Report No. : GEO Report No. 221

Report Title : Study on the Determination of Moisture Content of Soils by Microwave Oven Method (2008), 68 p.

Author : Philip W.K. Chung & Tony Y.K. Ho


Microwave oven method is an alternative to the oven-drying method specified in the General Specification of Civil Engineering Works (1992 Edition). This method is much quicker for drying of soils than the oven-drying method and therefore would be ideal for rapid moisture content determination. However, there is a concern that the determination of moisture content of soils using microwave oven may give erroneous results due to the possibility of overheating. Thus, microwave oven method is not routinely used. There is merit to further develop microwave oven method for routine soil testing.

In the past few years, the Public Works Central Laboratory of the Geotechnical Engineering Office conducted a study on the reliability of using microwave oven for determination of moisture content of soils. This report documents the details and results of the study.

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