ASTM D4611 - 08

    Standard Test Method for Specific Heat of Rock and Soil

    Active Standard ASTM D4611 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.12

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    Specific heat is a basic thermodynamic property of all substances. The value of specific heat depends upon chemical composition and temperature. The rate of temperature diffusion through a material, thermal diffusivity, is a function of specific heat; therefore, specific heat is an essential property of rock and soil when these materials are used under conditions of unsteady or transient heat flow.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of instantaneous and mean specific heat of rock and soil.

    1.2 This test method employs the classical method of mixtures. This provides procedures and apparatus simpler than those generally used in scientific calorimetry, an accuracy that is adequate for most rocks and soils, and a degree of precision that is reproducible by laboratory technicians of average skill. While this test method was developed for testing rock and soil, it is easily adaptable to measuring the specific heat of other materials.

    1.3 The testing procedure provides an instantaneous specific heat over the temperature 25 to 300°C or a mean specific heat in that temperature range.

    1.4 The test procedure is limited to dry samples.

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

    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.


    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

    C303 Test Method for Dimensions and Density of Preformed Block and Board-Type Thermal Insulation

    C351 Test Method for Mean Specific Heat of Thermal Insulation

    D618 Practice for Conditioning Plastics for Testing

    D2766 Test Method for Specific Heat of Liquids and Solids

    E230 Specification and Temperature-Electromotive Force (EMF) Tables for Standardized Thermocouples

    E344 Terminology Relating to Thermometry and Hydrometry


    ICS Code

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

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D4611-08

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D4611-08, Standard Test Method for Specific Heat of Rock and Soil, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2008, www.astm.org

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