300

500

700

900

11

Sample Calculations:
0.0383
4

1.2

1.2

10

10

0.0852

&
196.00 133.71

329.71

9.8

10

0.13371
.

0.096

0.13371
9.8 10
1362.79
1 0.096

1243.65

1000

1362.79 9.81
1000

13.37
1 0.096
206.84

13.37

12.20

/
206.84

819.77
2

612.9

206.84
2

206.84
2

1362.79

9.6%

819.77
2

819.77

306.46

513.31

12

Discussion:
Several individuals have carried out extensive work in the field of soil mechanics. One of the
most important figures is Charles Coulomb, who presented to law of soil shear strength, which
states that:
The shear strength of a soil is directly proportional to the apparent cohesion and product of the
normal force and friction angle. Given by the formula:

Which means that if inter granular friction increases the normal stress acting on the shear surface
also increases. Whereas, the cohesion is dependent on the type of the soil, size of the soil grains
and the packing of the soil grains and on the suction properties of the soil.
Coulombs Law was subsequently modified to include the effect of water (pressure) on a soil,
with the subsequent parameters being known as the effective normal stress, cohesion and friction
angle, respectively, denoted by:

Where:

and

is the water pressure

Coulombs Law proposed that failure would occur at any point given a critical combination of
shear stress and effective normal stress being developed.
Mohr and Coulomb subsequently postulated a method to determine the point beyond which
failure of a soil would occur. This was done via the use of the effective principal stresses ( ,

which are then used to construct Mohr circles. After drawing these circles, a tangential line is
drawn touching all the circles towards the origin of the graph plotted. These constructions
produces what is known as the Mohr Coulomb failure envelope and denotes the strength
parameters for that particular soil. Any subsequent change in either of the principal stresses may
lead to failure of the soil.
In order to ascertain these major and minor principal stresses, a triaxial test was carried out in
which used three (3) different samples with a different fixed cell pressure or confining stress ( )
for each and varying normal stress ( ). The values of the normal stress were plotted against
strain and the maximum was used to construct the necessary Mohr circles. The results were
13

presented above and the cohesion of the soil was found to be -100 kN/m2 and the friction angle
was found to be 450.
The maximum values of normal stress increased as the confining stress was increased showing
that there is a direct relation between the strength of the soil and the principal stresses. This is
shown by the increasing size of the Mohr circles constructed.
Given that the soil sample was sandy the friction angle can be considered to be accurate.
Intuitively, the cohesion value cannot be negative but instead must be relatively close to zero.
Considering this, it can be said that there were obvious errors in the experiment. This was also
indicated during the preparation of the samples to be tested, where majour difficulties were
experienced when extruding the samples from the mould. As a result of this, there may be an
error with the first sample in particular since it was at this moisture content that most difficulty
was experienced.
Apart from this error, other errors brought on more so by the human factor may also have been
introduced into the experiment. These sources of error are inherent and lead to inequalities in
measured quantities as compared to their actual (true) value. It is important to note these sources
of error and take necessary precautions in order to reduce their influence. Some of the sources of
error that were inherent in this experiment were:
1. Parallax error, in taking the dial readings. Also in determining the volume of water to be
added to the soil samples.
2. Zero errors, in resetting the dials and gauges, which would lead to erroneous
displacements being found. Also zero errors in the scale used to determine the masses of
the various elements of the apparatus. Some of the equipment in the lab, due to their age,
may also be out of calibration.
3. Environmental errors, such as air drying of samples while preparations are made with the
apparatus leading to changes in the moisture content of the sample and thus affecting the
accuracy of the results obtained.
Precautions that can be taken are thus, ensure that instruments are read at eye level to minimize
parallax. Also other group member can be asked to perform an independent check in order to
verify readings obtained. Ensure that all tools used for measuring are properly zeroed before

14

commencing measurement. Finally, the samples should be handled away from any windows,
doors or fans where air can be introduced to it thus causing evaporation of water or vice versa.

Conclusion:
The internal friction angle and cohesion value of the given soil sample were determined. In this
regard it can be said that the aims and objectives set forth for this experiment were successfully
completed. In the process an appreciation was gained for the triaxial test, its suitability for
determining the aforementioned parameters of soil strength and the application of these
parameters in Civil Engineering practices.

15

Title: Consolidation Test


Aim:
The aim of this test was to carry out a consolidation test to determine the consolidation/
settlement parameters of a given soil.

Objective:
The objectives set forth for this experiment were, to determine:
i)
ii)
iii)
iv)
v)

the coefficient of consolidation, cv, via two methods.


the coefficient of volume compressibility, mv
the permeability, k, of the sample
the porewater pressure, u, at the centre of the sample
the degree of consolidation

Apparatus:

Oedometer
Dial gauge
Loading device
Stop watch/ timer
Calipers
Weights
Squeeze bottle
Moisture tins
Scale
Oven

Figure 2 Diagram of Consolidation Apparatus (Principles of Geotechnical Engineering 7th Edition, Das)

16

Theory:
The gradual compression of a cohesive soil by a weight on it to drive the water and air out of the
voids in the soil, is known as consolidation. This is one of the most important concepts in Civil
Engineering, as most if not all structures built involves the placement of some load on a soil. The
usual result of said loading is settlement. Consolidation occurs in soils of low permeability and is
not the same as compaction, which is immediate and occurs only where there is some sand.
It is therefore of particular importance to determine various parameters associated with the
consolidation of a sample of soil for various load stages. These parameters are integral for the
determination of the settlement of a soil. They are:

the coefficient of consolidation cv, via the log time and root time methods

the coefficient of volume compressibility, mv

the permeability, k

the porewater pressure, u

the degree of consolidation

the settlement,

The formulae used to determine these parameters are:


/
/
:

:
:

0.848

sin
2

where

0,1,2,3

:
:

sin
2

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Procedures:
1. The sample was prepared as set forth in the lab manual
2. The specimen was placed in the consolidation cell, sandwiched between two porous
stones.
3. The cell was then filled with water and placed in the load frame. A deformation gauge
was placed over the specimen.
4. The load was placed and the stop watch was started simultaneously and the deformation
readings were taken at the necessary time intervals.
5. The results were tabulated and used to carry out the relevant calculations for each
method.

