Soil Specific Gravity Test Equipment

The specific gravity of soils is a ratio of the mass of the soil particles compared to the mass of an identical volume of water. The ratio is widely used in geotechnical engineering and laboratory soil testing applications to compute densities, void ratios, grain size distribution, and other physical properties of soils.

Gilson's soil-specific gravity test equipment meets the specialized test method requirements of ASTM D854, AASHTO T 100, and more.


ASTM D854 and AASHTO T 100 test methods describe soil-specific gravity tests for soil solids that pass the 4.75-mm (No. 4) sieve. For soils that include larger particles, equipment for the ASTM C127/AASHTO T 85 methods is required to test the coarser fraction, see Gilson's SG-6 Specific Gravity & Absorption of Coarse Aggregate Set.

  • Volumetric Flasks are popular for use as specific gravity pycnometers for soils, aggregates, and other materials. Flasks are borosilicate glass, calibrated for indicated capacity at 20°C when filled to the mark. Supplied with plastic snap cap.
  • Iodine Flasks are convenient for use as soil-specific gravity pycnometers. The borosilicate glass flasks maintain their calibrated fluid volume when the included ground glass stopper is in place.
  • Pycnometer Filling Apparatus allows controlled introduction of deaired water into pycnometers with minimal disturbance to ensure accurate and repeatable results. The 500ml capacity plastic wash bottle is fitted with an extended flexible spout that can be immersed in the solution while dispensing.
  • Insulated Container maintains the thermal equilibrium of soil-specific gravity pycnometers during calibration and testing operations. Rugged plastic construction with molded handles and swing-up carrying handle.
  • Platinum RTD Thermometer with stainless steel probe offers ±0.1% + 0.2°C accuracy and includes a NIST traceable certificate of calibration.
  • Platinum RTD Datalogging Thermometers offer precision accuracy and direct transfer of stored data to PC or Mac computers.
  • Desiccators allow controlled cool-down of oven-dried specific gravity samples after testing with no moisture gain. Heavy glass construction. Desiccant cartridges and desiccator plates are purchased separately.
  • Vacuum Pumps de-air soil slurries for specific gravity applications when used alone or in combination with hot plates. Models have enough vacuum capacity for simultaneous deairing of multiple samples.
  • Hot Plate and Electric Ranges provide controlled heat to soil-specific gravity specimens for deairing by boiling. They can also be used together with vacuum sources for added efficiency. Choose from high-quality Cimarec™ laboratory hot plate or economical electric ranges.
  • Digital Residual Pressure Manometer monitors vacuum pressure during deairing to ensure consistent specific gravity test results. Mercury-free electronic digital operation. Available model with an included certificate of calibration.
  • Rice Test Shaker provides continuous and automatic agitation for specific gravity samples during the vacuum deairing phase. Full-featured and adjustable Gilson Rice Shaker can be adapted for any type of pycnometer up to 10.75in (273mm) diameter and is useful for other specific gravity applications.

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