Soil–water characteristic curve (SWCC) is an important unsaturated soil property relating the water content of a soil to soil suction and it is conventionally measured using Tempe cell, pressure plate and salt solution methods. However, these tests are tedious and time consuming. The SWCC measurements using fast and efficient methods are required for engineering designs such as excavation, slope protection, retaining wall and landfill cover designs. This paper describes the testing procedures and apparatuses associated with rapid measurements of a complete SWCC of a residual soil as obtained from combined measurements using a small-scale centrifuge and dew point methods. The SWCC test results obtained using these alternative methods were compared with the SWCC data from Tempe cell, pressure plate and salt solution methods. Shrinkage tests were carried out in this study to incorporate the volume change of soil into SWCC. The experimental data from all SWCC tests were evaluated using first order analysis with 95% confidence interval for determination of upper and lower bounds of SWCC. The analysis results showed that the SWCC data obtained from tests using small-scale centrifuge and dew point methods were in good agreement with those obtained from Tempe cell, pressure plate and salt solution methods. This indicates that the combination of small-scale centrifuge and dew point methods can be used to generate a complete curve of SWCC for the residual soil. In addition, the time required to perform SWCC tests using the alternative methods is shorter than the SWCC tests using the conventional methods.
- Shrinkage test
- Small scale centrifuge
- Soil–water characteristic curve
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Soil Science