A Comparative Study of Particle Size Analyses by Sieve-Hydrometer and Laser Diffraction Methods

    Volume 25, Issue 4 (December 2002)

    ISSN: 0149-6115

    CODEN: GTJOAD

    Page Count: 9


    Wen, B
    PhD student, Assistant Professor, and Research Associate, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong,

    Aydin, A
    PhD student, Assistant Professor, and Research Associate, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong,

    Duzgoren-Aydin, NS
    PhD student, Assistant Professor, and Research Associate, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong,

    Abstract

    Combined sieve-hydrometer method (SHM) is one of the two conventional methods commonly used in research and practice in all branches of science and engineering dealing with soils. SHM, however, has some inborn defects, which lead to systematical errors. The paper discusses the major causes of such errors in the analysis with examples from saprolitic soils derived from granites and volcanics. It is concluded that the deviations may be explained by three factors: differences in definitions and measurements of particle sizes; variations in densities of constituent grains; and turbulence in flow pattern of suspension. Particle size distribution (PSD) curves produced by the laser diffraction method (LDM) generally agree with those of SHM. However, some discrepancies between the results of these methods become evident upon closer inspection, and vary in extent according to the soil type and specific size fraction. For the same soil sample and a given fraction, such discrepancies can be mainly attributed to variations in density, shape, and mineralogy of particles. LDM with its many advantages over SHM should be adopted as the standard in geoengineering and geoenvironmental research, particularly involving problematic soils.


    Paper ID: GTJ11289J

    DOI: 10.1520/GTJ11289J

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    Author
    Title A Comparative Study of Particle Size Analyses by Sieve-Hydrometer and Laser Diffraction Methods
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee D18