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Testing Soil Ph Before Construction: Chemical Analysis

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By Author: National Labs
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The primary purpose of soil testing is to determine the bearing capacity. During this procedure, the chemical and physaical content of the soil is examined. The soil must be able to support the weight of the structure. The quality of the soil not only influences the carrying capacity, but also assures that the structure is stable. Soil quality is affected by a variety of elements, such as the weather, climate change, and how the land has been used in the past for what purpose and what was previously present.

We can often detect whether the soil is sand, clay, gravel, silt, peat, rock, or loam merely by looking at it. However, we can never know whether the soil type we have just detected with our eyes will be able to support and bring to life a suggested construction by architects and infrastructure design engineers. And this is where soil testing comes in, the most crucial technique to perform before starting any building project at a specific location with a specific type of soil.

The length and depth of the pillar are governed by the soil condition during the foundation. Soil testing is the sole way to detect ...
... the water level of the soil. The quality of the material can be determined based on the soil testing findings. If the location is prone to corrosion owing to moisture, for example, only corrosion-resistant TMT bars should be used in the building.

Importance of Soil Testing
Before any construction, the testing of soil is required to verify whether the soil is suitable for all building methods to prevent any future dreadful occurrences for which the soil is responsible. Before starting the construction, we must be informed of the technical and physical characteristics of the soil, so that we can decide which kind of base we need to lay. Land work and foundation operating parameters will be assessed according to characteristics such as the presence of minerals, soil moisture content, density, permeability, and capacity.

Soil testing also helps to avoid other types of construction problems. To learn more, read the following:

Identifying appropriate construction materials
The soil testing results given by a construction materials testing laboratory for building construction decide the type of material to be utilized for the construction of a building as well as the character of the soil in terms of its water content, mineral, and chemical composition. For instance, the high amount of sulfide in the soil needs the use of sulfur-resistant cement for buildings. The high moisture content area is subject to corrosion. Furthermore, make sure you follow this quality control guidance while picking up building materials, such as concrete.

Determining the type of foundation required
Soil tests disclose the physical and technical characteristics of soil, such as its moisture content, mineral presence, density, and bearing capability. The sort of foundation to be used for construction is determined by these soil qualities. In principle, the foundation must be strong enough to adequately carry the weight of the building on the soil beneath it.

The strength of the building, the number of stories it can support, and the kind of roofing are all intimately related to the foundation. The soil testing report provided by the building material testing lab is used to establish the type of foundation used in the building.

It assists in avoiding the resting of foundations on poor soil or at an insufficient depth.
When foundations are built on poor soil or at an insufficient depth, the building will eventually move when the land settles. The building settles uniformly or differently as a result of this movement. The settlement (uniform or differential settlement) of the building can cause the foundation to fail, resulting in the partial or entire collapse of the structure.

Aid to prevent soil reclamation from resting
Another cause of collapse is a building foundation that is built on reclaimed soil (new sites from the sea, moist land from riverbeds or lake beds, or even garbage).This form of dumping soil can contain clay and silt particles, which may lead over time to excessive compaction and an unstable foundation for the building.

This type of soil has also not been subjected to long-term consolidation. The dumps from the sea also contain dangerous chemicals such as sulphur and chloride, which weaken the building’s foundation. As a result, laying a foundation on this type of poor soil without first conducting an assessment at chemical testing laboratories in the UAE could result in the structure collapsing. Reclaimed earth should never be used as a foundation.

Assistance with corrosive soil identification.
The soil subgrade contains a large number of chemicals. Several chemicals, such as sulfur, react with concrete, and chloride in the soil is one of them. The concrete foundation deteriorates as a result of the reaction. These factors eventually have an impact on the structure’s strength, and they may also lead to the breakdown of the structure over time.

Identify prospects for earthquake liquefaction
Soil liquefaction is a phenomenon in which a saturated soil deposit loses its rigidity and stiffness as a result of ground movement, which causes excess pore water pressure, primarily during earthquakes. As a result, the foundations may break during an earthquake, causing the building to partially or completely collapse.

Factors to consider when conducting soil testing
Since there are so many geotechnical studies that may be done on soil, there are a few guiding considerations that determine which tests should be performed. These include the following: –

Soil testing labs– Always search for certified and authorized chemical testing laboratories in the UAE. Keep in mind that the cost of testing rises as the distance between the job site and the lab increases.

