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E – 1246 – Laboratory Testing of Soils

Intended Audience: civil and construction engineers



This course will introduce you to the principles and practices of laboratory testing of soils. You will learn about index property, permeability, consolidation, and shear strength tests. You will be introduced to dynamic testing methods, and tests on compacted soils. You will learn about laboratory equipment and test procedures. You will learn when the various ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) tests are applicable and how to utilize the test result data.

Course Outline
1. Introduction
2. Index Properties Tests
3. Permeability Tests
4. Consolidation Tests
5. Shear Strength Tests
6. Dynamic Testing
7. Tests on Compacted Soils
8. Tests on Rock

Learning Objectives

At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

  • Learn how dynamic tests are used to evaluate foundation support characteristics under repeated loadings such as a drop forge, traffic, or earthquake; and the associated risks of liquefaction.
  • Learn about correlations between index and structural properties showing the probable range of test values and relation of parameters.
  • Learn how grain-size analyses may be applied to seepage and drainage problems.
  • Learn how permeability of fine-grained soils (undisturbed or compacted) generally is computed from consolidation test data or by direct measurement on consolidation or triaxial shear specimens.
  • Learn how one-dimensional consolidation tests with complete lateral confinement are used to determine total compression of fine-grained soil under an applied load.
  • Learn how to estimate preconsolidation pressure using graphical determination from a semi-logarithmic pressure-void ratio curve.
  • Learn about the coefficient of consolidation.
  • Learn how the shear strength of soil is required for the analysis of foundation and earthwork stability problems.
  • Learn about the different types of shear tests.
  • Learn about direct shear tests.
  • Learn about unconfined compression tests.
  • Learn about triaxial compression tests.
  • Learn about the Unconsolidated-Undrained (UU) or Quick (Q) triaxial compression test.
  • Learn about the Consolidated-Undrained (CU) or R triaxial compression test.
  • Learn about the Consolidated-Drained (CD) or S triaxial compression test.

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