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    ASTM D558 / D558M - 19

    Standard Test Methods for Moisture-Density (Unit Weight) Relations of Soil-Cement Mixtures

    Active Standard ASTM D558 / D558M | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.15

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08

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    Significance and Use

    5.1 These tests determine the optimum water content and maximum density (unit weight) to be used for molding soil-cement specimens in accordance with Test Methods D559/D559M and D560/D560M.

    Note 1: Since these tests are used in conjunction with Test Methods D559/D559M and D560/D560M and the criteria referenced therein, the test differs in several aspects from Test Method D698. There are three main differences between this standard and Test Method D698. Firstly, this standard allows a maximum particle size of 3/4-in. [19.0 mm] for a 4-in. [101.6-mm] mold while Test Method D698 allows a maximum particle size of 3/8-in. [9.5-mm] for the same size mold. Secondly, this standard permits the material leftover after the water content specimen has been obtained to be mixed with the rest of the sample and reused for the next determination. Test Method D698 does not permit the material to be reused. Thirdly, this standard allows the material that is retained on the 3/4-in. [19.0-mm] and passing the 3-in. [75-mm] to be discarded (scalping technique) and replaced with an equal mass of material that passes the 3/4-in. [19.0-mm] sieve and is retained on the No.4 [4.75-mm] sieve. Test Method D698 does not permit the scalp and replacement technique.

    Note 2: The quality of the result produced by this standard 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 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 assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover the determination of the relationship between the water content and the density of soil-cement mixtures when compacted before cement hydration as prescribed.

    1.2 A 0.0333-ft3 [944-cm3] mold and a 5.50-lbf [24.5-N or mass of 2.5-kg] rammer dropped from a height of 12.0 in. [30.5 cm] are used and two methods, depending on soil gradation, are covered, as follows:



    Test Method A, using soil material passing a No. 4 [4.75-mm] sieve. This method shall be used when 100 % of the soil sample passes the No. 4 [4.75-mm] sieve


    Test Method B, using soil material passing a 3/4-in. [19.0-mm] sieve. This method shall be used when part of the soil sample is retained on the No. 4 [4.75-mm] sieve. This test method may be used only on materials with 30 % or less retained on the 3/4-in. [19.0-mm] sieve


    1.3 Units—The values stated in inch-pound units or SI units 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 nonconformance with the standard.

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

    1.3.2 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. 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/ft3 shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.

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

    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 the 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.

    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.

    ASTM Standards

    C150/C150M Specification for Portland Cement

    C595/C595M Specification for Blended Hydraulic Cements

    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))

    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

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

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

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    E11 Specification for Woven Wire Test Sieve Cloth and Test Sieves

    ICS Code

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

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D0558_D0558M-19

    Citation Format

    ASTM D558 / D558M-19, Standard Test Methods for Moisture-Density (Unit Weight) Relations of Soil-Cement Mixtures , ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2019, www.astm.org

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