ASTM D5084 - 10

    Standard Test Methods for Measurement of Hydraulic Conductivity of Saturated Porous Materials Using a Flexible Wall Permeameter

    Active Standard ASTM D5084 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    These test methods apply to one-dimensional, laminar flow of water within porous materials such as soil and rock.

    The hydraulic conductivity of porous materials generally decreases with an increasing amount of air in the pores of the material. These test methods apply to water-saturated porous materials containing virtually no air.

    These test methods apply to permeation of porous materials with water. Permeation with other liquids, such as chemical wastes, can be accomplished using procedures similar to those described in these test methods. However, these test methods are only intended to be used when water is the permeant liquid. See Section 6.

    Darcy's law is assumed to be valid and the hydraulic conductivity is essentially unaffected by hydraulic gradient.

    These test methods provide a means for determining hydraulic conductivity at a controlled level of effective stress. Hydraulic conductivity varies with varying void ratio, which changes when the effective stress changes. If the void ratio is changed, the hydraulic conductivity of the test specimen will likely change, see Appendix X2. To determine the relationship between hydraulic conductivity and void ratio, the hydraulic conductivity test would have to be repeated at different effective stresses.

    The correlation between results obtained using these test methods and the hydraulic conductivities of in-place field materials has not been fully investigated. Experience has sometimes shown that hydraulic conductivities measured on small test specimens are not necessarily the same as larger-scale values. Therefore, the results should be applied to field situations with caution and by qualified personnel.

    In most cases, when testing high swell potential materials and using a constant-volume hydraulic system, the effective confining stress should be about 1.5 times the swell pressure of the test specimen or a stress which prevents swelling. If the confining stress is less than the swell pressure, anomalous flow conditions my occur; e.g., mercury column(s) move in the wrong direction.

    Note 1—The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent of 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, etc.. 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 These test methods cover laboratory measurement of the hydraulic conductivity (also referred to as coefficient of permeability) of water-saturated porous materials with a flexible wall permeameter at temperatures between about 15 and 30°C (59 and 86°F). Temperatures outside this range may be used; however, the user would have to determine the specific gravity of mercury and RT (see 10.3) at those temperatures using data from Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. There are six alternate methods or hydraulic systems that may be used to measure the hydraulic conductivity. These hydraulic systems are as follows:


    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

    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

    D1140 Test Methods for Amount of Material in Soils Finer than No. 200 (75-m) Sieve

    D1557 Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified Effort (56,000 ft-lbf/ft3 (2,700 kN-m/m3))

    D1587 Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Soils for Geotechnical Purposes

    D2113 Practice for Rock Core Drilling and Sampling of Rock for Site Investigation

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D2434 Test Method for Permeability of Granular Soils (Constant Head)

    D2435 Test Methods for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soils Using Incremental Loading

    D3550 Practice for Thick Wall, Ring-Lined, Split Barrel, Drive Sampling of Soils

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4220 Practices for Preserving and Transporting Soil Samples

    D4318 Test Methods for Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils

    D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing

    D4767 Test Method for Consolidated Undrained Triaxial Compression Test for Cohesive Soils

    D5079 Practices for Preserving and Transporting Rock Core Samples

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    D6151 Practice for Using Hollow-Stem Augers for Geotechnical Exploration and Soil Sampling

    D6169 Guide for Selection of Soil and Rock Sampling Devices Used With Drill Rigs for Environmental Investigations

    E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.100.50 (Binders. Sealing materials)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D5084-10

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