n Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Estimating the shrinkage limit : construction and project management

Volume 21, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



As a saturated sample of soil is allowed to air-dry, the soil sample will reach the shrinkage limit condition where the total volume of the soil skeleton no longer shrinks due to drying. Air entry into the soil pores occurs at this shrinkage limit, and the colour of the soil sample changes from a shiny dark colour to a dusty dry appearance. The total volume of the soil sample can be measured at the shrinkage limit by immersion of the dry sample in mercury. The mass of the displaced mercury provides a measure of the total volume of the dry soil sample. However, the use of mercury can be dangerous. This article describes methods for estimating the shrinkage limit which do not use mercury.

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