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

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 105C? Explain.
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 ovendried 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

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

material. Larger size particles can be tested;

care must be taken because of the increased
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 soilaggregates mixtures.

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

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

Q.12) Why do we used a fixed temperature range to

dry soils? What is the effect on soils of microwave
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
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
cant be weighed right away, the container lid
must be placed over the sample and placed in the
dessicator afterwards.