Posted in Academic Issues, Geotechnical Engineering

Ohio DOT’s Rendition of the AASHTO Classification System

With the Unified soil classification system, there are many ways of diagramming it. One of those was presented in the last post. With the AASHTO system, there’s generally only one, as shown in the Soils and Foundations Reference Manual. For classification this is pretty much it, but it’s not very informative when it comes to getting a “feel” for what these classifications mean.

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.

AASHTO Soil Classification System as Described by the Ohio Department of Transportation
Posted in Academic Issues, Geotechnical Engineering, Soil Mechanics

Unified Soil Classification, from NAVFAC DM 7

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.)

An example of how this works is here.

NAVFAC DM 7 remains a popular reference book for geotechnical engineers, and ordering information is here.

Posted in Academic Issues, Geotechnical Engineering

Weight and Volume Relationships for Soils, from NAVFAC DM 7

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.)

DM 7 remains the single most used reference (directly or indirectly) in the geotechnical world. Click here to see how you can order your copy.

Posted in Geotechnical Engineering

Harry Poulos Receives Prestigious Award from Engineers Australia —

Dr. Harry Poulos of Coffey Geotechnics was recently awarded the Peter Nicol Russell Career Achievement Memorial Medal. This award is the highest honor given by Engineers Australia. Dr. Poulous has had a prolific career both […]

Harry Poulos Receives Prestigious Award from Engineers Australia —
Posted in Civil Engineering

Those Pesky Kilogram-Force Units —

Generally speaking, engineers educated in the U.S. must be educated in two units: the U.S. system (the Brits abandoned the Imperial system long ago) and the S.I. system, commonly called the “metric system.” I say commonly because they’re not really the same; countries that have been using the system the French came up with it […]

Those Pesky Kilogram-Force Units —