Conti Testing Labs

ASTM D698 - Standard Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Standard Effort

Significance and Use: Soil placed as engineering fill (embankments, foundation pads, road bases) is compacted to a dense state to obtain satisfactory engineering properties such as, shear strength, compressibility, or permeability. In addition, foundation soils are often compacted to improve their engineering properties. Laboratory compaction tests provide the basis for determining the percent compaction and molding water content needed to achieve the required engineering properties, and for controlling construction to assure that the required compaction and water contents are achieved.

Scope: These test methods cover laboratory compaction methods used to determine the relationship between molding water content and dry unit weight of soils (compaction curve) compacted in a 4 or 6-in. (101.6 or 152.4-mm) diameter mold with a 5.50-lbf (24.5-N) rammer dropped from a height of 12.0 in. (305 mm) producing a compactive effort of 12 400 ft-lbf/ft3 (600 kN-m/m3).

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The equipment and procedures are similar as those proposed by R. R. Proctor (Engineering News Record—September 7, 1933) with this one major exception: his rammer blows were applied as “12 inch firm strokes” instead of free fall, producing variable compactive effort depending on the operator, but probably in the range 15 000 to 25 000 ft-lbf/ft3 (700 to 1200 kN-m/m3). The standard effort test (see 3.1.4) is sometimes referred to as the Proctor Test.