The Transistor Psychrometer: A New Instrument for Measuring Soil Suction

by John A. Woodburn, Woodburn Assoc, Adelaide,
James C. Holden, Woodburn Assoc, Adelaide,
Paul Peter, Woodburn Assoc, Adelaide,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Unsaturated Soils


The transistor psychrometer is the latest instrument available for the measurement of soil moisture suction. It has been developed over a number of years and is very similar in operation to the thermistor psychrometer which it effectively replaces. Improvements in performance have been made and the latest instrument can measure a much wider range of soil suctions in a much shorter time. Perhaps the greatest improvement, and the one that sets this instrument apart from any others measuring soil suction, is that the analogue output can be read by a standard millivoltmeter or logged by any millivolt data logger. The latter allows the storage, reduction and manipulation of the data to be carried out by a PC. Plotting of the output can be achieved in real time, with a logger designed for the instrument and a colour dot matrix printer. These advances have enabled the psychrometer to take its place in the modern soil mechanics laboratory.

Subject Headings: Soil suction | Soil water | Soil stabilization | Soil mechanics | Computing in civil engineering | Matrix (mathematics) | Instrumentation

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