Effect Of Compactive Effort And Suitability Of Burrow Pit Materials For Sub-Base (A Case Study Of Eziama-Obaire Burrow Pit, Umudi Burrow Pit, Ikwerrede Burrow Pit)

Project and Seminar Materials for Civil Engineering CE

Effect Of Compactive Effort And Suitability Of Burrow Pit Materials For Sub-Base (A Case Study Of Eziama-Obaire Burrow Pit, Umudi Burrow Pit, Ikwerrede Burrow Pit)


For a soil to be used for any structural purpose or construction, it must be compacted in order to ensure stability, unnecessary settlement. Also, for long lasting and increment in shear strength of the soil materials.

The soil samples used in this study were from Eziama Obaire burrow pit, Umudi burrow pit and Ikwerrede burrow pits. Compaction test was done using, modified proctor equipments ie, rammers of 2.5kg and 4.5kg, standard mould etc.

This was done by dividing the moist sample into five equal layers. Each, receiving 25 blows from the rammer of which, the maximum dry densities (MDD) ranged and, their corresponding optimum moisture contents (OMC) determined from the graphs plotted.

Also, particle size distributions, Atterberg limits (Liquid Limit and Plastic Limit) were also conducted on each of the samples. These enhanced to classifying soil samples from these different burrow pits.

Table of Contents

  • Title Page
  • Approval Page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents

Chapter One


  • 1.0 General Discussion
  • 1.1 Compaction and Consolidation
  • 1.2 Background / Location of Sites of Study
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Nature and Scope of Study
  • 1.5 Justification

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.0 Soil Formation
  • 2.1 Soil Classification System
  • 2.2 Soil Compaction
  • 2.3 Laboratory and Field Compaction Relationship
  • 2.3.1 Vibrating Hammer
  • 2.3.2 Heavy and Light Manual Compaction Test
  • 2.4 The Effect of Compactive Effort
  • 2.5 The Suitability of Burrow Pit Materials.
  • 2.6 Soil Stabilization
  • 2.6.1 Methods of Soil Stabilization
  • 2.6.2 Factors Affecting Bituminous Stabilization
  • 2.6.3 Other Types of Stabilization

Chapter Three

Materials and Methodology

  • 3.0 Collection of Samples
  • 3.1 Method of Collection of Samples
  • 3.2 Preparation of Materials for the Experiments

Chapter Four

Results and Discussion

  • 4.0 Compaction Test Results
  • 4.1 Particle Size Distribution Test Results
  • 4.2 Liquid Limit Test Results
  • 4.3 Plastic Limit Test Results
  • 4.4 Discussion of Results
  • 4.5 Appendixes

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • Reference

Chapter One


1.0 General Discussion

Naturally or otherwise, soil is a loose material which is either consolidated or partially consolidated that overlies the bedrock. Therefore, soil is seen in abundance on the earth surface. In engineering construction, soils are compacted before they are used for construction in order to improve their engineering properties. Compaction helps to reduce the permeability of water into the pores of the soils and to resist internal scours by water veins. Thus, almost all structures both man made and natural are based on the soil. Fills for structures are compacted in order to avoid settlement which is likely to cause great harm to the structure and also affect life.

Many Civil Engineering projects require the use of soils for engineering fills. Such soils are to be compacted to a dense state in order to obtain satisfactory engineering properties which would not be achieved with a loosely placed materials.

Compaction of a soil is a process that brings about an increase in soil density or unit weight, accompanied by a decrease in air volumes. There is usually no change in water content. The degree of compaction is measured by dry unit weight and depends on the water content and compactive effort (weight of hammer, number of impacts, weight of roller, and number of passes). For a given compactive effort, the maximum dry density occurs at optimum water content.

For a given degree of compactions of a given cohesive soil, there is an optimum moisture content at which the dry density obtained reaches maximum value. For cohesionless soils, the optimum moisture content might be difficult to define. For some highly permeable soils such as gravels, uniformly graded and coarse clean sands, the results of the laboratory compaction test may provide only poor guide for specifications on field compaction.

The laboratory test might indicate meaningless values of moisture content in these free-draining materials. The maximum dry density is often lower than the state of compaction, which can be readily obtained in the field. The objectives of the tests shall be to obtain the relationships between compacted dry density and soil moisture content, using two magnitudes of manual compaction test, in which 4.5kg and 2.5kg rammers were used. It covers the determination of the dry density of soil passing a 20mm test sieve when it will be compacted in a specified manner over a range of moisture contents. The range should include the optimum moisture content at which the maximum dry density for the degree of compaction is obtained.

1.1 Compaction and Consolidation

It is very important to differentiate between compaction and consolidation.

Compaction is the process of increasing soil density and removing air, usually by mechanical means. While consolidation is the process of removal of water from soil (gradual process of volume reduction).

In respect to this, dry density is a good indicator of compaction of sort mass instead of bulk density which will be attained with water content of the sort. The dry density of a soil sample is the ratio of achieved field density to the maximum dry density either standard or modified proctor compaction test, which is the most common criteria, being used in many earth work specification. There are three different types of compaction of earthwork. These include

a) Method Specification:

This specifies the produce for the placement of the fill such as type and mass of equipments for the compacting thickness or number of passes.

b) End Product Specification:

This specifies the properties of fill as placed and compacted such as the achieved dry density ratio, placement of moisture content, air voids and undrained shear strength.

c) Performance Specification:

This specifies the behavior of the completed fill such as maximum settlement over specific period of time after filling.

Compaction on site is usually affected by mechanical means like ramming, rolling or vibrating. Compaction rammer is manual device/machine used in the laboratory for compaction test. The aim and purpose of laboratory rammer and mechanical compaction machine remains the same but varies in the area and extent of application and limited, as it covers only the laboratory test of various soil samples. If excess water is present in the void of soil skeleton, the large volume of the incompressible water acts as retardant which absorbs and dissipates the compaction energy, and result in lower compaction. When comparing, the compactive effort of soil with low plasticity and coarse grains, you will achieve lower dry density while the soil with high plasticity and fine grain, you will achieve high dry density.

Compaction is Applied on Soil

  1. To refill an excavation or void
  2. As a structure example an earth dam
  3. As a sub-base for a road
  4. As a railway or air field runway
  5. To provide made-up ground to support a structure.

Compaction of soil provides the following basic data for soil.

  1. The relationship between dry density and moisture content for a given degree of effort.
  2. The moisture content for the most efficient compaction I,e at which the maximum dry density is achieved under that compactive effort.
  3. The value of the maximum dry density achieved.
Factors Affecting Compaction

The increase in the dry density depends on the following factors:

a) Type of Soil:

The dry density achieved depends upon the type of soil. The maximum dry density and the optimum moisture content for different soils are achieved during compaction of soil. In general, coarse-grained soil can be compacted to higher dry density than fine grained soil. With the addition of even a small quantity of fines to a coarse grained soil, the soil attains a much higher dry density for the same compactive effort. Well graded sand attains much higher dry density than a poorly graded soil. Cohesive soils have higher air void. These soils attain a relatively lower maximum dry density as compared with the cohesion less soil. Such soil requires more water than cohesion less soil and, therefore, the optimum moisture content is high. Heavy clay of very high plasticity has very low dry density and very high optimum moisture content.

b) Water Content:

Soil is stiff and offers more resistance to compaction, when it is at low water content. As water content is increased, the soil particles get lubricated. The soil mass becomes more workable and the particles have closer packing. The dry density of the soil increases with an increase in the water content till the optimum water content is reached. With further increase, the air voids do not decrease, but the total voids (air plus water) increase and the dry density decrease. Thus the higher dry density is achieved up to the optimum water content due to forcing air out from the soil voids. After the optimum moisture content (O.M.C) is reached, it become more difficult to force air out and to further reduce the air void.

c) Amount of Compaction:

Recall that the effect of increasing the amount of compactive effort is to increase the dry density of the material and decrease the optimum moisture content (O.M.C). At a water content less than the optimum, the effect of increased compaction is more predominant. At a moisture content more than the optimum, the volume of air voids becomes almost constant and the effect of increased compaction is significant. It may be mentioned that the maximum dry density does not go on increasing with an increase in the compactive effort. For a certain increase in the compactive effort, the increase in the dry density becomes smaller and smaller. Finally, a stage is reached beyond which there is no further increase in the dry density with an increase in the compactive effort.

d) Method of Compaction:

In this case, the dry density achieved depends not only upon the amount of compactive effort but also on the method of compaction. For the same amount of compactive effort, the dry density will depend on whether the method of compaction utilizes action; dynamic action or static action.

e) Admixture:

The compaction characteristics of the soil are improved by adding other materials known as admixture. The most commonly used admixture is lime, cement and bitumen.

1.2 Background / Location of Sites of Study

This project deals with the effect of increased compactive effort and the suitability of these burrow pit materials. The burrow pit materials were collected from different locations namely:

Eziama-Obaire burrow pit, Umudi burrow pit and Ikwerrede burrow pit.

These burrow pits are the areas of tested and approved materials for the construction of roads and other Civil Engineering works. The materials are then excavated from the burrow pits, hauled to the areas needed to be filled by such materials, with the use of dump trucks. Thus, burrow pit can be very expensive and might justify major design changes.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The objective of this study is to determine the effect of increased compactive effort on three different burrow pits using, compaction and dry density method of test of materials.

1.4 Nature and Scope of the Study

This project work specifies and indicates the effect of weight of different equipments or machines, when used on the soil. This is important when the soil is compacted in a specified manner over a range of moisture contents. Including that, which gives the maximum weight of dry density.

1.5 Justification

This project work ascertains the good effect and impact that can be created, when a heavy or an increased compactive effort is used for compaction on different burrow pit materials. It also justifies the importance of using a heavy compactive effort.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

Soils are important materials for Civil Engineering works. They need to be compacted before construction because, compacted soils are said to be free from air voids, unnecessary settlement. Also, become more stable and last long.
Compaction as a testing technique, is important for material testing. However, greater or increased effort is needed to create more effect and impact on a soil during compaction. Hence, the higher the compactive effort on a soil, the higher the dry density and the lower the volume of air while, the lower the compactive effort on a soil, the lower the dry density and the higher the volume of air.

Based on the results in chapter four, I conclude that, increase in compactive effort increases the dry density of soil, thus, making it to be more stable and suitable for construction work.

5.2 Recommendation

With regard to the testdonein this study, the results are said to assist in choosing the equipments for compaction of soil, for the construction of our roads.

Site supervisors and government agents should ensure that the materials for fill are compacted adequately to meet the specified standards not just on paper, but also in the construction procedure itself.

Indeed, the importance of material testing for fills should not be neglected. Non efficiency of material testing should be avoided because all lives might be at stake, since humans make use of the road and other structures, when built without meeting the standard and specifications.

For, increment in shear strength, unnecessary settlement, stability and long lasting of burrow pit materials, I recommend that increased effort should be applied, when embarking on compaction of fills for any Civil engineering work.

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