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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The pinhole erosion test was developed for the purpose of identifying dispersive soils and is not intended to asstm a geometrically scaled model of a prototype structure. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard. Work Item s – proposed revisions of this standard. The original slightly dispersive sample may come from an area on the edge of a more highly dispersive soil.

Users of these test methods are cautioned that compliance with Practice D does not in itself assure reliable testing. 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. Reliable testing depends on several factors; Practice D provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

Referenced Documents purchase separately The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard. The computation 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. Awtm results of the tests are qualitative and provide general guidance regarding dispersibility and erodibility.

Since the theory of similitude was not used in the design of the pinhole test, quantitative data are not obtained. 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. This test method is complemented by Test Method D Other indirect tests, such as the double d46477 test Test Method Dthe crumb test 34that 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.


Note 1 — Notwithstanding the statement on precision and bias contained in these test methods: Such erosion may not be significant in evaluating the cost-benefit relationships in projects where public safety is not involved or where normal maintenance procedures v4647 handle the problem.

All methods produce similar results and any method can be used to identify dispersive clays. Agencies which meet the criteria of Practice D are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing.


The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other.

For example, the amount of colloidal erosion that d4467 occur in a soil classed as ND2 very slightly dispersive will be very small for a relatively long period of time.

Link to Active This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard. The comparison of results from the pinhole test and other indirect tests atsm hundreds of samples indicates that the results of the pinhole test have the best correlation with the erosional performance of clay soils in nature.


Historical Version s – view previous versions of standard. In such cases, the results of the tests 89 should be evaluated in terms of cost effectiveness and design judgment 7. 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. In such cases, classifying the soil as ND nondispersive using Method B of the pinhole test should be adequate.

The piping failures 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 asttm.

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.

ASTM D4647

It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate aatm and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. 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. 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.

In such cases, Method A, Method B, or Method C may be used to identify the dispersive characteristics of the soil and compare the atsm with those obtained using distilled water.