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Lab Services: Soil testing

Lab Services: Soil testing

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Test Method Title

Standard Test Method for Density of Soil in Place by the Drive-Cylinder Method

Reference Number

ASTM D2937



Test Property


Description of Test

This test method covers the determination of in-place density of soil by the drive-cylinder method. The test method involves obtaining a relatively undisturbed soil sample by driving a thin-walled cylinder and the subsequent activities for the determination of in-place density. This test method may also be used to determine the in-place density of compacted soils used in construction of structural fill, highway embankments, or earth dams. When the in-place density is to be used as a basis for acceptance, the drive cylinder volumes must be as large as practical and not less than .03 ft³ (850 cm³). This test method is not recommended for use in organic or friable soils. This test method may not be applicable for soft, highly plastic, noncohesive, saturated or other soils which are easily deformed, compress during sampling, or which may not be retained in the drive cylinder. The use of this test method in soils containing particles coarser than 4.75 mm may result in damage to the drive cylinder equipment. Soils containing particles coarser than 4.75 mm may not yield valid results if voids are created along the wall of cylinder during driving, or if particles are dislodged from the sample ends during trimming. The general principles of this test method have been successfully used to obtain samples for purposes other than density determination, such as the testing for engineering properties.

Preferred Test Sample Size

Number of Test Specimens


Test Specimen Size

2.87 in diameter x 5 ft Shelby tube


Compaction control, density testing, drive cylinder, drive cylinder test, field density, in-place density, plug sampler, quality control, subsurface sampler, surface sampler, unit weight

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