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To Determine The Shrinkage Limit of Soil

By: Haseeb Jamal / On: Jul 29, 2017 / Lab-Notes, Experiments, Soil Lab
Shrinkage Limit of Soil


Shrinkage dish, electric oven, mercury, electric balance, sieve#40, spatula and containers.


  • Take a soil sample passing through sieve#40 and add some amount of water in it to form a thick uniform paste.
  • Take the shrinkage dish, weigh it, and put some of the soil mixture in it by spatula, fill it and again weigh it.
  • Place the shrinkage dish in the oven for 24hours at 110-115C.
  • Find the volume of the shrinkage dish using mercury this will be equal to the volume of the saturated soil sample.
  • Take mercury in container and weigh it, put dry soil in it the mercury is displaced.
  • Collect carefully the displace mercury and weigh it with great accuracy.
  • The volume of dry soil is then determined by dividing the weight by the unit weight of mercury.
  • The shrinkage limit is then calculated using the formula.

S.L = {{(w1-wd)-(v1-vd) γw}/ wd] x 100


W1 = M2-M1

WD = m3-M1


The displaced mercury should be carefully collected in order to get exact weight of mercury displaced.


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