Results:
Deformation/mm

TimeElapsed/min

5.424
5.370
5.356
5.346
5.338
5.330
5.324
5.318
5.316
5.312
5.308
5.300
5.294
5.288
5.286
5.282
5.276
5.274
5.272
5.268
5.254
5.252
5.250
5.250
5.250

0.00
0.25
1.00
2.25
4.00
6.25
9.00
12.25
16.00
20.25
25.00
36.00
49.00
64.00
74.00
84.00
94.00
104.00
114.00
124.00
1177.00
1237.00
1297.00
1357.00
1477.00

(See additional results in Excel sheet attached)


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GraphShowingDeformationvs.Time
5.380
5.360
5.340

Deformation
(mm)

5.320
5.300
5.280
5.260
5.240

0.10

1.00

10.00

100.00
Time(mins)

1000.00

10000.00

GraphShowingTheoretical&Experimental
Settlementvs.Time

0.12

0.1

0.08
Settlement
(mm)
0.06

0.04

Theoretical
Values

0.02

Experimental
Values

0
1

10

100

1000

Time(mins)

19

Sample Calculations:

20

Discussion:
The graphs plotted (see appendix) were according to the Casagrande and Taylor methods, with
the former using the deformation and time (plotted on a log scale) and the latter using
deformation and the square root of time (plotted on a special graph). These were used to find the
cv values which were 0.55 and

according to the Casagrande and Taylor methods,

respectively.
The values of cv were different in both methods based on the times (t50 & t90) used in either
method. This is intuitively expected since the times are different in each case. Therefore it is
important to specify which method was used to obtain the value of cv.
The third graph plotted compared the theoretical and experimental settlement values at various
times. In each instance the theoretical and experimental values complimented each other as there
was little or no major difference in the values. This shows that theoretical method can used to
receive the same results that experimentation yields, simply by using the cv value. It is also
indicative of the usefulness of cv in determining the settlement of a soil.
As mentioned previously, the consolidation test is an important one in determining the behaviour
of a soil under loading. Its results can be used to calculate void ratio changes and settlement.
This is of particular importance in the field of Civil Engineering.
There exist a few limitations to the consolidation test, based on the assumptions set forth for this
method in particular. These limitations affect the inferences that can be drawn from the
experiment but notwithstanding such, the experiment does produce useful information in terms
of soil consolidation and settlement.
In the one dimensional (1D) equation the permeability (k) and coefficient of volume
compressibility (mv) are assumed constant, but as the consolidation of a soil progresses, the void
spaces decrease and this results in a decreased permeability and therefore permeability is not
constant. In a similar fashion, the coefficient of volume compressibility also changes with stress
level. Therefore cv is not constant. Also the flow is assumed to be one dimensional (1D) but in
reality flow is three dimensional (3D). The application of external load is assumed to produce
excess pore water pressure over the entire soil but in some cases the excess pore water pressure
does not develop over its entirety.
21

As with any other laboratory experiment several errors are inherent and as a result this may
reduce the accuracy of the data obtained. Some of the errors in this experiment are:
1. Parallax error, in taking the dial readings.
2. Zero errors, in resetting the dials and gauges, which would lead to erroneous
displacements being found. Some of the equipment in the lab, due to their age, may also
be out of calibration.
3. Error in reading the dial at the exact time required.
4. Environmental errors, such as air drying of samples while leading to changes in the
moisture content of the sample and thus affecting the accuracy of the results obtained.
Precautions that can be taken are to ensure that instruments are read at eye level to minimize
parallax. Also other group member can be asked to perform an independent check in order to
verify readings obtained. Ensure that all tools used for measuring are properly zeroed before
commencing measurement. Finally, the samples should be handled away from any windows,
doors or fans where air can be introduced to it thus causing evaporation of water or vice versa.
The lab can be further improved by using a greater number of load stages and determining the
settlement from such. This would enable the parameters for the soil to be found under different
loading conditions.
Also the use of several samples from that one soil specimen can also improve the results
obtained as the soil may vary from place to place even in a relatively small location. Therefore
the more samples can lead to a better picture being painted as it relates to the consolidation and
settlement of the soil.

Conclusion:
Given the aims and objectives which were dictated for this experiment, it can be said that it was
successfully completed. The values of all required parameters were calculated and can be found
above. It can also be concluded that theoretical settlement values are indeed similar to that of
experimental values and can be used to determine the settlement of a soil, provided that the
coefficient of consolidation cv is accurately calculated. Thus the importance of consolidation
theory and settlement to the field of Civil Engineering was observed and a greater appreciation
was gained as such.
22

Bibliography:
Craig, R.F. Craigs Soil Mechanics. Seventh Edition. New York 2004.
Budhu, M. Soil Mechanics and Foundations. Third Edition. New Jersey. 2010.
Das, B.M. Principles of Geotechnical Engineering. Seventh Edition. Connecticut. 2010.
Das, B.M. Advanced Soil Mechanics. Third Edition. New York. 2008.
Kalinski, M.E Soil Mechanics Lab Manual. 2nd Edition. New Jersey. 2011

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Appendix:

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