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SOILS 1. Q- How will you prepare sample for proctor if there are soft particles in the sample ?

A- By preparing 5 individual samples having different moisture content. Discard sample every each test. 2. Q- What is the minimum surcharge weight place in doing a C.B.R. test ? A- 10 lbs. (4.54 kg). 3. Q- How do you calculate actual surcharge weight for C.B.R ? A- By equation : W = d x v x A Where : A = AREA OF MOLD. W = Actual surcharge weight d = Density of material, V = Thickness of Layers. Q- What is the difference between a standard proctor test & a modified proctor test ? A- Aside from the compactive energy which is 5 times greater than in the standard test, the maximum density and optimum water content obtained from the two compaction test is greater in fine-grained that for a coarse-grained soils. 5. Q- What is S.P.T. ? Describe the procedure of this test in detail. A- S.P.T. or Standard Penetration Test: The standard split-tube sampler, 18 inches in length and 2 inches in diameter is driven into the soil, with a drive weight of 63.5 kg. At 30 inches free falling. The blow count for the first 6 inches is not used, as this is to seat the sampler below the disturbed soil in the bottom of the borehole. The number of blows to drive the final 12 inches is the penetration resistance. If it is not practical to drive the sampler the full 12 inches because of very dense, cemented hardpan, rock, etc., the boring log dense, cemented hardpan, rock, etc., the boring log will indicate the blow count and penetration as ratio i.e. 70:4 for 70 blows and 4 inches in penetration. 6. Q- Define liquid limit and plastic limit. How do you calculate plasticity index ? How many strokes are specified for rolling the thread of soil when determining plastic limit ? and How many revolution per second when determining liquid limit ? A- Liquid limit is the % water content in which the soil mass has


a capacity to flow as a liquid. It is in between the liquid and plastic state. The rate is 2 revolution per second. Plastic limit is the % water content in which the soil mass can be molded without crumbling. It is in between the plastic and semi-solid state. The rate is 80 to 90 strokes per minute. 7. Q- Could we used sand for embankment material ? A- Yes, (by plating) it is a method of covering or confining of unstable fills with a suitable, stable material. 8. Q- Why is wadi sand preferable to wind blown sand as a construction material ? A- Because wadi sand are free from clay and other organic matters and also meet grading requirements for fineness modulus. 9. Q- What are the test you run to determine the suitability of a subgrade material ? A- a) Sieve analysis b) Atterberg test c) Proctor test d) C.B.R. test e) Field Density test. Q- What are the basic test normally carried out to determine soil characteristics and conditions ? A- a) C.B.R. test b) Sieve analysis c) Atterberg test. Q- How do you determine the shear strength of a soil ? A- By tri-Axial test: The basic principle is that a cylindrical soil specimen is first encased in a thin rubber membrane and subjected to fluid pressure around the cylindrical surface. The lateral pressure is held constant while an axial load is applied and increased until failure occurs. 12. Q- Why and when C.B.R. value needs adjustment ? What is the rate of loading ? A- When the curve is concave upward shape because of swell, adjustment is made by adjusting the point of origin by extending the line of stress-strain curve downward until it intersect the abscissa. Rate of loading is 0.05 inch per minute. 13. Q- How do you take a sand sample from a sand stockpile ?



A- Take sample at inner middle of stockpile at random. 14. Q- How would you carry-out in-situ density test on prepared subgrade ? A- By sand cone method. 15. 16. Q- How do you reduce the size of field samples ? A- By splitting or quartering of samples. Q- How will you distinguished A-1 and A-7 soil visually ? A- A-1 materials is a well-graded gravel or sand or a mixture of sand and gravel with or without non-plastic soil binder. Whereas, A-7 material is a clayey soil. 17. Q- What is C.B.R. ? A- C.B,R, or California Bearing Ratio : It is a ratio of a force required to penetrate a sample to a certain depth (with a 5 cm. piston) to a force required to penetrate the sample of high quality crushed stone with the same depth and piston. 18. Q- Where will you fix the penetration gauge in C.B.R. test ? A- In a plunger, to determine the accurate relationship between the load and penetration. 19. Q- How do you classify soils ? A- Soils are classified as coarse-grained and fine-grained soils. Materials passing the 3 inches sieve and retained #4 sieve are considered coarse-grained while material passing #4 sieve and retained #200 sieve are fine-grained soils. 20. 21. Q- What is the pressure in pneumatic rollers ? A- 80 psi. Q- How much thickness is allowed for rockfill ? A- Maximum thickness Maximum unit of weight for Of Free Layer (cm.) Vibrating (kg./unit of width,m.) 40 2,300 2,900 60 2,900 3,600 80 3,600 4,300 100 4,300 5,000 * For multi vibrating, unit of weighing shall be limited in accordance with unit of axial weight.


