ESSENTIAL PARAMETERS IN SOIL TESTING FOR CIVIL/STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION (A CASE STUDY OF A BORROW-PIT AT AKWA IBOM STATE POLYTECHNIC, IKOT OSURUA)
Soil test or geotechnical testing is very important in understanding the physical properties of soils and the rocks beneath. This is required to ascertain the type of foundation required for the construction of any structure. As a result, one needs to identify and ascertain the characteristics of the soil concerned in order to determine its suitability for the intended structure. Soil testing enables civil engineers to assess the suitability of the soil, providing them with vital data for informed decision making and planning.
The soil is the most important yet most neglected in most construction projects. All structures, building, roads, bridges, dams and even life itself is based on the soil. The soil is the natural foundation that supports all the structures and investment. The important of proper soil testing and analysis and check their design bearing capacity and rate of settlement, soil test is a crucial part of foundation design which helps to determine varying physical chemical characteristics of soil, which can vary from place to place and from layer to layer even within the limits o the proposed structure.
Soil characteristics can change considerably within a small area, weather, climatic changes and site management can, in the future, affect the bearing qualities of the soil, if the foundation is not designed properly to the bearing capacity of the soil, then they will fail and so will the building. This is as important as the entire project itself that may cause long term complications and may result to loss of life and property.
The important of soil test cannot be overemphasized it saves lives and reduces cost; soil test is conducted to discover the characteristic of the soil at the particular location. There, are different methods of soil testing: After the soil samples we analyzed a report is prepared recommending the type of foundation to be used. This is done by conducting soil tests which involves the following steps:
- Planning the details and sequence of operations collection of soil sample from the field
- Conducting all field tests for determining the strength and compressibility of the soil.
- Study the ground water level conditions and chemical analysis
- Geographical exploration (if necessary)
- Testing in the laboratory of all samples of soils, rock and water.
- Analysis of the results of the tests
- Preparation of drawings and charts
- Preparation of report.
1.1 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of this study is to gather as much information of engineering significance as possible pertaining to the subsurface conditions in a specified area. Soil test helps to determine varying physical and chemical characteristics of soil, class of soil at a chosen depth, the nature of soil, the type of soil, bearing capacity of soil which determine the load sustenance capacity of the soil, rate of settlement of the soil which affect the rate at which any structure placed on it settles.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
Due to frequent collapse of buildings, dams and bridges in the society, this has made soil testing important and it will help in preventing failure in foundations of structures, where the best place may be to locate a building and the type and size of foundations that will be required.
There are a host of other civil engineering problems related to soils. For designing foundations for machines such as turbines, compressors, forges etc which transit vibrations to the foundation soil, one has to understand the behavior of soil under vibrating loads. The effect of quarry blast, earthquakes and nuclear explosions and structures is greatly influenced by the soil medium through which the shock waves traverse.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
All the analysis are based in the soil sample from a borrow- pit located at Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua as a case study. The parameters show-cased in the research work are the only ones for which equipment were not available within the confines of the polytechnic.
1.4 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Soil Test: It refers to one or more of a wide variety of soil analyses conducted for one of several possible reasons.
- Geotechnical Engineering: It is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavoiur of earth materials. Geotechnical engineering is important in civil; engineering, but also has application in military, mining, petroleum and other engineering disciplines that are concerned with construction.
- Construction: The work of building or making something especially building, bridges etc, or the process of cleaning dredging, excavating and grading of land and other activity associated with buildings and structures.