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AS 1289.6.3.3 1997

Australian Standard
Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes Method 6.3.3: Soil strength and consolidation testsDetermination of the penetration resistance of a soilPerth sand penetrometer test
1 SCOPE This method sets out the procedure for determining the resistance of a soil to penetration by a flat ended rod of 16 0.2 mm diameter driven with a 9 kg mass, dropping 600 mm. Use of the method is limited to granular soils with a maximum particle size not exceeding 2 mm, and a layer thickness of at least of 450 mm. This Standard may involve hazardous materials, operations, and equipment. This Standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this Standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices, and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. 2 REFERENCED DOCUMENT The following document is referred to in this Standard:

AS 1289 1289.6.3.2

Methods of testing soils for engineering purposes Method 6.3.2: Soil strength and consolidation tests Determination of the penetration resistance of a soil 9 kg dynamic cone penetrometer test

3 APPARATUS The required apparatus is a Perth sand penetrometer, conforming to the dimensions and masses given in Figure 1. 4 (a) PROCEDURE The procedure shall be as follows:

Excavate to the level to be tested (see Note 1). Remove material such as crushed rock or gravel, which will be too hard to penetrate with the penetrometer or could damage the equipment. Measure the depth from the surface level to the upper surface of the layer to be tested, to the nearest 10 mm, and record.

(b) (c)

Hold the penetrometer vertical with the tip on the surface of the layer to be tested and tap the hammer on the anvil until a penetration of 150 mm is achieved. Raise the hammer to the stop and allow it to fall freely onto the anvil. Count the number of blows required to drive the penetrometer a distance of 300 mm (total penetration 450 mm) (see Note 2).

5 CALCULATIONS The penetration resistance (Np) shall be calculated by totalling the number of blows to produce 300 mm further penetration after the initial penetration of 150 mm.


AS 1289.6.3.3 1997





AS 1289.6.3.3 1997

6 (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (j)


Report the following results and general information, as appropriate:

Depth below surface at the commencement of penetration. The penetration resistance, Np, (blows per 300 mm penetration). Any variation to the normal testing procedure. Soil description. Moisture condition of soil, i.e. wet, dry or moisture content, if determined. Location of groundwater table. Date of test. Location of test. Reduced level of ground surface at test site. Reference to this Standard, i.e. AS 1289.6.3.3.

NOTES ON TEST: 1 2 3 The location of possible subsurface services such as gas, water and electricity should be determined before commencing this test. If desired, the methods of test described in AS 1289.6.3.2 may be used. Any variation from the standard method should be noted when reporting results. Results from this test are often used in the design of footings. Refer Paper No. 1920 Glick, G. L. and Clegg, B. Use of a penetrometer for site investigation and compaction control at Perth, W.A. Civil Engineering Transactions. Institution of Engineers, Australia. 1965.


AS 1289.6.3.3 1997

This Australian Standard was prepared by Committee CE/9, Testing of Soils for Engineering Purposes. It was approved on behalf of the Council of Standards Australia on 28 February 1997 and published on 5 June 1997.

The following interests are represented on Committee CE/9: Australian Geomechanics Society AUSTROADS Crushed Stone Association of Australia Department of Administrative Services, Scientific Services Laboratory AGAL Institution of Engineers, Australia National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia University of Sydney

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Originated as AS 1289.F3.31984. Revised and redesignated AS 1289.6.3.31997. Incorporating: Amdt 11999

This Standard was issued in draft form for comment as DR 95209.

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ISBN 0 7337 1059 X