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Dr.

Ravi Kant Mittal


Associate Professor, BITS Pilani
E- Mail:
ravimittal@pilani.bits-pilani.ac.in
Mobile: 9887692025

CE F243 Soil Mechanics

Major Soil deposits in India

SOIL FORMATION & COMPOSITION

Major Soil deposits in India:


(i)Marine deposits:
Very soft to soft clay (thickness from 5 to 20 meters).
Medium sensitive & inorganic.
Need pretreatment before load application.
Controlled loading to prevent failure.

SOIL FORMATION & COMPOSITION

Major Soil deposits in India:


( (ii)Black cotton Soils:
Expansive due to presence of Illite & Montmorillonite
clays.
Thickness upto max. 20m.
Crack depth & pattern varies.
Surface is hard in summer & slushy in rainy season.
Seasonal w/c change causes volume change upto
max. 1.5m depth.
Due to swelling & shrinkage characteristics, soil
should be pretreated.

1. SOIL FORMATION & COMPOSITION

(iii)Laterites & lateritic soils:


Thickness more than 30m.
Laterisation is the process of rock removal, silica
removal, base removal, aluminum & iron
accumulation at the top of soil profile.
If approximately 90% coarse grained: laterite.
Mostly fine grained: lateritic.
Has high strength when cut & dried in heat (due to
iron oxide dehydration & halloysite presence).
Strength of hardened soil not affected due to water
presence.
(
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1. SOIL FORMATION & COMPOSITION

( (iv)Alluvial Soils:
Exhibits alternate layers of sand, silt & clay.
In some locations organic layers are also found.
Depth upto 100m.
Alluvial sand: Used as fine aggregate.
Alluvial clay: For brick manufacturing.

1. SOIL FORMATION & COMPOSITION

(VI)Boulder Deposits:
Boulder deposits due to rivers flowing in hilly
terrains.
Their properties depend on relative proportion of
boulder and soil matrix.
Boulder-to-boulder contact results in large friction
and angle of shearing resistance.
Due to large size, laboratory sample is not
representative of natural deposit, hence field
investigations are carried out to find properties
needed in design.
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1. SOIL FORMATION & COMPOSITION

(V)Desert Soils:
Wind blown deposits in the form of sand dunes.
Formed under arid conditions.
Mostly fine or silty sand.
Water scarcity is a serious problem.
(

SAND:

Sand particles are made up of rock minerals. They have the same
composition as that of big boulder from a rock mass. They are only
smaller in size.

The processes of weathering reduces boulders to cobbles, cobbles


to gravel, gravel to sand, sand to silt and even silt to rock dust which
have particles of clay size.

Particles of rock minerals are ELECTRICALLY NEUTRAL. They are


acted upon only by the gravitational force.
CLAYS:

Clay particles have a net electrical charge on them. Usually a


negative charge on their faces and a positive charge on their ends.

They are made up of clay minerals.

Three important clay minerals are Kaolinite, Illite, Montmorillonite

Clay mineral particles have a net electrical charge on them on


account of a phenomenon that occurs during their formation.

Clay Formation

Clay particles < 2 m

Compared to Sands and


Silts, clay size particles
have undergone a lot
more chemical
weathering!

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Clay vs. Sand/Silt

Clay particles are generally more platy in


shape (sand more equi-dimensional)

Clay particles carry surface charge

Amount of surface charge depends on


type of clay minerals

Surface charges that exist on clay


particles have major influence on their
behavior (for e.g. plasticity)

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Clay Minerals

Kaolinite family
Kaolinite

(ceramic industry, paper, paint,


pharmaceutical)

Smectite family
Montmorillonite

(weathered volcanic ash,


Wyoming Bentonite, highly expansive,
used in drilling mud)

Illite family
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Clay Morphology
Scanning Electron
Microscope
(SEM)
Allows us to study
morphology of
clay minerals
Used in mineral
identification

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Origin of Clay Minerals


The contact of rocks and water produces clays, either at or near the surface of
the earth

Rock +Water Clay

For example,
The CO2 gas can dissolve in water and form carbonic acid, which will become
hydrogen ions H+ and bicarbonate ions, and make water slightly acidic.

CO2+H2O H2CO3 H+ +HCO3-

The acidic water will react with the rock surfaces and tend to dissolve the K ion
and silica from the feldspar. Finally, the feldspar is transformed into kaolinite.

Feldspar + hydrogen ions+water clay (kaolinite) + cations, dissolved silica


2KAlSi3O8+2H+ +H2O Al2Si2O5(OH)4 + 2K+ +4SiO2
Note that the hydrogen ion displaces the cations.

