Ground improvement and stabilization are two important aspects of any construction or engineering project. When it comes to ground improvement, several different techniques can be used, which can be complex and require a high degree of precision. Cone penetration testing or CPT and ground improvement are becoming synonymous as more engineering firms and government agencies adopt CPT.
Any error or inaccuracies can lead to severe problems down the line. That’s why businesses that work in this field need to have a robust quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program in place. Many different products are available to businesses in the ground improvement and stabilization field, but CPT is one of the most accurate and efficient methods available to characterize the density of the sediments.
Vertek offers a wide range of CPT systems used to conduct in-situ testing for soil strength and cohesiveness. The system consists of a sensored probe with a conical tip that collect and measure three main measurements: tip resistance, sleeve friction, and pore pressure. With these series of sensors, you can calculate:
● Effective overburden
● Undrained shear strength
● Over consolidation ratio
● Friction angle
● Pore pressure ratio
● Coefficient of earth pressure
● Young’s Modulus
● Poisson’s Ratio
● Relative density
● Hydraulic conductivity
● Normalized uncorrected tip stress
● Normalized corrected tip stress
● Normalized friction ratio
● 1986 friction ratio behavior type
● 1990 friction ratio soil behavior type
● Preconsolidation stress
● Fines content
● Classification index
The Need for Ground Improvement and Stabilization
Ground improvement is improving the mechanical properties of existing soils or fill material. It can also be improved through the use of prefabricated piles and structural material replacement. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as:
● Vibro Compaction
● Vacuum Consolidation
● Preloading of soil
● Soil stabilization by heating or vitrification
● Ground freezing
● Vibro-replacement stone columns
● Mechanically stabilized earth structures
● Soil nailing
In construction and engineering projects, ground improvement helps to ensure the ground on which the project is built on can withstand things like seismic events, creation of deep foundations for superstructures, and land expansion into bodies of water. Similarly, ground stabilization improves soil stability and can be achieved through multiple different methods. That’s why businesses need to have a strong QA/QC program in place to define and validate ground improvement activities through the ground improvement cycle. If not appropriately managed, improper ground improvement and stabilization can lead to problems, such as:
● Pipe breaks or leaks
● Damage to underground utilities
● Sinking or settling of the ground
● Failure of retaining walls or other structures
If you do not utilize CPT as part of your site investigation or QA/QC program, you could be at a greater risk of experiencing one of these issues. All these problems can be costly and time-consuming to fix, but by utilizing CPT, businesses can avoid these problems and ensure that they know the subsurface characteristics of the ground they are building on.
The quality assurance and quality control of ground improvement and stabilization are essential to the success of any project. We hope you can see the value of cone penetration testing and ground improvement. Vertek can help you ensure the quality of your project and avoid potential problems. If you have any questions about our product or how it can benefit your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to discuss your needs and our solutions.
Vertek equipment is proudly designed, manufactured, and serviced in the United States. As former CPT providers, we know the importance of having reliable support while you are in the field, and it’s why we are always just a phone call away for the life of your equipment.