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Which Soil Testing Instruments Are Used In Field Density Test?

The field density test is significant and there are many ways to determine field density of soils, like core cutter method, rubber balloon method, sand replacement method, heavy oil method, etc. There are different soil testing instruments used for testing methods. In this article, we will discuss about field density test and sand replacement method.

Core cutter method is one of the common methods to determine field density of fine grained soils, however, this method has a major limitation and is unfit for testing in case of soils that contain coarse-grained particles, like stones, gravel, and aggregates. For such cases, field density test by sand replacement method fits best.

The agenda of sand replacement method is to measure the in-situ hole volume from which the material was excavated from the sand weight with determined density filling inside the hole. The calculation for in-situ density of material is simple- you need to divide the excavated material weight by in-situ volume.

Different apparatus used by engineers to determine field density using sand replacement method are

Sand pouring cylinder equipment

  • Small pouring cylinder- this equipment is best for fine and medium grained soils. The equipment consists of a metal cylinder having 3 liters capacity and 100 mm diameter, 380 mm length with inverted funnel at one end, a shutter to open and close the sand entry and a cap at the end.
  • Large pouring cylinders- These equipments are suitable for fine, medium, and coarse grained type soils. The metal cylinder has a capacity of 16.5 liters and 200 mm diameter with 610 mm length and all other arrangements in above point.
  • Medium pouring cylinder- This fits best for fine, medium and coarse grained type of soil. The cylinder has 150 mm diameter and 450 mm length.

Leveling and excavating tools

hand tools are used for leveling the surface, such as scraper with handle. Elongated trowel is used for digging and excavating the material.


Made of metal, containers of any convenient size can be used for collecting the output material.

Sand & Balance

To know the procedure, you can look into online article directories and explore information about the subject. The soil testing instruments we have mentioned in the article are specifically used in sand replacement method by experts.