Influence of testing on permeability of compacted fine soils

George Rankin, Vinayagamoothy Sivakumar, Chris Anderson, Brian Solan, Pauline MacKinnon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    The British standard constant-head triaxial test for measuring the permeability of fine-grained soils takes a relatively long time. A quicker test could provide savings to the construction industry, particularly for checking the quality of landfill clay liners. An accelerated permeability test has been developed, but the method often underestimates the permeability values compared owing to structural changes in the soil sample. This paper reports on an investigation
    into the accelerated test to discover if the changes can be limited by using a revised procedure. The accelerated test is assessed and compared with the standard test and a ramp-accelerated permeability test. Four different finegrained materials are compacted at various water contents to produce analogous samples for testing using the three different methods. Fabric analysis is carried out on specimens derived from post-test samples using mercury intrusion porosimetry and scanning electron microscopy to assess the effects of testing on soil structure. The results show that accelerated testing in general underestimates permeability compared with values derived from the standard test, owing to changes in soil structure caused by testing. The ramp-accelerated test is shown to provide an improvement in terms of these structural changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1400147
    Pages (from-to)442-438
    Number of pages17
    JournalProceedings of the ICE - Geotechnical Engineering
    Issue numberGE5
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2015


    • Soil
    • Permeability testing
    • accelerated permeability test


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