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FAKULTI KEJURUTERAAN AWAM

UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA

PASIR GUDANG LABORATORY MANUAL

COURSE BASIC SOIL MECHANICS

COURSE CODE ECG303

LEVEL OF OPENNESS 0

DEGREE OF OPEN-ENDED (%) 0

PERIOD OF ACTIVITY 1 WEEK (WEEK 7)

TITLE CIU/CID TRIAXIAL TEST

Introduction
The traditional methods of conducting laboratory activities will not be able to provide the
avenue for students to enhance independent learning activities and inculcate creativity and
innovation. Level 0 is fully prescriptive where problem, ways & means and answers are
provided to the students. However it is still necessary especially to first and second year
students.

In these laboratory activities, student should be able to determine the shear strength
parameters of soil. Shear strength is the maximum resistance on any external stresses
which the soil affords to sustain before failure. It is the internal resistance per unit area that
the soil mass can offer to resist failure and sliding along any plane inside it.
Objectives
To determine the shear strength parameters of soil using triaxial apparatus.
Learning Outcomes
At the end of the laboratory activities, students would be able to:
1. Acquire the necessary skill in conducting test using appropriate tools for triaxial
PREAMBLE test.
2. Determine and analyse data to find the shear strength parameters.
3. Work in a group to produce technical report in a proper engineering format.
Equipment
Triaxial testing machine with accessories, rubber membrane, membrane stretcher, sample
trimming device, split mould and stop watch.

Theoretical Background
The shear strength τf of soil is its maximum resistance to shearing stresses and
represented by coulomb’s equation of:

τf = c + σ tan Ф

where σ = total normal stress on the failure plane

c = cohesion
Ф = angle of internal friction

In a triaxial compression test, a specimen of soil is subjected to three principal

FAKULTI KEJURUTERAAN AWAM
UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA
PASIR GUDANG LABORATORY MANUAL

compressive stresses at right angle to eagle other. The specimen is failed by changing one
of the stresses. The specimen used in triaxial test in cylindrical in shape and confining
pressure is applied by a liquid under pressure, which creates a condition where the
intermediate and minor principal stress (σ₂ and σ₃) become equal to the confining
pressure. In order to fail the specimen, the major principle stress σ₁ is applied axially on
top of the specimen. The relationships between principle stresses at failure are obtained by
using Mohr circle concept. In terms of total stress:

σ₁ = σ₃ tan² α + 2 cu tan α

where αu = 45 + Фu/2

When the stresses in a soil mass are in accordance with the above equations, the soil
mass is considered in a state of plastic equilibrium.
The difference between major and minor principal stresses (σ₁ - σ₃) in a triaxial test is
called deviator stress σd. Deviator stress (σ₁ - σ₃) at failure is the compressive strength of
the specimen.

For calculation of stress at any state of test, it is assumed that any changes in length and
volume of specimen results in a uniform change in area over the entire length of the
specimen. Average cross sectional area A at a particular strain is given by:

A = Ao/1 – e

Where Ao = initial average area of cross-section of the specimen

e = axial strain = ΔL/Lo

Where ΔL = the change in specimen length (mm)

Lo = initial length of specimen (mm)

A = A = Ao/1-e

Deviator stress, (Δσ) = proving ring reading X proving ring constant

A

The shear strength of a soil is the maximum value of shear stress that may be induced
within its mass before the soil yields. In brittle soils, yielding may lead to the formation of
PROBLEM
shear slip surface, over which sliding movement take place. Shear strength parameters is
STATEMENT
important for civil engineers to analyze soil stability problems such as slope stability,
bearing capacity and lateral earth pressure.
WAYS &
MEANS Test Procedure:
1. Prepare the cylinder specimens, undisturbed, compacted, compacted or re-
moulded as per requirement, at predetermined water content (for cohesive soil).
2. Measure the dimensions of the specimen.
3. Record the weight of the specimen.
4. Keep the representative sample for water content determination i.e. record the
weight of wet sample. Keep it into the oven and take weight after 24 hours when it
FAKULTI KEJURUTERAAN AWAM
UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA
PASIR GUDANG LABORATORY MANUAL

