Soil failure is a common sight in Nigeria road and structural constructions. The main purpose of this project is to investigate the suitability of the available laterite materials in Ilorin east local Government.

To determine the suitability of the soil in the three selected areas, Various tests were carried out on- the samples and those are classification test which is a test used in determining the type of soil. Also strength evaluation test was also done on the soil samples so as to determine the bearing capacity, density and strength of the soil and such strength evaluation tests, CBR test and moisture content test.

The project was undertaken following various laboratory soil test result to ascertain the type, strength and suitability of soil for any civil Engineering work.

After all these have been performed results are observation were made and final conclusion and recommendation were taken. 


Title page i

Declaration ii

Certification iii

Dedication iv

Acknowledgement v

Abstract vi

Table of content vii

List of table viii

List of figure ix



1.1 Lateritic Soil 1

1.1 Statement of the Problem 2

2.1 Aim and Objectives  2

1.1 Lateritic Soil 3

1.1 Statement of the Problem 3

2.1 Aim and objectives  3

1.3 Justification of Study 3

1.4 Scope of the Project 3

1.5 Methodology 3


2.0 Literature Review 5 

2.1 Formation of Laterite Soil 6

2.2 Formation of Laterite Soil 7

2.3 Concept of Latrite For Pavement Design 8

2.4 Laterite for Subgrade, Base Course and Surfacing 9

2.5 Mineralogical and Physical Characteristics of Laterite Soil 10

2.6 Definition of Road 11 

2.7 Types of Roads 11


3.0 Research Methodology 13 

3.1 Collection of Samples 13

3.2 Laboratory Tests 14

3.3 Particle Size Distribution Test 14

3.4 Compaction Test 15

3.5 Atterberg Limit Test 17 

3.6 California Bearing Ratio (CBR) Test 19

3.7 Natural Moisture Content 20


4.0 Data Analysis, Result and Discussion 21

4.1 Sieve Analysis Test Result for Sample A 21

4.2 Compaction Test Result for the Determination of Bulk Density and Dry Density 29

4.7 Liquid and Plastic Limit Test Result for the Samples 36

4.5 Discussion of Sieve Analysis, Compaction Atterberg Limit California 

Bearing Ratio Results 46


5.0 Conclusion and Recommendation 48

5.1 Conclusion 48

5.2 Recommendation 49

Reference 50



Soil is the cheapest and the most widely used material in civil engineering projects as foundation material either in its natural or improved form. It is highly heterogenous and an isotropic in nature and existing with different engineering properties which can be influenced to some extent by the presence of copper salt under the influence of water (Kadiyah and Lal, 2006).

The properties of soil as engineering material depends on its surface electrical charges, chemical composition size and shape e.t.c. The chemical composition influences the exhibition of enormous changes in the engineering properties especially in soil with high content of clay materials (Singh and Singh, 2006). 

The geotechnical characteristics of soil are of great importance. The degree of these properties within certain range has a useful meaning in determining the best and suitability of it, for engineering construction especially for road construction (Ola, 2005).

1.1 Lateritic Soil 

Laterite is well known in Asian countries as a building material for more than 1000 years. It was excavated from the soil and cut in form of large blocks; temples at Angkor are famous, examples for this early use. 

Laterite is one of the most valuable materials for building. It is diffused in immense masses, without any appearance of stratification and is placed over the granite that forms the basis of Malayala. It is full of cavities and pores, and contains a very large quantity of iron in the form of yellow and red ochres. In the mass while excluded from the air, it is so soft, that any iron instrument readily cuts it, and is dug up in square masses with a pick-axe, and immediately cut into the shape wanted with a trowel, or large knife. It very soon after becomes as hard as brick and resists the air and water much better than any brick (Werner Schellmann, 1991).

The engineering behaviour of laterite material from trial pits is influenced by some factors which includes origin degree of weathering, mineral composition, environmental condition e.t.c. (Umebulues, 2001).

The result of these properties helps a lot and will serve as a guide in prospective works. This will also provide engineers with quick method of checking which material is best fit on the alternative for road construction (Clarke, 2007).

1.0.1 The importance of laterite as building material has already been mentioned. More relevant as their local use for the construction of simple houses in their application as a road building material. The suitability of lateritic materials above all of lateritic gravel is tested by several methods of engineering geology.

1.1 Statement of the Problem 

Misunderstanding soils and their properties can lead to construction errors. The suitability of a soil for a particular use should be determined based on it engineering characteristics and not on usual inspection or apparent similarity to other soil. 

Some particles of laterite tend to crush easily under impart disintegrating into a soil may be self hardening when exposed to drying or if they are not self hardening, they may contain appreciable amounts of hardened lateritic rock or gravel. 

1.2 Aim and Objectives 

The aim and objectives of this project include: 

1. To determine how suitable and durable the available laterite material in Ilorin East Local Government is for road construction. 

2. To carryout some geotechnical tests required for the strength evaluation of laterite material in order to determine its constructional suitability in road construction. 

3. To determine the strength of laterite and its durability.

4. To determine whether these laterite materials meet the American Standard Test Method (ASTM) specification for road construction. 

5. To draw conclusion and recommendation from the evaluation as a standard for prescription of trial pits selected in Ilorin East Local Government Area to Engineers and Construction Industries. 

1.3 Justification of Study 

Due to the fact that laterite is a paramount material in the construction of road, it has to be investigated to determine its suitability for the construction of our roads. 

1.4 Scope of the Project 

The knowledge of the use of laterite for road construction is increasingly going far and wide over the years. 

For the purpose of this research, the study shall be limited to Ilorin East Local Government Area of Kwara State in which the following laboratory test will be carried out on each samples of soil, the laboratory test are particle size distribution test. Atterberg’s limit test, compaction test, Natural Moisture Content and Califonia Bearing Ratio (CBR) test. 

1.5 Methodology

This project will deal with the field and laboratory test of laterite material for road construction. Three different trial pit in Ilorin East Local Government Area will be selected.The sample will be collected from three trial pit locations and will be labeled thus: 




The engineering tests required for strength evaluation will be carried out such tests include CBR, Atterberg limit test, particle size distribution test, compaction test and natural moisture content.

The analysis of the result follows and the conclusion and recommendation were made. 



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