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This paper discusses, with particular reference to transportation engineering, the nature and necessity of soil classification and the distinction between soil identification and soil classification. The soil properties suitable for classification purposes are considered. The requirements for a satisfactory soil classification system are listed as (a) distinct properties as the basis for grouping, (b) logical, simple and concise scheme, (c) meaningful grouping, (d) desirable terminology, (e) appropriate symbols, (f) sufficient flexibility, and (g) ease of application. The AASHO, Unified and FAA systems are compared in light of these requirements. Finally, the equivalent soil groups in each system are correlated on the basis of classification procedures as well as pavement design values.
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana,