Test Method for Identification of Dispersive Clay Soils by Pinhole Test. GeoTesting Express is a provider of Soil Testing Services – ASTM D, Standard Test Method for Identification and Classification of Dispersive Clay Soils by. Designation: D – 93 (Reapproved ) Standard Test Method for. Identification and Classification of Dispersive Clay Soils by the Pinhole Test1.

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Method B requires only the evaluation of the cloudiness of effluent and final size of the pinhole to classify the dispersive characteristics of the soil. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard. In such cases, it is advisable to resample and test a number of other soils from the same area to generate an adequate statistical sample for problem evaluation.

For example, the amount of colloidal erosion that will occur in a soil classed as ND2 very slightly dispersive will be very small for a relatively long period of time. The results of the tests are qualitative and provide general guidance regarding dispersibility and erodibility.


The piping ast of a number of homogeneous earth dams, erosion along channel or canal banks, and rainfall erosion of earthen structures have been attributed to the colloidal erosion along cracks or other flow channels formed in masses of dispersive clay 2. Work Item s – proposed revisions of this standard.

Such erosion may not be significant in evaluating the cost-benefit d6447 in projects where public safety is not involved or where normal maintenance procedures will handle the problem. The original slightly dispersive sample may come from an area on the edge of a more highly dispersive soil. All methods produce similar results and any method can be used to identify dispersive clays.


Since the theory of similitude was not used in the design of the pinhole test, quantitative data are not obtained. Referenced Documents purchase separately The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of ast standard.

Agencies which meet the criteria astk Practice D are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing. Reliable testing depends on several factors; Practice D provides a means of evaluating some of those factors. The precision of these test methods is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used.

ASTM D Standard

Historical Version s – view previous versions of standard. In such cases, Method A, Method B, or Method C may be used to identify the dispersive characteristics of the soil and compare the results with those obtained using distilled water. Link to Active This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.

In such cases, classifying the soil as ND nondispersive using D46477 B of the pinhole aatm should be adequate. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. The pinhole erosion test was developed for the purpose of identifying dispersive soils and is not intended to be a geometrically scaled model of a prototype structure.

The adtm of flow rates through the pinhole in Method A serves primarily as a guide to the proper equipment and specimen performance under sequential pressures applied during the test.


Users of these test methods are cautioned that compliance with Practice D does not in itself assure reliable testing. The quantity of flow through the pinhole, amount of soil erosion, or the rate of soil erosion should not be extrapolated to actual field conditions 3. Other indirect tests, such as the double hydrometer test Test Method Dthe crumb test awtm4that relates the turbidity of a cloud of suspended clay colloids as an indicator of the clay dispersivity, and chemical tests that relate the percentage of sodium to total soluble salt content of the soil are also used as indicator tests of clay dispersibility 2.

In such cases, the results of the tests 89 should be evaluated in terms of cost effectiveness and design judgment 7. The comparison of results from the pinhole test and 4d647 indirect tests on hundreds of samples indicates that the results of the pinhole test have the best correlation with the erosional performance of clay soils in nature.

Active Risk Management

This test method is complemented by Test Method D However, such data may be useful in performing qualitative evaluations of the consequences of such erosion in terms of dam failure, loss of life and property. They also may be used in considering the cost effectiveness of defensive design measures necessary to minimize the effects of failure due to dispersive clays.

Note 1 — Notwithstanding the statement on precision and bias contained in these test methods: