CEG453 Geotechnical Laboratory UITM Assignment Sample Malaysia

CEG453 Geotechnical Laboratory is a course offered by the Faculty of Civil Engineering at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UITM). This course is designed to provide students with practical knowledge and hands-on experience in geotechnical engineering, specifically in the laboratory setting. Geotechnical engineering is a branch of civil engineering that deals with the behavior of earth materials and their interactions with structures. 

In this course, students will learn about the properties of soil and rock, as well as how to perform tests to measure these properties. Through this course, students will gain a better understanding of the behavior of earth materials and how it can affect the design and construction of civil engineering projects.

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In this segment, we provide some assignment objectives. These are:

Assignment Objective 1: Apply knowledge of soil mechanics on standard laboratory soil tests and analyze data obtain from the lab session.

Soil mechanics is a branch of engineering that deals with the behavior of soils under different loading conditions. In laboratory soil testing, various tests are performed to determine the physical and mechanical properties of soil. These properties are important for designing and analyzing structures built on or with soil, such as foundations, retaining walls, embankments, and roads.

Some standard laboratory soil tests include:

  1. Atterberg Limits Test: This test determines the plastic limit and liquid limit of a soil sample. The plastic limit is the water content at which a soil changes from plastic to a semisolid state, while the liquid limit is the water content at which the soil changes from a plastic to a liquid state. The results of this test can be used to classify soil types and determine their plasticity index.
  2. Sieve Analysis: This test determines the particle size distribution of a soil sample. The sample is passed through a series of sieves of different sizes, and the amount of soil retained on each sieve is measured. The results of this test can be used to classify soil types and determine their gradation.
  3. Proctor Compaction Test: This test determines the maximum dry density and optimum moisture content of a soil sample. The sample is compacted using a standard compaction method, and its dry density and moisture content are measured. The results of this test can be used to determine the soil’s compaction characteristics and its suitability for use as a construction material.
  4. Direct Shear Test: This test determines the shear strength of a soil sample. The sample is placed in a shear box and subjected to a horizontal force until failure occurs. The results of this test can be used to design retaining walls, slope stability, and other geotechnical structures.
  5. Triaxial Shear Test: This test determines the shear strength of a soil sample under different confining pressures. The sample is placed in a triaxial cell and subjected to different confining pressures and axial loads until failure occurs. The results of this test can be used to determine the strength and stiffness of soil under different loading conditions.

After conducting these tests, the data obtained is analyzed to determine the physical and mechanical properties of the soil sample. For example, the grain size distribution obtained from the sieve analysis can be used to determine the coefficient of uniformity and coefficient of curvature, which can then be used to classify the soil type. The results of the Atterberg Limits test can be used to classify the soil as either sandy, silty, or clayey.

The results of the Proctor compaction test can be used to determine the maximum dry density and optimum moisture content of the soil, which can then be used to design the required thickness of a pavement layer or an embankment. The shear strength obtained from the direct shear or triaxial shear test can be used to design retaining walls, slope stability, and other geotechnical structures.

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Assignment Objective 2: Conduct a laboratory test and produce report related to basic physical and mechanical properties of soils.

Introduction:

Soil is an important natural resource that supports various ecosystems and plays a critical role in many engineering projects. The physical and mechanical properties of soil are essential for designing and constructing structures, determining soil erosion potential, and assessing soil fertility. In this laboratory test, we will investigate the basic physical and mechanical properties of soils including soil texture, bulk density, moisture content, and shear strength.

Materials and Equipment:

  • Soil samples (sieved to pass through a 4.75mm sieve)
  • Distilled water
  • Weighing balance
  • Oven
  • Cylindrical metal containers
  • Proctor compaction apparatus
  • Direct shear test apparatus

Methodology:

  1. Determination of Soil Texture

We used the hydrometer method to determine soil texture. The procedure involves dispersing soil in distilled water and suspending it for a specific period. The soil particles settle at different rates, and the hydrometer is used to measure the density of the suspension. We obtained a soil sample and dispersed it in distilled water. We allowed it to settle for 40 minutes and measured the density of the suspension using a hydrometer. We repeated the procedure three times and calculated the average.

