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**1. Scope**

1.1 This test method is for the determination of the magnitude and rate-of-consolidation of saturated cohesive soils using continuous controlled-strain axial compression. The specimen is restrained laterally and drained axially to one surface. The axial force and base excess pressure are measured during the deformation process. Controlled strain compression is typically referred to as constant rate-of-strain (CRS) testing.

1.2 This test method provides for the calculation of total and effective axial stresses, and axial strain from the measurement of axial force, axial deformation, chamber pressure, and base excess pressure. The effective stress is computed using steady state equations.

1.3 This test method provides for the calculation of the coefficient of consolidation and the hydraulic conductivity throughout the loading process. These values are also based on steady state equations.

1.4 This test method makes use of steady state equations resulting from a theory formulated under particular assumptions. Section 5.5 presents these assumptions.

1.5 The behavior of cohesive soils is strain rate dependent and hence the results of a CRS test are sensitive to the imposed rate of strain. This test method imposes limits on the strain rate to provide comparable results to the incremental consolidation test (Test Method D2435).

1.6 The determination of the rate and magnitude of consolidation of soil when it is subjected to incremental loading is covered by Test Method D2435.

1.7 This test method applies to intact (Group C and Group D of Practice D4220), remolded, or laboratory reconstituted samples.

1.8 This test method is most often used for materials of relatively low hydraulic conductivity that generate measurable excess base pressures. It may be used to measure the compression behavior of essentially free draining soils but will not provide a measure of the hydraulic conductivity or coefficient of consolidation.

1.9 All recorded and calculated values shall conform to the guide for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026, unless superseded by this test method. The significant digits specified throughout this standard are based on the assumption that data will be collected over an axial stress range from 1% of the maximum stress to the maximum stress value.

1.9.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded and calculated in this standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that should generally 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.

1.10 *Units—*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.

1.10.1 The gravitational system is used when working with inch-pound units. In this system, the pound (lbf) represents a unit of force (weight), while the unit for mass is slugs. The rationalized slug unit is not given, unless dynamic (F = ma) calculations are involved.

1.10.2 It is common practice in the engineering/construction profession to concurrently use pounds to represent both a unit of mass (lbm) and of force (lbf). This implicitly combines two separate systems of units; that is, the absolute system and the gravitational system. It is scientifically undesirable to combine the use of two separate sets of inch-pound units within a single standard. As stated, this standard includes the gravitational system of inch-pound units and does not use/present the slug unit for mass. However, the use of balances or scales recording pounds of mass (lbm) or recording density in lbm/ft^{3} shall not be regarded as non-conformance with this standard.

1.11 *This standard may involve hazardous materials, operations, and equipment. 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

D854 Test Methods for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids by Water Pycnometer

D1587 Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Soils for Geotechnical Purposes

D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

D2435 Test Methods for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Soils Using Incremental Loading

D2487 Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System)

D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)

D3213 Practices for Handling, Storing, and Preparing Soft Intact Marine Soil

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

D4318 Test Methods for Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils

D4452 Practice for X-Ray Radiography of Soil Samples

D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing

D5720 Practice for Static Calibration of Electronic Transducer-Based Pressure Measurement Systems for Geotechnical Purposes

D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

D6027 Practice for Calibrating Linear Displacement Transducers for Geotechnical Purposes

D6519 Practice for Sampling of Soil Using the Hydraulically Operated Stationary Piston Sampler

D6913 Test Methods for Particle-Size Distribution (Gradation) of Soils Using Sieve Analysis

D7015 Practices for Obtaining Intact Block (Cubical and Cylindrical) Samples of Soils

**ICS Code**

ICS Number Code 93.020 (Earth works. Excavations. Foundation construction. Underground works)

**UNSPSC Code**

UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)

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**DOI:** 10.1520/D4186_D4186M-12

**Citation Format**

ASTM D4186 / D4186M-12, Standard Test Method for One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties of Saturated Cohesive Soils Using Controlled-Strain Loading, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2012, www.astm.org

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