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The consolidation test is a fundamental stress-strain and strength test for soils. It has important applications in soil and foundation work, not only for estimating the probable magnitude and time-rate of settlement of foundations to be expected under loadings imposed by structures and determining the adequacy of the supporting soils, but also as the basic step in preconsolidating soil specimens for determining the essential stress-strain relations and shearing strength characteristics of soils by triaxial compression tests in stability investigations. This paper is concerned with basic principles and concepts of controlled test methods, by which it is possible to obtain basic information on soil behavior that is representative of actual conditions, and has a direct application to a situation. In this new approach it is intended to show that by a reasoned and consistent application of controlled test methods the full possibilities of consolidation and strength testing of soils can be realized in each individualized case.
Burmister, Donald M.
Professor of Civil Engineering, Columbia University, New York, New York