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23609453 7 Geotechnical Engineering

23609453 7 Geotechnical Engineering

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In situ tests can be used under a variety of
circumstances to enhance profile definition, to
provide data on soil properties, and to obtain
parameters for empirical analysis and design
applications.

Quasi-static and dynamic cone penetration

tests (CPTs) quite effectively enhance profile defi-

nition by providing a continuous record of
penetration resistance. Quasi-static cone penetra-
tion resistance is also correlated with the relative
density, OCR, friction angle, and compressibility of
coarse-grained soils and the undrained shear
strength of cohesive soils. Empirical foundation
design parameters are also provided by the CPT.
The standard CPT in the United States consists
of advancing a 10-cm2

, 608 cone at a rate between

1.5 and 2.5 cm/s and recording the resistance to
cone penetration (ASTM D3441). A friction sleeve
may also be incorporated to measure frictional
resistance during penetration. The cone may be
incrementally (mechanical penetrometer) or con-
tinuously (electronic penetrometer) advanced.
Dynamic cones are available in a variety of
sizes, but in the United States, they typically have a
2-in upset diameter with a 608 apex. They are
driven by blows of a 140-lb hammer dropped 30 in.
Automatically driven cone penetrometers are
widely used in western Europe and are portable
and easy to operate.

Pressuremeter tests (PMTs) provide an in

situ interpretation of soil compressibility and un-
drained shear strength. Pressuremeters have also
been used to provide parameters for foundation
design.

The PMT is conducted by inserting a probe
containing an expandable membrane into a drill
hole and then applying a hydraulic pressure to
radially expand the membrane against the soil, to
measure its volume change under pressure. The
resulting curve for volume change vs. pressure is
the basis for interpretation of soil properties.

Vane shear tests provide in situ measurements

of the undrained shear strengthof soft tofirm clays,
usually by rotating a four-bladed vane and
measuring the torsional resistance T. Undrained
shear strength is then calculated by dividing T by
the cylindrical side and end areas inscribing the
vane. Account must be taken of torque rod friction
(if unsleeved), which can be determined by
calibration tests (ASTM D2573). Vane tests are
typically run in conjunction with borings, but in
soft clays the vane may be advanced without a
predrilled hole.

Other in situ tests occasionally used to provide

soil-property data include plate load tests (PLTs),
borehole shear (BHS) tests, and dilatometer tests.
The PLT technique may be useful for providing
data on the compressibility of soils and rocks. The
BHS may be useful for characterizing effective-
shear-strength parameters for relatively free-drain-
ing soils as well as total-stress (undrained) shear-
strength parameters for fine-grained soils. Dilat-
ometer tests provide a technique for investigating
the horizontal effective stresss0

ho and soil compres-
sibility. Some tests use small-diameter probes to
measure pore-pressure response, acoustical emis-
sions, bulk density, and moisture content during
penetration.

Geotechnical Engineering n 7.17

Downloaded from Digital Engineering Library @ McGraw-Hill (www.digitalengineeringlibrary.com)
Copyright © 2004 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.
Any use is subject to the Terms of Use as given at the website.

GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING

Prototype load testing as part of the geotechni-

cal investigation represents a variation of in situ
testing. It may include pile load tests, earth load
tests to investigate settlement and stability, and
tests on small-scale or full-size shallow foundation
elements. Feasibility of construction can also be
evaluated at this time by test excavations, indicator
pile driving, drilled shaft excavation, rock ripp-
ability trials, dewatering tests, and so on.
(H. Y. Fang, “Foundation Engineering Hand-
book,”2nded.,VanNostrandReinhold,NewYork.)

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