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PUBLICATION NOTICE: Laboratory Measure of SWCC for a Poorly Graded Fine Sand 

US Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Published Aug. 8, 2019

The US Army Engineer Research and Development Center has published the report/note described and linked below. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

Report Number:



Laboratory Measure of SWCC for a Poorly Graded Fine Sand 


Lucas A. Walshire, Oliver-Denzil S. Taylor, and Woodman W. Berry


A laboratory testing program was undertaken to investigate the effects of soil fabrics and densities on the Soil Water Characteristic Curve (SWCC) of a poorly graded (SP), fine-grained sand. The program also better developed the capability to assess soils remotely under both discrete and multivariable geotechnical, geological, and environmental conditions. The results initiate both a soils database to define a baseline behavior and a predictive model for changes in soil characteristics (strength) and behavior (volumetric) under varying meteorological conditions. The laboratory testing program reconstituted the fine-grained sand samples dry of optimum saturation. An energy-based sample preparation method was then used to build samples comparable to in-situ soil fabrics. Four preparation reconstitution energies and three saturation levels generated soil fabrics within a band of possible densities limited by the soil's mechanical properties. The Transient Release and Imbibition Method (TRIM), the Fredlund device, and the filter paper method (FPM) were used to develop a statistically representative laboratory SWCC over the range of densities and soil fabrics. Testing results indicate that the Fredlund device and TRIM measure the SWCC independently of preparation energy and saturation, as the mean SWCC and the median, maximum, and minimum curves fall within the same range of values.

69 pgs / 17 mb


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