The time-consuming traditional methods of determining soil density and moisture content have been widely replaced by more advanced techniques using radioactive isotopes such as cesium, americium, and beryllium. To ensure the validity and accuracy of the results from a nuclear gauge unit designed by Campbell Pacific Nuclear Corporation, a conventional standard test, the sand cone replacement method, was used in tandem with the nuclear instrument for the density and moisture content determination in sand and clay at different sites. The results of the two methods of measurement agree within close limits. An empirical equation was derived to correlate the data gathered from the nuclear gauge tests by using the least squares technique. A considerable discrepancy was observed when density tests by the nuclear gauge were performed on asphaltic concrete and concrete. The deviation from the actual values were attributed to the roughness and heterogeneities of the surface on the tested materials, and also to the influence of soil or other materials underneath the thickness of the layer being tested. In conclusion, the use of the nuclear device is mostly recommended for density and moisture content of soils although results from testing on asphaltic concrete and concrete may be eventually improved on smooth and uniform surfaces of sufficiently thick materials.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Francois, Carl H., "Experimental Investigation of Campbell Pacific Nuclear Corporation MC-1 Density-Moisture Nuclear Gauge on Sand, Clay, Asphaltic Concrete and Concrete" (1985). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 4774.