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Student should be able to : Determine the in situ density of natural or
compacted soils using sand pouring
By conducting this test it is possible to determine the field density of the soil. The
moisture content is likely to vary from time and hence the field density also. So it is
required to report the test result in terms of dry density. The relationship that can be
established between the dry density with known moisture content is as follows:
This test is to be conducted by laboratory staff to determine the degree of
compaction after the layer of sand fill or DG material has been compacted .
1. Hand dig an insitu core sample from the compacted soil and weigh to get the mass of test
sample . [ Note : It is usually to pick out the occasional gravels and cobbles that are of relatively
big size before weighing since they are not the same type of material as the sample]
2. Pour into the subsequent void with fine sand of consistent and known density ( eg. Quartz
sand ) to calculate the volume of the void which is equivalent to the volume of the test sample. [
Note : Put back the gravels and cobbles into the void before pouring in with quartz sand ]
3. Get the mass of the sample after oven-dried and divided by the volume of void to obtain the
dry density of the sample .
4. Divide the dry density of sample by the proctor test result , ie. the maximum dry density of the
respective sample to obtain the relative percentage of compaction .
5. The acceptance criteria for these percentage depends on the specification requirements and
is generally as follows : * No less than 98% within 150mm below formation level .
*No less than 95% between 150mm and 1200mm below formation .
*No less than 90% beyond 1200mm below formation level .
4. Metal containers
5. Metal tray
5. Pan Balance – sensitive to 0.1 gram
1) Fill the sand-pouring cylinder with sand, within about 10mm of its top.
Determine the mass of the cylinder (M1) to the nearest gram.
2) Place the sand-pouring cylinder vertically on the calibrating container.
Open the shutter to allow the sand run out from the cylinder. When
there is no further movement of the sand in the cylinder, close the
3) Lift the pouring cylinder from the calibrating container and weigh it to
the nearest gram (M3).
4) Again fill the pouring cylinder with sand, within 10mm of its top.
5) Open the shutter and allow the sand to run out of the cylinder. When
the volume of the sand let out is equal to the volume of the calibrating
container, close the shutter.
6) Place the cylinder over a plane surface, such as a glass plate. Open the
shutter. The sand fills the cone of the cylinder. Close the shutter when
no further movement of sand takes place.
7) Remove the cylinder. Collect the sand left on the glass plate.
Determine the mass of sand (M2) that had filled the cone by weighing
the collected sand.
8) Determine the dry density of sand, as shown in the data sheet, part-I.
ii) determination of bulk density of soil
1. Place the sand pouring cylinder concentrically on the top of the calibrating
container with the shutter closed making sure that constant mass (M0) is
2. Open the shutter of cylinder and allow the sandto move into the container.
When no futher movement is seen, close the shutter and find the mass of
sand left in the cylinder (M2)
3. Repeat step 2-3 at least thrice and find the mean mass (M2)
iii) determination of field density of soil
1) Level surface of the soil inthe open field
2) Place metal tray on the surface haring a circular hole of 10cm diameter at
the center. Dig a hole of this diameter up to about 15 cm dept. Collect all the
excavation soil in a tray and find the mass of excavation soil (M)
3) Remove the tray and place the sand-pouring cylinder concentrically on the
hole. Open the shutter and allow the sand to run into the hole till no futher
movement of sand is noticed. Close the shutter and determine mass of sand
which is left in the cylinder , (M3)
4) The representative sample is taken from the excavated soil for
determination of water content..
DATA & RESULT
Determination of mass of and in the cone
Volume of calibrating container (m3), Vc
Mass of sand in cylinder before pouring (M0) (kg)
Mean mass of sand in cone, (M1) (kg)
Determination of bulk density of sand
Mean mass of sand leave in cylinder after pouring
Mass of sand filling calibratung container (Mc = M0 –
M 1 – M2 )
Bulk density of sand (ρs = Mc / Vc ) (kg/m3)
Determination bulk density and unit weight of soil
Mass of wet soil from the hole (M) (kg)
Mass of sand in cylinder after pouring in the hole (M2) (kg)
Mass of sand in the hole, (Ms = M0 – M1 – M3 ) (kg)
Bulk density of soil , ρ = M / Ms x ρs (kg/m3)
Dry density of sand ρd = ρ / ( 1 + w )
No of cone
Water Content %
Vc = πr2h
= π (5)2 (0.145)
= 11.39 m3
Mc = M0 – M1 – M2
Mc = (9.374 – 0.494 – 7.299)
ρs= Mc / Vc
= (1.581 / 11.39 )
= 0.139 kg/m3
Ms = M0 – M1 – M3
= (9.374 – 0.494 – 7.127 )
= 1.753 kg
ρ = M / Ms x ρs
= 1.169 / ( 1.753 x 0.139 )
= 4.798 kg/m3
ρd = ρ / ( 1 + w )
= 4.798 / (1 + 0.065 )
1. What is the objective of sand replacement test?
Determine the in situ density of natural or compacted soils using sand pouring cylinders.
2. What is the relationship that can be established between the dry density with known
3. What are the apparatus that need in this test?
There are Sand pouring cylinder,tools for excavating holes,cylindrical calibrating
container,metal containers,metal tray,weight scales.
4. Discuss the different method of compaction of :
a) Cohesionless soil
b) Cohesive soil
c) Cohension less soils cannot be compacted by static pressure, vibration is
the only effective method.
d) Cohesive soils are not susceptible to vibration, static pressure is the
method of compaction for cohesive soils and kneading also works.
What we can conclude from the test is sand replacement is determine the in situ density of natural
or compacted soils using sand pouring cylinders.
The relationship that can be established between the dry density with known moisture content is as
Sand replacement method (standard method, but does not apply to fill a big stone embankment
and other porous materials, holes or large degree of compaction test) is the use of the basic
principles of particle size 0.30 ~ 0.60mm or 0.25 ~ 0.50mm uniform clean sand, from the the
whereabouts of a certain high degree of freedom to the test inside the cave, according to their unit
weight the same principle to measure the volume of test hole (ie, using standard test hole sand to
replace the aggregate), and in accordance with the moisture content of aggregate to calculate the
sample The measured dry density.
1. Donald Mcglinchey, Characterisation of bulk solids, 2005, CRC Press DT Afrika.
2. Mazlan Mohammad Abdul Hamid, Standard aggregate sieve analysis TEST, ASTM International Standards Worldwide, (July 2008) ASTM C136-06, retrived from http://www.astm.org/
3. Norliza Muhammad, concrete laboratory,(2006). Gradation Test. (2007), Norliza Muhammad,
Data and analysis