Dry Density of Soil By Water Displacement Method

Aim: To determine the dry density of a soil specimen by water displacement method


A soil sample of normal contour is layered with paraffin wax to so that it becomes resistant to water. The aggregate volume (V1) of the waxed sample is ascertained by defining the volume of water evacuated by the sample. The volume of the specimen (V) is expressed by:


Where, clip_image004[3] = mass of waxed solid

M= mass of the specimen without wax

clip_image006[6] = density of paraffin.

Dry density of specimen= clip_image008[3]


  1. Water Displacement apparatus
  2. Weighing balance, accuracy 1g
  3. Paraffin wax
  4. Heater
  5. Cutting knife
  6. Oven
  7. Brush
  8. Measuring Jar
  9. Water Content container1.


1. Take the soil sample. Trim it to a normal shape. Stay away from re-participant corners. Take the measurement of sample.

2. Now take some paraffin wax and soften it on a warmer. Apply a layer of softened paraffin wax to the sample with a brush. When it has solidified, once again put another coat. Take the weight of the waxed specimen (Mt).

3. Fill up the water displacement device with water. At the point when the overflow happens, shut the valve.

4. Put a measuring jug underneath the overflow container of the device. Open the valve.

5. Submerge the waxed example gradually into the water in the mechanical assembly. Water floods. Gather the flooded water in the jug. Decide the volume of the water gathered (Vt)

6. Eliminate the waxed sample from the mechanical apparatus. Let it from the exterior part.

7. Expel the paraffin wax by peeling it off

8. Cut the specimen into two pieces. Take a representative specimen for the water content determination.

Data sheet for water displacement method

Density of paraffin ( clip_image006[7] )= 0.91 g/ml.

Sl. No. Observations an Calculations Determination No.
1 2 3


1 Mass of specimen (M)      
2 Mass of waxed specimen (Mt)      
3 Volume of waxed specimen by weight displacement (Vt)


4 Mass of wax = Mt – M      
5 Volume of wax (Vp) = (Mt – M)/  clip_image002      
6 Volume of specimen (V) = Vt – Vp      
7 Water content      
8 Dry density =  clip_image004


Dry density of soil = _______g/ml.

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