Physical Properties

PTS Laboratories has been providing physical properties data and routine core analysis services for over four decades. Our background and experience give us the unmatched capability to deliver quality data for use in risk assessment, modeling, remediation design or meeting regulatory reporting requirements

Sample Types

Basic core analysis (physical properties and index parameters) accurately defines the physical characteristics of subsurface materials, usually soil, rock or sediments. These characteristics most often include dry bulk density, specific gravity, total porosity, air-filled porosity, pore fluid saturations (both NAPL and water), moisture content, air or vapor permeability, hydraulic conductivity, and grain size distribution. PTS accepts both clean and contaminated material.

 

Our wide range of equipment can be used to measure the physical properties of soil and rock cores taken by virtually any sampling method including:

 

  • Shelby Tube

  • CPT

  • Split Soon

  • Bulk or Grab Samples

  • Continuous Core

  • Brass, Plastic, or Aluminum Sleeves and Rings

  • Direct Push

Generally a 2" diameter by 6" long sleeve is suitable for index parameter and basic tests. If larger diameter core or cores taken by continuous coring methods is available, then a more detailed lithological and petrophysical data profile can be generated. PTS can usually provide a full data set from core as small as 1” diameter or less. Of course, with core analysis, bigger core is always better.

 

Physical Properties & Index Parameters

The following table lists our most popular physical properties tests. PTS has the capability to perform many more tests and analyses than those listed. If you don't see a required test or analysis here or would like a copy of our Testing Fee Summary, please give our customer service representatives a call at (562) 347-2500 in California or (713) 316-1800 in Texas or email us at: info@ptslabs.com.

 

  • Moisture Content (ASTM D2216)

  • Bulk Density-dry (ASTM D2937)

  • Specific Gravity (ASTM D854)

  • Grain Density (API RP40)

  • Total Porosity (API RP40)

  • Air-Filled Porosity (API RP40)

  • Effective Porosity (Mod. ASTM D425)

  • Pore Fluid Saturations (API RP40)

  • Hydraulic Conductivity (API RP40/EPA 9100)

  • Hydraulic Conductivity (ASTM D5084)

  • Intrinsic Permeability (API RP40)

  • Air Permeability; native-state (API RP40)

  • Air Permeability; Slip-Corrected (equivalent liquid) (ASTM D4525)

  • Air Permeability; Partially Saturated Soils (ASTM D6539)

  • Soil pH (EPA 9045)

  • Total Organic Carbon – TOC (Walkley-Black)

  • Fraction Organic Carbon – FOC (Walkley-Black)

  • Cation Exchange Capacity – CEC (EPA 9081)

  • Minimum Resistivity Index (CalTrans 532)

  • USCS Soil Classification; Engineering (ASTM D2487)

  • USCS Soil Classification; Visual/Manual (ASTM D2488)

  • USDA Soil Classification (USDA)

  • Atterberg Limits (ASTM D4318)

  • Grain Size Distribution: Laser Method (ASTM D4464)

  • Grain Size Distribution: Sieve Method (ASTM D422)

  • Particle Size Analyses: Liquids, Storm Water, Airborne Particles, suspended solids, etc. (ASTM D4464)

Test Packages

A PTS Laboratories Test Package combines several basic analyses and/or index properties to provide an integrated data package. We can also create custom packages that satisfy all modeling and risk assessment parameters or meet regulatory agency requirements.

 

Soil Properties Package - Vadose Zone (API RP40, ASTM D2216)Includes permeability to air (native-state, vertical or horizontal orientation), grain density, dry bulk density, total porosity, air-filled porosity, moisture content and total pore fluid saturation (reported as water only).

 

Hydraulic Conductivity Package - Saturated Zone (API RP40, ASTM D2216, EPA 9100)Includes native-state permeability to water (hydraulic conductivity), vertical or horizontal orientation, grain density, dry bulk density, total porosity, air-filled porosity, moisture content and total pore fluid saturation (reported as water only).

 

Pore Fluid Saturation Package (API RP40)  - Pore fluid saturation (NAPL and water) as percent pore volume by Dean-Stark extraction. Includes total porosity, air-filled porosity, moisture content, grain density and dry bulk density.

 

Vapor Transport Package (Johnson-Ettinger Input Parameters, see individual tests for methods) - Includes air permeability (native & specific); porosity (total, effective, air-filled, water-filled), volumetric air & water, moisture content, intrinsic permeability/hydraulic conductivity, grain density, dry bulk density, TOC, (foc), soil classification USDA/USCS (grain size + Atterberg Limits).

 

CAL-EPA DTSC Vapor Intrusion Package (See individual tests for methods) - Cal-EPA DTSC Vapor Intrusion Model parameters (Table 3 + Appendix H); Soil bulk & grain density, total porosity, moisture content, volumetric moisture & air, TOC/foc, and grain size distribution. Appendix H parameters only also available.

 

TCEQ/TNRCC Package (TRRP RG-36 Limited Site Assessment Physical Properties Format) - Includes intrinsic permeability/hydraulic conductivity, total porosity, air-filled porosity, dry bulk density, volumetric moisture content, and Fraction Organic Carbon (FOC).

 

New Mexico (RBDM Parameters Format) - Includes intrinsic permeability/hydraulic conductivity, total porosity, air-filled porosity, dry bulk density, volumetric moisture content, Fraction Organic Carbon (FOC) and grain size analysis.

 

 

 

 

Geotechnical and Construction Related Soil Tests

Our geotechnical and construction related testing capabilities round out the Physical Properties and Index Parameters category. Many analyses require undisturbed samples of 2” or 2-1/2" diameter or greater. Bulk or grab samples may suffice for other tests. PTS can work with core diameters of 1” diameter or less in many instances. Contact your PTS Laboratories customer service representative for more information and a testing fee summary.

 

  • Atterberg Limits (ASTM D4318)

  • Consolidation (ASTM D2435)

  • Direct Shear (ASTM D3080)

  • Triaxial Compression (various)

  • Unconfined Compression (ASTM D2166)

  • Expansion Index (ASTM D4829)

  • Minimum Resistivity Index (CalTrans 532)

  • Moisture/Density or Compaction (standard and modified Proctor) (ASTM D698 or D1557)

  • Sample Remolding (proprietary)

  • USCS Soil Classification; Engineering (ASTM D2487)

  • USCS Soil Classification; Visual/Manual (ASTM D2488)

Houston Location:

6016 Centralcrest St.

Houston, TX 77092 Telephone:713.316.1800