MAXIMUM DRY DENSITY AND OPTIMUM MOISTURE CONTENT
To determine the maximum dry density and the optimum
moisture content of soil using heavy compaction as per IS: 2720(Part 8) – 1983.
CYLINDRICAL METAL MOULD
- Cylindrical metal mould – it should be either of 100 mm dia. and 1000 cc volume or 150 mm dia. and 2250 cc volume and should conform to IS: 10074 – 1982
- Balances – one of 10 kg capacity, sensitive to 1 g and the other of 200 g capacity, sensitive to 0.01 g
- Oven – thermostatically controlled with an interior of non-corroding material to maintain temperature between 105 and 110 o C
- Steel straightedge – 30 cm long
- IS Sieves of sizes – 4.75 mm, 19 mm and 37.5 mm
PREPARATION OF SAMPLE
- A representative portion of air-dried soil material
- large enough to provide about 6 kg of material passing through a 19 mm IS Sieve (for soils not susceptible to crushing during compaction)
- About 15 kg of material passing through a 19 mm IS Sieve (for soils susceptible to crushing during compaction), should be taken.
- This portion should be sieved through a 19 mm IS Sieve and the coarse fraction rejected after its proportion of the total sample has been recorded.
- Aggregations of particles should be broken down so that if the sample was sieved through a 4.75 mm IS Sieve,
- Only separated individual particles would be retained.
A) Soil not susceptible to crushing during compaction –
1) A 5 kg sample of air-dried soil passing through the 19 mm IS Sieve should be taken. The sample should be mixed thoroughly with a suitable amount of water depending on the soil type (for sandy and gravelly soil -3 to 5% and for cohesive soil – 12 to 16% below the plastic limit). The soil sample should be stored in a sealed container for a
minimum period of 16hrs.
2) The mould of 1000 cc capacity with base plate attached, should be weighed to the nearest 1g (W ). The mould 1 should be placed on a solid base, such as a concrete floor
or plinth and the moist soil should be compacted into the mould, with the extension attached, in five layers of approximately equal mass, each layer being given 25 blows from the 4.9 kg rammer dropped from a height of 450 mm above the soil. The blows should be distributed uniformly over the surface of each layer. The amount of soil used should be sufficient to fill the mould, leaving not more than about 6 mm to be struck off when the extension is removed. The extension should be removed and the compacted soil should be levelled off carefully to the top of the mould by means of the straight edge. The mould and soil should then be weighed to the nearest gram (W2).
3) The compacted soil specimen should be removed from the mould and placed onto the mixing tray. The water content (w) of a representative sample of the specimen should be determined
4) The remaining soil specimen should be broken up, rubbed through 19 mm IS Sieve and then mixed with the remaining original sample. Suitable increments of water should be added successively and mixed into the sample, and the above operations i.e. Para ii) to iv) should be repeated for each increment of water added. The total number of determinations made should be at least five and the moisture contents should be such that the optimum moisture content at which the maximum dry density occurs,lies within that range.
B) Soil susceptible to crushing during compaction –
Five or more 2.5 kg samples of air-dried soil passing through the 19 mm IS Sieve, should be taken. The samples should each be mixed thoroughly with different amounts of water and stored in a sealed container as mentioned in Para A) i), above. Follow the operations given in Para A) 2) to 4), above.
C) Compaction in large size mould –
For compacting soil containing coarse material up to 37.5 mm size, the 2250 cc mould should be used. A sample weighing
about 30 kg and passing through the 37.5 mm IS Sieve is used for the test. Soil is compacted in five layers, each layer being given 55 blows of the 4.9 kg rammer. The rest of the procedure is the same as in Para A) or B), above.
REPORTING OF RESULTS
Bulk density γ in g/cc of each compacted specimen should be
calculated from the equation, γ = W2 − W / V
Where, V = volume in cc of the mould.
The dry density γd in g/cc = 100γ / 100 + w
The dry densities, γ d obtained in a series of determinations should be plotted against the corresponding moisture contents,
A smooth curve should be drawn through the resulting points and the position of the maximum on the curve should be determined.
A sample graph is shown below
The dry density in g/cc corresponding to the maximum point on the moisture content/dry density curve should be reported as the maximum dry density to the nearest 0.01. The percentage moisture content corresponding to the maximum dry density on the moisture content/dry density curve should be reported as the optimum moisture content and quoted to the nearest 0.2 for values below 5 percent, to the nearest 0.5 for values from 5 to 10 percent and to the nearest whole number for values exceeding 10 percent.