A soil test for construction tests the bearing capacity of the soil that you aspire to build your dream house on. Factually speaking, there are soil types that cannot withstand the weight of a building and they are clearly identified during the tests conducted before the construction work commences.
The soil is the part that will bear the whole weight of the structure to be built upon it and so, it is very important to have it tested before the construction begins, especially if it is a mega structure.
Therefore, a soil is tested for different elements and aspects of it such as moisture and density that directly or indirectly affect the construction process.
Types of Soil Test
The types of the tests conducted on a soil sample depends in turn upon the type of the soil. The sample is tested for the various elements it harbours.
Moisture Content Test
Moisture content testing is the determination of the water content ratio of the soil sample collected. As it sounds simple and straight, there are quite a few distinct methods of carrying out this test. Oven drying, alcohol method, and radiation method are a few significant ones of them.
This establishes the natural moisture content of the soil which extrapolates its bearing capacity and settlement.
Specific Gravity Test
Gravity test produces the ratio of the unit weight of the soil solids to that of water. It clarifies for the engineers exactly how porous the soil is or how void the soil accumulation is.
The mostly used methods for this test are the density bottle method and the pycnometer method. They are the simplest ones with simple units used.
Dry Density Soil Test
The dry density of soil is defined as the weight of soil particles in a given volume of sample. The dry density of soil is determined by the void ratio and specific gravity of the soil. Soil is categorised into three types based on its dry density: dense, moderately dense, and loose.
This is also a great determinant of bearing capacity as the structure cannot quite be supported well with a less dense soil.
Atterberg Limits Test
This is a very important soil test for construction. Atterberg suggested three limitations that illustrate the features of fine grained soil under different conditions to measure the critical water content of a fine grained soil.
- Liquid Limit Test: This tests the point of water where the soil starts behaving like a liquid.
- Plastic Limit Test: The plastic limit is defined as the water moisture content at which a 3.2mm diameter thread of soil begins to disintegrate.
- Shrinkage Limit Test: A shrinkage limit test provides a quantitative indicator of both the volume change and the amount of moisture that can change before any appreciable volume change.
Testing a soil prior to construction of any size and scale helps ensure its safety and reliability in the future. The natural composition of the soil of the site in question is paramount when it comes to building megastructures upon it. If you are aspiring to start the construction of your new project or home, feel free to contact Achyut for more details about soil testing.
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