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Significance and Use
These test methods are used to determine the in-place density of compacted materials in construction of earth embankments, road fills, and structure backfill. For construction control, these test methods are often used as the bases for acceptance of material compacted to a specified density or to a percentage of a maximum unit weight determined by a standard laboratory test method (such as determined from Test Method D 698 or D 1557
These test methods can be used to determine the in-place density of natural soil deposits, aggregates, soil mixtures, or other similar material.
Note 1—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 that meet the criteria of Practice D 3740
1.1 These test methods cover the determination of the in-place density and unit weight of soil and rock using a pouring device and calibrated sand to determine the volume of a test pit. The word “rock'' in these test methods is used to imply that the material being tested will typically contain particles larger than 3 in. (75 mm).
1.2 These test methods are best suited for test pits with a volume from 0.03 to 0.17 m3 (1 to 6 ft3). In general, the materials tested would have a maximum particle size of 75 to 125 mm (3 to 5 in.).
1.2.1 These test methods may be used for larger sized excavations if desirable. However, for larger sized excavations, Test Method D 5030
1.2.2 Test Method D 1556 or D 2167
1.3 Two test methods are provided as follows:
1.3.1 Test Method A—In-Place Density and Unit Weight of Total Material (Section 9).
1.3.2 Test Method B—In-Place Density and Unit Weight of Control Fraction (Section 10).
1.4 Selection of Test Methods:
1.4.1 Test Method A is used when the in-place unit weight of total material is to be determined. Test Method A can also be used to determine percent compaction or percent relative density when the maximum particle size present in the in-place material being tested does not exceed the maximum particle size allowed in the laboratory compaction test (refer to Test Methods D 698, D 1557, D 4253, and D 4254
1.4.2 Test Method B is used when percent compaction or percent relative density is to be determined and the in-place material contains particles larger than the maximum particle size allowed in the laboratory compaction test or when Practice D 4718
220.127.116.11 Because of possible lower densities created when there is particle interference (see Practice D 4718
1.4.3 Normally, the control fraction is the minus No. 4 sieve size material for cohesive or nonfree draining materials and the minus 3-in. sieve size material for cohesionless, free-draining materials. While other sizes are used for the control fraction (3/8, ¾-in.), these test methods have been prepared using only the No. 4 and the 3-in. sieve sizes for clarity.
1.5 Any materials that can be excavated with hand tools can be tested provided that the void or pore openings in the mass are small enough (or a liner is used) to prevent the calibrated sand used in the test from entering the natural voids. The material being tested should have sufficient cohesion or particle interlocking to maintain stable sides during excavation of the test pit and through completion of this test. It should also be firm enough not to deform or slough due to the minor pressures exerted in digging the hole and pouring the sand.
1.6 These test methods are generally limited to material in an unsaturated condition and are not recommended for materials that are soft or friable (crumble easily) or in a moisture condition such that water seeps into the hand-excavated hole. The accuracy of the test methods may be affected for materials that deform easily or that may undergo volume change in the excavated hole from standing or walking near the hole during the test.
1.7 These test methods use SI units with converted inch-pounds in parentheses.
1.7.1 In the engineering profession it is customary to use units representing both mass and force interchangeably, unless dynamic calculations are involved. This implicitly combines two separate systems of units, that is, the absolute system and the gravimetric system. It is undesirable to combine the use of two separate systems within a single standard. These test methods have been written using inch-pound units (gravimetric system) where the pound (lbf) represents a unit of force (weight). However, conversions are given in the SI system. The use of balances or scales recording pounds of mass (lbm), or the recording of density in lbm/ft3 should not be regarded as nonconformance with these test methods.
1.8 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D 6026
1.8.1 The procedures 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; 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.
1.9 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. For specific hazards statements, see Sections 7 and A1.5.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
C127 Test Method for Density, Relative Density (Specific Gravity), and Absorption of Coarse Aggregate
C566 Test Method for Total Evaporable Moisture Content of Aggregate by Drying
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))
D1556 Test Method for Density and Unit Weight of Soil in Place by Sand-Cone Method
D1557 Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified Effort (56,000 ft-lbf/ft3 (2,700 kN-m/m3))
D2167 Test Method for Density and Unit Weight of Soil in Place by the Rubber Balloon Method
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
D4253 Test Methods for Maximum Index Density and Unit Weight of Soils Using a Vibratory Table
D4254 Test Methods for Minimum Index Density and Unit Weight of Soils and Calculation of Relative Density
D4718 Practice for Correction of Unit Weight and Water Content for Soils Containing Oversize Particles
D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing
D5030 Test Method for Density of Soil and Rock in Place by the Water Replacement Method in a Test Pit
D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data
E11 Specification for Woven Wire Test Sieve Cloth and Test Sieves
ICS Number Code 93.020 (Earth works. Excavations. Foundation construction. Underground works)
UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)
ASTM D4914-08, Standard Test Methods for Density and Unit Weight of Soil and Rock in Place by the Sand Replacement Method in a Test Pit, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2008, www.astm.orgBack to Top