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Soil Compaction Tests

There are many types of Soil compaction tests which are performed on soil. Some of these are :-

1) The Sand Cone Method
One of the most common test to determine the field density of soil is the sand-cone method. But it has a major limitation that this test is not suitable for saturated and soft soils

The formula used are
Volume of soil, ft3 (m3)=[weight of sand filling hole, lb (kg)] /[ Density of sand, lb/ft3 (kg/m3)]

% Moisture = 100(weight of moist soil – weight of dry soil)/weight of dry soil

Field density, lb/ft3 (kg /m3)=weight of soil, lb (kg)/volume of soil, ft3 (m3)

Dry density=field density/(1 + % moisture/100)

% Compaction=100 (dry density)/max dry density

Maximum density is found by plotting a density–moisture curve.

2) California Bearing Ratio
The California bearing ratio (CBR) is used as a determine the quality of strength of a soil under a pavement. It also measures the thickness of the pavement, its base, and other layers.
CBR = F/Fo
F = force per unit area required to penetrate a soil mass with a 3-in2 (1935.6-mm2 ) circular piston (about 2 in (50.8 mm) in diameter) at the rate of 0.05 in/min (1.27 mm/min)

F0 = force per unit area required for corresponding penetration of a standard material.

3) Soil Permeability
Darcy’s law is applicable in determining the soil permeability. Darcy law states that
V = kiA

V = rate of flow, cm3 /s,
A = cross-sectional area of soil conveying flow, cm2
k = Coefficient of permeability which depends on grain-size distribution, void ratio and soil fabric. The value varies from 10 cm/s for gravel to less than 10–7 for clays.

To check Various Lab Test On Soil see this

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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44 comments on "Soil Compaction Tests"

amoo says:

how many types of compaction test do we have? name them all and the equipment to be used in any ordinary compaction lab.

Zmariali Rahmani says:

Hi this is zmariali Rahmani student of civil engineering faculty in Afghanistan so if there is sieve analysis test file with equipments pictures and compaction and also proctor test methods so please send to my email address thanks and best regards

Rohish kumar says:

I need field compaction soil testing calculation formate.
please send me on my mail ID.
Thanking u.
with Regards
Rohish Kumar

B ramaseshu says:

Please send me soil compaction test formula with sample calculation

Muhammed ramatu says:

Pls i need the procedure for carrying out soil compaction test.


I am a civil engineering student in the University of Nigria Nsukka, Nigeria. I really appreciate this site for the rich information I get from it. Keep it up! I am writing my project presently on the topic; Suitability of waste oil and cement kiln dust as additivees in cement stabilized soil. I will welcom any assistance throuh my E-mail address as given above.

Ajay pal says:

Hi this is ajay pal student of civil engineering in hazaribagh so if there is sieve analysis test file with equipments pictures and compaction and also proctor test methods so please send to my email address thanks and best regards

balu says:

Please send me the limiting value range of compaction

Nagesh Ghodake says:

plz msge me how can test of murun filling after compaction ( on field test )

khalil says:

what dose CBR rate meanse( 7%, 40% or 80%),please clarify this issue for me


Dear sir please tell me about brike test method strenth limit and water absorption limit.

suresh kumar says:

sir please send me detail of compaction testing formula of road

yuvaraj says:

dear sir,
am completed one year experince with civil field.plese tips for me sir…..

Sengoye Samuel says:

i would like to get a pictorial copy of soil colors and their corresponding soil classification names.

Francis Muendo says:

(i) Describe the process for carrying out soil compaction test.
(ii) Name the apparatus used in soil compaction process

Ernest Ankah says:

i)Soil compaction test is performed in layers using apparatus .ii)Apparatus use in compaction are spensablock color carter mould ramar etc…

csjadhav says:

sir,if the moisture content is high & the result of compaction is above 125% & the soil is wet. is the compaction done is OK

Mohamed Fathhee says:

Requirement to do the sand cone test after compacting soil in field.?
Connection between value of proctor density and density gain from sand cone test…?

kamal basha says:

hi there can i know what is the format for doing the compaction test for geotecnical engineering.

Aleksandra says:

Hi there,
I’m a civil engineering student and I’m doing a project about soil compaction. I would really appreciate if anyone can help me with finding more articles or any usefull infomations about RELATIVE soil compaction.
Please check your archives maybe you will find something.
Thanks anyway.

sivaram marupaka says:

please send a formatt for compaction test in labs

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