Geotechnical testing is performed by geotechnical engineers, geotechnical technicians, or engineering geologists to understand the characteristics such as the physical properties that exist underneath a work site.
An essential part of the planning and constructing building and infrastructure projects (comprising various types of structures as a foundation, roads, bridges, excavation pit, land reclamation, beach nourishment, etc.) is the knowledge of the ground conditions.
The geotechnical investigation with its respective services shall be carried out. Their nature and extent depend on the structure’s type, the difficulty of the structure, and the expected ground conditions.
Geo-technical testing will include a walk around of the surface conditions as well as one or more of a variety of tests.
Tests generally fall into 4 categories, test pits, trenching, boring and in-situ testing.
Test Pits and Geotechnical Testing
Test pits are much like you would expect, a pit is dug either manually or with an excavator in order to reveal the sub-surface conditions to the depth desired.
Trenching is similar to Test pits except that in this case, the pit is elongated over some distance in order to establish how the sub-surface conditions change over various parts of the worksite.
A range of soil samplers can be used to extract test samples including shovels, hand-driven augers, split-spoon samplers, modified California samplers, and Shelby tube samplers.
Boring and Geotechnical Testing
Borings, usually small-diameter borings, provide the opportunity to physically remove soil or rock samples for testing.
Borings provide the advantage of letting you ‘see’ the actual materials, but for certain types of soils, the very act of boring can disturb the soil conditions and the samples extracted may not represent what the conditions will actually be for building and supporting structures since it is unscientific and void of actionable data.
Generally, soil samples from the above tests are taken to a lab where they are evaluated.
In-situ (in the situation, or at the site) testing methods include penetration tests such as Standard Penetration Tests (SPT), which penetrate via drilling, and various Cone Penetration Tests, which penetrate via direct push.
These tests measure the physical properties of the subsurface soil directly, without removal.
This provides the advantages of generating a more accurate reflection of conditions underground as well as avoiding the necessity of sending samples out for lab testing.
The right test should be specified for the right situation. By understanding the different types of tests available and the advantages of each.
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What are the geotechnical testing types?
Geotechnical testing methods are used to get critical information about the physical properties of the substrate, rock, and soil around a potential construction site.
Types of Soil Tests for Building Construction
– Moisture content test.
– Atterberg limits tests.
– Specific gravity of soil.
– Dry density of soil.
– Compaction test
What is geotechnical testing used for in construction?
Geotechnical testing is done to investigate subsurface conditions and materials, determine the physical and chemical properties of the earth materials, evaluate slopes and soil deposits’ stability, assess the risks posed by site conditions, design foundations, and monitor site conditions and foundation construction.
Who uses geotechnical testing?
Geotechnical engineers use tools, such as the cone penetration test (CPT), to estimate the amount of skin and end bearing resistance available in the subsurface. There are many types of foundations, including piles, caissons, piers, drilled shafts, and earth stabilized columns.
Why is geotechnical testing performed?
Geotechnical testing is conducted by geotechnical engineers, geotechnical technicians, or engineering geologists to understand the characteristics, such as the physical properties that exist underneath a work site.