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Significance and Use
5.1 This test method is useful as a rapid, nondestructive technique for the calculation of the in-place density of soil and rock at desired depths below the surface as opposed to surface measurements in accordance with Test Method . Alternative destructive methods are likewise described in this test method.
5.2 This test method is useful for informational and research purposes, only to be used for quality control and acceptance testing when correlated to other accepted methods such as Test Method .
5.3 The non-destructive nature of the test method allows repetitive measurements to be made at a single test location for statistical analysis and to monitor changes over time.
5.4 The fundamental assumptions inherent in this test method are that Compton scattering and photoelectric absorption are the dominant interactions of the gamma rays with the material under test.
5.5 The probe response, in counts, may be converted to wet density by comparing the detected rate of gamma radiation with previously established calibration data (see ).
5.6 The probe count response may also be utilized directly for unitless, relative comparison with other probe readings
5.6.1 For materials of densities higher than that of about the density of water, higher count rates within the same soil type relate to lower densities and, conversely, lower count rates within the same soil type relate to higher densities.
5.6.2 For materials of densities lower than the density of water, higher count rates within the same soil type relate to higher densities and, conversely, lower count rates within the same soil type relate to lower densities.
5.6.3 Because of the functional inflection of probe response for densities near the density of water, exercise great care when drawing conclusions from probe response in this density range.
Note 1: The quality of the result produced by this standard test method is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection, and the like. Users of this test method are cautioned that compliance with Practice does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.
1.1 This test method covers the calculation of the wet density of soil and rock by the attenuation of gamma radiation, where the gamma source and the gamma detector are placed at the desired depth in a bored hole, typically lined by an access tube.
1.1.1 For limitations see Section , “Interference.”
1.2 The wet density, in mass per unit volume of the material under test, is calculated by comparing the detected rate of gamma radiation with previously established calibration data (see ).
1.3 Units—The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system are not necessarily exact equivalents; therefore, to ensure conformance with the standard, each system shall be used independently of the other, and values from the two systems shall not be combined. Within the text of this standard, SI units appear first followed by the inch-pound (or other non-SI) units in brackets.
1.3.1 Reporting the test results in units other than SI shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.
1.4 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guide for significant digits and rounding established in Practice .
1.4.1 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.
1.5 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific precautionary statements are given in Section , “Hazards.”
1.6 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.
D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids
D1452/D1452M Practice for Soil Exploration and Sampling by Auger Borings
D1587/D1587M Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Fine-Grained Soils for Geotechnical Purposes
D2113 Practice for Rock Core Drilling and Sampling of Rock for Site Exploration
D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass
D2937 Test Method for Density of Soil in Place by the Drive-Cylinder Method
D3441 Test Method for Mechanical Cone Penetration Testing 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
D4428/D4428M Test Methods for Crosshole Seismic Testing
D5220/D5220M Test Method for Water Mass per Unit Volume of Soil and Rock In-Place by the Neutron Depth Probe Method
D5778 Test Method for Electronic Friction Cone and Piezocone Penetration Testing of Soils
D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits and Data Records in Geotechnical Data
D6938 Test Methods for In-Place Density and Water Content of Soil and Soil-Aggregate by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth)
D7263 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Density and Unit Weight of Soil Specimens
ICS Number Code 93.020 (Earth works. Excavations. Foundation construction. Underground works)
UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil); 41114000(Rock and strata measuring equipment)
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ASTM D5195-21, Standard Test Method for Density of Soil and Rock In-Place at Depths Below Surface by Nuclear Methods, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2021, www.astm.orgBack to Top