Volume 9, Issue 3 (September 1986)
Preparation of Specimens of Noncohesive Material for Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry
This technical note describes a technique for the preparation of test specimens of compacted noncohesive granular material for mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) tests without altering or destroying the soil fabric. The technique makes it possible to measure and determine pore-size distribution (PSD) of the noncohesive soils by a standard MIP test method (for example, ASTM Test Method for Determination of the Pore Volume Distribution of Soil and Rock by Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry [D 4404]).
The technique involves use of a powdered phenolic resin. First, dry sand was mixed with a small amount of powdered resin (0.5% of dry weight of the sand) before compaction. After compaction, the sample along with compaction mold was placed in the oven at 170°C for 1 h. The melted resin acts as a glue to bond the sand grains together. Then the sample was removed from the oven, and the MIP specimens were trimmed from the resin-bonded sample. The results of repeated MIP tests on multiple specimens trimmed from resin-bonded compacted samples were very reproducible, which indicates that the proposed technique is a satisfactory way of preparing a noncohesive specimen for MIP tests.