The best time to test the soil – There are not many better times than today! You may have your soil tested at any time of the year; the weather has no bearing on the results.

Licenses and Permits– Local chemical testing laboratories in the UAE require licenses and permits for sites that require extensive work.

Types of Soil Testing
Different types of soil tests are performed to test different variables in a given sample. A moisture content sample, for example, is used to determine the water or moisture content of the soil, and a dry density test, when soil density testing equipment is employed, aids in the classification of the soil based on density. Another technique that assesses the level of soil saturation is a specific gravity test. In addition, the compaction test also serves to determine the compaction properties of air vacuum reduction in the soil. Different soil tests performed at chemical testing laboratories in the UAE are therefore conducted to measure different soil qualities.

There are two types of tests. Let us read more about these tests:

Lab Tests :

Moisture Content Test: The moisture content test offers detailed soil or water content information. The data on the water table will reveal the impact of humidity on the foundation in great detail.
Atterberg Limits Tests: The critical water content of the soil is indicated by Atterberg tests under situations such as fluid, plastic limits, and limits of shrinking.
Specific Soil Gravity: The specific gravity test provides information on the vacuum ratio and soil saturation level. For construction, the specific gravity ranges from 2.65 to 2.85 for soil.
Dry Density of Soil: The dry density test gives the weight of soil in a given volume of sample, enabling us to categorize the soil into loose, medium, dense, and dense classifications.
Compaction Test: The Compaction test performed at chemical testing laboratories in the UAE determines the compaction properties of soil by densifying it in order to reduce air voids in the soil.The compaction test results reflect maximum dry density and optimum compacted soil water content.
Field Tests:

Plate Bearing Test: The plate loading test (or platform loading test) is a test to determine the ultimate bearing capacity of the soil under a certain load. It provides a test of the load-bearing capacity of the soil.
The Standard Penetration Test (SPT): It is a low-cost, easy method of determining the relative density and angle of shearing resistance of cohesionless soils, as well as the strength of stiff cohesive soils.
The Pressuremeter test (PMT): It is composed of a pressuremeter in the soil tested and gradually filled with water. The ensuing swelling of soil or rock around the hole is calculated as a function of the observed volume of water multiplied by a pressure increment that is gradually increased during periods established in advance.
Vane shear test: The solidity of the soil is essentially a shear force problem. A vane shear test is a useful tool for determining clay shear strength. It’s a less expensive and quicker option. The test can also be done in a lab. The vane shear laboratory test is ideal for measuring the shear strength of cohesive soils with low shear strength (less than 0.3 kg/cm2) for which triaxial or unconfined tests are not possible. The test determines the undrained force of the soil. The untamed and decaying strength gained is useful in determining soil sensitivity.
The aforementioned tests can save you a lot on the expense of laying the basis and verifying that your building project is safe, stable, and firmly built. Soil testing provides several advantages, such as identifying the kind of foundation needed, preventing soil exposure or insufficient depth, helping to identify corrosive soils, indicating the potential for soil liquefaction during an earthquake.

When are you going to need it?
Soil reports are required for practically all construction projects requiring footings of any kind, including new buildings and home additions. As a result, it is critical that you know how to get one. We specialize in soil testing and construction footing studies at the National Lab. So, if you are planning to build a new home or expand an existing one, get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you with a soil analysis.
The National Lab has established itself as one of the most reputable chemical testing laboratories in the UAE. We started by providing the best-in-class quality testing facilities to businesses in the UAE and around the world. We have also been able to form long-term relationships with our clientele as a result of our competitive talents.

Leading commercial entities have collaborated with us to test and analyze their products and appreciate the importance of monitoring and evaluating their quality. We continue to support them with scientifically built infrastructure, sophisticated and high-precision tools and database management, experts, and consistent testing solutions.

Our priority at the National Lab is always ‘quality.’ Strict testing technologies, ongoing growth to meet a wide range of needs, and the general development of analytical procedures and installations are therefore ensured. Each department is regularly reviewed and remedial actions are made as necessary. We believe, however, that it may always be improved on the road to perfection; we, therefore, ask for your useful recommendations.

More About the Author

National Lab GmbH, headquartered in Mölln in Schleswig-Holstein, has been an independent, purely German company since it was founded in 1918. Due to the strong international orientation and the high level of recognition in scientific laboratories around the world, the English pronunciation of the company name has become common.

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