1.2 Characteristics
(Holtz and Kovacs, 1981)

Soil Classification
Object:
To keep various types of soils into groups
according to their properties
Soil consisting of similar characteristics Can be
placed in the SAME Group

Need:
To find the suitability of the soil for construction of
dams, highways and foundations

Particle Size Classification


Soils are according to Grain Size
Various grain size classifications are in use

Grain size distribution of soil is required


Percentage of soil in each size group is
determined

Example: Soil 10% Gravel + 52% Sand + 38% Silt & Clay

Unified Soil Classification System (USCS)


Origin of USCS:
This system was first developed by Professor Casagrande
(1948) for the purpose of airfield construction during World
War II. Afterwards, it was modified by Professor Casagrande
to enable the system to be applicable to dams, foundations, and
other construction

Four major divisions:


(1) Coarse-grained
(2) Fine-grained
(3) Organic soils
(4) Peat

IS 1478 is adopted USCS after rounded up

Fine
Grained
Soils

Coarse Grained Soils

Gravel

Silt

Sand

Clay

Boulders Cobbles
Coarse
300 mm

Fine

Coarse

Medium

Fine
0.075
mm

4.75 mm

80 mm
20 mm

2.0 mm

0.002
mm

0.425 mm

IS 1478 Soil Classification System

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IS 1478 Soil Classification System


50 %
Coarse-grained soils:

Fine-grained soils:

Gravel

Silt

Sand

Clay

4.75 mm
0.075 mm

Grain size distribution

PL, LL

Cu

Plasticity chart

Cc
Sieve analysis

Atterberg limits

Particle size

IS 1478

Question
For the purpose of engineering descriptions, soils are divided into classes of similar grain size. The
NOUNS used to describe a size class refer to a specific range of sizes.
What is the range of sizes of SAND?
0.075 mm to 0.425 mm
0.425 mm to 4.75 mm
0.075 mm to 4.75 mm
2.0 mm to 4.75 mm

0.075 4.75 mm

What is the range of sizes of FINE SAND particles?


0.075 mm to 0.425 mm
0.425 mm to 4.75 mm
0.075 mm to 4.75 mm
2.0 mm to 4.75 mm

0.075 0.425 mm

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Particle size

IS 1478

Question
For the purpose of engineering descriptions, soils are divided into classes of similar grain size. The
NOUNS used to describe a size class refer to a specific range of sizes.
What is the range of sizes of MEDIUM SAND?
0.075 mm to 0.425 mm
0.425 mm to 2.0 mm
0.075 mm to 4.75 mm
2.0 mm to 4.75 mm

0.425 2.0 mm

What is the range of sizes of SILT particles?


0.002 mm to 0.425 mm
0.002 mm to 4.75 mm
0.002 mm to 0.075 mm
<0.002 mm

0.002 0.075 mm

Particle size

IS 1478

Question
For the purpose of engineering descriptions, soils are divided into classes of similar grain size. The
NOUNS used to describe a size class refer to a specific range of sizes.
What is the range of sizes of Gravel?
2 mm to 4.75 mm
4.75 mm to 20 mm
4.75 mm to 80 mm
20 mm to 80 mm

4.75 80 mm

What is the range of sizes of CLAY particles?


0.002 mm to 0.425 mm
0.002 mm to 4.75 mm
0.002 mm to 0.075 mm
<0.002 mm

< 0.002 mm

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Classification of Soils
Grain Size Distribution

Experiment
Coarse-grained soils:
Gravel

Sand

Fine-grained soils:
Silt

Clay

0.075 mm (USCS)

Sieve analysis

Hydrometer analysis

4.75 mm
2.36 mm
1.18 mm
0.425 mm
0.212 mm
0.150 mm
0.075 mm

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4.75 mm
2.36 mm
1.18 mm
0.425 mm
0.212 mm
0.150 mm
0.075 mm

Procedure for grain size determination

Sieving - used for particles > 75 m

Hydrometer test - used for smaller particles (<

75 m)

Analysis based on Stokes Law, velocity proportional to diameter

At the beginning

Towards the end of test

Schematic diagram of hydrometer test

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Hydrometer Analysis Stokes Law


Assumption
v

( s w )D
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Reality

Sphere particle

Platy particle (clay particle) as D


0.005mm

Single particle

Many particles in the suspension

(No interference
between particles)

Known specific
gravity of
particles

Terminal velocity

Average results of all the


minerals in the particles,
including the adsorbed water
films.
Note: the adsorbed water films
also can increase the resistance
during particle settling.
Brownian motion as D 0.0002
mm

