ASTM D4718/D4718M


Standard Practice for Correction of Unit Weight and Water Content for Soils Containing Oversize Particles

2015 Edition

Published by ASTM International, 12/15/2015


All of our standards are available in PDF (Portable Document Format), an electronic, downloadable format.

Multi-User Access

After purchasing, you have the ability to assign each license to a specific user.


At any time, you are permitted to make printed copies for your and your members' reference use.

ASTM D4718/D4718M, 2015 Edition – Standard Practice for Correction of Unit Weight and Water Content for Soils Containing Oversize Particle

This practice presents a procedure for calculating the unit weights and water contents of soils containing oversize particles when the data are known for the soil fraction with the oversize particles removed.

This practice also can be used to calculate the unit weights and water contents of soil fractions when the data are known for the total soil sample containing oversize particles.

This practice is based on tests performed on soils and soil-rock mixtures in which the portion considered oversize is that fraction of the material retained on the 4.75-mm [No. 4] sieve. Based on these tests, this practice is applicable to soils and soil-rock mixtures in which up to 40 % of the material is retained on the 4.75-mm [No. 4] sieve. The practice also is considered valid when the oversize fraction is that portion retained on some other sieve, but the limiting percentage of oversize particles for which the correction is valid may be lower. However, the practice is considered valid for materials having up to 30 % oversize particles when the oversize fraction is that portion retained on the 19-mm [34-in.] sieve.

The factor controlling the maximum permissible percentage of oversize particles is whether interference between the oversize particles affects the unit weight of the finer fraction. For some gradations, this interference may begin to occur at lower percentages of oversize particles, so the limiting percentage must be lower for these materials to avoid inaccuracies in the computed correction. The person or agency using this practice shall determine whether a lower percentage is to be used.

This practice may be applied to soils with any percentage of oversize particles subject to the limitations given in 1.3 and 1.4. However, the correction may not be of practical significance for soils with only small percentages of oversize particles. The person or agency specifying this practice shall specify a minimum percentage of oversize particles below which the practice need not be applied. If a minimum percentage is not specified, 5 % shall be used.

This practice may not be applicable to soil-rock mixtures which degrade under field compaction.

Units—The values stated in either SI Units or inchpound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in nonconformance with the standard.

It is common practice in the engineering profession to concurrently use pounds to represent both a unit of mass (lbm) and a force (lbf). This implicitly combines two separate systems of units; that is, the absolute system and the gravitational system. It is scientifically undesirable to combine the use of two separate sets of inch-pound units within a single standard. This standard has been written using the gravitational system of units when dealing with the inch-pound system. In this system, the pound (lbf) represents a unit of force (weight). However, the use of balances or scales recording pounds of mass (lbm) or the recording of density in lbm/ft3 shall not be regarded as a non conformance with this standard.

NOTE 1—Sieve size is identified by its standard designation in Specification E11. The alternative designation given in brackets is for information only and does not represent a different standard sieve size.

All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

The procedures used to specify how data are collected/ recorded and 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 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 commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of these test methods to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering design.

This practice offers a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this practice may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project’s many unique aspects. The word “Standard” in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.

NOTE 2—The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etc. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself ensure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

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

General Product Information:

Revision 2015 Edition
Document Type PDF
Document Language English
Pages 5
Publisher ASTM International (ASTM)
Status Current

ASTM Volume

04.08: Soil And Rock (I): D420 – D5876/D5876m

Volumes 04.08 and 04.09 feature geotechnical and geoenvironmental standards that cover soil testing. Topics include compaction, sampling, field investigation, cyclic and dynamic properties, soil texture, plasticity, density characteristics, hydrological properties, hydraulic barriers, and rock for erosion control. Other standards focus on ground water and vadose zone investigations, and how to measure the properties of soil-cement.

In addition, Volume 04.09 includes standards on surface and subsurface characterization, erosion and sediment control technology, frozen soils and rock, geotechnics of waste management, and information retrieval and data automation.