ASTM D6910 / D6910M - 09

    Standard Test Method for Marsh Funnel Viscosity of Clay Construction Slurries

    Active Standard ASTM D6910 / D6910M | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    Significance and Use

    This test method allows for the assessment of an apparent viscosity of clay slurries in the laboratory and in the field. Viscosity is a fundamental characteristic for slurries in construction applications. The Marsh Funnel Viscosity test can be used for field quality control of slurries. Relative changes in slurry viscosity can be identified using Marsh Funnel measurements and modifications can be made to mixing and handling procedures.

    In this test, it is assumed that the apparent viscosity of a slurry is directly related to the flow duration through a specially shaped funnel (the Marsh Funnel).

    Note 1—The development of the Marsh Funnel is credited to Hallan N. Marsh of Los Angeles who published the design and use of his funnel viscometer in 1931.

    In slurry wall construction and other applications, the viscosity of a slurry must be maintained at a level high enough to assist in stabilizing the trench walls. Slurry viscosity is also directly related to filter cake permeability.

    The Marsh Funnel Viscosity has been widely used in drilling soil and rock for water wells, oil, gas, soil stabilization, and the application of hydraulic barriers.

    Inert suspended solids such as fine sands and additives affect the viscosity of slurries. This test may be used to determine the relative effects of this and other such materials on the viscosity of a slurry.

    Note 2—The quality of the result produced by this standard 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 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 This test method provides an indirect measurement of the viscosity of clay slurries using a funnel (Marsh Funnel) and a graduated cup of specific dimensions. This test method provides a practical indicator of the viscosity on a routine basis. This test method has been modified from the API Recommended Practice 13B-2.

    1.2 The result determined using the method is referred to as the Marsh Funnel Viscosity.

    1.3 This test can be performed in the laboratory, or used in the field to assess the apparent viscosity of a clay slurry for quality control purposes. The most commonly used slurry is a bentonite clay slurry.

    1.4 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units [given in brackets] are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

    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.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

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

    API Document

    APIRecommendedPracti Standard Procedure for Testing Drilling Fluids, Sixth Edition Available from American Petroleum Institute (API), 1220 L. St., NW, Washington, DC 20005-4070, http://www.api.org.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.060 (Measurement of volume, mass, density, viscosity); 91.100.15 (Mineral materials and products)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111800(Clays); 30121901(Soil stabilizer)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6910_D6910M-09

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