Grain Size Distribution Curves


100

% Finer

80
60
40
20

D60

0
0.0001

0.001

0.01

0.1

10

100

Particle size (mm)

Cu

D60
D10

D302
Cc
( D60 D10 )

x% of the soil has particles


smaller than Dx

where CU is Coefficient of Uniformity and Cc is Coefficient of Curvature

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Grain Size Distribution Curves


100

% Finer

80
60

40

20
0
0.0001

0.001

0.01

0.1

10

100

Particle size (mm)


A

Well graded Soil

Uniform Soil (or Poorly Graded Soil)

Gap Graded Soil (or Poorly graded soil)

Well graded with some fines

Well graded with an excess of fines

f3_4

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IS 1478 Soil Classification System


To determine Well Graded (W) or Poorly Graded (P), calculate Cu and Cc.

Cu

D60
D10

Cc

D302
( D60 D10 )

where CU is Coefficient of Uniformity and Cc is Coefficient of Curvature


If prefix is G (Gravel) then suffix is W if Cu > 4 and Cc is between 1 and 3
otherwise use P
If prefix is S (Sand) then suffix is W if Cu > 6 and Cc is between 1 and 3
otherwise use P

IS 1478

Describe the following Soil


D10 0.02 mm (effective size)
D30 0.6 mm
D 60 9 mm

Criteria

Coefficien t of uniformity
D
9
C u 60
450
D10 0.02
Coefficien t of curvature
Cc

(D 30 ) 2
(0.6) 2

2
(D10 )(D 60 ) (0.02)(9)

Well graded soil


1 Cc 3 and Cu 4
( for gravels)
1 Cc 3 and Cu 6
( for sands)

Well Graded Soil

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Question
What is the Cu for a soil with only one grain
size?

Finer

Coefficien t of uniformity
D
Cu 60 1
D10

D
Grain size distribution

Question
The grading curve for a soil gives the size
characteristics:

d10 = 0.16 mm and d60 = 0.47 mm

What is the Uniformity coefficient


(Cu) and gradation of the soil?
0.34, well graded
2.94, well graded
2.94, uniformly graded
0.34, uniformly graded

2.94, Uniformly (or Poorly) Graded Sand

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Classification of Fine Grained Soils

IS 1478

-- Atterberg Limits (or Consistency Limits)


Moisture content

Soil-water
mixture

massof water
massof solids

Liquid State

Increasing water content

Liquid Limit, LL
Plastic State
Plastic Limit, PL
Semisolid State
Shrinkage Limit, SL
Solid State

Dry Soil

Atterberg Limits (or Consistency Limits) - Cont.

Volume Change with water content

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Classification of Fine Grained


Soils

The classification system uses the term fines to describe


everything that passes through a # 200 sieve (<0.075mm)
No attempt to distinguish between silts and clays in terms
of particles sizes since the biggest difference between silt
and clay is not their particle sizes, but their physical and
chemical structures
The soil consistency is used as a practical and an
inexpensive way to distinguish between silts and clays
Plasticity property is important because it describes the
response of a soil to change in moisture content

Why Plasticity?

Water Content Significantly affects properties of Silty and


Clayey soils (unlike sand and gravel)

Strength decreases as water content increases


Soils swell-up when water content increases
Fine-grained soils at very high water content possess
properties similar to liquids
As the water content is reduced, the volume of the soil
decreases and the soils become plastic
If the water content is further reduced, the soil becomes
semi-solid when the volume does not change

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Atterberg Limits
Atterberg limits are important to describe the consistency
of fine-grained soils
The knowledge of the soil consistency is important in
defining or classifying a soil type or predicting soil
performance when used a construction material
A fine-grained soil usually exists with its particles
surrounded by water.
The amount of water in the soil determines its state or
consistency
Four states are used to describe the soil consistency;
solid, semi-solid, plastic and liquid

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Atterberg Limits (cont.)


