In the 18th century, drill rigs began to be used for oil and gas exploration. The first recorded use of a drill rig for this purpose was in Pennsylvania in 1859, used to drill almost 70 feet to strike oil. After this successful drilling operation, drill rigs began to be used worldwide for oil and gas exploration. Today, drill rigs are used worldwide for various applications, including water well drilling, site characterization, natural resource exploration, and supporting construction projects.
Cone penetration testing (CPT) was developed in Europe in the 1950s and has been matured though use and technology to be a high-resolution tool to conduct in-situ testing for soil strength and properties. CPT uses a sensored probe with a conical tip that collects and measures 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 data is collected every centimeter by the in-situ sensors and displayed in real-time. The processed data is then used to model the subsurface characteristics and inform the design managers of the soil conditions and bearing capacity.
This allows geotechnical engineers to obtain critical information on the strength and stability of sediments and make informed decisions to mitigate risk. CPT is an important tool for geotechnical engineers as it can provide information on the potential problems that could occur during design and construction.
As the global demand for new and improved infrastructure continues to grow, so does the need for more efficient and safe investigation methods. While there have been many advances in drilling technology, some of the most significant changes have been in drill rigs and CPT systems. With over 150 years of drilling history, rigs have come a long way from simple wooden structures with steam engines. With today’s drill rigs offered by Acker Drill Rigs, CME, Mobile Drill Intl., among others, CPT can easily be integrated. The choice between offering CPT or standard drilling is no longer a zero-sum decision.
Vertek’s Drill Rig Conversion Kit has changed the game for drillers who previously could only offer traditional drilling methods. The Drill Rig Conversion Kit includes a simple screw on adapter to allow for pushing and pulling CPT rods. No modification to the drill rig is required. In less than a day of training, drillers can become proficient in operating the CPT system.
By leveraging your existing drill rig, you can offer an advanced method of investigation at a fraction of the cost of a CPT truck or track rig. Offering CPT in conjunction with standard penetration testing will increase your ability to bid on more jobs, grow your business, provide your customers with more capabilities, and provide unmatched quality that geotechnical and civil engineers will trust.
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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.