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Lab Services: Soil testing

Lab Services: Soil testing

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Test Method Title

Standard Practice for X-Ray Radiography of Soil Samples

Reference Number

ASTM D4452



Test Property

X-Ray Images

Description of Test

This practice covers the determination of the quality of soil samples in thin wall tubes or of extruded cores by X-ray radiography. This practice enables the user to determine the effects of sampling and natural variations within samples as identified by the extent of the relative penetration of X-rays through soil samples. This practice can be used to X-ray cores (or observe their features on a fluoroscope) in thin wall tubes or liners ranging from approximately 2 to 6 in. (51 to 152 mm) in diameter. X-rays of samples in the larger diameter tubes provide a radiograph of major features of soils and disturbances, such as large scale bending of edges of varved clays, shear planes, the presence of large concretions, silt and sand seams thicker than 1/4 in. (6.4 mm), large lumps of organic matter, and voids or other types of intrusions. X-rays of the smaller diameter cores provide higher resolution of soil features and disturbances, such as small concretions (1/8 in. (3.2 mm) diameter or larger), solution channels, slight bending of edges of varved clays, thin silt or sand seams, narrow solution channels, plant root structures, and organic matter. The X-raying of samples in thin wall tubes or liners requires minimal preparation.

Preferred Test Sample Size

Number of Test Specimens


Test Specimen Size

1 Shelby tube


X-Ray, Shelby tube, radiography, images

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