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Civil Engineering 463

Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory

Lab #2: Gradation

July 25th, 2017

Members

Miranda McNeilly

Mallika Guda

Douaa Redha

Ali Jasim

Vicky Lau

Introduction

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a. The sieve analysis, or the gradation test, is a practice or procedure used to assess the particle size

distribution, which is also called gradation of a granular material. The grain size distribution is often of

critical importance to the way the material performs in use. A sieve analysis can be performed on any

type of non-organic or organic granular materials, including sands, crushed rock, clays, granite,

feldspars, coal, soil, a wide range of manufactured powders, grain and seeds, down to a minimum size

depending on the exact method. Being such a simple technique of particle sizing, it is one of the most

common.

b.

The grain size distribution of soils is a very important parameter which lets us to classify the soils in most basic

form. Sands and gravels are two such types. From the complete grain-size distribution curve, we can obtain two

types of information which is:

1. Grading characteristics, which indicate the uniformity and range in grain-size distribution.

2. Percentages (or fractions) of gravel, sand, silt and clay-size. (Terzhagi & Peck, 1996)

By grain size distribution, we get to understand the initial engineering properties such as permeability, shear

strength, compressibility etc. As of today, we do not have a single great parameter that can define an entire

grain size distribution which is why we use statistical tools such as mean, median, standard deviation, the

coefficients of uniformity and curvature, fines content, effective particle size etc., in order to explain the general

slope and shape of the grain size distribution curve in geotechnical engineering studies. Grain size distr...