Soil Compaction Testing Services

Alpha Adroit Engineering Ltd provides laboratory and field testing for soil compaction measurement, including also soil compaction testing using nuclear densometer. The fastest way of measuring dry density and moisture content of soils in the field is using nuclear densometer testing. Soil compaction testing can be provided as an "on-demand individual testing (without engineering advice)" or as part of a Geotechnical Engineering Construction Quality Control/Quality Assurance Program for earthworks.  

 Call us Toll-Free: 1-844-4-ADROIT (1-844-423-7648) or please contact us here for more information.

"Soil Compaction" is densification of soil by reducing its air content using mechanical energy. Compacting a soil improves engineering properties of the soil such as increasing its bearing capacity, decreasing its settlement under applied loads, increasing its shear strength, and reducing (generally) its permeability. 

Mr. Ralph R. Proctor, a student at University of California, Berkeley developed a method for determining the maximum density of soils under controlled laboratory conditions in the early 1930s. He established a laboratory procedure to define the moisture-density relationship of compacted, cohesive soils. Values from the Standard Proctor Test could be compared to unit weights and moisture contents of the same soils compacted in the field to determine their degree of density (as a quality control measure) and predict their performance and engineering properties. In 1958, the Modified Proctor Test was developed as an ASTM standard (ASTM D1557) and is used concurrently with the Standard Proctor Test (ASTM D698).

The quality of compaction is measured by measuring its dry density and moisture content. Quality specifications generally require that the in-place dry density and moisture content of the compacted soil should be, respectively, within an acceptable range of its maximum dry density and optimum moisture content measured using Proctor test (Standard or Modified) or AASHTO test. Transportation departments may accept or prescribe other methods (such as Alberta Transportation's "Control Strip" test method). 

Assessment of the quality of compaction generally requires knowledge of soil type, Atterberg Limits (for fine-grained soils), gradation (specially for coarse aggregates) and Proctor curve for the soil.  

Proctor curve is a graphical presentation of the relationship between dry unit weight and moisture content of soil under predefined standard testing conditions (such as compaction energy). The shape of the proctor curve for fine-grained soils depends on their liquid limit. 

Soil type defines how soil behaves under compaction. Soil characteristics such as grain-size distribution, the shape of the soil particles, specific gravity, and fines contents, all play important roles in how the Proctor curve will look. Bell-shaped Proctor curves are the most common in fine-grained soils. Organic soils (such as OL and OH) are not generally used as fill material for human-made structures because the presence of organic matter in soil reduces its strength. Soils having more than 10% of organics content (by mass) are not recommended for compacted or engineered fill.

Alpha Adroit Engineering Ltd provides laboratory and field testing for soil compaction measurement. These services include:

    • Standard Proctor (ASTM D698) and Modified Proctor (ASTM D1557) tests for clays, gravel, mixed aggregates, and other soils
    • AASHTO laboratory maximum dry density 
    • California Method 216 (relative compaction of untreated and treated soils and aggregates)
    • Unified Soil Classification (ASTM D2487) and Modified Unified Soil Classification System
    • Field soil compaction testing using nuclear densometer (ASTM D6938, ASTM C1040 / C1040M, and ASTM D5195)
    • Field soil compaction testing using sand cone (ASTM D1556), balloon (ASTM D2167), and cylinder (ASTM D2937) methods 
    • Static Plate Load Test (PLT) or Impulse Dynamic Plate Load Test (IDPLT) for determining Load-Settlement Curves (loading-unloading) and bearing capacity of shallow foundations, pavements, slabs, embankments, and fills, or QC of compacted fill
    • Static Plate Load Test for Coarse-grained Rock Fill 
    • Field density testing for forensic geotechnical engineering projects (failure investigation and expert witness) using specialty methods
    • Development of soil compaction criteria for soils that cannot be tested using Proctor or AASHTO methods
    • Field density assessment using "Control Strip" test method
    • Winter construction of engineered fills/embankments and soil testing
    • Nuclear density testing for frozen soils in Permafrost Regions 
    • Evaluation of bearing capacity of compacted soils
    • Evaluation of settlement and lateral deformations of compacted soils (backfills, embankments, general engineered fills, and other applications)
    • Instrumentation, monitoring, advanced numerical modeling, and Observational Method based analysis and design
    • Numerical modeling and geotechnical risk analysis
    • Repair consultation  
    • Forensic, preventive, and remedial geotechnical engineering 

Alpha Adroit Engineering also provides other materials testing services (such as concrete testing and grout testing) and other construction quality control services (such as pile inspection) for various size projects. 


 Call us Toll-Free: 1-844-4-ADROIT (1-844-423-7648) or please contact us here for more information.