Q- What is the construction procedure for preparing natural ground to receive the embankment layers ? A- Removal of undesirable materials such as logs, tress, stumps, weeds, heavy grass, etc.


Q- What is the allowable tolerance of the top of subgrade layer and how it can be measured ? A- Refer to Tolerance Table. Q- What is A-3 soil ? can we used sand in subgrade and embankment ? A- A-3 soil is a fine-beach or desert blown sand without fines or with a small amount of non-plastic silt. This kind of material cannot be used for subgrade because of the following reasons; a) Poor load sustaining qualities b) Highly permeable c) Compressible under sustained loads d) Subject to changes in strength and volume du to variation in water content, For embankment yes, by method of plating. Q- If water is not available for this kind of job, what will you do ? A- Either by spraying sand stabilizer or by using vibratory roller with high frequency low amplitude.



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Q- How will you compact rockfill ? A- As mentioned above (Q-21) Refer to M.O.C. circular. Q- What do you understand by the material of aggregate base coarse ? A- This materials consist of clean, tough, durable, sharp angle fragments free of soft, disintegrated or decomposed stone and free from any deleterious matter. Max. size of agg. Is 2, LL = 25 max., P.I = 6 max. (Look Q-55).

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Q- What types of soil are well suitable for subgrade ? A- A-1-a, A-1-b, A-2-4. Q- What do you mean my type A, AA, AAA in the compaction of soil ? A- Type A : Compacted density of a soil shall be equal or greater that 90% of Maximum Density or 70% of Relative density.

Type AA

: Compacted density of a soil shall be equal or greater than 95% of maximum density or 74% of relative density. : Compacted density of a soil shall be equal or greater than 100% of maximum density or 78% of relative density.

Type AAA


Q- What do you mean by relative density ? What is the formula ? A- It is the state of compactness of a soil with respect to the loosest and densest state at which it can be placed. % R.D. =
(r field r m in.) x r m ax. x 100 (r m ax. r m in.) x r field


Q- What is the maximum allowable percentage of friable particles for aggregate base coarse mix ? A- 0.25% Q- What is the proportion of natural sand to dunes sand to minimize the phenomena of rutting ? A- The proportion of natural sand should not exceed 155 of the percentage passing a #4 sieve. The natural sand should not contain more than 50% of the dunes sand, for instance : if per the design mix, the percentage passing a #4 sieve is 50% of all the quantity of aggregates, the allowable percentage of dune sand will be 7.5%, it could also reach 1.2 of this proportion or 4%.



Q- When you are establishing gradation, what is your target ? A- To meet the gradation requirements of the specification and yield a mix design to the criteria of the design method. The gradation should be made up to the most economical proper aggregates to be found.


Q- What is fineness modulus and how to determine it ? A- It is a numerical number, which outlines the grain size of the material by fineness point of view. It is determined through sieve analysis by adding total percentage retained on sieve , 3/8, #4, #8, #16, #30, #50, #100 and dividing the sum by 100. F.M. = 3.58 is coarser than F.M = 1.63 Limit (2.3 3.1)


Q- In sand equivalent why the heavy particles goes down, what is

the reason ? A- Those particles whose specific gravity is heavier than water will go down and those particles whose specific gravity is lighter than water will be in the upper portion due to sedimentation process. 36. Q- What is uniformity coefficient and effective grain size ? A- Uniformity Coefficient, is the ratio of the diameter corresponding to percent finer (P = 60%) and the effective grain size. Effective Grain size, is the diameter of particles corresponding to percent finer ( P = 10%) on the grain size curve. U.C = 37. AS ieve at 60% S ieve at 10%

Q- What are the factors affecting density of soil ? a) Relative volume of solid and void spaces : The greater the volume of solids or the less the volume of voids, the greater is the density. b) Specific gravity of soil particles : The greater the specific gravity of solids, the greater is the density, all other factors being equal. c) Amount of water is void spaces: This factor affect only the wet density. It is obvious that the amount of water the greater is the wet density.


Q- What is permeability and its significance ? A- Is that hydraulic property of a soil which indicates the case with which water will flow through the soil mass. It is significant on numerous engineering problems such as seepage through dams and irrigation canals, lowering the water table to improve stability of foundations, selecting capacity of pumps for lowering the ground-water level during excavations, and settlement of structures resting on compressible soils.


Q- What is a shrinkage limit ? A- A- highest water content at which a soil mass attained a minimum volume but continue to loose weight.


