What are Engineering Properties of Soil?

We all use the term engineering properties of soil and index properties of same too in our geotechnical engineering. We will discuss about index properties of soil in our next post. Here our concern is engineering properties of soil.
The important engineering properties of foundation soils are:
Shear strength
Dear reader we have discussed different aspects of compressibility, shear strength in our previous post. We will provide preliminary idea and importance of three properties in foundation engineering.
Permeability test for coarser soil, ASTM D2434-Constant Head Method


This property indicates the property that facilitates water to flow through interstices of soil. Dear reader we know that main enemy of soil is water. It brings sudden changes in all properties of soil with its presence (degree saturation). The property compressibility, to be discussed later, depends largely on permeability of soil.
This property is used to evaluate discharge of water through seepage through soil masses.


This property indicates deformation of soil mass produced under compressive loads. The deformation is due to expel of water/ air or both from voids in soil.
This characteristic is used to evaluate settlement of foundation soil which is one of the main design criteria in foundation engineering.

Shear strength

This property indicates capability of soil to withstand shear stresses.
This property determines bearing capacity of foundation soil, stability of slopes and earth pressure active on earth retaining structures.
We will discuss about index properties in our next post. Index properties are determined by simple field or laboratory tests which are indicative to engineering properties.

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