Work Item
ASTM WK67195

New Test Method for Measuring the Erosion Function of a Soil

1. Scope

1.1 This test method covers the laboratory determination of the erosion function of a soil under laterally flowing water in an Erosion Function Apparatus (EFA). The erosion function is the site-specific relationships between the erosion rate of the soil and either the mean flow velocity or the hydraulic shear stress at the water-soil interface. The erosion function of the soil has applications in most engineering works impacted by scour and erosion.
1.2 The results obtained from this procedure are applicable to both coarse-grained and fine-grained soils.
NOTE 1—Similarly, a rock core sample can be extracted and placed into a thin-walled tube for rock erosion testing; however, details on sampling and testing the erosion function of rock are not included within this test standard.
1.3 The principle underlying this method is to collect a specimen from the site where erosion is being investigated and to test the specimen in the laboratory by flowing water laterally over it in a closed channel under a pressure flow condition and measuring its erosion rate. The sampling tube with the specimen is placed through the bottom of the rectangular flow channel where water is set to flow at a constant, specified velocity. The soil is pushed out of the sampling tube by a piston only as fast as the soil is eroded by the water flowing over it. For each specified water velocity, an erosion rate is measured, and a shear stress is calculated based on the Moody chart. The conversion from velocity to shear stress using the Moody chart requires the hydraulic diameter of the flow channel, the kinematic viscosity and mass density of the water, and the average roughness of the specimen surface after each specified velocity.
1.4 As a result of this test, a point-by-point erosion function is obtained for the tested specimen. The erosion function can be plotted as erosion rate-velocity and erosion rate-shear stress.
1.5 The critical velocity and critical shear stress of the specimen are determined as the point in the erosion function corresponding to an erosion rate of 0.1 mm/h.
1.6 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. Reporting of test results in units other than SI shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.
1.7 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.
1.7.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected, recorded, or calculated in the standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained.
1.8 The procedures used do not consider material or environmental variations, purpose(s) for obtaining the data, specialized studies, or any unique 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.
1.9 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.
1.10 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.


EFA; Erosion Function; Scour


This is an updated version of the WK67195 which was first submitted to the subcommittee in September 2019. With 38 votes returned, the document only received one negative vote. The document was then revised to address the negative vote and was re-submitted to the subcommittee in April 2020. With 47 votes returned, the document received one negative vote. The current version of the document is now revised to address the negative votes.
The standard discusses an erosion test apparatus called the Erosion Function Apparatus (EFA). In the early 1990s, the idea of the Erosion Function Apparatus (EFA) was first developed, established, and patented by Briaud at Texas A&M University. Today, the EFA is being manufactured by Humboldt, Inc. and used widely by many engineering organizations. This test was originally developed to evaluate the erodibility of a wide range of both cohesive and non-cohesive soils from clay and silt to sands and gravels, respectively.

The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.


Developed by Subcommittee: D18.06

Committee: D18

Staff Manager: Katerina Koperna

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 02-20-2019

Technical Contact: Iman Shafii

Item: 001

Ballot: D18.06 (19-04)

Status: Will Reballot Item

Item: 001

Ballot: D18.06 (20-02)

Status: Will Reballot Item

Item: 001

Ballot: D18.06 (21-02)

Status: Will Reballot Item