ASTM D4959 - 07

    Standard Test Method for Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil By Direct Heating

    Active Standard ASTM D4959 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.08

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


      Format Pages Price  
    PDF 6 $43.00   ADD TO CART
    Hardcopy (shipping and handling) 6 $43.00   ADD TO CART
    Standard + Redline PDF Bundle 12 $51.60   ADD TO CART


    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers procedures for determining the water (moisture) content of soils by drying with direct heat, such as using a hotplate, stove, blowtorch, etc.

    1.2 This test method can be used as a substitute for Test Methods D 2216 when more rapid results are desired to expedite other phases of testing and slightly less accurate results are acceptable.

    1.3 When questions of accuracy between this test method and Test Methods D 2216 arise, Test Methods D 2216 shall be the referee method.

    1.4 This test method is applicable for most soil types. For some soils, such as those containing significant amounts of halloysite, mica, montmorillonite, gypsum, or other hydrated materials, highly organic soils or soils that contain dissolved solids, (such as salt in the case of marine deposits), this test method may not yield reliable water content values.

    1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard.

    1.6 Refer to Practice D 6026 for guidance concerning the use of significant figures. This is important if the water content will be used to calculate other relationships such as moist mass to dry mass or vice versa, wet unit weight to dry unit weight or vice versa, and total density to dry density or vice versa. For example, if four significant digits are required in any of the above calculations, then the water content has to be recorded to the nearest 0.1%. This occurs since 1 plus the water content (not in percent) will have four significant digits, While, if three significant digits are acceptable, then the water content can be recorded to the nearest 1%

    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

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    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

    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


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.40 (Hydrological properties of soil)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)


    DOI: 10.1520/D4959-07

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    ASTM D4959

    Citing ASTM Standards
    Back to Top