DCP (Dynamic Cone Penetration) Testing is a simple, reliable and cost-effective method to evaluate the in-situ stiffness profile of soil to a depth of about three feet. Its extreme portability, minimal disturbance of the subgrade, and ability to produce a continuous depth profile make it an ideal system for testing the mechanical properties of a pavement system during any stage of construction.
DCP (Dynamic Cone Penetrometer) testing is a highly portable, lightweight soil testing method. It is ideal for shallow tests and can be carried by hand from one location to the next, making it a good choice for applications such as road bed construction and maintenance. However, traditional DCP testing has drawbacks: though the equipment is lightweight, the test requires two people—one to operate the hammer and the other to measure the displacement with each blow. This manual process makes the test quite labor-intensive, and human errors in measurement and recording can make it difficult to obtain consistent results.
The Vertek Smart DCP system takes this portable, low-cost testing method into the 21st century with laser measurement and real-time data acquisition.
Dynamic Cone Penetration (DCP) testing is used to measure the strength of in-situ soil and the thickness and location of subsurface soil layers.
It is similar to CPT in that a metal cone is advanced into the ground to continuously characterize soil behavior. However, unlike in CPT, where the cone is driven into the ground at a constant rate by varying amounts of force, in DCP, the cone is driven by a standard amount of force from a hammer, and how far the cone moves with each blow is used to determine the soil density and properties at that level.
In DCP testing, the pushing force is applied by manually dropping a single or dual mass weight (called the hammer) from a fixed height onto the push cone unit. The resulting downward movement is then measured. Unlike CPT systems, basic DCP equipment is hand-portable and may be limited to test depths of 3-4 feet: this makes it a good choice for shallow testing applications such as road bed construction and maintenance. Since DCP is essentially hand-powered, it is cheaper and more portable than CPT equipment, but the possibility of human error makes it trickier to obtain consistent and accurate data.