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Dynamic Cone Penetrometer test

Application & Principle of the test:
- It is a field test equipment widely used for the evaluation of the properties of thhe
materials at site, such as subgrade soil and the materials below the pavement without
the need to cut open the pavement layers.
- The basic principle of the test is based on the fact that the resistance to penetration of
a standard cone pushed into a layer depends on the strength characteristics of the
materials in the layer including its dry density and moisture content.
Its usefulness
- It is useful for assessing the boundaries between different layers with different strength
and density and thus to estimate the thickness of the layer.
- It is generally used to evaluate the properties of soil layers in the field, up to a depth of
800 mm without an extension rod and up to 1200 mm with an extension rod.
Equipment
- Steel rod having 15.8mm diameter with a replaceable cone tips. The tip has an included
angle of 60 degrees and a diameter of 20 mm at the base.
- Hammer of 8 kg is used and which is dropped from a fixed height of 575 mm, a coupler
assembly and a handle for holding the rod in a vertical position.
- A hammer of 4.6 kg weight may be used on weak materials, where 8.0 kg hammer may
produce excessive penetration per blow, however the standard drop height is to be
maintained same.
- A vertical scale graduated in increments of 1.0mm or measuring rod longer than the
longest drive rod, if the drive rod are not graduated.
- Disposal cone tips.
- Extraction jack, if disposal cone tips are not used.
- Tools for assembling the DCP test equipment at the test site.
Testing Procedure
- The tips of the cone is checked carefully from any damage before the test.
- All the connections should be tightened securely.
- The DCP assembly if held vertically by the operator and the cone is seated such that
the top of the widest part of the cone is flush with the surface the layer to be tested.
- The initial reading of the graduate drive rod is noted to the nearest mm.
- The hammer is released from the standard drop height and the penetration reading and
the corresponding number of hammer blow is determined.
- The penetration readings and the corresponding number of hammer blows may be
recorded in increments of about 10 mm penetration.
- Alternatively, the penetration scale readings may be recorded after a set of 5 or 10
blows.
- The no. of blow between each reading may be decided depending upon the extend of
penetration or the resistance to penetration offered by the material.

The DCP value of a layer of material is the penetration value in mm per blow at that depth. Data and recording of results. the readings may be taken at every 5-10 blows whereas for weak soil layers. . The change in penetration rate or change in slope of the curve indicates change in material type. . Table 1 shows the format for the recording of the data and some typical observations taken during a DCP test for computation of the penetration rate or the DCP value. . A graph is plotted with the cumulative values of number of blows on the X. . The metre scale has to be detached from the base plate and the bottom rod is to be split to accept the extension rod and the test is continued. . The penetration rate or the slop of the plot represents the strength characteristics of the material in the layer. - . .axis and the depth of penetration in mm on the y-axis. . it may be appropriate to record readings for every blow or two blows. The boundaries between the layers and the depth of the layers may be identified by the change in the rate of penetration. For hard pavement layers like granular sub base/ stabilized layers. the extension rods of the DCP are to be used. . too less readings are recorded. However. there is a possibility of missing the weak spots and it may be difficult to identify the boundaries of different layers accurately. If the total depth of the penetration is more than 400 to 500 mm. . .

so that the results can be compared and later used for pavement design. The DCP may also be used to check the quality of construction at the site. . The general equation recommended by some of the organizations are given below: . .Interpretation of results. . . . The penetration rate per blow is used to estimate the CBR value or the shear strength using appropriate correlation. Correlations have been established by various agencies between DCP value and the CBR values. Correlations have also been established between the rate of penetration and the resilient modulus of the soil layers.

CBR = (292)/(DCP)^1. . . . . DCP doesn’t measure the density directly. Difficult to work on granular layers. . . The cone will have to be replaced after 15 tests in hard material hence not economical. For CL soils with CBR < 10. The DCP can be used to assess the density of a fairly uniform material and therefore. DCP may be used to check the quality of construction especially the amount of compaction. with 60º cone) Log10 (CBR) = 2. The test is intended to evaluate the in-situ strength of a material under existing field conditions. Thick layers of bituminous surface and binder course should be removed by core drilling. CBR = 1/(0. DCP is the penetration per blow .017019×DCP) TRRL of UK (vide Road Note 8. US Corps of the Engineers: For all soils except for CL and CH soils having CBR value less than 10%. wet mix macadam etc.057 LOG10 DCP (mm/blow) Merit and demerit of DCP . Weak spots beneath the pavement may be identified and rectified. .48-1. prior to starting the DCP test. . crusher run macadam. .12 Where.