Q- What is consolidation in soil ? A- It is the escape of water and a gradual transfer of stress from

the water to solid in a soil mass. * It is not synonymous with compaction which is artificial compression of a soil by re-arrangement of its particles aided by lubricating effect of water. 41. Q- What is a proctor test ? A- It is the determination of the amount of mixing water that a soil mass can be compacted to higher density. 42. 43. Q- What is scalping ? A- It is the removal of deleterious fines. Q- What is the significance of C.B.R. test ? A- It is useful in evaluating subgrade soils and sub-base & base coarses material containing a small amount of material retained on 3/4" sieve. * The higher the C.B.R. value, the greater the bearing capacity of the soil and thereby lesser the thickness of the pavement. 44. 45. Q- How many trucks we can allow for grizzly ? A- Only One (1) truck. Q- What are the type of test to determine the strength of subgrade? A- 1. In in-situ: a) Loading test b) Plate bearing test. 2. In laboratory: a) California Bearing Ratio (C.B.R) b) Tri-axial test c) Hveem Stabilometer test 3. Estimation based on classification of soil. 46. Q- What do you mean by group index and how to it is determine? A- It is an emperical value used to evaluate the kind/type of soil to be use for subgrade material. It could be determine by equation: G.I. = (F-35) (0.2 0.005 (LL-40)) 0.001 (F-15) (PI 10) Where :

G.I. Group Index F - % passing 0.074mm (#200) sieve. LL Liquid Limit PI Plasticity Index. 47. Q- What are the engineering properties of soils ? A- 1. Granular Soils: a) Good load bearing qualities b) Permeable c) Comparatively incompressible when subjected to static loads. d) Not subject to changes in strength or volume due to vibration and water content, However loose granular materials will undergo considerable reaction in volume when subjected to vibratory loads. 2. Fine-Grain Soils: a) Poor load sustaining quality b) Highly impermeable c) Compressible under sustained loads d) Subject to changes in strength and in volume due to variation in water content. 3. Organic Soils Inferior than fine-grained soils with respect to the properties stated under the latter group. 48. Q- What are the 2 methods for sampling ? A- 1. Disturbed sampling 2. Undisturbed sampling. 49. Q- What is Soil Stabilization ? A- It is the process which improve the properties of materials by additives to improve strength, plasticity, workability and shrinkage. 50. Q- What do you know about Lime Stabilization ? A- Lime stabilization is the most economic and effective with clay soils, where pH = 12.30 added to soil by about 3% to 7%

by weight of dry material. 51. Q- What do you know about compaction of sand ? A- Compaction is performed on sand in cases of; 1. Water content are between dry and saturated state. 2. Completely watered (saturated) 3. Completely dry (Unsaturated) * Compaction in completely dry state give the highest dry density and layer thickness can be increase by using of dry compaction. Compaction should be made by roller vibratory with Low Amplitude and High Frequency. Q- What is the relation between modified and standard proctor ? A- The standard and modified proctor test give result nearly closed together for granular soil, but for plastic clay soil modified gives higher results than standard. 53. Q- What is the energy for compacted test ? A- Energy is equal to the number of layer multiplied by the number of blows, Weight of Hammer and height divided by the volume of the mold. 54. Q- What are the causes of sub-surface soil ? A- 1. Jaw Hammer 2. Fan Hammer 3. Conical Hammer. 55. Q- Describe the Aggregate Base Course material. A- Materials: (Crushed Stone or Crushed Gravel) 1. Hard 2. Durable 3. Free from dirt 4. Shall obtain not more than 85 of flat elongated, soft, disintegrated pieces. 5. 90% by weight of particles with at least two fractured faces and 100% by weight of particles at least one fractured face. 6. Minimum Abrasion loss is 45%. 7. Soundness loss by sodium sulphate not more than 12%


subjected to 5 cycles. 8. Liquid Limit not more than 25 and Plasticity Index not more than 6 for material passing sieve #40. 9. The amount of material passing sieve #200 not more than one half of the material passing sieve no. 40. 10. The maximum size of aggregate not more than 2/3 of the thickness of the layer. Plant Mix: 1. Central proportioning and mixing plant. 2. Travelling plant. Placing, Spreading and Compaction: 1. The base aggregate shall be spread by spreader boxes. 2. The layer should not be less than 7 cm. Nor more than 15 cm. Of compacted thickness. 3. The aggregate shall not be spread more than 2,000 sq.m. in advance of the rolling. 4. After the course has been completely compacted the surface shall be tested for smoothness and accuracy of grade and crown. 5. The finished surface shall not vary more than 9 mm from a 5 m straightedge when applied to the surface parallel with and at right angles to the centerline. Thickness: 1. Thickness shall represent not more than 300 m2 getting by cores. 2. When the difference is more than 12 mm, the contractor shall correct such areas by scarifying, adding base mixture, rolling, reshaping and finishing. 56. Q- Did we can use A6, A7 in embankment ? If yes, How. If No, Why ? A- Yes, we can use A6, A7 in embankment after stabilization by lime and run the tests required to know the actual required classification. 57. Q- In Sabkh area did we can use rock fill ? and if rock fill not available what type of soil we use ?


