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**Significance and Use**

5.1 Gauge calibration is performed for the following purposes:

5.1.1 To formulate a mathematical equation, or density calibration equation, that relates the gauge density system response (the “density count”) to the soil-equivalent density of the standard on which this response is elicited.

5.1.2 To formulate a mathematical equation, or water content calibration equation, that relates the gauge water content system response (the “water content count”) to the water mass per unit volume value of the standard on which this response is elicited.

5.1.3 To ensure that the gauge has an in-place water mass per unit volume gauge precision level that is consistent with typical gauge response.

5.2 Gauge verification is performed for the following purposes:

5.2.1 To indicate to the party or agency performing the verification when the mathematical relationship between the in-place density reading indicated by the gauge and the corresponding gauge density test count needs to be adjusted so that the gauge calibration meets the required level of measurement uncertainty.

5.2.2 To indicate to the party or agency performing the verification when the mathematical relationship between the water mass per unit volume indicated by the gauge and the corresponding gauge water content test count needs to be adjusted so that the gauge calibration meets the required level of measurement uncertainty.

5.2.3 Gauge verification and calibration require specialized training and equipment. Gauge calibration and verification should only be conducted by those trained in the proper operation of the gauge, the calibration or verification standards, and any tables, charts, graphs, or computer programs required for the proper execution of these operations.

Note 1: 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 guide describes the process and objective of calibrating the density system of a nuclear surface moisture and density gauge, or formulating the mathematical relationship between the density system response (the “density count”) of a nuclear surface moisture and density gauge and the corresponding density value of the density standard upon which the density system response was observed.

1.2 This guide describes the process and objective of calibrating the water content system of a nuclear surface moisture and density gauge, or formulating the mathematical relationship between the water content system response (the “water content count”) of a nuclear surface moisture and density gauge and the corresponding water mass per unit volume value of the water content standard upon which the water content system response was observed.

1.3 This guide describes the process and objective of verifying the density system of a nuclear surface moisture and density gauge.

1.4 This guide describes the process and objective of verifying the water content system of a nuclear surface moisture and density gauge.

1.5 This guide describes two mathematical processes by which the gauge measurement precision may be computed or measured.

1.6 This guide offers guidance for developing and reporting estimates of uncertainties in measurements made with gauges that have undergone calibration or verification.

1.7 All observed and calculated values shall confirm to the guide for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

1.8 Units—The values stated in either SI units or inch pound units 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.

1.9 *This guide 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 guide to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.*

1.10 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project’s many unique aspects. The word “Standard” in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.

**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

D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

D6938 Test Method for In-Place Density and Water Content of Soil and Soil-Aggregate by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth)

D7013 Guide for Nuclear Surface Moisture and Density Gauge Calibration Facility Setup

**ICS Code**

ICS Number Code 17.040.30 (Measuring instruments)

**UNSPSC Code**

UNSPSC Code

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**DOI:** 10.1520/D7759_D7759M-14

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**Citation Format**

ASTM D7759 / D7759M-14, Standard Guide for Nuclear Surface Moisture and Density Gauge Calibration, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2014, www.astm.org

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