The life of the structure depends on the quality of the material used.

Although there is M Sand without these impurities, still river sand rules the construction industry.

Purpose of Silt Content Testbrown-sand

The silt is a very fine particle which is less than the size of 150 Microns. It will shrink and expand due to the moisture also unstable with the presence of water.

So it is important to check the presence of silt content in the sand to avoid the following impacts

Impact of Silt Presence in Sand

    • It absorbs more water.
    • Cracks will be developed on concrete.
    • It will affect bonding between cement and aggregates.
    • Silt content contains evaporated matters and salts.
    • Unstable with water. This is the reason why mortar is peeling off every time when mason tries to plaster

Allowable silt content presence on sand is 6% or 7%.

Silt Content Test for Sand

The test conducted to identify the percentage of silt content present in the sand is known as the Silt Content Test.

Let’s discuss this in detail.

Required Apparatus

  • Measuring cylinder – 250 ml
  • Sand  – Specimen
  • Water
  • Salt Solution

Test Procedure

    • The measuring cylinder should be free from moisture and dry.
    • Fill the water up to 50 ml with a 1% salt solution.
    • Then fill the sand into the cylinder up to the level of 100 ml.
    • Again add salt solution up to the level of 150 ml.
    • Finally, close the mouth of the cylinder and shake well then keep the cylinder on a flat surface.
    • The silt content shall be settled over the sand layer after 2 hours.

Why is salt added with sand?

To increase the settlement time of silt which impacts the testing time. First, Sand will settle then silt content settle at the end.

How to calculate the percentage of Silt? Silt Content Test

V1 = Volume of Silt layer (Silt settled over the sand layer).

V2 = Volume of the Sand layer (Settled under the silt).

Silt Content Formula,

Percentage of Silt = (V1/V2) x 100

Let us see an example calculation.

Assume V1 = 15 ml  and V2 = 135 ml

Then, % of Silt content = (15/135) x 100

                       % of Silt = 11%

Silt Content Test Lab Report

Description SAMPLE 1 SAMPLE 2 SAMPLE 3
The volume of Silt Content V1
The volume of Sand Content V2
 Percentage of Silt
(V2/V1) * 100

Video Illustration

Video Courtesy – NCTEL

Happy Learning 🙂


Bala is a Planning Engineer & he is the author and editor of Civil Planets.

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