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Q.1) Is the moisture content of soil expressed as a percentage of the

weight or as a percentage of the volume?

Ans. In the performed experiment we used the gravimetric water

content or the percentage of the weight in determining the water

content or the soil moisture. It is defined as the mass of the water

relative to the mass of the dry soil particles.

Q.2) What are the six categories of soil types identified in the ASTM

classification system?

Ans. Sand, silt,clay, gravel,cabbles and boulders are the six

categories of soil types that are identified in the ASTM classification


Q.3) For which soil type is surface forces important? Why?

Ans. The soil type which significantly influences by the surface

forces is fine-grained soils. Due to the large surface areas of fine-

grained soil their behaviour was greatly affected by surface forces.

Also, the clay-water interaction coupled with the large surface areas

results in clays having larger water-holding capacity in a large

number of smaller pore spaces compared with coarse-grained soils.

Q.4) What is adsorbed water?

Ans. Adsorbed water influences the way a soil behaves. As a matter

of fact, plasticity in soils is attributed to adsorbed water. Also, it is

the water which is bound to soil particles as a result of the attraction

between the electrical charges of negative surface charges on soils

and the positively charged side of water molecules from surrounding


Q.5) Can you remove the adsorbed water by oven drying at 105°C?


Ans. The standard temperature using an oven is 105 ±± 5°° C when

drying most of soils, with the exception of gypsum. This range of

temperature cannot remove the adsorbed water because it

requires a definite amount of energy to be removed. Also, the

plasticity in soils is attributed to adsorbed water.

Q.6)When a soil sample is dried in an oven during the moisture

content determination test what standard is used to determine that the

sample is completely dry?

Ans. Soils which may appear dry have 2 to 5 percent water content.

In many soils, such as those which is transported which in the past

have been transported and worn by streams and any loads or other

action on the soil will cause no appreciable change, even over long

period of time. Also, we can check the color of the soil to check if it

is already dry. A dry sample has a lighter color than wet ones.

Q.7) Why is it not recommended to leave an oven-dried sample in

the open air for a long time before measuring its dry weight?

Ans.In determining the dry weight of soil, it is not recommended to

leave an oven-dried sample in the open air for a long time because

the soil sample will acquire some moisture that already exist in the

surroundings. Also, the change in temperature due to the high

temperature in the oven and the cooler temperature in the

surroundings will cause moisture. Thus, the dry weight may be

affected and it will result to discrepancies in the data collected. If it

takes too long to obtain the weight it is advisable to put a cover on

the container or put the sample dried soil into a desiccator.

Q.8) Excluding oven drying, are there other methods to determine

the water content of soils?

Ans. Besides oven drying, there are many other procedures used to

determine the water content in soil. There are direct methods such as;

● using methyl alcohol

●calcium chloride

On the other hand, for indirect methods are;


●gypsum blocks

● pressure membrane and pressure plate apparatus

●neutron scattering method

● gamma ray absorption method

●feel and appearance method

● soil moisture characteristic curve.

Q.9) Soil must be baked in an oven to drive off the moisture during a

moisture content determination test. Is there an approved ASTM

method for using a microwave oven for this test?

Ans. Yes. ASTM D4643 also known as Standard Test

Method for Determination of Water (Moisture)

Content of Soil by Microwave Oven Heating serves as a

guide when using microwave oven in determining water

content. But it is best suited for minus No. 4 sized

material. Larger size particles can be tested; however,

care must be taken because of the increased chance

of particle shattering. On the other hand, when

needing accurate results this method is not


Q.10) What is the major advantage of using the nuclear gage to

determine the moisture content of a soil instead of using the

laboratory procedure?

Ans. The major advantage of using the nuclear gage or nuclear

methods is that it is use as a rapid, non-destructive practice compared

to the laboratory procedures. The non-destructive nature allows

repetitive measurements at a single test location and statistical

analysis of results. This method is usually used for quality control

and acceptance testing of compacted soil and soil-aggregates


Q.11) Is it possible to measure the water content of sands?

Ans. Yes, it is possible to measure the water content of sand because

it is considered as a soil having large particle sizes with an

approximate diameter of 0.002-0.05 mm. In addition, the fact that it

is being under the variation of soil structures as granular soil, texture

and water content can be determined by the infiltration process

factors of soil.

Q.12) Why do we used a fixed temperature range to dry soils? What

is the effect on soils of microwave drying?

Ans. The significance of using fixed temperature range to dry soil is

that it will give a constant weight of the dry sample which is used in

determining the water content of the soil.

Ans. Microwave drying can be used to dry soil faster compare to the

conventional oven drying. But the change in the plasticity and the

swelling potential of the soils are in a decreasing manner when

preheating in a microwave oven resulting to the changes on the soil

structure, decomposition of organic matters which include

mineralization and micro flora.

Q.13) What is the function of the container lid and dessicator when

determining the water content of soil?

Ans. The container lid and dessicator avoid the absorption of

moisture in the air to exist due to the sudden change in temperature.

If the dry samples can’’t be weighed right away, the container lid

must be placed over the sample and placed in the dessicator