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Significance and Use
4.2 The degree of saturation of the specimen shall be less than that which would produce significant internal transport of pore water or alter the continuity of air voids under the applied gradients. The maximum permissible degree of saturation must be evaluated by an experienced analyst. In no instance shall the specimen be so saturated that pore water appears at the exit of the permeameter cell during the test.
4.4 The permeability of porous materials may be strongly dependent on a variety of physical properties including the void ratio, the degree of saturation, and percent and direction of compaction. It is beyond the scope of this test method to elaborate upon these dependencies. Rather, this test method is intended to be a measurement technique for determining the permeability under a certain set of laboratory conditions. It is the responsibility of the test requestor to specify which soil parameters must be controlled to ensure a valid extension of the test results to field conditions.
4.5 Calculation of the permeability using Darcy’s law requires laminar flow conditions through the soil specimen. The conditions for laminar flow shall be evaluated by plotting the volumetric flow rate of air through the specimen against the pressure drop across the specimen. If the individual test points lie within 25 % of a straight line passing through the origin, then laminar flow conditions are present and Darcy's law may be used to calculate the permeability.
4.7 A flexible wall permeameter is the preferred means for confining the test specimen in accordance with Test Methods D5084, D4525, and D4767. This test method may still be performed using a rigid wall permeameter, but all reference to effective confining stress and the permeameter cell pressure system shall then be disregarded.
4.8 For some specimens, the permeability will be strongly dependent on the effective confining stress due to porosity reduction. Whenever possible, the requestor shall specify the field overburden conditions at which this test method is to be performed. In some specimens, this stress will vary significantly with flow in an indeterminate way. All specimens shall be evaluated for this effect by performing this test method at two or more different confining stress values when a flexible wall permeameter is used.
4.10 The correlation between results obtained with this test method and in situ field measurements has only been partially established. The small laboratory specimen used in this method may not be representative of the distributed condition on-site due to vadose zone fluctuations, changes in soil stratigraphy, and so forth. For this reason, caution should be used by qualified personnel when applying laboratory test results to field situations.
1.2 This test method may be used with intact or compacted coarse grained soils, silts, or lean cohesive soils that have a low degree of saturation and that have permeability between 1.0 × 10-15 m2 (1.01 millidarcy) and 1.0 × 10-10 m2 (101 darcy).
1.4 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.
1.4.2 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; 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 analysis methods for engineering design.
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))
D1557 Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified Effort (56,000 ft-lbf/ft3 (2,700 kN-m/m3))
D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass
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
D4525 Test Method for Permeability of Rocks by Flowing Air
D4564 Test Method for Density and Unit Weight of Soil in Place by the Sleeve Method
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
D5084 Test Methods for Measurement of Hydraulic Conductivity of Saturated Porous Materials Using a Flexible Wall Permeameter
D5856 Test Method for Measurement of Hydraulic Conductivity of Porous Material Using a Rigid-Wall, Compaction-Mold Permeameter
D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data
E1 Specification for ASTM Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers
E145 Specification for Gravity-Convection and Forced-Ventilation Ovens
E2251 Specification for Liquid-in-Glass ASTM Thermometers with Low-Hazard Precision Liquids
ICS Number Code 13.080.20 (Physical properties of soil)
UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil); 41113905(Permeability testing apparatus)
ASTM D6539-13, Standard Test Method for Measurement of the Permeability of Unsaturated Porous Materials by Flowing Air , ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.orgBack to Top