Work Item
ASTM WK80449

New Test Method for Water soluble sulfates in construction soils

1. Scope

1.1 These methods determine the water soluble sulfate content of cohesive soils by using the colorimetric technique. Two methods are presented in this standard. Method A is for use in the field and Method B is for use in the laboratory. The colorimetric technique involves measuring the scattering of a light beam through a solution that contains suspended particulate matter. Measurements of sulfate concentrations in soils can be used to guide professionals in the selection of appropriate stabilization methods.


Colorimetric; clay; ettringite; stabilization; sulfates; thaumasite; water soluble sulfates


There is currently no ASTM method for the rapid determination of water soluble sulfates in construction soils. Sulfate reactions may cause deterioration in concrete structures. In addition, expansive reactions may occur in clay soils when sulfates combine with calcium based reagents added to stabilize the soils. The subcommittee has been encouraged by geotechnical consultants and a government agency to develop an ASTM standard that details test methods to identify the presence of water soluble sulfates in soils.

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: 01-08-2022

Technical Contact: Kendra Adams

Item: 001

Ballot: D18.06 (22-02)

Status: Negative Votes Need Resolution

Item: 003

Ballot: D18 (22-01)

Status: Will Reballot Item