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6/23/2017 StandardpenetrationtestWikipedia

Standardpenetrationtest
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Thestandardpenetrationtest(SPT)isaninsitudynamicpenetrationtest
designedtoprovideinformationonthegeotechnicalengineeringpropertiesof
soil.ThetestprocedureisdescribedinISO224763,ASTMD1586[1]and
AustralianStandardsAS1289.6.3.1.

Contents
1 Procedure
2 Purpose
3 Correlationwithsoilmechanicalproperties
4 ProblemswithSPT
5 Seealso
6 References

StandardpenetrationtestNvalues
Procedure fromasurficialaquiferinsouth
Florida.
Thetestusesathickwalledsampletube,withanoutsidediameterof50.8mm
andaninsidediameterof35mm,andalengthofaround650mm.Thisis
drivenintothegroundatthebottomofaboreholebyblowsfromaslidehammerwithamassof63.5kg(140lb)
fallingthroughadistanceof760mm(30in).Thesampletubeisdriven150mmintothegroundandthenthe
numberofblowsneededforthetubetopenetrateeach150mm(6in)uptoadepthof450mm(18in)isrecorded.
Thesumofthenumberofblowsrequiredforthesecondandthird6in.ofpenetrationistermedthe"standard
penetrationresistance"orthe"Nvalue".Incaseswhere50blowsareinsufficienttoadvanceitthrougha150mm
(6in)intervalthepenetrationafter50blowsisrecorded.Theblowcountprovidesanindicationofthedensityof
theground,anditisusedinmanyempiricalgeotechnicalengineeringformulae.

Purpose
Themainpurposeofthetestistoprovideanindicationoftherelativedensityofgranulardeposits,suchassands
andgravelsfromwhichitisvirtuallyimpossibletoobtainundisturbedsamples.Thegreatmeritofthetest,andthe
mainreasonforitswidespreaduseisthatitissimpleandinexpensive.Thesoilstrengthparameterswhichcanbe
inferredareapproximate,butmaygiveausefulguideingroundconditionswhereitmaynotbepossibletoobtain
boreholesamplesofadequatequalitylikegravels,sands,silts,claycontainingsandorgravelandweakrock.In
conditionswherethequalityoftheundisturbedsampleissuspect,e.g.,verysiltyorverysandyclays,orhardclays,
itisoftenadvantageoustoalternatethesamplingwithstandardpenetrationteststocheckthestrength.Ifthe
samplesarefoundtobeunacceptablydisturbed,itmaybenecessarytouseadifferentmethodformeasuring
strengthliketheplatetest.Whenthetestiscarriedoutingranularsoilsbelowgroundwaterlevel,thesoilmay
becomeloosened.Incertaincircumstances,itcanbeusefultocontinuedrivingthesamplerbeyondthedistance
specified,addingfurtherdrillingrodsasnecessary.Althoughthisisnotastandardpenetrationtest,andshouldnot
beregardedassuch,itmayatleastgiveanindicationastowhetherthedepositisreallyaslooseasthestandard
testmayindicate.

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6/23/2017 StandardpenetrationtestWikipedia

TheusefulnessofSPTresultsdependsonthesoiltype,withfinegrainedsandsgivingthemostusefulresults,with
coarsersandsandsiltysandsgivingreasonablyusefulresults,andclaysandgravellysoilsyieldingresultswhich
maybeverypoorlyrepresentativeofthetruesoilconditions.Soilsinaridareas,suchastheWesternUnitedStates,
mayexhibitnaturalcementation.Thisconditionwilloftenincreasethestandardpenetrationvalue.

TheSPTisusedtoprovideresultsforempiricaldeterminationofasandlayer'ssusceptibilitytosoilliquefaction,
basedonresearchperformedbyHarrySeed,T.LeslieYoud,andothers.

Correlationwithsoilmechanicalproperties
Despiteitsmanyflaws,itisusualpracticetocorrelateSPTresultswithsoilpropertiesrelevantforgeotechnical
engineeringdesign.SPTresultsareinsitufieldmeasurements,andnotassubjecttosampledisturbance,andare
oftentheonlytestresultsavailable,thereforetheuseofcorrelationshasbecomecommonpracticeinmany
countries.

