Testing Mode and Soil Parameters

  • R. G. RobinsonEmail author
Part of the Developments in Geotechnical Engineering book series (DGE)


Several types of apparatus are available for the determination of properties of soils. It was observed that the same property, determined using different equipment, may yield different results. This paper discusses the effect of test method on properties of soils such as liquid limit, swelling pressure, drained angle of internal friction of fine grained soils, radial coefficient of consolidation and interface friction angle. It was observed that the liquid limit determined from fall cone method is slightly higher than that obtained from Casagrande’s apparatus for low values of liquid limit. However, the opposite trend is observed for higher values of liquid limit. The swell pressure value obtained from the different pressure methods is the lowest while the swell-consolidation method yields the highest swell pressure. The drained angle of internal friction of fine grained soils obtained from triaxial compression test was found to be higher than that obtained from direct shear test. Radial consolidation tests conducted on a fine grained soil show that the radially outward consolidation test gives lower values of radial coefficient of consolidation compared to radially inward consolidation test. The interface friction angle determined using direct shear tests show that the magnitude of friction angle depends on the mode of shear. The likely reasons for the differences in the values obtained are discussed in this paper.


Soil testing Liquid limit Casagrande’s apparatus Fall cone test Swelling pressure Angle of internal friction Direct shear test Triaxial compression test Horizontal coefficient of consolidation Interface friction angle 


  1. 1.
    IS 2720-5: Method for Test for Soils: Determination of Liquid and Plastic Limit. Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi (1985)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sridharan, A., Prakash, K.: Percussion and cone methods of determining the liquid limit of soils. Geotech. Test. J. ASTM 23(2), 242–250 (2000)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wasti, Y., Bezirci, M.H.: Determination of the consistency limits of soils by the fall cone test. Can. Geotech. J. 23(2), 241–246 (1986)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wood, D.M.: Soil Behaviour and Critical State Soil Mechanics. Cambridge University Press (1990)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Das, N., Sarma, B., Singh, S., Sutradhar, B.B.: Comparison in undrained shear strength between low and high liquid limit soils. Int. J. Eng. Res. Technol. 2(1), 1–6 (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brackley, J.J.A.: Swell pressure and free swell in compacted clay. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Expansive Soils, Haifa, vol. 1, pp. 169–176 (1973)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Abduljauwad, S.N., Al-Sulaimani, G.J.: Determination of swell potential of Al-Qatif clay. Geotech. Test. J. ASTM 16(4), 469–484 (1993)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Al-Shamrani, M.A., Al-Mhaidib, A.I.: Swelling behavior under oedometric and triaxial loading conditions. Geotech. Spec. Publ. 99, 344–360 (2000)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Thompson, R.W., Perko, H.A., Rethamel, W.D.: Comparison of constant volume swell pressure and oedometer load-back pressure. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils, Carefree, AZ, United States, pp. 1787–1798 (2006)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Soundara, B., Robinson, R.G.: Testing method and swelling pressure of clays. Int. J. Geotech. Eng. USA 3(3), 439–444 (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    ASTM D4546-03: Standard Test Methods for One-Dimensional Swell or Settlement Potential of Cohesive Soils. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, USA (2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    BS 1377-5: Methods of Test for Soils for Civil Engineering Purposes: Measurement of Swelling Pressure. British Standard Institution, London (1990)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    IS 2720-41: Measurement of Swelling Pressure of Soils. Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi (1977)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Johnson, L.D., Snethen, D.R.: Prediction of potential heave of swelling soils. Geotech. Test. J. ASTM 1, 117–124 (1978)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ali, E.F.M., Elturabi, M.A.D.: Comparison of two methods for the measurement of swelling pressure. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Expansive Soils, Adelaide, Australia, vol. 84, no. 3, pp. 72–74 (1984)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sridharan, A., Rao, S.A., Sivapullaiah, V.: Swelling pressure of clays. Geotech. Test. J. ASTM 9(1), 24–33 (1986)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Holtz, W.G.: Expansive Clays—Properties and Problems, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 89–125. Colorado School of Mines (1959)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mitchel, J.K.: Fundamentals of Soil Behavior, 2nd edn. Wiley, New York (1993)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tovey, N.K., Wong, K.Y.: Preparation of soils and other geological materials for the electron microscope. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Soil Structure, vol. 1, pp. 58-66. Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Stockholm (1973)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Seed, H.B., Chan, C.K.: Compacted clay: structure and strength characteristics. ASCE Trans. 126, 1344–1385 (1961)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lambe, T.W.: Compacted clay: engineering behavior. ASCE Trans. 125(1), 718–741 (1960)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Das, B.M.: Principles of Geotechnical Engineering. PWS Publishing Company, Boston (1998)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lee, K.L.: Comparison of plane strain and triaxial tests on sand. J. Soil Mech. Found. Eng. Div. ASCE 96, 901–923 (1970)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cornforth, D.H.: Some experiments on the influence of strain conditions on the strength of sand. Geotechnique 14, 143–167 (1964)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Das, B.M.: Advanced Soil Mechanics. McGraw-Hill Book Publishing Co (1983)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lini Dev, K., Pillai, R.J., Robinson, R.G.: Drained angle of internal friction from direct shear and triaxial compression tests. Int. J. Geotech. Eng. 10(3), 283–287 (2016)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sivakumar, V., Mackinnon, P., Zaini, J., Cairns, P.: Effectiveness of filters in reducing consolidation time in routine laboratory testing. Geotechnique 60, 949–956 (2010)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Head, K.H.: Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing, Volume 3: Effective Stress Tests. Wiley, Singapore (1998)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Petley, D.J.: The shear strength of soils at large strains. Ph.D. Thesis, University of London, UK (1966)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lambe, T.W., Whitman, R.V.: Soil Mechanics. Wiley, USA (1979)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Barron, R.A.: Consolidation of fine grained soils by drain-wells. ASCE Trans. 113, 718–724 (1948)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Rowe, P.W.: Measurements of the coefficient of consolidation of lacustrine clay. Geotechnique 9(3), 107–118 (1959)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Sridharan, A., Prakash, K., Asha, S.R.: Consolidation behavior of clayey soils under radial drainage. Geotech. Test. J. ASTM 19(4), 421–431 (1996)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Robinson, R.G.: Analysis of radial consolidation test data using a log-log method. Geotech. Test. J. ASTM 32(2), 119–125 (2009)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sridhar, G., Robinson, R.G.: Determination of radial coefficient of consolidation using log T method. Int. J. Geotech. Eng. 5(4), 373–381 (2011)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ganesalingam, D., Sivakugan, N., Read, W.: Inflection point method to estimate ch from radial consolidation tests with peripheral drain. Geotech. Test. J. ASTM 36(5), 1–6 (2013)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Rowe, P.W., Barden, L.: A new consolidation cell. Geotechnique 16(2), 162–170 (1966)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Juirnarongrit, T.: Constant rate of strain consolidation test with radial drainage. Master thesis, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand (1996)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Singh, G., Hattab, T.N.: Laboratory study of efficiency of sand drains in relation to methods of installation and spacing. Geotechnique 29(4), 395–422 (1979)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Al Tabbaa, A.: Consolidation with radial drainage: observed and predicted behaviour. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, New Delhi, India, 5–10 January 1994, pp. 75–78 (1994)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Cao, L.F., Chang, M.F., The, C.I., Na, Y.M.: Back-calculation of consolidation parameters from field measurements at a reclamation site. Can. Geotech. J. 38(4), 755–769 (2001)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Jang, I.S., Chung, C.K., Kim, M.M., Cho, S.M.: Numerical assessment on the consolidation characteristics of clays from strain holding, self-boring pressure meter test. Comput. Geotech. 30(2), 121–140 (2003)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Sridhar, G., Robinson, R.G., Rajagopal, K., Radhakrishnan, R.: Comparative study on horizontal coefficient of consolidation determined using rowe and conventional consolidation cell. Int. J. Geotech. Eng. 9(4), 388–402 (2015)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sridhar, G., Robinson, R.G., Rajagopal, K.: Horizontal coefficient of consolidation from inward-and outward-flow tests. J. Proc. Inst. Civ. Eng. Ground Improv. 