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STUDENT CODE OF ETHIC

(SCE)
DEPT. OF CIVIL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY

I, hereby confess that I have prepared this report on my own effort. I also admit not
to receive or give any help during the preparation of this report and pledge
that everything mentioned in the report is true.

_________________
Student Signature

Name

Matric No. :
Date

FACULTY: ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY


DEPARTMENT: CIVIL ENGINEERING
TECHNOLOGY

TEST TITLE: PLASTIC LIMIT TEST

PAGE NO.:
EDITION:
REVIEW NO.:
EFFECTIVE
DATE:
AMENDMENT
DATE:

1/7
1/01/14
1/01/15

1.0 OBJECTIVE: To Determine the Lowest Moisture Content at Which the Soil Behaves Plastically.

2.0 LEARNING OUTCOME


At the end of this experiment, students are able to:
Conduct the plastic limit experiment.
Identify the plastic limit value for soil.

Identify the importance and application of plastic limit test.

3.0 THEORY
Plastic limit ( P w ) of soil is defined as the water content at which a soil will just begin to crumble when
rolled into a thread of approximately 3 mm in diameter. It is water content at the boundary between the
plastic and semi-solid states of consistency of the soil. Plasticity index (PI or I P) is the numerical
difference of the liquid and plastic limit, and indicates the range of water content through which the soil
remains plastic.
PI = LL PL
For fine grained soils, determining the natural water content (the water content of a soil in an
undisturbed condition in the ground) and relating it to the plastic and liquid limits can provide an
indication of the soils consistency and/or sensitivity potential. One such relationship is the liquidity
index.

IL

w PL
PI

Consistency index is defined as the ratio of the liquid limit minus the natural water
content to the plasticity index of a soil.

Cr

LL w
PI

Table 2.1 : Classification of soil according to plasticity.


Plasticity Index (IP or PI)
0
<7
7-17
> 17

Degree of Plasticity
Non-Plastic
Low-Plastic
Medium Plastic
Highly

Type of Soil
Sand
Silt
Silty clay or clayey silt
Plastic Clay

Table 2.2 : Classification of soil according to liquidity indices.


Liquidity Index (IL or LI)
< 0.0
0.0-0.25
0.25-0.50
0.50-0.75
0.75-1.00
>1.00

Consistency
Desiccated (dry) hard soil
Stiff
Medium to soft
Soft
Very soft
Liquid s

FACULTY: ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY


DEPARTMENT: CIVIL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
TEST TITLE: PLASTIC LIMIT TEST

PAGE NO.:
EDITION:
REVIEW NO.:
EFFECTIVE
DATE:
AMENDMENT
DATE:

2/7
1/01/14
1/01/15

4.0 APPARATUS:
1. The most important piece of apparatus for this test is the hand of operator, which should
be clean and free from grease.
2. Evaporating dish.
3. A separate glass plate reserved for rolling of threads. This should be smooth and free from
scratches, and about 300 mm square and 10mm thick. The surface condition of the plate
can affect the behaviour of rolled threads, and the use of unscratched glass reduces the
likelihood of discrepancies. An alternative is to reserve one side of the mixing plate for
thread rolling, and avoid mixing the soil on this area.
4. Two palette knives or spatulas.
5. A short length (say 100 mm) of 3mm diameter metal rod.
6. Standard moisture content apparatus (container, balance and oven)

Figure 2.1 : Apparatus for plastic limit test


5.0 PROCEDURES
i)

Selection and preparation of sample


(a) Take about 20 g of the prepared soil paste and spread it on the glass mixing plate.
(b) Mix occasionally to avoid local drying out.
(c) It is convenient to set aside this sample just before carrying out the liquid limit test.

Figure 2.2 : Prepared soil paste.

FACULTY: ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY


DEPARTMENT: CIVIL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
TEST TITLE: PLASTIC LIMIT TEST

PAGE NO.:
EDITION:
REVIEW NO.:
EFFECTIVE
DATE:
AMENDMENT
DATE:

3/7
1/01/14
1/01/15

ii)

Rolling Into a Ball


(a) When the soil is plastic enough, it is well kneaded and then shaped into a ball.
(b) When slight cracks begin to appear on the surface, divide the ball into two portions each of
about 10 g.
(c) Further divide each into four equal parts, but keep each set of four parts together.

