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New ASTM International Soil and Rock Test Method Combines Elements from Soil Density and Water Content Standards


ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil and Rock has developed a new standard that describes procedures for measuring in-place density and moisture of soil and soil-aggregate by the use of nuclear equipment. The new standard, D 6938, Test Methods for In-Place Density and Water Content of Soil and Soil-Aggregate by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth), is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D18.08 on Construction Control Tests. It combines information contained in two other D18.08 standards, D 2922, Test Methods for Density of Soil and Soil-Aggregate in Place by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth), and D 3017, Test Method for Water Content of Soil and Rock in Place by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth). Test Methods D 6938 will replace standards D 2922 and D 3017.
According to Robert Joines, Subcommittee D18.08 chair and southern branch manager with Troxler Electronic Laboratories, the subcommittee was involved with American Association of State Highway and Transportation officials in updating their matching nuclear gauge density and moisture test standards. “The AASHTO task group decided to combine both standards into one combined standard,” says Joines. “The D18.08 members who were involved agreed that a combined moisture density standard would benefit ASTM standards users as well.
With the combining of D 2922 and D 3017 into D 6938, users of nuclear gauge equipment will now only need to refer to one standard rather than two when doing soil compaction testing. Joines notes that everyone involved in soil compaction quality control/quality assurance testing, including engineering and testing laboratories, state, local and federal transportation departments and earthwork contractors, will benefit from the new Test Methods D 6938.
Subcommittee D18.08 welcomes input from all interested parties in their standards developing activities. Joines says that the subcommittee would particularly like to see more involvement from firms involved in earthwork construction since this is an area covered in most D18.08 standards.
ASTM International standards are available for purchase from Customer Service (phone: 610/832-9585; or at For further technical information, contact Robert Joines, Troxler Electronic Laboratories, Inc., Brentwood, Tenn. (phone: 615/331-8537; Committee D18 meets Jan. 28-31, 2007, at the January Committee Week in Costa Mesa, Calif. For membership or meeting information, contact Robert Morgan, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9732;


Release #7541


November 1, 2006

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