Soil mechanics is a branch of soil physics, an applied mechanics that describes soil behavior. Un like hydro dynamics and solid mechanics, soil is made up of an uneven mixture of fluid (usually air and water) and particles (usually clay, silt, sand and gravel), but soil can also contain organic solids and other substances. Along with rock mechanics, soil mechanics provides a theoretical basis for the analysis of geotechnical engineering, which is a subdivision of civil engineering, and engineering geology, which is a subdivision of geology.
Soil mechanics is the application of deformation and flow examples of fluid in natural and man-made structures supported by or made of soil, or structures buried in soil, are building and bridge foundations, retaining walls, dams and buried pipeline systems. The principles of soil mechanics are also used in related fields such as geophysics, coastal engineering, agricultural engineering, hydrology and soil physics.
The importance of standardized and consistent procedures in soil mechanics for establishing quality cannot be overemphasized.
This manual describes the appropriate procedures for laboratory testing of soil mechanics to determine their physical properties, which are an integral part in the design and construction of structural foundations. Therefore, learning to conduct laboratory tests of soil plays an important role in the profession of geotechnical engineering. The tests included in this manual are based on the relevant standards, i.e. ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and BS (American Society for Testing and Materials for Soil for civil Engineering purposes).
The preparation of this manual is my personal effort as a teaching assistant at the Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine in the Spring Semester 2016/2017, and I support it as a teaching material for the Soil Mechanics Laboratory to students engaged in civil engineering in the 3rd grade bachelor’s program.
For each laboratory test procedure described in this PDF deck, it contains real-world examples of measurements, calculations, results and conclusions. In addition, a blank laboratory data sheet for each test is provided at the end of the manual for the use of students in the laboratory, as well as in the reporting. This manual is employed to develop Microsoft Excel templates and use them to work with this popular spread sheet program.