Particle Size Distribution and Sand Equivalent Value

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The analysis of soils by particle size provides a useful engineering classification system from which a considerable amount of empirical data can be obtained. Two separate and different procedures are used. Sieving is used for gravel and sand size particles and sedimentation procedures are used for the finer soils.

For soil containing a range of coarse and fine particles it is usual to employ a composite test of sieving and sedimentation procedures. The Sand Equivalent Test serves as a rapid field test to show the relative proportions of clay-like or plastic fines and dusts in granular soils and fine aggregates.

Constant Temperature Bath

Model No. Voltage
24-4865/01 220 - 240 V AC, 50/60 Hz, 1 ph

Sedimentation by the Hydrometer Method

This method determines particle size distribution in a soil from the coarse sand size down to clay size (about 2 μm). The test does not require the weighing accuracy necessary for pipette sedimentation and is suitable for use in site laboratories.

Sieving method

Particle size distribution is one of the most important physical characteristics of soil and classification of soils is based on the particle size distribution. Test methods are applicable to non-cemented soils with particles less than 125 mm and less than 10% fines.

Sand Equivalent Value

This test method assigns an empirical value to the relative amount, fineness, and character of claylike material present in the test specimen.

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