ASTM International

A New Filter Material for Measuring Soil Suction

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Courtesy of ASTM International

The filter paper method for determining soil suction has been in use for many years and owes its attraction to its simplicity. A major drawback of the method is that the suction range over which it can be applied is limited by the moisture sensitivity of the filter paper or absorbent used. By convention, filter paper has been adopted for use in the method, but other absorbents may well be more suitable, increasing the sensitivity of the method and extending the suction range over which the method may usefully be applied. In this paper the desirable attributes of absorbents for use in determining soil suctions are outlined, and the suitability of a nonconventional absorbent material is assessed. It was found that this material had enhanced sensitivity over the middle suction range.

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