# lab4_03 - The University of Iowa Department of Civil...

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The University of Iowa Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Fall Semester, 2003 53:030 Soil Mechanics Lab Experiment No. 4: Shrinkage Limit Measurement Equipment: Evaporating dish, shrinkage dish, spatula, steel straightedge, shrinkage limit dish [ i.e. the glass cup (2 1 2 in. in diameter and 1 1 4 in. in depth)], glass plate with metal prongs, balance, liquid mercury, petroleum jelly, water squeeze bottle, and paper towels. A. Background The shrinkage limit is the water content dividing the semisolid and solid states of a soil. It is quantified for a given soil as the water content that is just sufficient to fill the voids when the soil is at the minimum volume it will attain on drying. Restated, the smallest water content at which a soil can be completely saturated at this dry volume is called the shrinkage limit. Below the shrinkage limit (SL), any water content change will not result in a volume change of the soil. Above the shrinkage limit, any water content change will result in accompanying volume change. V 0 PL LL SL water content (w) min Volume Figure 1: Schematic of volume change versus water content for fine-grained soils. Another soil parameter that is often determined in conjunction with the SL is the shrinkage ratio, which is an indicator of how much volume change is possible as changes in water content above the SL occur. The shrinkage ratio (SR) is defined as the ratio of a given volume change, expressed as a percentage of the dry volume, to the corresponding change in water content above the SL, expressed as a percentage of the mass of oven-dried soil. Expressing the shrinkage ratio SR in equation form, SR = (1) 1

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Soil Mechanics 53:030 Lab. No. 4 Fall 2003 where: SR = shrinkage ratio = soil volume change cm 3 = volume of oven dried soil cm 3 = change in water mass g = mass of oven dried soil g Since = ( ) , where is the mass density of water in g/cm 3
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