ASTM D5084-03

    Standard Test Methods for Measurement of Hydraulic Conductivity of Saturated Porous Materials Using a Flexible Wall Permeameter

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    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover laboratory measurement of the hydraulic conductivity (also referred to as coefficient of permeability) of water-saturated porous materials with a flexible wall permeameter at temperatures between about 15 and 30oC (59 and 86oF). Temperatures outside this range may be used, however, the user would have to determine the specific gravity of mercury and RT (see 10.3) at those temperatures using data from Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. There are six alternate methods or hydraulic systems, that may be used to measure the hydraulic conductivity. These hydraulic systems are as follows:

    1.1.1 Method A—Constant Head

    1.1.2 Method B—Falling Head, constant tailwater elevation

    1.1.3 Method C—Falling Head, rising tailwater elevation

    1.1.4 Method D—Constant Rate of Flow

    1.1.5 Method E—Constant Volume-Constant Head (by mercury)

    1.1.6 Method F—Constant Volume-Falling Head (by mercury), rising tailwater elevation

    1.2 These test methods may be utilized on all specimen types (undisturbed, reconstituted, remolded, compacted, etc.) that have a hydraulic conductivity less than about 1 X 10-6 m/s (1 X 10-4 cm/s), providing the head loss requirements of are met. For the constant-volume methods, the hydraulic conductivity typically has to be less than about 1 X 10-7 m/s.

    1.2.1 If the hydraulic conductivity is greater than about 1 X 10-6 m/s, but not more than about 1 X 10-5 m/s; then the size of the hydraulic tubing needs to be increased along with the porosity of the porous end pieces. Other strategies, such as using higher viscosity fluid or properly decreasing the cross-sectional area of the test specimen, or both, may also be possible. The key criterion is that the requirements covered in Section 5 have to be met.

    1.2.2 If the hydraulic conductivity is less than about 1 X 10-10 m/s, then standard hydraulic systems and temperature environments will typically not suffice. Strategies that may be possible when dealing with such impervious materials may include the following. Tightening the temperature control. The adoption of unsteady state measurements by using high-accuracy equipment along with the rigorous analyses for determining the hydraulic parameters (this approach reduces testing duration according to Zhang et al. (1)). Properly shortening the length or enlarging the cross-sectional area, or both, of the test specimen. Other items, such as use of higher hydraulic gradients, lower viscosity fluid, elimination of any possible chemical gradients and bacterial growth, and strict verification of leakage, may also be considered.

    1.3 The hydraulic conductivity of materials with hydraulic conductivities greater than 1 X 10-5 m/s may be determined by Test Method D2434.

    1.4 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guide for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.4.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded and calculated in this standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that should generally be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user's objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of this standard to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering design.

    1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard, unless other units are specifically given. By tradition in U.S. practice, hydraulic conductivity is reported in centimeters per second, although the common SI units for hydraulic conductivity is meters per second.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.7 This standard also contains a Hazards section about using mercury, see Section 7.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D698 Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Standard Effort (12 400 ft-lbf/ft3 (600 kN-m/m3))

    D854 Test Methods for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids by Water Pycnometer

    D1140 Test Methods for Amount of Material in Soils Finer than No. 200 (75-m) Sieve

    D1557 Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified Effort (56,000 ft-lbf/ft3 (2,700 kN-m/m3))

    D1587 Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Soils for Geotechnical Purposes

    D2113 Practice for Rock Core Drilling and Sampling of Rock for Site Investigation

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D2434 Test Method for Permeability of Granular Soils (Constant Head)

    D2435 Test Methods for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soils Using Incremental Loading

    D3550 Practice for Thick Wall, Ring-Lined, Split Barrel, Drive Sampling of Soils

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4220 Practices for Preserving and Transporting Soil Samples

    D4318 Test Methods for Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils

    D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing

    D4767 Test Method for Consolidated Undrained Triaxial Compression Test for Cohesive Soils

    D5079 Practices for Preserving and Transporting Rock Core Samples

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    D6151 Practice for Using Hollow-Stem Augers for Geotechnical Exploration and Soil Sampling

    D6169 Guide for Selection of Soil and Rock Sampling Devices Used With Drill Rigs for Environmental Investigations

    E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.100.50 (Binders. Sealing materials)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D5084-03

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