ASTM D4221-11

    Standard Test Method for Dispersive Characteristics of Clay Soil by Double Hydrometer


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    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method, when used in conjunction with a test performed by Test Method D422 on a duplicate soil sample, provides an indication of the natural dispersive characteristics of clay soils (1).

    1.2 This test method is applicable only to soils with a plasticity index greater than 4 as determined in accordance with Test Method D4318 and more than 12 % of the soil fraction finer than 5-μm as determined in accordance with Test Method D422 (2).

    1.3 This test method is similar to Test Method D422, except that this method covers the determination of percent of soil particles smaller than 5-μm in diameter in a soil-water suspension without mechanical agitation and to which no dispersing agent has been added.

    1.4 The amount of particles smaller than 5-μm determined by this method compared with the total amount of particles smaller than 5-μm determined by Test Method D422 is a measure of the dispersive characteristics of the soil.

    1.5 This test method may not identify all dispersive clay soils. Pinholes (Test Method D4647 and crumb tests, or both, (3-5)or the analysis of pore water extract (4-7) may be performed to help verify dispersion.

    1.6 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.8 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

    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 Procedures)

    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/D4220M Practices for Preserving and Transporting Soil Samples

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

    D4542 Test Methods for Pore Water Extraction and Determination of the Soluble Salt Content of Soils by Refractometer

    D4647/D4647M Test Methods for Identification and Classification of Dispersive Clay Soils by the Pinhole Test

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    D6572 Test Methods for Determining Dispersive Characteristics of Clayey Soils by the Crumb Test

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

    D7928 Test Method for Particle-Size Distribution (Gradation) of Fine-Grained Soils Using the Sedimentation (Hydrometer) Analysis


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.100.15 (Mineral materials and products)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111800(Clays)


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
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    DOI: 10.1520/D4221-11

    Citation Format

    ASTM D4221-11, Standard Test Method for Dispersive Characteristics of Clay Soil by Double Hydrometer, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2011, www.astm.org

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