Geotechnics-Determination of Particle Specific Gravity of a Granular Soil.

Essay by naeem_432University, Bachelor's November 2006

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The objective of this experiment is to determine the particle specific gravity of a granular soil, with predominant granules of Quartz.


Particle specific gravity is a fundamental property that is required to define any type of soil whether it be granular or cohesive. It illustrates to us the density of the soil particles in relation to the density of water. Thus we can use it to find out other important attributes of the given soil, such as the porosity and the void ratio. It is important to know the particle specific gravity for practical reasons in the construction industry because say for example, structural engineers want to build the foundations for an oil rig on this soil and want to find out if it is safe to build on it or whether the soil will deform under the immense load and maybe give way. It is imperative that the geotechnical engineers find out the particle specific gravity and thus by performing other calculations can say it is or isn't safe to build on the soil.


The experiment that is going to be carried out will be based upon Archimides principle i.e. when a mass is immersed in water the displaced volume of water is equal to the volume of the mass. So if we know the mass of the soil we will be able to calculate the volume of the soil and hence find the particle specific gravity.


Below is a list of the apparatus that are needed to carryout the experiment.

- A sample of soil containing Quartz granules.

- Glass jar with lid and bung

- Distilled water

- Digital scale


First of all the mass of the empty glass jar with its lid was weighed (M1). Then the glass jar was filled...