Soil Testing

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Soil Physical Testing

PropertyMaterialASTM / MethodDetails
Bulk Density (“Unit Weight”) / Void ContentAggregate / SoilASTM C29

Bulk Density and Void Content of Fine and Coarse Aggregates

Returns the bulk density and void content of a material in a dry condition. Run alongside C127 or C128 to obtain relative density and saturated surface dry density.

Sieve Analysis (Fraction >#200 Sieve)SoilASTM D6913

Particle Size Distribution of Soil Using the Sieve Analysis

Soil is dried and sieved through the standard sieve stack to provide a grain-size distribution curve. Soil may be compared to any specificaiton provided to determine if it conforms.

Particle Size Analysis – Silt / Clay Content (includes fraction <#200 sieve)SoilASTM D7928

Particle Size Distribution of Fine-Grained Soil Using the Hydrometer Analysis

Soil is air dried, then the fine fraction is suspended in water with the aid of a dispersion agent. A standard soil hydrometer is used to determine the density of the resulting liquid over a period of 1 day. Hydrometer readings are used to generate a grain-size distribution curve for the silt and clay portions of soils that are too small for the typical sieve analysis.

Maximum Density and Optimum Moisture ContentAggregate / SoilASTM D698

Standard Effort Laboraty Compaction of Soils (“Proctor Test”)

Produces the theoretical maximum compacted density of a sample, and the optimum water content at which that density occurs.

Maximum Density and Optimum Moisture ContentAggregate / SoilASTM D1557

Modified Effort Laboraty Compaction of Soils (“Proctor Test”)

Produces the theoretical maximum compacted density of a sample, and the optimum water content at which that density occurs.

Soil Classification (USCS – Unified Soil Classification System)SoilASTM D2487

Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes

Particles size analysis and atterberg limits are typically required prior to classification. Soils are evaluated per ASTM D2487 criteria and are placed into a category that identifies their critical properties.

Water / Ash Content / Organic MaterialSoilASTM D2974

Water, Ash, and Organic Material of Peat and Organic Soils

Soil is dried and processed per ASTM D2974. Material is then placed into a furnace at either 440°C (Method A) or 750°C (Method B). Specimen is allowed to come to equilibrium, cooled, then the weight after ignition is compared to the initial weight.

Liquid Limit / Plastic Limit / Plasticity Index
(Atterberg Limits)
SoilASTM D4318

Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils (Atterberg Limits)

The fine fraction of a soil is separated and processed to remove lumps. The material is brought to various levels of moisture, and the consistency is determined in the liquid limit apparatus, and by following the plastic limit procedures. The results are used to calculate the liquid limit, plastic limit, and the plasticity index.

Oversize Particle CorrectionAggregate / SoilASTM D4718

Proctor Correction Procedure for Oversize Particles

Run alongside ASTM D698/D1557 to determine the effects of moisture retained in large particles on proctor test results.

 

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