ASTM D3550 - 01(2007)

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

    Active Standard ASTM D3550 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.02

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    ASTM D3550

    Significance and Use

    This practice is used for general soil investigations where samples are required for identification and testing. Disturbed samples can be classified in accordance with Practice D2487 and can be tested for moisture content, particle size, and Atterberg limits. The sampler can be equipped with stacked ring liners, which can be used directly for other laboratory tests.

    The sampler can be driven with a hammer and the penetration resistance can be recorded. Numerous combinations of hammer size and drop height have been used in practice. Hammer size and drop height should be reported. Users of this practice have derived local correlations of penetration resistance and engineering properties based on local conditions and a particular hammer system and sampler, however, the penetration resistance may differ from Test Method D1586.

    The user should evaluate sample quality. The process of driving the sample may disturb the soil and change the engineering properties. In soft soils, use of the thin wall tube sampler (Practice D1587) will likely result in less disturbance. In harder soils, soil coring techniques may result in less disturbance; see Practice D6151, Guide D6169.

    This standard addresses sampling in drill holes with drilling equipment. The sampler can be hand driven or driven in test pits without drilling equipment. If these special driving methods are used the sampling process should be reported.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers procedure for thick wall, split barrel drive sampling of soil to obtain representative samples of soil for classification and laboratory testing. The sampler is considered to be a thick wall sampler with sharpened cutting shoe and ball check vent. The middle barrel section is often of split barrel design, but a solid barrel can be used and both may contain ring liners. The sampler is often driven, but can also be pushed in softer deposits. Penetration resistance data may be recorded. This standard uses procedures similar to Test Method D1586 on Penetration Resistance and Split Barrel Sampling of Soils. However, in this practice, differing hammer weights, drop heights, and different size samplers are used, so the data must not be reported as conforming to Test Method D1586 and cannot be used to determine Normalized penetration resistance data for sands in accordance with Practice D6066.

    1.2 This practice involves use of rotary drilling equipment (Guide D5783, Practice D6151). Other drilling and sampling procedures (Guide D6286, Guide D6169) are available and may be more appropriate. Considerations for hand driving or shallow sampling without boreholes are not addressed. Subsurface investigations should be recorded in accordance with practice Guide D5434. Soil samples should be classified in accordance with Practice D2488.

    1.3 This practice may or may not provide a sample suitable for advanced laboratory tests such as shear or consolidation testing. It is up to the user to determine if the sample quality is suitable for advanced laboratory testing for engineering properties. Driven samples can be more easily disturbed than pushed samples such as the thin wall tube in accordance with Practice D1587. However, thin wall tubes cannot be used in harder soils. In cases where it has been established that the quality of the thick wall driven sample is adequate, this practice may provide shear and consolidation specimens that can be used directly in the test apparatus without prior trimming. Some types of soils may gain or lose significant shear strength or compressibility, or both, as a result of sampling. In cases like these, suitable comparison tests should be made to evaluate the effect of sample disturbance on shear strength and compressibility.

    1.4 This guide does not purport to comprehensively address all of the methods and the issues associated with soil sampling. Users should seek qualified professionals for the decisions as to the proper equipment and methods that would be most successful for their site investigation. Other methods may be available for monitoring soil sampling and qualified professionals should have flexibility to exercise judgement as to possible alternatives not covered in this guide. The practice is current at the time of issue, but new alternative and innovative methods may become available prior to revisions, therefore, users should consult with manufacturers or producers prior to specifying program requirements.

    1.5 This practice offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgement. Not all aspects of this practice may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project's many unique aspects. The word Standard in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.

    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. The user must comply with prevalent regulatory codes, such as OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) guidelines while using this practice. For good safety practice, consult applicable OSHA regulations and other safety guides on drilling.


    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

    D1586 Test Method for Penetration Test (SPT) and Split-Barrel Sampling of Soils

    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

    D2487 Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System)

    D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)

    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

    D5434 Guide for Field Logging of Subsurface Explorations of Soil and Rock

    D5783 Guide for Use of Direct Rotary Drilling with Water-Based Drilling Fluid for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D6066 Practice for Determining the Normalized Penetration Resistance of Sands for Evaluation of Liquefaction Potential

    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

    D6286 Guide for Selection of Drilling Methods for Environmental Site Characterization


    ICS Code

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

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)


    DOI: 10.1520/D3550-01R07

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