Standard Historical Last Updated: Jul 11, 2016
ASTM D2166/D2166M-13

Standard Test Method for Unconfined Compressive Strength of Cohesive Soil

Significance and Use

5.1 The primary purpose of the unconfined compression test is to quickly obtain a measure of compressive strength for those soils that possess sufficient cohesion to permit testing in the unconfined state.

5.2 Samples of soils having slickensided or fissured structure, samples of some types of loess, very soft clays, dry and crumbly soils and varved materials, or samples containing significant portions of silt or sand, or both (all of which usually exhibit cohesive properties), frequently display higher shear strengths when tested in accordance with Test Method D2850. Also, unsaturated soils will usually exhibit different shear strengths when tested in accordance with Test Method D2850.

5.3 If tests on the same sample in both its intact and remolded states are performed, the sensitivity of the material can be determined. This method of determining sensitivity is suitable only for soils that can retain a stable specimen shape in the remolded state.

Note 2For soils that will not retain a stable shape, a vane shear test or Test Method D2850 can be used to determine sensitivity.
Note 3The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself ensure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

Scope

1.1 This test method covers the determination of the unconfined compressive strength of cohesive soil in the intact, remolded, or reconstituted condition, using strain-controlled application of the axial load.

1.2 This test method provides an approximate value of the strength of cohesive soils in terms of total stresses.

1.3 This test method is applicable only to cohesive materials which will not expel or bleed water (water expelled from the soil due to deformation or compaction) during the loading portion of the test and which will retain intrinsic strength after removal of confining pressures, such as clays or cemented soils. Dry and crumbly soils, fissured or varved materials, silts, peats, and sands cannot be tested with this method to obtain valid unconfined compression strength values.

Note 1The determination of the unconsolidated, undrained strength of cohesive soils with lateral confinement is covered by Test Method D2850.

1.4 This test method is not a substitute for Test Method D2850.

1.5 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026, unless superseded by this standard.

1.5.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded and calculated in this test method are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that should generally be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user's objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of this test method to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering design.

1.6 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

1.6.1 The gravitational system of inch-pound units is used when dealing with inch-pound units. In this system, the pound (lbf) represents a unit of force (weight), while the unit for mass is slugs. The rationalized slug unit is not given, unless dynamic (F = ma) calculations are involved.

1.6.2 It is common practice in the engineering/construction profession to concurrently use pounds to represent both a unit of mass (lbm) and of force (lbf). This implicitly combines two separate systems of units; that is, the absolute system and the gravitational system. It is scientifically undesirable to combine the use of two separate sets of inch-pound units within a single standard. As stated, this standard includes the gravitational system of inch-pound units and does not use/present the slug unit for mass. However, the use of balances or scales recording pounds of mass (lbm) or recording density in lbm/ft3 shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.

1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety problems, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Details
Book of Standards Volume: 04.08
Developed by Subcommittee: D18.05
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.1520/D2166_D2166M-13
ICS Code: 93.020