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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.

Let us know in the comments what you think about the concepts in this article!

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