Determining Moisture Content of Soil by 'Hand Test'
Site engineers and supervisors mostly experience delays in construction work due to time consumed in testing process. Testing is an integral part of the construction process and standard tests have no substitute. But there are some handy tips and tricks which can be utilized by us for quick early approximations and to accelerate the construction activities on site.
A quick method of determining moisture density is known as the “Hand Test.

  • Pick up a handful of soil
  • Squeeze it in your hand.
  • Open your hand.
  • If the soil is powdery and will not retain the shape made by your hand, it is too dry. If it shatters when dropped, it is too dry.
  • If the soil is moldable and breaks into only a couple of pieces when dropped, it has the right amount of moisture for proper compaction.
  • If the soil is plastic in your hand, leaves small traces of moisture on your fingers and stays in one piece when dropped, it has too much moisture for compaction.


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