ALS has the ability to determine the percentage of different grain sizes contained within a soil.
ALS has expert chemists that use the sieve analysis to determine the distribution of the coarser, larger-sized particles (large than 75 µm), and the hydrometer method is used to determine the distribution of the finer particles smaller than 75 µm) by a sedimentation process.
During the method, the sample is initially passed through a coarse (No. 10) sieve. The portion passing through the sieve is dried, mixed with a dispersing agent and allowed to soak overnight. The slurry is then transferred to a graduated cylinder and brought up to volume, and the specific gravity is read using a hydrometer. Repeated readings are performed over a 24-hour period to allow for calculation of the fines in the sample.
The sample is then transferred back to a No. 200 sieve, washed and dried. The dried sample is separated into aliquots of different sizes by mechanically sieving using a series of sieves on a shaker, and a percentage of soil that passes through each sieve is calculated. The resulting data is put into calculations to determine the diameter of the particles, and a logarithmic plot of the diameters verses the soil size percentages is made.
The distribution of different grain sizes affects the engineering properties of soil. The data derived from this method is used for a variety of applications. Contact your ALS representative, Project Manager, or your local laboratory to schedule your next project.
- Soil Characteristics
- Construction and Building Applications
- Cement Raw Materials Evaluation
- Sediment Characterization
- Permeability Studies
- Geotechnical and Geochemical Analysis