3 Different Methods For Measuring Soil Density

instruments for Measuring Soil Density


Soil compaction is performed at very construction projects to improve the strength and stability of the soil. This strength and stability are of soil are essential as it provides the required support to the earthworks, pavements, etc. Various techniques could be used to improved and thereby achieve the maximum soil density, and to ensure these are achieved, one can always check the outcomes through the help of various standard testing methods.

To check that the soil dry density and moisture content is required through any of the various soil compaction tests. The results collected through the test are then compared with the proctor test that acts as a benchmark. To get reliable and accurate results, it is recommended to use the lab samples that are generated through a proctored test from the same source as the field project. The test can be done through different methods. Some of the widely accepted and used methods are mentioned below:

  • Sand cone testing: Sand cone testing is one of the reliable methods of testing the moisture content and the soil density. This method has been widely used and is one of the oldest and most trusted methods in use. The material and equipment used in this are not hazardous and are user-friendly. This method is an ASTM standard test. The biggest reason for its wide acceptance that this method is easy to implement, and thereby there is no extensive training to check the moisture content and the soil density. This method can be used without any requirement of licensing or any other permission. This is a cost-effective way of soil compact testing. However, this test also suffers from certain limitations. The testing requires at least 30 minutes. Also, this testing method is not suitable for saturated and highly plastic soil.
  • Rubber Balloon Testing: Rubber balloon testing shares its various features with sand cone testing. This method, however, is much easier and more time-saving as compared to sand cone testing. Anyone can perform this testing as there is no requirement of a license for it. This method is also ASTM standard. One of the biggest benefits of using this method of soil testing is that this method allows for multiple tests and too without any change in the density media. Before using this method, it is important to know about its cons as well. The balloon membrane can get punctured during the procedure, thus hindering the whole process. Besides this, the method is not suitable for plastic and saturated soil.
  • Nuclear Density test: Nuclear density testing is known for its accurate and reliable testing. This has made it quite popular. Besides, this method allows for testing soil density and moisture content to get over with it in just a few minutes. This method is perfect for a large project that requires many tests in a single day. Another reason to use this method that it provides accurate results for various types of soil. However, this method is highly costly. Besides this, it is not possible to use the method prior to proper training.

Hence these are the widely accepted soil testing methods. One can choose among these three as per their needs and requirements.



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