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Significance and Use
The expansion index, EI, provides an indication of swelling potential of a compacted soil.
The EI test is not used to duplicate any particular field conditions such as soil density, water content, loading, in-place soil structure, or soil water chemistry. However, consistent test conditions are used in preparation of compacted specimens such that direct correlation of data can be made between organizations.
Note 1—Qualitative classification of potential expansion in a soil based on EI is provided in Table 1.
Note 2—Notwithstanding the statements on precision and bias contained in this test method: The precision of this test method is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies which meet the criteria of Practice D 3740
Expansion Index, EI Potential
0–20 Very Low 21–50 Low 51–90 Medium 91–130 High >130 Very High
1.1 This test method allows for determination of expansion potential of compacted soils when inundated with distilled water.
1.2 This test method provides a simple yet sensitive method for determination of expansion potential of compacted soils for practical engineering applications using an index parameter.
1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values stated in inch-pound units are approximate.
1.4 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D 6026
1.4.1 The method used to specify how data are collected, calculated, or recorded in this standard is not directly related to the accuracy to which the data can be applied in design or other uses, or both. How one applies the results obtained using this standard is beyond its scope.
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.
D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids
D698 Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Standard Effort (12 400 ft-lbf/ft3 (600 kN-m/m3))
D854 Test Methods for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids by Water Pycnometer
D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass
D2435 Test Methods for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soils Using Incremental Loading
D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction
D3877 Test Methods for One-Dimensional Expansion, Shrinkage, and Uplift Pressure of Soil-Lime Mixtures
D4546 Test Methods for One-Dimensional Swell or Collapse of Cohesive Soils
D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing
D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data
E11 Specification for Woven Wire Test Sieve Cloth and Test Sieves
E145 Specification for Gravity-Convection and Forced-Ventilation Ovens
ICS Number Code 93.020 (Earth works. Excavations. Foundation construction. Underground works)
UNSPSC Code 11111800(Clays)
ASTM D4829-11, Standard Test Method for Expansion Index of Soils, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2011, www.astm.orgBack to Top