Below is a chart from the Ohio Department of Transportation (about the only DOT I know of which uses the AASHTO system for just about everything they do) which describes each AASHTO classification in words and attempts to describe the type of soil for each type in the system.
In the course of teaching my Soil Mechanics class, I’ve tried numerous different charts and methods for teaching the Unified system of soil classification. Probably the most success I’ve had is with the one from NAVFAC DM 7, and it’s below. (I’ve included the plasticity chart for completeness.)
Over the years, student and practitioner alike have to deal with weight and volume relationships in soils and the dimensionless constants (water content, void ratio, porosity, degree of saturation and so forth.) There are many different “cheat sheets” dealing with this, but the best one IMHO is the one from NAVFAC DM 7, presented below.
All of the variables you need are defined in the chart. It’s set up for unit volumes, but can be used with densities (but I’d read this first.)
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