Wetting
Semi
Solid

Volume, v or e

Solid
Solid
State

Plastic

Liquid

vi

S = 100 %

vf
SL

PL

LL
PI

Drying

w%
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Atterberg Limits
Liquid Limit (LL) is defined as the moisture content at which
soil begins to behave as a liquid material and begins to flow
(Liquid limit of a fine-grained soil gives the moisture content
at which the shear strength of the soil is approximately 1.7 to
2.7kN/m2 = 17-27 gm/cm2)
Plastic Limit (PL) is defined as the moisture content at
which soil begins to behave as a plastic material
Shrinkage Limit (SL) is defined as the moisture content at
which no further volume change occurs with further reduction
in moisture content.
(SL represents the amount of water required to fully saturate
the soil (100% saturation))
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Liquid Limit (LL)


In the lab, the LL is defined as the
moisture content (%) required to close a 2mm wide groove in a soil pat a distance of
0.5 inch along the bottom of the groove
after 25 blows.
ASTM D 4318 (IS2720)
Soil sample size 150g passing 425 micron
Equipment: Casagrande liquid limit device
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Liquid Limit - LL (or wL)

Casagrande Method

Professor Casagrande standardized the test and


developed the liquid limit device.

Cone Penetrometer Method


This method is developed by the Transport and Road
Research Laboratory, UK.

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LL - Casagrande Method
Device

N=25 blows
Closing distance =
12.7 mm

The water content, in percentage, required to close a distance of 12 mm


along the bottom of the groove after 25 blows is defined as the liquid limit

Source: http://www.wku.edu/~matthew.dettman/matt/prof/ce410/ll.htm

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Liquid Limit (Procedure)

150g air dry soil passing 425 micron (# 40 sieve)


Add 20% of water - mix thoroughly
Place a small sample of soil in LL device (deepest part about 810mm)
Cut a groove (2mm at the base)
Run the device, count the number of blows, N
Stop when the groove in the soil close through a distance of 0.5in
Take a sample and find the moisture content
Run the test three times [N~(10-20), N~(20-30) and N~(35-45)] and
Plot number of blows vs moisture content and determine the liquid
limit (LL) (moisture content at 25 blows)

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Determining LL

Log Scale

LL - Casagrande Method (Cont.)

Flow index , I F

w1 w2
log N 2 / N1

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Determining LL by single test

LL - Cone Penetrometer Method


30o Cone of Stainless steel
Total sliding weight of 148 g

Penetration of cone (mm)

Cylindrical mould of 5 cm diameter and 5 cm height.

20 mm

LL
Water content w%

For D = 14 to 28mm
Where x is the depth of penetration of cone in mm
wx is water content corresponding to penetration D, here it is based on
assumption that shear strength of soil at LL is about 15 to 17.6 g/cm 2

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LL - Cone Penetrometer Method


31o Cone of Stainless steel
Total sliding weight of 148 g

Penetration of cone (mm)

Cylindrical mould of 5 cm diameter and 5 cm height.

20 mm

LL
Water content w%

wL wx 0.01(25 x)(wx 15) For x = 14 to 28mm


Where x is the depth of penetration of cone in mm
wx is water content corresponding to penetration x, here it is based on
assumption that shear strength of soil at LL is about 15 to 17.6 g/cm 2

4.2.3 Comparison
A
good
correlation
between the
two
methods can
be observed
upto LL is
less
than
100.

Littleton and Farmilo, 1977 (from Head, 1992)

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Plastic Limit (PL)

The moisture content (%) at which the soil when


rolled into threads of 3.2mm (1/8 in) in diameter,
will crumble.
Plastic limit is the lower limit of the plastic stage
of soil
Plasticity Index (PI) is the difference between the
liquid limit and plastic limit of a soil

Plastic Limit PL (or wP)

The plastic limit is defined as the water content at which a


soil thread with 3 mm diameter just crumbles.

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Plastic Limit (cont.)

When the water content is less than the


plastic limit, the soil thread will crumble
at a diameter more than 3 mm.
when the water content is above the plastic limit, the rolled thread will
not crumble, even on reaching 3 mm diameter.

Plastic Limit (Procedure)

Take 20g of soil passing #40 (425) sieve into a dish


Add water and mix thoroughly
Prepare several ellipsoidal-shaped soil masses by
quizzing the soil with your hand
Put the soil in rolling device, and roll the soil until the
thread reaches 1/8 in
Continue rolling until the thread crumbles into several
pieces
Determine the moisture content of about 6g of the
crumbled soil.

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Plasticity Index, PI

Plasticity Index is the difference between the


liquid limit and plastic limit of a soil
PI = LL PL
After finding LL and PI use plasticity chart to
classify the soil

Non-Plastic,(NP)

The plastic limit is mainly governed by clay


content; hence some silt and sandy soils do not
exhibit a plastic limit.
When the liquid limit or plastic limit cannot be
measured or when the plastic limit is equal to or
larger than liquid limit, the plasticity index is
termed as non-plastic, and recorded as NP.

