Moisture Content

Water content on soils or aggregates when used as an engineering material

A relatively simple, quick and low cost test but forms the cornerstone of everything in terms of earthworks control, soil properties, aggregate performance, you name it, not to mention being required in just about every engineering soil test there is. This is because moisture has such a significant effect on soil and aggregate in terms of strength, compaction and density.

Moisture content, or water content to give it its new official name, is carried out by weighing a specimen containing its water, then drying it in controlled conditions then re-weighing it to work out how much water has evaporated.

Rarely specified on its own

Without other test data, such as plasticity or density, moisture content on its own is of little value.

Various methods

There are various methods for moisture determination, but generally British Standards always ask for the oven drying method.

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