ASTM F3013 - 13

    Standard Test Method for Density of Topsoil and Blended Soils In-place by the Core Displacement Method

    Active Standard ASTM F3013 | Developed by Subcommittee: F08.64

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.07


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This test method can be used to determine in-place density of topsoil and blended soils prior to planting or in the development of a maintenance programs for natural turf sports fields, planting areas, lawns and golf courses.

    5.2 This test method can provide builders and maintenance staff with a quick assessment of the turf growing medium density without the delays associated with formal lab testing programs. During construction and prior to seeding or sodding having a method to quantify in-place soil density will assist the builder in providing an appropriate soil density at the time of planting thus improving overall turf establishment.

    5.3 The use of this test method is generally limited to soil in an unsaturated condition. This test method is not recommended for soils that are soft or friable (crumble easily) or in a moisture condition such that water seeps into the hand excavated hole. The accuracy of this test can be affected by stones or other material that can create grooves or loose material along the side walls or bottom of the test core. Test core locations within areas subject to vehicle travel may result in higher densities and such locations should be noted in the report.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method may be used to determine the undisturbed (in-situ) in-place bulk-density, moisture content and unit weight of topsoil and blended soil growing mediums using the Core Displacement Method.

    1.2 This test method is applicable for soils without appreciable amounts of rock or coarse material exceeding 1 inch in size. Further it is only suitable for soils in-which the natural void or pore openings in the soil are small enough to prevent the sand used in the test from entering the voids and impacting the test results. Unlike Test Method D1556, this test method is suitable for organic and plastic soils due to the use of a core apparatus, and not hand excavation methods. The material shall have adequate cohesive material or particle attraction to provide a stable core (core hole) for the duration of the test without deforming or sloughing. Therefore this method is not suitable for unbound granular soils that cannot maintain stable sides. This test method is applicable for assessing compaction of surface layers of topsoil (or blended soils) using a soil small core unlike Test Methods D4914, which uses a large volume soil pit excavation.

    1.3 This test method is intended for soil typical of growing mediums suitable for sports fields, golf courses and lawn areas that may include organic material, silts, clays and sand.

    1.4 This test method is not applicable for soil conditions in-which the root mass is excessive or in-which the root mass includes woody roots.

    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

    D1556 Test Method for Density and Unit Weight of Soil in Place by Sand-Cone Method

    D4914 Test Methods for Density and Unit Weight of Soil and Rock in Place by the Sand Replacement Method in a Test Pit

    F1815 Test Methods for Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity, Water Retention, Porosity, and Bulk Density of Athletic Field Rootzones


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.20 (Physical properties of soil)

    DOI: 10.1520/F3013

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