The Rapid Determination of the Moisture-Retention Characteristics of Soil

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Courtesy of ASTM International

A modified technique is described for determining the water-retention curve of a soil. The new technique allows the definition of a moisture-retention curve (typically six to seven data points) much more rapidly than is possible with conventional techniques such as the pressure plate apparatus. The full curve may be determined in four to six days compared with two to three weeks previously. Results are presented for three different soils. For one soil (a fly ash), comparative testing using the new technique and a conventional method shows good agreement. An added advantage of the new technique is that overall volume change of the soil specimen may be measured and not merely inferred from measurements of moisture outflow. Greater accuracy in determining the moisture-retention curve was thus obtained.

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