Relative density

From TML Testing Wiki
(Redirected from Relative Density)
Jump to: navigation, search

Relative density (Dr) is an index that quantifies the degree of packing between the loosest and densest possible state of coarse-grained soils as determined by experiments such as ASTM D4253 and D4254[1].


The following equation can be used to determine the relative density of a soil or solid bulk cargo:



Dr = relative density,
e = void ratio,
emin = minimum void ratio,
emax = maximum void ratio,
ρd = dry density (t/m3 or g/cm3),
d)min = minimum dry density (t/m3 or g/cm3) and
d)max = maximum dry density (t/m3 or g/cm3).

Description of Values[edit]

The relative density (Dr) correlates very well with the strength of coarse-grained soils - denser soils being stronger than looser soils. A description of sand based on relative density and porosity is given below[1].

Relative Density, Dr (%) Porosity, n (%) Description
0-20 100-80 Very loose
20-40 80-60 Loose
40-70 60-30 Medium Dense or Firm
70-85 30-15 Dense
85-100 <15 Very Dense


  1. 1.0 1.1 Budhu, M. (2011). Soil mechanics and foundations, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley.

See Also[edit]

Share your opinion