becomes dry.
5. Attached a rubber membrane to the base plate using rubber rings. Place a porous
stone on the base plate.
6. Place a split mould around the rubber membrane and fold the top portion of it over
the mould.
7. Carefully transfer the specimen in step (1) into the membrane in split mould.
8. Take predetermined or mass of sand to obtain required density. Carefully transfer
the sand to the membrane in two or three layers and tamp each layer with a glass
rod to obtain the required uniform density of specimen.
9. Put the porous stone on the top of the sample.
10. Put top plate on the porous stone.
11. Roll the membrane on to the top plate and seal it with rubber rings
12. Remove the split mould and check for holes or leaks.
13. Measure the average height and diameter to check density, if sample is prepared
as per step (8).
14. Put cell on triaxial cell base and tighten the cell screws.
15. Make the load ram in contact with the top plate.
16. Close the drainage valve.
17. Fill the water into the cell.
18. Apply predetermined cell pressure (confining pressure).
19. Position the deformation dial gauge.
20. Adjust the deformation and proving ring dial gauges to zero.
21. Select suitable strain rate (0.5% to 2% per minute).
22. Set the position of valve according to the condition of test.
23. Run the machine to apply the axial force.
24. Record the force and deformation readings at suitable intervals.
25. Continue the test (loading) until the proving ring dial gauge starts moving
backwards or 20% axial strain is reach.
27. Unscrew the cell screws and carefully remove the cell from its position.
28. Carefully remove the membrane and sketch the failure pattern.
29. Weight the specimen and record.
30. Keep representative sample for water content determination from the failure zone
of the specimen.
31. Repeat the test for at least three identical specimens under increased cell pressure.
32. Calculate and tabulate data in the table as in appendix.
33. Plot the deviator stress versus deformation graph for each sample.
34. Plot shear stress versus normal stress graph and measure the cohesion, c and
angle of internal friction, Ф.

Analysis:
1. All data collect should be record in the form as in Appendix.
FAKULTI KEJURUTERAAN AWAM
UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA
PASIR GUDANG LABORATORY MANUAL

Appendix
Sample 1
Initial length of
mm Proving ring constant N/div
specimen
Initial diameter of
mm Strain rate of machine mm/div
specimen
Initial mass of specimen Deform. Dial gauge
g mm/div
constant
Weight of wet sample g Final height of sample mm
Weight of dry sample g Weight of wet sample g
Initial water content % Weight of dry sample g
Bulk density g/cm³ Final water content %
Dry density g/cm³ Confining pressure kPa

Time Deformation Proving ring Corrected Deviat

No Min Dial Force Area mm² or
Strain
Div mm Div N Stress
KN/m²
1 0.15
2 0.30
3 0.45
4 0.60
5 0.75
6 0.90
7 1.05
8 1.20
9 1.35
10 1.50
11 1.65
12 1.80
13 1.95
14 2.10
15 2.25
16 2.40
17 2.55
18 2.70
19 2.85
20 3.00
21 3.15
22 3.30
23 3.45
24 3.60
25 3.75
FAKULTI KEJURUTERAAN AWAM
UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA
PASIR GUDANG LABORATORY MANUAL

Sample 2

Initial length of
mm Proving ring constant N/div
specimen
Initial diameter of Strain rate of
mm mm/div
specimen machine
Initial mass of specimen Deform. Dial gauge
g mm/div
constant
Weight of wet sample g Final height of mm
sample
Weight of dry sample g Weight of wet g
sample
Initial water content % Weight of dry sample g
Bulk density g/cm³ Final water content %
Dry density g/cm³ Confining pressure kPa

Time Deformation Proving ring Corrected Deviat

No Min Dial Force Area mm² or
Strain
Div mm Div N Stress
KN/m²
1 0.15
2 0.30
3 0.45
4 0.60
5 0.75
6 0.90
7 1.05
8 1.20
9 1.35
10 1.50
11 1.65
12 1.80
13 1.95
14 2.10
15 2.25
16 2.40
17 2.55
18 2.70
19 2.85
20 3.00
21 3.15
22 3.30
23 3.45
FAKULTI KEJURUTERAAN AWAM
UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA
PASIR GUDANG LABORATORY MANUAL

24 3.60
25 3.75
26 3.90
27 4.05

Sample 3
Initial length of
specimen mm Proving ring constant N/div

Initial diameter of
mm Strain rate of machine mm/div
specimen
Initial mass of specimen Deform. Dial gauge
g constant mm/div

Weight of wet sample g Final height of sample mm

Weight of dry sample g Weight of wet sample g
Initial water content % Weight of dry sample g
Bulk density g/cm³ Final water content %
Dry density g/cm³ Confining pressure kPa

Time Deformation Proving ring Correct Deviator

No Min Dial Force N ed Stress
Strain
Div mm Div Area KN/m²
mm²
1 0.15
2 0.30
3 0.45
4 0.60
5 0.75
6 0.90
7 1.05
8 1.20
9 1.35
10 1.50
11 1.65
12 1.80
13 1.95
14 2.10
15 2.25
16 2.40
17 2.55
18 2.70
19 2.85
FAKULTI KEJURUTERAAN AWAM
UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA
PASIR GUDANG LABORATORY MANUAL

20 3.00
21 3.15
22 3.30
23 3.45
24 3.60
25 3.75
26 3.90
27 4.05

The group required to submit a technical report for the activity within a week.
RESULTS