SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1973

Statistical Significance of the Relative Density


On the basis of a series of laboratory tests and a literature survey, the maximum and minimum densities for the determination of the relative density of sands involve random errors from a fraction of one percent to one percent, and systematic errors reaching several percent.

Concerning random errors in density measurements, the coefficient of variation of the relative density is expressed as a function of those of the specimen density and the limiting densities. For given dispersion in the densities, the coefficient of variation of the relative density increase rapidly as the relative density decreases.

A numerical analysis of the influence of systematic errors in the limiting densities on the reliability of the relative density shows that the relative deviation in the relative density may reach tens of percent if arbitrary methods are used.

In view of the sensitivity of the relative density to variations in the density measurements, the need for rigidly standardized test methods for the limiting densities is emphasized, and criteria for the standard methods are suggested.

Author Information

Yoshimi, Y
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Tohno, I
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 74–84
DOI: 10.1520/STP37864S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5534-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0081-7