1–8 (2018)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    BS1377-6: Methods of Test for Soils for Civil Engineering Purposes, Consolidation and Permeability Tests in Hydraulic Cells and with Pore Pressure Measurement. British Standard Institution, London (1990)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Shields, D.H., Rowe, P.W.: A radial drainage oedometer for laminated clays. J. Soil Mech. Found. Div. ASCE 19(4), 21–431 (1965)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Atkinson, J.H., Evans, J.S., Ho, E.W.L.: Non-uniformity of triaxial samples due to consolidation with radial drainage. Géotechnique 35(3), 353–355 (1985)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Pyrah, I.C., Smith, I.G.N., Hull, D., Tanaka, Y.: Non-uniform consolidation around vertical drains installed in soft ground. Geotechnical engineering for transportation infrastructure. In: Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechincal Engineering, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 7–10 June 1999, pp. 1563–1569 (1999)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Robinson, R.G., Shilpa, D.: Equal strain consolidation of clays under radial drainage. Indian Geotech. J. 38(2), 204–220 (2008)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Head, K.H.: Manual of Soil Laboratory Testing: Volume 3 Effective Stress Tests, 3rd ed. Wiley, Chichester (2006)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Robinson, R.G., Allam, M.M.: Effect of clay mineralogy on coefficient of consolidation. Clays Clay Miner 46(5), 596–600 (1998)Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Coulomb, C.A.: Essai sur une application des regles de maximis et minimis quelques problemes de statique, relatits a l’architecture. Memoires de Mathematique de l’Academie Royale de Science 7, Paris (1776)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Meyerhof, G.G.: An Investigation of the Bearing Capacity of the Minimis a Quelques Problems de Statique Relatif a L’architecture. Mem. Acad. Royoal Pres. Divers Say, Paris (1948)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Kezdi, A.: Bearing capacity of piles and pile groups. In: Proceedings 4th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, London, vol. 2, pp. 46–51 (1957)Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Potyondy, J.G.: Skin friction between various soils and construction materials. Geotechnique 11(4), 39–353 (1961)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Rowe, P.W.: The stress-dilatancy relations for static equilibrium of an assembly of particles in contact. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. Ser. A 269, 500–527 (1962)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Silberman, J.O.: Some factors affecting the frictional resistance of piles driven in cohesionless soils. Thesis presented to Cornell University, Itaca, NY (1961); in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Science, vide Broms (1963)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Subba Rao, K.S., Allam, M.M., Robinson, R.G.: Interfacial friction between cohesionless soils and solid surfaces- a review. Indian Geotech. J. 31(2), 107–137 (2001)Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Noorany, I.: Side friction of piles in calcareous sands. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, San Fransisco, vol. 3, pp. 1611–1614 (1985)Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Yoshimi, Y., Kishida, H.: Friction between sand and metal surface. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Stockholm, vol. 1, pp. 831–834 (1981)Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Broms, B.B.: Discussion on bearing capacity of piles in cohesionless soils. J. Soil Mech. Found. Div. ASCE 89(6), 125–126 (1963)Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Acar, Y.B., Durguroglu, H.T., Tumay, M.T.: Interface properties of sand. J. Geotech. Eng. ASCE 108(4), 648–654 (1982)Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Uesugi, M., Kishida, H.: Influential factors of friction between steel and dry sands. Soils Found. 26(2), 33–46 (1986)Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Uesugi, M., Kishida, H.: Frictional resistance at yield between dry sand and mild steel. Soils Found. 26(4), 139–149 (1986)Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Panchanathan, S., Ramaswamy, S.V.: Skin friction between sand and construction materials. J. Indian Natl. Soc. Soil Mech. Found. Eng. 3(4), 325–336 (1964)Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Kisheda, H., Uesugi, M.: Tests of interface between sand and steel in the simple shear apparatus. Geotechnique 37(1), 45–52 (1987)Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Uesugi, M., Kishida, H., Uchikawa, Y.: Friction between dry sand and concrete under monotonic and repeated loading. Soils Found. 30(1), 125–128 (1990)Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Everton, S.J.: Experimental study of frictional shearing resistance between non-cohesive soils and construction materials. M.Sc. (Engg) Dissertation, University of London (Imperial College) (1991)Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Jardine, R.J., Lehane, B.M., Everston, S.J.: Friction coefficients for piles in sands and silts. In: Proceedings, Conference on Offshore Site Investigation and Foundation Behaviour, London, vol. 28, pp. 661–677 (1993)Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Desai, C., Drumm, C., Zaman, M.: Cyclic testing and modeling of interfaces. J. Geotech. Eng. ASCE 111(6), 793–815 (1985)Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    O’Rourke, T.D., Druschel, S.J., Netravalli, A.N.: Shear strength characteristics of sand-polymer interfaces. J. Geotech. Eng. ASCE 116(3), 451–469 (1990)Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Subba Rao, K.S., Allam, M.M., Robinson, R.G.: A note on the choice of interfacial friction angle. Geotech. Eng. Lond. 119(2), 123–128 (1996)Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Robinson, R.G.: Some studies on the interfacial friction between soils and solid surfaces. A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (1998) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations