SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1973

Comparisons of Vibrated Density and Standard Compaction Tests on Sands with Varying Amounts of Fines


The effects of gradation, percentage and plasticity of fines, and moisture on vibratory and impact compaction of granular soils were investigated by adding measured percentages of low plasticity (ML) and medium plasticity (CL) fines to a poorly graded (SP) and nearly well graded (SW-SP) sand. Results indicated that more fines can be added to a uniform sand and that a uniform sand densities by vibration more effectively than a well graded sand. The same densities are produced by impact and vibratory compaction at higher percentage of fines added to the well graded sand compared to the percent fines added to the uniform sand. Moisture and plasticity are interrelated factors which greatly affect compaction. Saturation facilitated vibratory compaction of low plasticity mixtures; however, for more plastic mixtures, adhesion of the fines to the sand grains restricted vibratory densification. Current compaction test selection criteria, which ignore plasticity and moisture effects by comparing vibratory densities of oven-dry materials with those determined by standard compaction, can lead to the untenable conclusion that vibratory compaction should be used for sands containing in excess of 20 percent fines.

Author Information

Townsend, FC
Soils and Pavements Laboratory, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 348–363
DOI: 10.1520/STP37882S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5534-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0081-7