The course covers laboratory methods commonly used to determine the soil parameters that govern its engineering behaviour. As part of the course the students have the opportunity of performing standard laboratory tests using the facilities housed within the Soil Mechanics Laboratory.
# | Title | Description | Hours |
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1 | Introduction | Experimental determination of soil properties required for the design and analysis of soil structures, such as retaining walls, slopes, earthdams and foundations. Standard procedures for soil testing. Laboratoty soil testing: 1) Soil classification tests. 2) Measurement of elementary soil properties including density, water content, void ratio, specific gravity, etc. 3) Atterberg limit tests. 4) Grain size analysis including sieve and sedimentation analysis. | 2Χ4=8 |
2 | Steady state groundwater flow | Steady state groundwater flow: one dimensional flow, hydraulic conductivity, critical hydraulic gradient, two dimensional flow and flow nets. Laboratoty soil testing: Measurement of the permeability coefficient of soils | 2Χ4=8 |
3 | Theory of consolidation | Properties of fine-grained soils for calculating the amplitude and rate of settlement of structures. Field measurement of pore water pressure_piezometers. Laboratoty soil testing: Consolidation test – determination of compressibility, overconsolidation ratio and preconsolidation stress, consolidation coefficients. Assessment and quantification of fundamental parameters controlling consolidation settlement calculations: Es, cc,cs,cv. | 2Χ4=8 |
4 | Loading stress paths. Shear strength of sands | Initial stress conditions and loading stress paths resulting due to stress changes in geotechnical applications as well as in the laboratory. Shear strength and dilatancy of sand. Laboratoty soil testing: Direct shear test: measurement of shear strength parameters on a predetermined surface of rupture for loose and dense sand. | 2Χ4=8 |
5 | Shear strength of cohesive soils | Shear strength of normally and overconsolidated clays – Critical State Theory. Laboratoty soil testing: Test method for unconsolidated-undrained and consolidated-undrained triaxial compression tests on cohesive soils (UU and CU tests) | 3Χ4=12 |
6 | Measurement of soil stiffness. Applications. | The use of experimentally defined strength and deformation soil properties in practical applications. Laboratoty soil testing: 1) Measurement of limiting earth pressures in a retaining wall model. 2) Proctor test: compaction test used to determine the relation between water content and dry unit weight and to find maximum dry unit weight and optimum water content. | 2Χ4=8 |
The students use the facilitities of the teaching soil mechanics laboratory to perform tests simulating the loading conditions in geotechnical applications. By the end of the course the students will possess the skills and knowledge necessary to determine the soil parameters required for the analysis and design of soil structures such as retaining walls, slopes, earthdams and foundations.
Teaching methods | Lectures, tutorial exercises, coursework reports and practical laboratories |
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Teaching media | Power Point Presentations. Electronic submission of tutorial exercises. Use of the teaching soil mechanics laboratory. |
Laboratories | The students perform, in groups of 5-7 persons, ten (10) standard procedures for soil testing using the facilities of the teaching soil mechanics laboratory. |
Computer and software use | The students use computer software to process and present the test results. |
Assignments (projects, reports) | An individual report is handed in by the students, for each of the ten experiments performed in the laboratory. |
Student presentations | Each group collects and presents all the test results for one of the experiments performed by all groups. Discussion follows each presentation. |
Lecture notes: