The validity of laser diffraction system to reproduce hydrometer results for grain size analysis in geotechnical applications

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 1)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,353 words
Lexile Measure: 1420L

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Abstract :

The grain size analysis plays a significant role in any geotechnical study. The grain size analysis, by means of sieving, is usually used for coarse material of particle size 75 [mu]m. For the fine material; the sedimentation methods are frequently adopted (e.g., hydrometers). Other methods also exist such as electron microscopy, digital image analysis and laser diffraction. The fine geomaterials commonly undergo agglomeration which makes the recognition of individual grain size using digital image analysis or electron microscopy challenging. To facilitate and enhance the grain-size analysis, this study was conducted using the Laser Diffraction System (LDS). Seven samples with different nature (composition and texture) and sources were analyzed by hydrometer and LDS. For LDS, various factors were studied such as air pressure, sonication, dilution, refractive index, and distribution method (volume or number). The results were compared qualitatively and quantitatively based on soil classification systems, fractal dimensions, and other parameters. Furthermore, this study provided a novel criterion to determine which LDS distribution method (volume or number) is to be used depending on the Liquid Limit. A combined sieve-LDS system is recommended to obtain the entire grain size distribution. It is concluded that the LDS is a viable technique that can replace the time-consuming hydrometer method to assess the grain-size distribution.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A648383577