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11/18/2018 HOW TO PERFORM PLATE LOAD TEST OF SOIL ON SITE? - CivilBlog.

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LOAD TEST OF SOIL ON SITE?


Suryakanta | March 18, 2015 | Geotechnical, How To, Soil Investigation | 16
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To perform plate load test to obtain a load-settlement curve of a soil at a posts.

particular depth so as to estimate the ultimate bearing capacity a Email Address


foundation.
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APPARATUS
HOW TO INCREASE
1. Test plate of square size (300 mm or 450 mm or 600 mm or 750 mm)
REPETITION OF
2. Hydraulic jack (50 T capacity) PLYWOOD
3. Hydraulic pump (50 T capacity)
4. Pressure gauge (to read 50 T load with a sensitivity of 0.5 T)
How to Increase …
5. Proving ring or load cell (50 T capacity)
6. 4 no of dial gauges (with sensitivity of 0.01 mm and a travel of 50 mm)
7. Loading columns
8. Dial gauge supporting channels
9. Dial gauge stands
00:00 08:39
10. Magnetic bases for dial gauges
11. Loading platform equipment (girders, plates, sand bags etc) or Truss
with anchor rods JOIN US ON FACEBOOK
12. Plumbob
13. Sprit level

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11/18/2018 HOW TO PERFORM PLATE LOAD TEST OF SOIL ON SITE? - CivilBlog.Org

14. Tripod (to erect the platform or truss frame)


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15. Pulley block (to lift the girders or truss frame) 14K likes

PROCEDURE
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1. Excavate the test pit. The test pit size should be 5 times the size of test
plate (Bp) and depth equal to the depth of foundation. Be the first of your friends to like this

2. The loading platform should be erected over the test pit such that, the
vertical line drawn through the center of gravity of the load passes
through the centroid of the base of the test pit. This can be achieved
by positioning the reaction girder (truss) with the help of the plum bob
and spirit level. The load over the platform should be at least 50%
more than the anticipated load to be transferred on the plate. This will
ensure the safety of the platform for any small shift of the CG of the
loading platform from the vertical axis of the pit.
3. Position the test plate centrally at the base of the pit. Ensure that the
ground surface below the test plate is perfectly horizontal and level so
that no stress concentration takes place below the plate during
loading. If the ground surface is slightly uneven a thin layer of sand is
spread underneath the test plate.
4. Position the hydraulic jack over the plate so that when hydraulic
pressure is built up the jack pushes against the loading platform. If
require place a loading column between the test plate and the jack to
ensure the jack reach the loading platform.
5. Position minimum of two dial gauges diagonally at the corners
(preferably 4 at all corners of the test plate) to record its settlement of
the plate. The dial gauges should be supported carefully over a stable
base which does not settle with the plate. This can be achieved by
placing two cross beams at ground level over which the dial gauges
are supported with the help of magnetic bases. The settlement of the
plate is transmitted to the dial gauges through dial gauge stands.
6. The dial gauges should be positioned such that the plunger of the dial
gauges is at its beginning of rebound (i.e. the plunger is initially
pushed up) so that it will get released as the plate settles and the
reading changes and the difference in reading provided the
settlement of the plate.(See fig-1 for plate load setup)
7. The load is applied on the plate by pumping the hydraulic pressure
into the jack. The upward movement of the plunger of the jack tries to
push the loading platform up. Since the pressure built up in the jack
(say 1 or 2 T) is much less than the load on the platform, the pressure
in the jack will push the test plate down by taking the loading platform
(say 30 to 40 T) as rigid support. This is a case similar to the expansion

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11/18/2018 HOW TO PERFORM PLATE LOAD TEST OF SOIL ON SITE? - CivilBlog.Org

of a system between two supports. Due to the expansion the weaker


support (ground) yields.
8. Apply a seating load of 0.7 T/m2 which is released before the actual
loading is started.
9. Note the initial readings of the dial gauges.
10. The load is applied through the hydraulic jack in convenient
increments. The load increments may be one fifth of the expected
safe bearing capacity or one-tenth of the ultimate bearing capacity or
any other smaller loads. The applied load is read either from the
pressure gauge fitted to the hydraulic pump or from the proving ring
fixed between the jack and the reaction platform.
11. Settlement of the plate is observed from the dial gauge readings.
Settlement should be observed for each increment of load after 1, 4,
10, 20, 40 and 60 minutes and thereafter at hourly interval until the
rate of settlement becomes less than about 0.02 mm per hour. Enter
the readings in the tabular form. (See fig-2)
12. After completing the recording of settlement readings under a load,
the next load increment is applied and the dial gauges readings are
noted under the new load.
13. The loading increments and the recording of the settlements under
each load are continued until the maximum load is reached. The
maximum load that is to be applied corresponds to 1.5 times the
estimated ultimate load or to 3 times the proposed allowable bearing
pressure.

OBSERVATIONS AND CALCULATIONS


The load intensity and settlement observation of the plate load test are
plotted. The figure shown below (Fig-3) shows a set of typical load
settlement curves. The ultimate bearing capacity is taken as the load at
which the plate starts sinking at a rapid rate, i.e. when the curve drops
down to a vertical line. From figure 3 it can be observed that in dense sand
or stiff clays the failure is not pronounced. In such cases a plot of load and
settlement, both being taken in logarithmic scales, gives two straight lines.
The intersection of these lines is taken as the ultimate bearing capacity of
soil (see fig.4).

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Fig-1 (Plate Load Test Setup)

Fig-2 (PLT Observation Sheet)

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11/18/2018 HOW TO PERFORM PLATE LOAD TEST OF SOIL ON SITE? - CivilBlog.Org

Fig-3 (PLT load-settlement curve)

Fig-4 (PLT load-settlement logarithmic curve)

Also read the post on uncertainties involved in plate load test.

Also Read: How to Calculate Bearing Capacity of Soil From Plate Load
Test

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