Sand Moisture Content Test

Sand Moisture Content Test: Procedure, Importance, and IS Code Guidelines

Sand moisture content Test is one of the important tests of sand. Moisture present in sand affects the water-cement ratio in the concrete mix.

Generally, moisture in form of thin layers attached to the sand particle, and because of the particle size of the sand particle is lesser it attracts more moisture from the atmosphere compared to coarse aggregate.

Excessive moisture content in the sand may result in extra water in a water-cement ratio of concrete which affects the strength and durability of concrete.

we will see how to calculate sand moisture content in the laboratory.

Sand Moisture Content Test


To determine the surface moisture of moist or wet aggregate.

Moisture content of sand IS Code is IS 2386-3 (1963): Methods of test for aggregates


  • A metal tray or frying pan
  • Gas stove or an electric hairdryer
  • Scales to measure

Sand Moisture Content Test Procedure

Sand moisture content Test
Sand Moisture Content Test: Procedure, Importance, and IS Code Guidelines 5
  • For coarse aggregate, a 2 kg sample is required but for the sand (fine aggregate), a 0.5 kg sample is adequate.
  • The wet/moist sample is then weighted as wet weight (W).
  • After that heat the sand very gently on the metal plate or frying pan and stirred with a glass or metallic rod to maintain uniform distribution of heat, until the moisture sheen disappears from the surface.
  • Then the surface of fine aggregates becomes dry when it just starts showing free-flowing characteristics. Take the weight of this oven-dried sample as (Wd).
  • Overheating must be avoided, as it will not give the correct surface moisture.
Sand moisture content Test
Sand Moisture Content Test: Procedure, Importance, and IS Code Guidelines 6

Moisture Content of Sand Formula

Sample Calculation

  • Wet or Moist Sand Sample Weight = W = 500 gm
  • Oven Sand Sample Weight = 400 gm

Surface Moisture Content of Sand Sample = (500 – 400) / 500 ) x 100 %

= 20 %


From above calculation we can say that the sand sample is having 20 % of moisture content by weight.


What is the Sand Moisture Content Test?

The Sand Moisture Content Test is a procedure used to determine the moisture content of sand samples. It helps in assessing the suitability of sand for various construction and engineering applications.

Why is the moisture content of sand important?

The moisture content of sand plays a crucial role in determining its properties and behavior. It affects factors such as compaction, workability, and strength of the sand, which in turn impact the quality and performance of construction projects.

What are some common applications of the Sand Moisture Content Test?

The test is commonly performed in the construction industry for projects involving concrete, mortar, asphalt, and soil stabilization. It helps in selecting the appropriate sand for these applications based on its moisture content.

What is the procedure for conducting the Sand Moisture Content Test?

The procedure typically involves obtaining a representative sample of the sand, drying it to remove moisture, and then weighing it before and after drying. The weight loss represents the moisture content, which is expressed as a percentage.

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1 thought on “Sand Moisture Content Test: Procedure, Importance, and IS Code Guidelines”

  1. Trenton Clark

    Bhushan, Do u know of anyone who can assist me with a question regarding moisture content for sand and, specifically, if barge drainage can reduce the content to below 7%?

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