Standard Historical Last Updated: Feb 07, 2017 Track Document
ASTM D4015-15

Standard Test Methods for Modulus and Damping of Soils by Fixed-Base Resonant Column Devices

Standard Test Methods for Modulus and Damping of Soils by Fixed-Base Resonant Column Devices D4015-15 ASTM|D4015-15|en-US Standard Test Methods for Modulus and Damping of Soils by Fixed-Base Resonant Column Devices Standard new BOS Vol. 04.08 Committee D18
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Significance and Use

5.1 The equivalent elastic shear modulus and damping capacity of a given soil, as measured by the resonant column technique herein described, depend upon the strain amplitude of vibration, the state of effective stress, and the void ratio of the soil, temperature, time, etc. Since the application and control of the static axial and lateral stresses and the void ratio are not prescribed in these methods, the applicability of the results to field conditions will depend on the degree to which the application and control of the static axial and lateral stresses and the void ratio, as well as other parameters such as soil structure, duplicate field conditions. The techniques used to simulate field conditions depend on many factors and it is up to the engineer to decide on which techniques apply to a given situation and soil type. The results of these tests are useful for calculations involving soil-structure interaction and seismic response of soil deposits.

Note 1: The quality of the results produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities. 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.


1.1 These test methods cover the determination of shear modulus and shear damping as a function of shear strain amplitude for solid cylindrical specimens of soil in intact and remolded conditions by vibration using resonant column devices. The vibration of the specimen may be superposed on a controlled static state of stress in the specimen. The vibration apparatus and specimen may be enclosed in a triaxial chamber and subjected to an all-around pressure and axial load. In addition, the specimen may be subjected to other controlled conditions (for example, pore-water pressure, degree of saturation, temperature). These test methods of modulus and damping determination are considered nondestructive when the shear strain amplitudes of vibration are less than 10–2 % (10–4 in./in.), and many measurements may be made on the same specimen and with various states of static stress.

1.2 Two device configurations are covered by these test methods: Device Type 1 where a known torque is applied to the top of the specimen and the resulting rotational motion is measured at the top of the specimen, and Device Type 2 where an uncalibrated torque is applied to the top of the specimen and the torque transmitted through the specimen is measured by a torque transducer at the base of the specimen. For both devices, the torque is applied to the active end (usually top) of the specimen and the rotational motion also is measured at the active end of the specimen.

1.3 These test methods are limited to the determination of the shear modulus and shear damping, the necessary vibration, and specimen preparation procedures related to the vibration, etc., and do not cover the application, measurement, or control of the axial and lateral static normal stresses. The latter procedures may be covered by, but are not limited to, Test Method D2850, D3999/D3999M, D4767, D5311/D5311M, or D7181.

1.4 Significant Digits—All recorded and calculated values shall conform to the guide 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 engineering design.

1.4.2 Measurements made to more significant digits or better sensitivity than specified in this standard shall not be regarded a nonconformance with this standard.

1.5 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to inch-pound units, which 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 these test methods.

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

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

1.6 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.08
Developed by Subcommittee: D18.09
Pages: 22
DOI: 10.1520/D4015-15
ICS Code: 93.020