Investigating The Particle Size Distribution Of A Particular Soil Sample By Carrying Out Sieve Analysis
The purpose of this lab was to determine the particle size distribution of a particular soil sample by carrying out sieve analysis and hydrometer analysis tests. For the sieve analysis test, a graph for percent finer versus the grain size was plotted from the data collected. The graph was used to determine whether the soil sample was fine-grained or course-grained. Calculations for uniformity and gradation were then done to determine whether the soil was well graded, poorly graded or gap graded.
For the hydrometer analysis test, the soil sample was dispersed in water so that the particles settled at different velocities with time. The percentage of soil suspended at specific time intervals were measured using a hydrometer. From the hydrometer readings, the Grain size and the percentage finer of the soil at specific time intervals were calculated. A particle distribution curve was then developed by plotting a graph of percent finer versus the grain diameter.
Sieve analysis is important to engineers as it ensures that well graded soils are used for various engineering applications. Proper soil grading eliminates seepage problems in dams as well as pavement failures in roads. Hydrometer tests also helps engineers to know the predominant type of clay in a particular soil sample.
Equipment and procedure
The equipment used for the sieve analysis are: sieves (Nos. 4,10,20,40,60,140 and 200, a bottom pan cover, a balance, oven,…