Figure 2.3 : Rolling into ball and four equal part of soil after divide.
iii)

Rolling Into a Threads


(a) Using a steady pressure, roll this mass into a thread between the fingers of one hand and
the surface of the glass plate.
(b) The pressure should reduce the diameter of the thread from 6 mm to about 3 mm after
between five and ten back-and-forth movements of the hand.
(c) It is important to maintain a uniform rolling pressure throughout; do not reduce pressure as
the thread approaches 3 mm diameter.
(d) Dry the soil further by moulding between the fingers again, not by continued rolling which
gives a dried crust.
(e) Form it into a thread and roll out again as before.
(f) Repeat this procedure until the thread crumbles when it has been rolled to 3 mm diameter.
(g) The metal rod serves as a reference for gauging this diameter.
(h) The first crumbling point is the plastic limit

Figure 2.4 : The soil specimen is rolled under the fingers into a thread 3 mm diameter.

FACULTY: ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY


DEPARTMENT: CIVIL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
TEST TITLE: PLASTIC LIMIT TEST

PAGE NO.:
EDITION:
REVIEW NO.:
EFFECTIVE
DATE:
AMENDMENT
DATE:

4/7
1/01/14
1/01/15

iv) Moisture content measurement


This is placed in a numbered moisture content container, which is weighed, oven dried and weighed as
in the standard moisture content procedure according to BS 1377: Part 2: 1990.
(a) Weight the empty moisture content container
(b) Take a moisture content sample of about 10 g from the area penetrated by the cone, using the
tip of a small spatula.
(c) Weight the wet sample
(d) Dry in the oven for about 24 hours (overnight)
(e) Weight the dry sample

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

Figure 1.10: Process to take a moisture content.

FACULTY: ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY


DEPARTMENT: CIVIL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
TEST TITLE: PLASTIC LIMIT TEST

PAGE NO.:
EDITION:
REVIEW NO.:
EFFECTIVE
DATE:
AMENDMENT
DATE:

5/7
1/01/14
1/01/15

6.0 CALCULATION EXAMPLE


i)

Results Calculation
(a) Calculate the moisture content of the soil in each of the two containers. Take the average of the
two results.
(b) If they differ by more than 0.5% moisture content, the test should be repeated.
Location : RECESS
Soil description: Silty CLAY
Sample type : Undisturbed
Operator: A . Z. S

Table 1: Example of Data Sheet.


Loc. No. : 00123
Sample No. : 6
Depth of Sample : 1.5 m
Date Started :

Test Number
Can Number
Mass of can + moist soil (Mcws)
Mass of can + dry soil (Mcs)
Mass of can (Mc)
Mass of dry soil (Ms)
Mass of water (Mw)
Water content
Plastic limit

Units
gram
gram
gram
gram
gram
%
%

1
11
46.76
32.51
8.31
24.20
14.25
58.88

2
21
57.20
38.31
8.35
29.96
18.89
63.05

3
32
63.60
41.64
8.26
33.38
21.96
65.79

4
41
71.72
45.78
8.29
37.49
25.94
69.19

64.27

Calculation of moisture content;

mw 14.25

0.5888or 58.88%
ms 24.20

6.0 RESULT AND CALCULATIONS


DATA SHEET
Location :
Soil description:
Sample type :
Operator:

Loc. No. :
Sample No. :
Depth of Sample :
Date Started :

Test Number
Can Number
Mass of can + moist soil (Mcws)
Mass of can + dry soil (Mcs)
Mass of can (Mc)
Mass of dry soil (Ms)
Mass of water (Mw)
Water content
Plastic limit

Units

gram
gram
gram
gram
gram
%
%

Plastic limit

Liquid limit

Plasticity index

= Liquid Limit Plastic Limit =

FACULTY: ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY


DEPARTMENT: CIVIL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
TEST TITLE: PLASTIC LIMIT TEST

PAGE NO.:
EDITION:
REVIEW NO.:
EFFECTIVE
DATE:
AMENDMENT
DATE:

6/7
1/01/14
1/01/15

8.0 CALCULATIONS

9.0 DISCUSSIONS

10.0 CONCLUSION

FACULTY: ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY


DEPARTMENT: CIVIL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
TEST TITLE: PLASTIC LIMIT TEST

PAGE NO.:
EDITION:
REVIEW NO.:
EFFECTIVE
DATE:
AMENDMENT
DATE:

7/7
1/01/14
1/01/15

11.0 QUESTIONS 1
(a) What is the definition of plastic limit?

(b) A sample of wet clay and its container weigh 102 g.After oven drying the sample and the
container weigh 60 g. What is the water content and plastic limit for the soil?

QUESTIONS 2
(a) What is the different between liquid limit and plastic limit?

(b) A sample of wet clay weighs 176 g. After oven drying the sample weigh 60 g and its container
is 7.32 g. What is the water content and plastic limit for the soil?