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    ASTM D4380 - 20

    Standard Test Method for Determining Density of Construction Slurries

    Active Standard ASTM D4380 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.16

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This test method is used to determine the density of construction slurries in the laboratory and field. For freshly mixed slurry, this test method may be used as an indicator of mix proportions. For in-trench slurry or in-borehole slurry, a certain value may be specified for maintaining trench or borehole stability.

    Note 1: The quality of the result produced by this standard depends on the competence of the personnel performing it and the suitability of the equipment and facilities being 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 ensure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the density of slurries used in slurry construction techniques, such as those used to drill borings, maintain trench stability, perform ground improvement, and form hydraulic barriers. This test method is modified from API Recommended Practice 13B.

    1.2 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are provided for information only and are not considered standard. Reporting of test results in units other than SI shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.

    1.2.1 Note that unitless specific gravity is equivalent to SI density in g/cm3.

    1.2.2 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 practice implicitly combines two separate systems of units; the absolute and the gravitational systems. 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 of mass. However, the use of balances and scales recording pounds of mass (lbm) or recording density in lbm/ft3 shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.

    1.3 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026, unless superseded by this test method.

    1.3.1 For purposes of comparing a measured or calculated value(s) with specified limits, the measured or calculated value(s) shall be rounded to the nearest decimal of significant digits in the specified limit.

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

    1.4 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard

    API RP 13B

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    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


    ICS Code

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

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111804(Bentonite)


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D4380-20

    Citation Format

    ASTM D4380-20, Standard Test Method for Determining Density of Construction Slurries, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2020, www.astm.org

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