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Field Services: Soil testing

Field Services: Soil testing

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Test Method Title

Standard Test Method for Density and Unit Weight of Soil in Place by the Sand-Cone Method

Reference Number

ASTM D1556


Field Soil

Test Property

Dry density and moisture content of in-situ soil

Description of Test

A small hole is dug in the soil layer of interest and the soil removed is retained. The volume of the hole is determined by filling the hole with a free flowing sand of known density and the volume is determined. The in-place wet density of the soil is determined by dividing the wet mass of the removed material by the volume of the hole. The water content of the material from the hole is determined and the dry mass of the materials and the in-place dry density are calculated using the wet mass of the soil, the water content and the volume of the hole.

Preferred Test Sample Size

Number of Test Specimens

project specific

Test Specimen Size

dependent upon maximum particle size; typically between 0.05 and 0.1 cubic feet


sand cone, density, compaction

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