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SYMBOLS Used for USCS Soil Classification

Soil symbols:
G: Gravel
S: Sand
M: Silt
C: Clay
O: Organic
Pt: Peat

Ex:

SW: Well-graded Sand


SC: Clayey Sand
SM: Silty Sand

Liquid limit symbols:


H: High LL (LL > 50)
I: Intermediate
(35<LL<50)
L: Low LL (LL < 35)
Gradation symbols:
W: Well-graded
P: Poorly-graded
Well graded soil
1 Cc 3 and Cu 4
( for gravels)
1 Cc 3 and Cu 6
( for sands)

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Classification of Fine Grained Soils

IS1478

Fine grained soils Silt (M) & Clay (C)


To determine M or C use plasticity chart
A Line
PI = 0.73(wL 20)

Above A-line use suffix C Clay


Below A-line use suffix M Silt
LL < 35% use Prefix L
L i q u i d li m it
35% < LL < 50% use Prefix I
LL > 50% use Prefix H
Use O below A Line,
if Soil is Organic

USCS

Classification of Fine Grained Soils - Cont.


Borderline Cases (Dual Symbols)

Fine-grained soils with limits within the shaded zone (i.e.,


PI between 4 and 7 and LL between 12 and 25).
It is hard to distinguish between the silt and claylike
materials.
Use: CL-ML: Silty clay &
SC-SM: Silty, clayed sand.

Coarse-grained soils with 5% - 12% fines.


The first symbol indicates whether the coarse fraction is
well or poorly graded.
The second symbol describe the contained fines (M/C).
Example: SP-SM: Poorly graded Sand with Silt.

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Classification of Coarse Grained Soils

Classification of Fine Grained Soils

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Textural Classification
1. IS 1498 1970 System

IS 1498 1970 System


Grain size distribution of soil is required
Percentage of soil in each size group is determined

Ex:- Soil 10% Gravel + 52% Sand + 38% Silt & Clay

Plasticity Characteristics
Plasticity Index

Plasticity

0
15
5 10
10 20
20 40
> 40

Non-Plastic
Slight
Low
Medium
High
Very High

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Range of Plasticity Index

Shrinkage limit (S, SL):

Shrinkage limit (S, SL): The shrinkage limit is the moisture


content at which further drying will not cause a decrease in
volume of the soil mass,
but at which an increase in moisture content will cause an
increase in the volume of the soil mass.
The value can be used as a general index of clay content and
will, in general, decrease with increasing in clay content.
For example, sands containing some silt and clay have a
shrinkage limit of about 1224, and the shrinkage limit of clays
ranges from 4 to 12.

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Indices
Shrinkage Index =
Plastic Limit Shrinkage Limit
Flow Index = (w2-w1)/(log10(N1/N2))
(from Liquid limit test)

Toughness Index =
Plasticity Index/Flow Index

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Indices Liquidity Index/ Consistency Index

Liquidity index LI

Consistency index CI

For scaling the natural water


content of a soil sample to the
Limits.

For scaling the natural water


content of a soil sample to the
Limits.

LI

w wp
PI

w wp
wl w p

CI

wl w wl w

PI
wl w p

w is the water content

w is the water content


LI > 1 soil is in the Liquid state
LI = 1 soil is at the liquid limit
LI = 0 soil is at the Plastic limit

CI < 1 soil is in the Plastic state


CI = 1 soil is at the Plastic limit
CI = 0 soil is at the Liquid limit

LI + CI = 1
4.1 Atterberg Limits

The presence of water in fine-grained soils can significantly affect


associated engineering behavior, so we need a reference index to clarify the
effects. (The reason will be discussed later in the topic of clay minerals)

In percentage

(Holtz and Kovacs, 1981)

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Consistency Classification
Consistency
Index

Liquidity
Index

Consistency

1.00 0.75

0.00 0.25

Stiff

0.75 0.50

0.25 0.50

Medium soft

0.50 0.25

0.50 0.75

Soft

0.25 0.00

0.75 1.00

Very soft

Indices- ACTIVITY

Activity, A

PI
% clay size material present
clay fraction : 0.002 mm
A

Purpose
- Indicates of the type of clay
present in soil

Normal clays: 0.75<A<1.25


Inactive clays: A<0.75
Active clays: A> 1.25

High activity:
large volume change when wetted
Large shrinkage when dried
Very reactive (chemically)

Examples:
Kaolinite Inactive
Illite Normal
Montmorillonite Active

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Indices - Sensitivity

Sensitivity St (for clays)

Clay
particle

Strength (undisturbed )
Strength (disturbed )

Water

St

w > LL

Unconfined compressive strength

41