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Technical paper: ETC 5 Fall-cone study

Eric Farrell, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Bernd Schuppener Bundesanstalt fur Wasserbau, & Brecht Wassing, Geological Survey of the Netherlands. This paper was first published in GE’s February 1997 edition.


The current procedures for determining the liquid limits in European countries include a variety of methods based on Casagrande type devices and two based on the fall-cone. The fallcone methods comprise the Swedish and British methods which use 60°/60g and 30°/80g cones respectively. This paper presents the results of a comparative study of the liquid limits determined using these two fall-cone methods. The testing was carried out in five different laboratories in Europe on behalf of the European Technical Committee 5 (ETC 5) in order to assist in deciding which of the two methods should be adopted as a European standard. The recommendations of ETC 5 are included here. 

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