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What is cohesive & non-cohesive soil? enlightenment Logo

When the language comes across cohesive or non-cohesive soil, it is primarily about the building site of a plot of land. The nature of the subsoil is important, as a different type of foundation must be used when erecting a building, depending on the soil. Foundations involve the use of different types of foundations. These decide how stable and load-bearing a building can ultimately become. In order to set the right foundation, it depends on the nature of the soil. This can be binding or non-binding. In cohesive soil, the composition of the soil itself is different, which also affects its properties. The following article explains exactly how a floor is constructed and what is actually in it.

Cohesive and non-cohesive soil – the difference

Soil usually consists of different deposits. A soil can consist of very different rocks or mineral compositions. For example, rock is massive and often very dense rock. Rock types such as basalt, greywacke, granite or even slate can be present here. The soil can also consist of soft deposits such as earth, loam, clay or sand. There are soils that are so dense that they do not let water through or only to a very small extent and those that soften very quickly. A different foundation must be laid on a soft and not very dry ground in order to guarantee the same statics later as on a rocky subsoil.

Non-cohesive soil

The non-cohesive soil is very insensitive to contact with water. It retains its natural load-bearing capacity. This soil is made up of grains of different sizes that are in close contact. The grains touch each other and together form the ground. These are particularly fine and small grains, between which there is hardly any space. Therefore, a non-cohesive soil is not able to store or bind water. The friction between the grains is hardly changed by water such as rain, snow or groundwater. Their load-bearing capacity results from the tightness of the existing deposit. This means that a non-cohesive soil is relatively firm, but still varies in its load-bearing capacity. Soils such as gravel, stones, sand, rubble or crushed stone. If this is very strongly compressed, it is more stable than if it is looser.

Cohesive soil

The cohesive soil consists of clay and loam / silt. It absorbs water well and thereby loses its strength significantly. It is the properties of the clay, with its structure in small plates, that ensure that the cohesive soil stores or binds water well. Unfortunately, storing water can cause the soil to become muddy. The individual plates become soft and can even take on a mushy consistency. This minimizes the load-bearing capacity considerably and even goes so far that the load-bearing capacity and durability of the floor are completely dissolved. Should the latter condition exist, the building site would be unbuildable. The risk of a collapse later would be too great. If the cohesive soil is dry again, it can under certain circumstances become very firm again and also offer good load-bearing capacity.

Soil quality, load-bearing capacity and statics

If a building is to be erected, the type of foundation is important for the subsequent load-bearing capacity. This is extremely important for every building. A structural engineer examines the forces acting on a stationary building. A structural engineer will determine the load-bearing capacity of the floor at the beginning of the planning. Depending on the size, structure and construct, certain physical values ​​must be observed. These ensure the later safety of the building and the people in it by eliminating risks and dangers.

Different soils differ in their material composition. There are organic and inorganic soils. A plot of land can contain both types of soil, which makes building difficult. Organic soils include material compositions such as peat, humus or lignite. They are less suitable as a building site, as they can settle, i.e. sink. An inorganic soil can consist of gravel, rock, sand or rubble. Before the construction of a building, the load-bearing capacity of the soil must be determined and, depending on whether the soil is cohesive or non-cohesive, a different type of foundation must be made.