Classification Essay Example

AASHTO soil classification system

AASHTO as a favorite soil classification system was developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official. The major purpose for its development was to act as a guide to soil classification and soil components to aid in the construction of Highways. The current AASHTO which is the 1978 version was derived from the 1945 version. As a result of this classification method: the users of soil most so the engineers have derived a lot of benefits.

This system of soil classification is broad and has the advantage of it being in the position of helping determine varied aspects of soils. Some of the aspects of soil that can be determined include: – sieve analysis and the liquid limit of the soil. The plastic limit is as well possible to fond through this method. The method is as well simple as it mainly divides the soil only into two major groups; that is the granular component of the soil that has 35% or less of such a soil being in the position of passing through number 200 sieve. The next category being the silt clay materials which exhibits a characteristic that allows more than 35% of the soil having the ability of passing through size number 200 sieve (Duncan pgs. 112-19).

This system aids engineering classification of soil as it touches on the aspects of particle size and soil plasticity as the way in which water interacts with soil. AASHTO classification makes it possible for a wider range of soil users to understand soil classification in simpler form through the use of a common language and the employment of a general guide to engineering behavior (Das pg. 74). AASHTO classification system is subdivided into seven subgroups and these. Through laboratory analyses is undertaken including sieve analysis, hydrometer and atterberg limits to arrive at such classifications. This gives this system credibility and accuracy over the other classification systems. This soil classification system is as well developed for multiple uses as opposed to the descriptive soil classifications (Spangler pg. 198).

The soil data and information generated by AASHTO classification system is detailed enough to help management with decision making information. The structure employed by AASHTO is hierarchical descriptive, nominal and dynamic in nature allowing for their constant advancement as technology grows (Spangler pg. 223). The analysis and classification provides detailed description of the soil something that is direly required when recommending soil use. As opposed to the older systems, the scientific procedures involved in analysis and classification of soils here are lengthy and laborious. They therefore consume much time and resources making them quite hard to conduct just for everyone (Duncan pgs. 187).

The existence of so many types of soils even makes analysis and classification of soils a complex affair. The technical and mathematical aspects involved make it hard for the normal person to understand the origin of such a classification (Das pg. 98). Constant change in technology also makes it difficult to fully rely on the AASHTO soil classification system.

Work Cited

Das, B.M. Principles of Geotechnical Engineering. Pacific Grove: Brooks Cole. 2009. Print.

Duncan, C.I. Soils and Foundations for Architects and Engineers. New York: Van Nostrand      Reinhold. 2002. Print.

Spangler, M.G., and R. Handy. Soil Engineering. New York: Harper & Row. 2006. Print.

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