OJCE  Vol.9 No.4 , December 2019
Sieving Error from Dry-Separating Silt-Sand-Gravel Soils
Abstract: The dry-separation method is an alternative to the wet-preparation in the current European Standard for the determination of particle size distributions by the sieving of soils. Due to the risk of error, dry-separation is cautioned against in the standard; however, there is no additional guidance as to when it is unsuitable nor for the magnitude of error that it may introduce. This study investigates the dry-separation method as an alternative by comparing with the conventional method of Wet-preparation in terms of particle-size distributions of eight cohesionless sand-gravel soils with varying amounts of nonplastic fines. The findings indicate a gradually increasing sieving error for fractions at minus 0.5 mm with the amount of fines in the soil, and depending on the fines content of the soil, dry-separation introduced errors upwards of 45% in silt-sand-gravel soils. An empirical best-fit formula is proposed for the estimation of the error using the dry-preparation method on this type of soil. Furthermore, to avoid sieving errors, the results suggest that the dry-separation method should not be used for silt-sand-gravel soils exceeding 2% silt size fractions.
Cite this paper: Rönnqvist, H. (2019) Sieving Error from Dry-Separating Silt-Sand-Gravel Soils. Open Journal of Civil Engineering, 9, 311-318. doi: 10.4236/ojce.2019.94022.

[1]   ENISO (2016) Laboratory Testing of Soil Part 4: Determination of Particle Size Distribution. European Standard EN ISO 17892-4:2016 for Geotechnical Investigation and Testing, November 2016.

[2]   ASTM (2017) Standard Test Methods for Particle-Size Distribution (Gradation) of Soils Using Sieve Analysis. ASTM D6913/D6913M-17, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017.

[3]   Allen, T. (2003) Chapter 4 Particle Size Analysis by Sieving. In: Powder Sampling and Particle Size Determination, Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, 682.

[4]   Robertson, J., Thomas, C.J., Caddy, B. and Lewis, A.J.M. (1984) Particle Size Analysis of Soils: A Comparison of Dry and Wet Sieving Techniques. Forensic Science International, 24, 209-217.