One-dimensional consolidation test of soils also referred to as the oedometer test, provides information for calculating expected soil settlement of structures and pavements.
Soils under structure foundations, pavements, or earthworks consolidate when loads are applied, and the reduction in volume causes settlement. When the loads are first applied, the water in the soil pores carries the pressure. The water content is reduced as it is forced out of the pores, the volume is also reduced, and the soil solids take up the load. The soil consolidation test duplicates.
Consolidation settlement is predictable behavior with proper testing that allows soils engineers to calculate the rate and amount of soil settlement when designing their projects.
To perform the consolidation test, a sample of the native soil is prepared in the soil mechanics laboratory. The specimen is trimmed to the required diameter and thickness to fit in the ring of a consolidometer. Porous stones placed on the top and bottom of the test sample allow water to drain during loading.
The consolidometer with the soil specimen is mounted in the consolidation load frame for testing. Load increments are applied in steps over a specified time period, and the reduction in volume as the void ratio is reduced is carefully measured and recorded.
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