A Study to Correlate Soil Consistency Limits with Soil Moisture Tensions, HR-27, 1965

(1965) A Study to Correlate Soil Consistency Limits with Soil Moisture Tensions, HR-27, 1965. Transportation, Department of


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The liquid and plastic limits of a soil are consistency limits that were arbitrarily chosen by Albert Atterberg in 1911. Their determination is by strictly empirical testing procedures. Except for the development of a liquid limit device and subsequent minor refinements the method has remained basically unchanged for over a half century. The empirical determination of an arbitrary limit would seem to be contrary to the very foundations of scientific procedures. However, the tests are relatively simple and the results are generally acceptable and valuable in almost every conceivable use of soil from an engineering standpoint. Such a great volume of information has been collected and compiled by application of these limits to cohesive soils, that it would be impractical and virtually impossible to replace the tests with a more rational testing method. Nevertheless, many believe that the present method is too time consuming and inconsistent. Research was initiated to investigate the development of a rapid and consistent method by relating the limits to soil moisture tension values determined by porous plate and pressure membrane apparatus. With the moisture tension method, hundreds of samples may be run at one time, operator variability is minimal, results are consistent, and a high degree of correlation to present liquid limit tests is possible.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Atterberg limits, Engineering soils, Liquid limits, Membrane encapsulated soil layers, Plastic limit, Soil tests, Soil water, Test procedures, Soil consistency limits, Soil moisture tensions
Subjects: Transportation
Transportation > Materials
Transportation > Materials > Gravel and aggregates
Transportation > Research
Transportation > Data and Information Technology
ID Code: 17265
Deposited By: Iowa DOT Library
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2014 12:36
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2014 15:33
URI: https://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/17265