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ASTM D4643

2017 Edition, February 1, 2017

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Standard Test Method for Determination of Water Content of Soil and Rock by Microwave Oven Heating

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2017 Edition, February 1, 2017
  • Published Date: February 1, 2017
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: ASTM International (ASTM)
  • Page Count: 7
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: Yes

Description / Abstract:

This test method outlines procedures for determining the water content of soils by incrementally drying soil in a microwave oven.

This test method can be used as a substitute for Test Method D2216 when more rapid results are desired to expedite other phases of testing and slightly less accurate results are acceptable.

When questions of accuracy between this test method and Test Method D2216 arise, Test Method D2216 shall be the referee method.

This test method is applicable for most soil types. For some soils, such as those containing significant amounts of halloysite, mica, montmorillonite, gypsum or other hydrated materials, highly organic soils, or soils in which the pore water contains significant amounts of dissolved solids (such as salt in the case of marine deposits), this test method may not yield reliable water content values due to the potential for heating above 110°C or lack of means to account for the presence of precipitated solids that were previously dissolved.

The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. Performance of the test method utilizing another system of units shall not be considered non-conformance. The sieve designations are identified using the “standard” system in accordance with Specification E11, such as 2.0-mm and 19-mm, followed by the “alternative” system of No. 10 and 3⁄4-in., respectively, in parentheses.

All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026, unless otherwise superseded by this standard.

The procedures used to specify how data are collected/ recorded or calculated in this standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user’s objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of this standard to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering design.

Significant digits are especially important if the water content will be used to calculate other relationships such as moist mass to dry mass or vice versa, wet unit weight to dry unit weight or vice versa, and total density to dry density or vice versa. For example, if four significant digits are required in any of the above calculations, then the water content has to be recorded to the nearest 0.1 %, for water contents below 100 %. This occurs since 1 plus the water content (not in percent) will have four significant digits regardless of what the value of the water content is (below 100 %); that is, 1 plus 0.1/100 = 1.001, a value with four significant digits. While, if three significant digits are acceptable, then the water content can be recorded to the nearest 1 %.

This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. See Section 7.

*A Summary of Changes section appears at the end of this standard