Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

CEG 3011 C – Geotechnical Engineering I

Atterberg Limits Lab 1 (ASTM D4318)

Maximum of 75 points Due: Friday 2 February 2018

Introduction:

Atterberg established four states of soil consistency – liquid, plastic, semi-solid, and solid. The dividing
line between the liquid and plastic states is the liquid limit, between the plastic and semi-solid states is the
plastic limit, and between the semi-solid and solid states is the shrinkage limit. The liquid, plastic, and
shrinkage limits are therefore quantified in terms of water content.

The liquid limit is the water content at which the shear strength of the soil becomes so small that the
soil “flows” to close a standard groove cut in a sample of soil when it is jarred in a standard manner. The liquid
limit is identified in the laboratory as the water content at which the groove is closed a distance of ½ inch when
the soil sample is jarred in the standard manner by exactly 25 drops (blows) from a height of 1 cm in a
standardized liquid limit device.

The plastic limit is the water content at which the soil will begin to crumble when rolled into small
threads. The plastic limit is identified in the laboratory as the lowest water content at which the soil can be
rolled into threads one-eighth inch in diameter without the threads breaking into pieces. The plasticity index is
the difference between the liquid and plastic limits.

Apparatus and Supplies:

• Soil sample
• Water bottle
• No. 40 sieve
• Water content cans
• Mixing bowl
• Spatula
• Balance
• Glass plate
• Liquid limit device
• Grooving tool

1
Adapted from Soil Properties: Testing, Measurement, and Evaluation, 5th Edition, Liu and Evett, Prentice Hall 2003.
Procedure:

Plastic Limit

1. Obtain 150 grams of soil that has passed a number 40 sieve.


2. Slowly add water to the soil until you have formed a stiff paste, mixing well to ensure a uniform water
content throughout.
3. Select a portion of the moist soil (roughly the size of a large marble) and roll into a ball between your
hands.
4. Roll the mass between the plan or fingers and the glass plate with light to moderate pressure as
required to create a thread of uniform diameter.
5. Continue rolling until the thread reaches a diameter of one-eighth an inch. If the thread crumbles
before this point, the soil is too dry and water must be added. If the thread can be rolled thinner, the
soil is too wet and moisture must be removed. Gather the thread, reform soil into a ball and then
repeat rolling into thread. When the soil begins to just crumble at the one-eighth-inch diameter it has
reached the plastic limit.
6. Record the can label and can weight on your data sheet, gather the portions of the crumbled thread
together and place can. Immediately cover the can.
7. Continue to create threads until you have at least 6 grams of soil in the weighing can. Record weight of
wet soil + can. Repeat steps until you have three cans (tests) for the plastic limit.

Liquid Limit

1. Slowly add water to the remaining soil prepared from the plastic limit test until you have formed a
mixable paste, mixing well to ensure a uniform water content throughout.
2. Inspect the liquid limit device before use to ensure it is in working order and properly calibrated.
Perform calibration and repairs as necessary, clean, and thoroughly dry the device.
3. Using a spatula, place a portion of the prepared soil in the cup of the liquid limit device at the point
where the cup rests on the base and spread it into the cup to a depth of about 10 mm at its deepest
point, tapering to form an approximately horizontal surface.
4. Check depth of soil and adjust as necessary, making sure to eliminate air bubbles and ensuring
sufficient coverage.
5. Form a groove in the soil pat by drawing the grooving tool slowly and smoothly through the center of
the soil pat, from top to bottom. Take care to prevent sliding of the soil pat relative to the surface of
the cup.
6. Check to make sure the base is clean and commence testing – remembering to count drops.
7. Lift and drop the cup by turning the crank at a rate of approximately 2 drops per second until the two
halves of the soil pat come in contact at the bottom of the groove along a distance of ½ inch, counting
the number of drops as you go.
8. Record the number of drops required to close the groove. Remove a slice of soil approximately the
width of the spatula, extending from edge to edge of the soil pat at a right angle to the groove and
including the failed portion.
9. Record the can label and can weight on your data sheet, add the soil to the can, weigh and record the
can + wet soil weight immediately.
10. Return the remaining soil from the device to the mixing dish, add or remove water as required for the
next test, clean the cup and grooving tool and repeat testing.
11. You will need to obtain 4 liquid limit tests: one in each of the ranges 15 – 25, 20 – 30, 25 – 35, 30 – 40.
This may require more than 4 trials. Any test taking more than 40 drops may be stopped at 40 blows
with the soil removed, water added, and the device cleaned for additional testing. Adding water will
reduce the number of blows, removing water (adding soil) will increase the number of blows. Note: It is
much easier to add water to soil than dry soil to wet soil.
12. At the completion of the test clean equipment and station as indicated by instructor.

Note: You will need to collect dry weights for your samples later in order to complete the lab submission.

Deliverables:

1. Group Report (3 – 4 people only) – hard copy due in class on date indicated above & electronic copy
uploaded to Canvas by class on date indicated above
2. “Poster” – printed in color on single 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper
a. Header containing your names, class, CRN, assignment
b. Abstract – summarizes background, methods, and results
c. Methods / Procedures – summary of what was performed in paragraph format (no direct
quotes) as well as how calculations were performed (explanation of sample acceptable – sample
must reference raw data utilized)
d. Results and Discussion including the following:
i. Flow curve of liquid limit test results and determination liquid limit value
ii. Results from individual plastic limit tests as well as average plastic limit value
iii. Plasticity chart [Figure 5.4 from book] either copied or recreated with tested soil
value plotted on chart
iv. Summary of PL, LL, and PI value for soil as well as soil classification
v. Comments on test accuracy and discussion of errors
e. Conclusions
Atterberg Limit Data Sheet
Name: ___________________________________ Date: ____________________________________

Soil Description: _________________________________

Note: Shaded values to be collected at a later time (minimum of 24 hours after testing)

Plastic Limit Tests:

Trial Number 1 2 3

Can label:

Mass of can: (g)

Mass of can + wet soil: (g)

Mass of can + dry soil: (g)

Liquid Limit Tests:

Trial Number 1 2 3 4

# of Blows:

Can label:

Mass of can: (g)

Mass of can + wet


soil: (g)

Mass of can + dry


soil: (g)

Centres d'intérêt liés