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Relationship between measured plastic limit and plastic limit estimated from undrained shear strength, water content ratio and liquidity index

  • Giovanni Spagnoli (a1) and Martin Feinendegen (a2)


The detection of the plastic limit of clays is subject to human error. Several attempts have been made to correlate across studies the geotechnical properties of fine-grained soils (water content, liquidity index, shear strength, etc.). Based on the premise that the liquidity index and water content ratio can be correlated directly, an alternative method to obtain indirectly the plastic limit is suggested here. The present study investigated 40 natural clayey samples of various mineralogies and origins and other publicly available data, where Atterberg limits and undrained shear strength values obtained with the vane shear tests were given. The liquidity index and water-content ratio correlate very well for defined undrained shear strength values of the clays. Solving the liquidity index equation for the plastic limit, estimated plastic limit values obtained by the liquidity index/water-content ratio relationship were compared with laboratory plastic-limit values. Preliminary results based on 62 values show an exponential trend with a multiple regression coefficient of 0.79. The data need to be confirmed on a larger database, however.


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Relationship between measured plastic limit and plastic limit estimated from undrained shear strength, water content ratio and liquidity index

  • Giovanni Spagnoli (a1) and Martin Feinendegen (a2)


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