Soil Type versus Compaction Process

 To demonstrate that fine-grained soils compact differently than coarse-grained soils, a simple in class demonstration is conducted using two clear, graduated cylinders. One cylinder is filled with loose, dry sand and the other is filled loosely with Kaolin. For the sand sample, static pressure is applied to the surface to compact the material with very little impact. Vibration is used as an alternative method of compaction on the sand with great success, which is visually apparent to the students. For the kaolin sample, vibration is used first with little impact and static pressure is used subsequently with big impact. If time permits, students can calculate the initial and final void ratio for each sample using their knowledge of phase diagram relationships, further highlighting the range of void ratios for each soil type.

 

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