Soil Tests are the first strides taken in a construction project. They unveil the properties of soil such as texture, pH, organic matter, density, structure and biology. These properties determine the suitability of the soil for proposed construction work. The design of the building is dependent upon the results of soil tests since it is the soil which is the ultimate foundation for buildings and houses. Thus soil should be well tested in a soil testing lab t0 eliver an excellent performance.
Types of Soil Tests
There are various types of laboratory tests and field tests conducted in a soil testing lab which help judge the properties of the soil with accuracy. Here we will discuss about the various tests.
1-Moisture Content Test
It is performed to determine the amount of natural moisture and water content in the soil. The moisture test is conducted by different methods.
1-Oven Drying Method
2-Calcium Carbide Method
3-Torsion Balance method
5-Sand bath method
Of all the above tests, oven drying test is the most commonly used method.
2-Specific Gravity Test on Soil
It is done to find out the density of the soil relative to water. The various methods used are –
1-Density Bottle Method
3-Gas Jar Method
4-Shrinkage Limit Method
5-Measuring Flask Method
3-Proctor’s Compaction Test
It is done to understand compaction characteristics of soil. Compaction of soil refers to reducing the air voids in the soil as soil becomes dense and achieves its maximum dry density.
Other types of soil tests for building construction are Dry Density Test on Soil, Atterberg Limits Test on Soil, Liquid Limit Test on Soil, Plastic Limit Test on Soil and Shrinkage Limit Test on Soil,
Why soil should be tested?
Soil tests done in a soil testing lab provide geotechnical and chemical data about the soil to the engineer. The structure ultimately transfers the stresses and strains to the soil through its foundation. If the tests are not conducted properly or the data is not taken into consideration while building the structure, the building might develop cracks and the structure might shift away from its alignment like the leaning tower of Pisa. In worst cases it might even collapse causing loss to human life and property.