SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1970

Suggested Method of Test for Density of Soil and Soil-Aggregate in Place by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth)


This method describes procedures for determining the density of soil and soil-aggregate in place through the use of nuclear equipment. In general the total or wet density of the material under test is determined by placing a gamma source and a gamma detector either into, on, or adjacent to the material under test. These variations in test geometry are presented as the direct transmission, backscatter, or air gap approaches. The intensity of radiation detected is dependent upon the density of the material under test. The radiation intensity reading is converted to measured wet density by a suitable calibration curve. Principles of the nuclear test are discussed in the appendix, as are some of its advantages and disadvantages. It should be noted that the density determined by this method is not necessarily the average density within the volume involved in the measurement and that the equipment utilizes radioactive materials which may be hazardous to the health of users unless proper precautions are taken.

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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 480–489
DOI: 10.1520/STP38544S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5570-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0051-0