The soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) is one of the most essential soil properties in unsaturated soil mechanics. The water flow and storage characteristics of an unsaturated soil are closely related to the amount of water contained in the pores and the negative pore-water pressure in the soil. These are both in turn, related to the particle-size distribution and the plasticity of the soil. The SWCC is obtained by laboratory testing which is difficult to perform, costly and time consuming. There is a significant advantage in establishing typical SWCC envelopes for different soil types from a geotechnical design and analysis viewpoint. This paper presents some of the research work undertaken by UWA and NTU to develop SWCC envelopes for soil types classified in terms of the ASTM D2487 Unified Soil Classification System (USCS). This was done by establishing a large database of soils from across the world, classifying them according to ASTM D2487 and undertaking SWCC testing for each soil. This paper presents the SWCC test results from a selection of three of the most common soil classifications encountered in geotechnical engineering practise.
Mercer, K G, Rahardjo, H and Satyanaga, A, 2018. The development of soil water characteristic curves for soil types classified according to the USCS, in Proceedings Mine Waste and Tailings Stewardship Conference 2018, pp 263–273 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).