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1.1 These test methods cover laboratory compaction methods used to determine the relationship between water content and dry unit weight of soils (compaction curve) compacted in a 4- or 6-in. (101.6 or 152.4 mm) diameter mold with a 10-lbf. (44.5-N) rammer dropped from a height of 18 in. (457 mm) producing a compactive effort of 56,000 ft-lbf/ft3 (2,700 kN-m/m3).
Note 1—Soils and soil-aggregate mixtures should be regarded as natural occurring fine- or coarse-grained soils or composites or mixtures of natural soils, or mixtures of natural and processed soils or aggregates such as silt, gravel, or crushed rock.
Note 2—The equipment and procedures are the same as proposed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers in 1945. The modified effort test (see 3.2.2) is sometimes referred to as the Modified Proctor Compaction Test.
1.2 These test methods apply only to soils (materials) that have 30 % or less by mass of their particles retained on the 3/4-in. (19.0-mm) sieve.
Note 3—For relationships between unit weights and water contents of soils with 30 % or less by weight of material retained on the 3/4-in. (19.0-mm) sieve to unit weights and water contents of the fraction passing the 3/4-in. (19.0-mm) sieve, see Practice D 4718.
1.3 Three alternative methods are provided. The method used shall be as indicated in the specification for the material being tested. If no method is specified, the choice should be based on the material gradation.
1.3.1 Method A:
184.108.40.206 Mold—4-in. (101.6-mm) diameter.
220.127.116.11 Material—Passing No. 4 (4.75-mm) sieve.
18.104.22.168 Blows per layer—25.
22.214.171.124 Use—May be used if 20 % or less by mass of the material is retained on the No. 4 (4.75-mm) sieve.
126.96.36.199 Other Use—If this method is not specified, materials that meet these gradation requirements may be tested using Methods B or C.
1.3.2 Method B
Mold—4-in. (101.6-mm) diameter.
Material—Passing 3/8-in. (9.5-mm) sieve.
188.8.131.52 Blows per layer—25.
184.108.40.206 Use—Shall be used if more than 20 % by mass of the material is retained on the No. 4 (4.75-mm) sieve and 20 % or less by mass of the material is retained on the 3/8-in. (9.5-mm) sieve.
220.127.116.11 Other Use—If this method is not specified, materials that meet these gradation requirements may be tested using Method C.
1.3.3 Method C
18.104.22.168 Mold—6-in. (152.4-mm) diameter.
22.214.171.124 Material—Passing 3/4-in. (19.0-mm) sieve.
126.96.36.199 Blows per layer—56.
188.8.131.52 Use—Shall be used if more than 20 % by mass of the material is retained on the 3/8-in. (9.53-mm) sieve and less than 30 % by mass of the material is retained on the 3/4-in. (19.0-mm) sieve.
1.3.4 The 6-in. (152.4-mm) diameter mold shall not be used with Method A or B.
Note 4—Results have been found to vary slightly when a material is tested at the same compactive effort in different size molds.
1.4 If the test specimen contains more than 5 % by mass of oversize fraction (coarse fraction) and the material will not be included in the test, corrections must be made to the unit weight and water content of the test specimen or to the appropriate field in place density test specimen using Practice D 4718.
1.5 This test method will generally produce well defined maximum dry unit weight for non-free draining soils. If this test method is used for free draining soils the maximum unit weight may not be well defined, and can be less than obtained using Test Methods D 4253.
1.6 The values in inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard. The values stated in SI units are provided for information only.
1.6.1 In the engineering profession it is customary practice to use, interchangeably, units representing both mass and force, unless dynamic calculations (
1.7 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.
C127 Test Method for Relative Density (Specific Gravity) and Absorption of Coarse Aggregate
C136 Test Method for Sieve Analysis of Fine and Coarse Aggregates
C670 Practice for Preparing Precision and Bias Statements for Test Methods for Construction Materials
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
D2168 Practices for Calibration of Laboratory Mechanical-Rammer Soil Compactors
D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass
D2487 Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System)
D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)
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
D4253 Test Methods for Maximum Index Density and Unit Weight of Soils Using a Vibratory Table
D4718 Practice for Correction of Unit Weight and Water Content for Soils Containing Oversize Particles
D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing
D4914 Test Methods for Density and Unit Weight of Soil and Rock in Place by the Sand Replacement Method in a Test Pit
D5030 Test Method for Density of Soil and Rock in Place by the Water Replacement Method in a Test Pit
D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data
D6913 Test Methods for Particle-Size Distribution (Gradation) of Soils Using Sieve Analysis
E11 Specification for Woven Wire Test Sieve Cloth and Test Sieves
E319 Practice for the Evaluation of Single-Pan Mechanical Balances
ICS Number Code 93.020 (Earth works. Excavations. Foundation construction. Underground works)
UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)
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ASTM D1557-02e1, Standard Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified Effort (56,000 ft-lbf/ft3(2,700 kN-m/m3)), ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2002, www.astm.orgBack to Top