Work Item
ASTM WK71902

New Test Method for Measuring the Electrical Resistivity of Coarse Grained Material in a Laboratory

1. Scope

1. Scope 1.1 Electrical resistivity is routinely used in the evaluation of soil for the corrosion potential of embedded steel construction members as well as electrical grounding potential. Test methods available for the measurement of resistivity are limited to soils and do not readily recognize considerations for testing coarse grained materials. 1.2 It is desirable to measure the electrical resistivity of coarse grained materials such as railroad ballast, electrical substation surfacing material (yardstone), and mechanically stabilized earth embankments. 1.3 This test method will discuss a test procedure to measure the electrical resistivity of coarse grained material. 1.4 Considerations will be proposed to measure and document the variables contributing to the resistive properties. Variables being considered will include maximum particle size, unit density, moisture content, and the conductivity of reagent water. 1.5 Test apparatus will accommodate maximum particle size and considerations for the horizontal or vertical orientation of the test. 1.6 The term coarse grained materials in this guide refers to soil containing coarse grained materials and coarse grained materials that are routinely processed for use in construction. Particles are routinely separated and recombined or portions removed to create a construction material of a specific grading. The graded material is often relied on to exhibit electrically resistive properties. This guide will provide suggestions to be considered when measuring the electrical resistivity of these various construction materials.


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This guide proposes variables to be considered when testing and measuring the electrical resistivity of soils and a variety of materials used in construction. This guide includes considerations for apparatus used for testing, monitoring physical properties of the materials being tested, as well as documenting the test conditions of the material that may impact the measured resistivity. There is currently not a standard in ASTM International that describes these activities. This guide would be beneficial to engineers and designers when specifying the electrical resistivity of a variety of soils and construction materials that are not specifically addressed in current test methods. This guide includes considerations for testing of soil and construction materials in conditions expected or specified for construction.

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: 02-11-2020

Technical Contact: John Edlebeck

Item: 001

Ballot: D18.06 (22-03)

Status: Negative Votes Need Resolution