Journal Published Online: 27 April 2009
Volume 32, Issue 4

Critical Evaluation of Determining Swelling Pressure by Swell-Load Method and Constant Volume Method



For any construction activity in expansive soils, determination of swelling pressure/heave is an essential step. Though many attempts have been made to develop laboratory procedures by using the laboratory one-dimensional oedometer to determine swelling pressure of expansive soils, they are reported to yield varying results. The main reason for these variations could be heterogeneous moisture distribution of the sample over its thickness. To overcome this variation the experimental procedure should be such that the soil gets fully saturated. Attempts were made to introduce vertical sand drains in addition to the top and bottom drains. In this study five and nine vertical sand drains were introduced to experimentally find out the variations in the swell and swelling pressure. The variations in the moisture content at middle, top, and bottom of the sample in the oedometer test are also reported. It is found that swell-load method is better as compared to zero-swell method. Further, five number of vertical sand drains are found to be sufficient to obtain uniform moisture content distribution.

Author Information

Nagaraj, H.
Department of Civil Engineering, BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, India
Munnas, M.
Department of Civil Engineering, BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, India
Sridharan, A.
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Pages: 10
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Stock #: GTJ102051
ISSN: 0149-6115
DOI: 10.1520/GTJ102051