HOW TO DETERMINE WATER CONTENT OF SOIL ON SITE USING ALCOHOL METHOD? (IS-2720-PART-2)

Purpose

This is a fast way to determine the moisture content. Although less accurate, it is more suitable as a field test. The method shall not be used if the soil contains large amounts of clay, gypsum, calcareous material or organic matter.


Device

  • evaporating dish– 10 to 15 cm in diameter.
  • palette knife or steel spatula– A blade 10 cm long and 2 cm wide.
  • balance Sufficient sensitivity for weighing soil samples to an accuracy of 0.4 percent of the mass of soil taken for testing.
  • methylated spirit
Methylated spirits (alcohol) used for on-site determination of soil water content
Methylated spirits (alcohol) used for on-site determination of soil water content

Process

  1. Clean, dry and weigh the evaporating dish (W.)1,
  2. Take an appropriate amount of soil sample in the evaporating vessel and weigh (W.)2,
  3. Apply methylated spirit over the soil at the rate of about one milliliter for every gram of soil taken so that the soil is well covered.
  4. Mix the methylated spirits thoroughly into the soil with a palate knife and break up any large lumps of clay.
  5. Place the evaporating dish on a surface that is not affected by heat and ignite the methylated spirits. Keep stirring the soil continuously with a spatula or knife, taking care not to destroy any soil.
  6. After the methylated spirits have completely burned, let the dish cool and weigh with the contents (W.)3,

Calculation

The percentage of water content will be calculated as follows:

W = [(W2 – W3) / (W3 – W1)] * 100

Where,

W = amount of water present

woo1 = mass of the dish g. In

woo2 = mass of dish with wet clay g


woo3 = mass of the dish with dry clay in g

Reference

IS – 2720 – Part – 2

Er. Mukesh Kumar

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Er. Mukesh Kumar is Editor in Chief and Co-Funder at ProCivilEngineer.com Civil Engineering Website. Mukesh Kumar is a Bachelor in Civil Engineering From MIT. He has work experience in Highway Construction, Bridge Construction, Railway Steel Girder work, Under box culvert construction, Retaining wall construction. He was a lecturer in a Engineering college for more than 6 years.