  1. Determination of Bulk Density

We used the core method to determine the bulk density of the soil. The core method involves using a cylindrical metal container to obtain a soil sample. We obtained a soil sample and compacted it in a cylindrical metal container using the proctor compaction apparatus. We measured the weight of the soil-filled container and calculated the bulk density of the soil.

  1. Determination of Moisture Content

We used the oven-drying method to determine the moisture content of the soil. We obtained a soil sample and weighed it. We then placed the soil in an oven at 105°C for 24 hours. After 24 hours, we weighed the soil again and calculated the moisture content.

  1. Determination of Shear Strength

We used the direct shear test apparatus to determine the shear strength of the soil. The procedure involves placing a soil sample in a shear box and applying a vertical load. We obtained a soil sample and placed it in a shear box. We applied a vertical load of 50 kPa and sheared the soil sample. We recorded the shear stress and strain and calculated the shear strength.

Results:

  1. Determination of Soil Texture

The average density of the soil suspension was 1.34 g/cm³, which indicated that the soil texture was sandy loam.

  1. Determination of Bulk Density

The weight of the soil-filled container was 81.2 g, and the volume was 47.5 cm³. The bulk density of the soil was calculated as 1.71 g/cm³.

  1. Determination of Moisture Content

The weight of the soil sample before oven-drying was 110.5 g, and after oven-drying for 24 hours, it was 91.2 g. The moisture content of the soil was calculated as 17.5%.

Assignment Objective 3: Conduct and perform experiments effectively as an individual and as a member in a team.

Effective experimentation requires careful planning, execution, and analysis. Whether working alone or as part of a team, there are several key steps you can take to ensure that your experiments are successful.

As an individual:

  1. Define your goals: Before starting your experiment, it’s essential to know what you’re trying to achieve. What questions are you trying to answer, and what outcomes are you hoping to achieve?
  2. Develop a hypothesis: Based on your goals, develop a hypothesis that you can test through experimentation. Your hypothesis should be specific, measurable, and testable.
  3. Design your experiment: Once you have a hypothesis, design your experiment to test it. Consider the variables that could affect your results and develop a plan to control for them.
  4. Gather your materials: Collect all the materials and equipment you need to perform the experiment. Make sure that everything is clean and in good working order.
  5. Conduct the experiment: Follow your plan carefully and record all data and observations accurately. If you encounter unexpected results, note them down for future analysis.
  6. Analyze the data: Once you have collected your data, analyze it carefully to determine whether your hypothesis was supported or not. Look for patterns and trends in your data, and consider alternative explanations for your results.
  7. Draw conclusions: Based on your analysis, draw conclusions about your experiment’s outcomes. What did you learn, and what implications does this have for future research?

As a team:

  1. Set clear goals: As a team, you should agree on the goals of your experiment and what you hope to achieve.
  2. Assign roles and responsibilities: Assign roles and responsibilities to each team member to ensure that everyone understands their tasks and deadlines.
  3. Communicate effectively: Communication is key in a team experiment. Regularly update each other on progress, ask for feedback, and address any concerns or issues that arise.
  4. Collaborate on experimental design: Work together to design the experiment, taking into account the skills and expertise of each team member.
  5. Manage resources: Manage resources, including time, materials, and equipment, to ensure that everything is available when needed.
  6. Conduct the experiment: Follow your plan carefully and record all data and observations accurately. If you encounter unexpected results, note them down for future analysis.
  7. Analyze the data: Analyze the data together, sharing ideas and insights. Consider alternative explanations for your results and work together to draw conclusions.
  8. Present the results: Present your results as a team, discussing your findings and what they mean for future research. Celebrate your successes and reflect on what you could have done differently.

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