Testing Equipment

for Soil Density and Compaction

Compaction — Density

Soil density testing, also called soil compaction testing, works to determine the soil compaction level necessary to withstand a building, road or other structure. This vital step in the construction process collects data that is then compared to local specifications and engineer recommendations.

In order to conduct compaction testing on-site, the maximum dry density of the soil must have first been determined in a laboratory setting through moisture density testing. From there, a final compaction is able to be measured based on the relation between the field density value and the laboratory value. The typical field soil compaction testing method uses a nuclear meter as well as a sand cone. Laboratory tests on the other hand utilize proctor tests to establish the optimal moisture content for a soil’s compaction.

Humboldt's soil density and compaction testing equipment include nuclear gauges, sand cones and the voluvessel. The equipment is typically used to gather soil samples for Proctor testing, as well as providing compaction determination in field applications.

Nuclear Gauges are built rugged for the day-to-day rigors of construction projects. These gauges are built to last using high-quality Noryl® PPO material, which is one of the most dimensionally stable thermoplastics available. Humboldt gauges are also “Field Serviceable”. If you have a problem with your Humboldt gauge, chances are we can quickly get a part out to you, which you can install on your own, saving you lots of time and money.

The Electrical Density Gauge (EDG) is a nuclear-free alternative for determining the moisture and density of compacted soils used in road beds and foundations. The EDG is a portable, battery-powered instrument capable of being used anywhere without the concerns and regulations associated with nuclear safety. When conducting a test, the EDG measures and displays the results for wet and dry density, gravimetric moisture content and percent compaction.

The H-4245 Sand Cone Apparatus determines the in-place density of soils having a maximum particle size of up to 2" (51mm) using test hole volumes of approximately 0.1ft3 (2.8L). The H-4249 4.5" Sand Cone Apparatus can be used when it is desired to collect a smaller sample or when gathering a sample is difficult due to extremely hard compacted soil.

Voluvessels are used for in-place density measurements of compacted or firmly bonded soils. Using a rubber balloon apparatus, direct readings can be made through a graduated cylinder.

Density Drive Samplers determine in-place density by driving a thin-walled tube into a relatively undisturbed soil sample. They are typically used to verify compacted fill placement.

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