A- Yes, we can use rock fill or soil type A-1a, A-1b, A-2-4 for the first 1.5 m from the natural ground. 58. 59. Q- What are the min required No of Passes for rollers in rock fill. A- Min. 5 times. Q- What is the purpose of compaction ? A- - Increase the shear strength of soil. - Decrease permeability and water absorption. - Decrease settlement of embankment under repeated loads. Q- What are the factors affect degree of compaction ? A- - Optimum moisture content. - Type of soil. - Compacted effort. Q- State five reasons behind compaction of soil ? A- Five reasons behind compaction of soil are: a) Decrease settlement b) Increase resistance to shear stresses and erosion. c) Decrease swelling and shrinkage of soil when exposed to water. d) Increase soil resistance against seepage of water and absorption of water by capillarity rise. e) Increase density of soil. Q- State four factors affecting density of soil ? A- The factors affecting density of soil are: a) Water content b) Rate of compaction c) Rate of compaction d) Granular size. 63. Q- Can pure clay be used as an embankment material ? If not, why not ? If yes, under what conditions ? A- Clay soils are poor soils having higher plasticity index 11 minimum. Shrinkage is likely to take place in such soils. Materials which expands and contracts a great deal such as clay offers an undesirable base for supporting surfaces. Soils may be fully compacted, but as water penetrates, the materials expand and as the water evaporates, the materials contract, attain the flexibility and damage to the surface area.




This is extremely critical on rigid surfaces such as concrete highways or buildings. Such clayey soils are compacted at their OMC which happens to be higher than shrinkage limit. So clayey soils should be avoided to use in the embankment. If any better material is not available than clayey soils can be used provided it is compacted with sheepsfoot roller. The typical sheepsfoot roller can be self-propelled or towed, and compacts with a kneading action on the soil. These units generally range in weight from 2 tons to 20 tons and vary in coverage width normally between 30 and 100 inches. The feet or pads can be of various shapes and are normally less than 10 inches in length. The sheepsfoot compactor is operated on the theory that the feet will compact the lower layers of the soil first and work towards the surface in successive passes. 64. Q- If you find loss material on top of subgrade about 1 cm, what your action ? A- Clean the surface by approved equipments. 65. Q- When you stop the contractor ? A- 1) If he did not correct unsafe condition for workmen or general public. 2) For failure to carry out provisions of the contract. 3) For failure to carry out orders and directives. 4) Due to unsuitable weathers. Q- How to know during compaction of the materials if the water is more or less by eyes, and by hands ? A- 1) Rollers will make shoving in layer. 2) Tires trucks will make holls in layer. Sheep roller in case of clay will pick up the materials from layer. By hands: We take mass of soil and press in hand. 1) If water goes out indicate more water. 2) If it is plastic mass indicate proper water. 3) If it is loss in hand indicate less water. Q- What is the R Relative Plasticity Index of soil ? A- R =
W PL c P.I



or (Liquidity Index).



To know degree of softening of soil and consistency. Max R = 1 at liquid limit If near to zero this mean stiff soil. R = Zero at plastic limit. R = (-) soild or simesoild state. Q- If you have different materials ready to use in embankement. How to use it ? A- When we have materials such as clay, chalk or sand shall be spread in alternate layers over the full width of embankment.


Q- What is the meaning of reinforcement layer and what are its uses ? A- It is a layer between compacted sand or compacted Rock fill provided every 10 m height approx. To decrease settlement of layers.


Q- What are the advantages of plating ? A- 1- Confining A-3 material. 2- Protect A-3 against erosion and scouring. Q- How we can say soil is non plastic ? A- 1- When liquid limit can not be determined. 2- When plastic limit is higher than liquid limit. 3- When a soil can not be rolled into threads. Q- What is the time elapse bet. Two embankment layers to get proper compaction ? A- Not more than 3 days prior to the application of subsequent layers or prime coat, should be retested. Q- Define those terms: compression, consolidation, shrinkage, compaction, rebound, expansion, swelling, loosening or scarifying. A- 1- Compression: The loss in external volume under sustained load. 2- Consolidation: The loss in volume with time. 3- Shrinkage: The loss in volume resulting from capillary stresses during drying soil. 4- Compaction: The loss in volume due to artificial temporary loads as rolling, tamping, vibration.









5- Rebound: The increase in volume due to remove sustained load. 6- Expansion: The increase in volume with time. 7- Swelling: The increase in volume resulting from increasing of water content. 8- Loosening or scarifying: The increase in volume due to artificial operations. What are the ideal soil for road ? It should be dense, free from excessive moisture, high in internal friction and cohesion and possess low compressibility and capillarity. What are the types of soil stabilization ? 1- Mechanical stabilization. 2- Soil cement stabilization. 3- Lime stabilization. 4- Chemical stabilization.