Physical and Geotechnical

CT Laboratories has been expanding into Geo Technical and Physical testing for the past several years. We have grown from sieve and grain size analyses to complex grinding and homogenization of soil for multi-incremental sampling projects.

Bulk Density

Soil bulk density is the ratio of the mass of dry solids to the bulk volume of the soil. The determination usually consists of drying and weighing a known volume of a soil sample. The core method is one method for determining bulk density that can be used with either re-packed or natural cores.

  • EPA Method 310.1

  • Standard Methods, Method 2320B

  • Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical  Properties. 2nd Edition


Flashpoint is determined by heating a sample at a slow, constant rate in a closed vessel and introducing a small flame. The flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which the test flame ignites the vapor above the sample. 

  • EPA Method 1010A.

Grain Size 

Grain Size is determined by drying and separating a sample with nested sieves of increasingly smaller mesh sizes by shaking on a mechanical shaker. The percentage of pre-weighed soil sample that passes through each sieve is calculated.

  • ASTM C136-84A, ASTM D451-85 - Standard Test Method for Particle Size Analysis of Soils.

Specific Gravity

Specific Gravity is the ratio of the masses of equal volumes of sludge or soil and distilled water. Specific gravity is determined by comparing the mass of a known volume of sample to the mass of an equal volume of distilled water at
4 degrees C.

  • SM 2710F- 2011

Elutriate Test Preparation

The elutriate test procedure is used to predict both dissolved and particle-associated concentration contaminants in confined disposal area effluents. This method simulates contaminant release under confined disposal conditions by combining localized sediment and water, mixing (slurrying), aerating the slurry, settling the slurry and finally decanting the supernatant water into appropriate containers for chemical testing.

  • USACE Modified Elutriate Test D-86-4

  • Illinois EPA Material Analysis for Dredge and Fill Activities (Section 401)

Free Liquids

A representative amount of waste is placed in a 60 mesh paint filter. If any portion of the material (liquid or otherwise) passes through and drops from the filter within 5 minutes, the material is reported as containing free liquids.

  • EPA Method 9095B.

Puck Milling & Multiincremental Sampling

Soils and dried and placed in a sieve until debris is removed. The sieved sample is then placed in a puck mill until a fine powder has been achieved. Multiincremental Sampling may occur prior to or after grinding depending on client requests. 

  • This procedure was developed in conjunction with the USACE and EPA Method 8330B.

Total Organic Carbon (as % organic matter)

The organic carbon that is converted into carbon dioxide after oxidation. 

  • SM 5310B

  • EPA Method 415.1

  • EPA Method 9060A