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Shrinkage Limit

Test Method

ASTM Designation: D 427, “Standard Test Method for Shrinkage Factors of Soils by the Mercury Method”

Summary of Test Method

A sample of fine-grained soil is thoroughly remolded with water to approximate the liquid limit consistency. The saturated paste is placed into a container of known volume and slowly dried. The final mass and volume of the solid soil pat are determined. These measurements are used to compute the soil constants.

The term shrinkage limit, expressed as a water content in percent, is typically assumed to represent the amount of water required to fill the voids of a given cohesive soil at its minimum void ratio obtained by drying. Thus, the shrinkage limit can be used to evaluate the shrinkage potential or possibility of development, or both, of cracks in earthworks involving cohesive soils. Data obtained from this test method may be used to compute the volumetric shrinkage and linear shrinkage.

Minimum Sample Size

1 lb

Last Updated September 29, 2005

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