ProblemswithSPT
TheStandardPenetrationTestrecoversahighlydisturbedsample,whichisgenerallynotsuitablefortestswhich
measurepropertiesoftheinsitusoilstructure,suchasdensity,strength,andconsolidationcharacteristics.To
overcomethislimitation,thetestisoftenrunwithalargersamplerwithaslightlydifferenttipshape,sothe
disturbanceofthesampleisminimized,andtestingofstructuralpropertiesismeaningfulforallbutsoftsoils.
However,thisresultsinblowcountswhicharenoteasilyconvertedtoSPTNvaluesmanyconversionshave
beenproposed,someofwhichdependonthetypeofsoilsampled,makingrelianceonblowcountswithnon
standardsamplersproblematic.

StandardPenetrationTestblowcountsdonotrepresentasimplephysicalpropertyofthesoil,andthusmustbe
correlatedtosoilpropertiesofinterest,suchasstrengthordensity.Thereexistmultiplecorrelations,noneofwhich
areofveryhighquality.[2]UseofSPTdatafordirectpredictionofliquefactionpotentialsuffersfromroughnessof
correlationsandfromtheneedto"normalize"SPTdatatoaccountforoverburdenpressure,samplingtechnique,
andotherfactors.[3]Additionally,themethodcannotcollectaccuratedataforweaksoillayersforseveralreasons:

1.Theresultsarelimitedtowholenumbersforaspecificdrivinginterval,butwithverylowblowcounts,the
granularityoftheresults,andthepossibilityofazeroresult,makeshandlingthedatacumbersome.[4]
2.Inloosesandsandverysoftclays,theactofdrivingthesamplerwillsignificantlydisturbthesoil,including
bysoilliquefactionofloosesands,givingresultsbasedonthedisturbedsoilpropertiesratherthantheintact
soilproperties.

Avarietyoftechniqueshavebeenproposedtocompensateforthedeficienciesofthestandardpenetrationtest,
includingtheConepenetrationtest,insituvanesheartests,andshearwavevelocitymeasurements.

Seealso
Conepenetrationtest
Geotechnicalinvestigation
Soilmechanics

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_penetration_test 2/3
6/23/2017 StandardpenetrationtestWikipedia

Zatuwa,Monosagu(2005)Beware,softgroundandthestandardpenetrationtest(http://www.pwri.go.jp/tea
m/geosearch/wadai_04.html)(inJapanese)PublicWorksResearchInstitute
UniversityofMissouriRolla(http://web.mst.edu/~rogersda/umrcourses/ge441/NOTES%20for%20STAN
DARD%20PENETRATION%20TEST.pdf)ClassnotesontheSPT.

1.http://www.astm.org/Standards/D1586.htm
2.Kulhawy,F.H.Mayne,P.W.(August1990).ManualonEstimatingSoilPropertiesforFoundationDesign(http://www.
epri.com/abstracts/Pages/ProductAbstract.aspx?ProductId=EL6800).Ithaca,NewYork:ElectricPowerResearch
Institute.pp.217to226.EL6800.
3.Youd,T.L.Member,Asce,I.M.Idriss,ChairFellow,Asce,RonaldD.Andrus,CoChairArango,IgnacioCastro,
GonzaloChristian,JohnT.Dobry,RichardoFinn,W.D.Liametal.(2001)."LiquefactionResistanceofSoils:
SummaryReportfromthe1996NCEERand1998NCEERNSFWorkshopsonEvaluationofLiquefactionResistanceof
Soils".JournalofGeotechnicalandGeoenvironmentalEngineering.127(10):297313.doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1090
0241(2001)127:10(817)(https://doi.org/10.1061%2F%28ASCE%2910900241%282001%29127%3A10%28817%29).
4.Zatsuwa,Monosagu(2005)."Beware,softgroundandthestandardpenetrationtest"(http://www.pwri.go.jp/team/geosear
ch/wadai_04.html)(inJapanese).PublicWorksResearchInstitute.

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Categories: Soiltests

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