About the Cooper Union Virtual Soils Lab

Welcome to the Cooper Union Virtual Soils Lab on the internet. This website is an introduction to the soil mechanics laboratory, and all the experiments conducted therein. As an interactive web page, we hope to provide a resource that students can use to get a feel for how the experiments are performed, and what kind of results to expect before actually venturing down into the laboratory. The students will also be able to perform the necessary calculations for each experiment, once they have been completed in the laboratory, and view and interpret the results.

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All Civil and Architectural Engineering Students pursuing a Bachelor's degree are required to take a fundamental course in Soil Mechanics. In this course, the student is taught how to categorize the soil into different groupings (such as gravel, sand, silt and clay), and evaluate the properties this soil will possess. Furthermore, the Soil Mechanics Laboratory is an essential part of the course, and must be carefully integrated with the lecture material on specific topics. The Soil Mechanics course at Cooper Union and the AE Foundations course at Drexel University have been structured such that the lecture material and laboratory are very well coordinated. The fundamental experiments of water content, specific gravity, sieve analysis, hydometer analysis, consistency limits, and compaction are performed on a specific soil and the students must evaluate this soil relative to its probable performance in pavement, foundation, or other like application. A written engineering report is then required.


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