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Characteristic water contents of a fine-grained soil-water system

Sridharan, A and Prakash, K (1998) Characteristic water contents of a fine-grained soil-water system. In: Geotechnique, 48 (3). pp. 337-346.

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Official URL: http://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=635237


This paper critically appraises the limitations of the liquid-limit water content of clayey soils determined conventionally either by percussion cup or by the cone penetration method. It is shown that the conventional liquid limit and plastic limit are arbitrary, strength-based water contents and that they cannot represent the plasticity limits, and that the state of the soil-water system at the conventional liquid limit does not correspond to a stress-free reference state. The present investigation identifies three characteristic limiting water contents for a soil-water system which have well-defined, unique mechanisms controlling them, namely the free swell limit, settling limit and shrinkage limit. Simple procedures for the determination of the free swell limit and settling limit of natural soils are presented. The settling limit is shown to be the 'real liquid limit' of any clayey soil. With a number of experimental illustrations, it is clearly shown that the settling limit represents the maximum water-holding capacity of clayey soils and that it corresponds to the stress-free reference state.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Geotechnique
Publisher: Thomas Telford
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Thomas Telford.
Keywords: laboratory tests;plasticity;sedimentation.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2011 08:10
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2018 07:42
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/38077

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