Sieve Analysis


For determination of particle size distribution of fine, coarse and all-in-aggregates by sieving. 

Reference standard

IS : 2720 (Part 4) – 1985 – Method of test for soil (Part 4-Grain size analysis)

Equipment & Apparatus:

  • Balance
  • Sieves
  • Sieve shaker 

Preparation sample

After receiving the soil sample it is dried in air or in oven (maintained at a temperature of 600C). If clods are there in soil sample then it is broken with the help of wooden mallet.


  1. The sample is dried to constant mass in the oven at a temperature of 1100±50C and all the sieves which are to be used in the analysis are cleaned.
  2. The oven dry sample is weighed and sieved successively on the appropriate sieves starting with largest. Each sieve is shaken for a period of not less than 2 minutes.
  3. On completion of sieving the material retained on each sieve is weighed.


The percent retained (%), Cumulative retained (%) & percent finer (%) is calculated.

Percent retained on each sieve = Weight of retained sample in each sieve / Total weight of sample

The cumulative percent retained is calculated by adding percent retained on each sieve as a cumulative procedure.

The percent finer is calculated by subtracting the cumulative percent retained from 100 percent.


The result of the sieve analysis is reported graphically on a semi log graph, taking sieve sizes on log scale and % finer in arithmetic scale. The observation is maintained in observation sheet.

Safety & Precautions:

  • Clean the sieves set so that no soil particles were struck in them
  • While weighing put the sieve with soil sample on the balance in a concentric position.
  • Check the electric connection of the sieve shaker before conducting the test.
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