ASTM D4611 - 16

    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

    5.1 Specific heat is a basic thermodynamic property of all substances. The value of specific heat depends upon chemical or mineralogical 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.

    Note 1: 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 D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etctesting. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

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

    1.2 This test method employs the classical method of mixtures, which involve procedures and an apparatus that are simpler than those generally used in scientific calorimetry, but with an accuracy that is adequate for most rocks and soils. While this test method was developed for testing rock and soil, it can be adapted to measure the specific heat of other materials.

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

    1.4 The test procedure is limited to dry specimens of soil and rock.

    1.5 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. No other units of measurements are included in this standard.

    1.6 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.6.1 The procedure used to specify how data are collected/recorded or calculated in this standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user’s objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of this standard to consider significant digits used in analytical methods for engineering design

    1.7 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
    Link Here
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    DOI: 10.1520/D4611-16

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D4611-16, Standard Test Method for Specific Heat of Rock and Soil, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016, www.astm.org

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