ASTM D2845 - 08

    Standard Test Method for Laboratory Determination of Pulse Velocities and Ultrasonic Elastic Constants of Rock

    Active Standard ASTM D2845 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.12

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    The primary advantages of ultrasonic testing are that it yields compression and shear wave velocities, and ultrasonic values for the elastic constants of intact homogeneous isotropic rock specimens (3). Elastic constants are not to be calculated for rocks having pronounced anisotropy by procedures described in this test method. The values of elastic constants often do not agree with those determined by static laboratory methods or the in situ methods. Measured wave velocities likewise may not agree with seismic velocities, but offer good approximations. The ultrasonic evaluation of rock properties is useful for preliminary prediction of static properties. The test method is useful for evaluating the effects of uniaxial stress and water saturation on pulse velocity. These properties are in turn useful in engineering design.

    The test method as described herein is not adequate for measurement of stress-wave attenuation. Also, while pulse velocities can be employed to determine the elastic constants of materials having a high degree of anisotropy, these procedures are not treated herein.

    Note 2—The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D 3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing and sampling. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D 3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D 3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method describes equipment and procedures for laboratory measurements of the pulse velocities of compression waves and shear waves in rock (1) and the determination of ultrasonic elastic constants (Note 1) of an isotropic rock or one exhibiting slight anisotropy.

    Note 1—The elastic constants determined by this test method are termed ultrasonic since the pulse frequencies used are above the audible range. The terms sonic and dynamic are sometimes applied to these constants but do not describe them precisely (2). It is possible that the ultrasonic elastic constants may differ from those determined by other dynamic methods.

    1.2 This test method is valid for wave velocity measurements in both anisotropic and isotropic rocks although the velocities obtained in grossly anisotropic rocks may be influenced by such factors as direction, travel distance, and diameter of transducers.

    1.3 The ultrasonic elastic constants are calculated from the measured wave velocities and the bulk density. The limiting degree of anisotropy for which calculations of elastic constants are allowed and procedures for determining the degree of anisotropy are specified.

    1.4 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.5 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.


    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

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

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

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

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


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 93.020 (Earth works. Excavations. Foundation construction. Underground works)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D2845-08

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