Types of Geotechnical Testing

Eliot Sinclair’s geotechnical team has equipment and technicians readily available for shallow subsoil hand testing of sites, and are also capable of supervising shallow tests undertaken by machine excavations. Shallow subsoil investigations give an indication to the engineer about the underlying soil strata and the bearing capacities, which can then be used for foundation design.

Shallow subsoil investigations have the ability to extend up to 4.0m below ground level, and in some unusual cases, may extend to greater depths however, the target depth is usually dependent on the site conditions and the limits of the hand testing equipment. The main types of shallow subsoil hand testing provided are:

Hand Auger Tests

Hand auger tests generally comprise a 50mm diameter auger that is able to obtain samples of the underlying soils at 200mm intervals.

Scala Penetrometer Tests

Scala penetrometer tests comprise of a 16mm diameter shaft which is driven into the ground by dropping a 9kg weight. From this, penetration resistances are recorded in mm per blow, and a bearing capacity calculated.

Machine Excavated Test Pits

Machine excavated test pits usually comprise of an excavator with a small bucket, with the pits excavated into the ground until a desired depth is reached, and the soil profile logged by an engineer. Machine excavated test pits can be more practical than hand auger tests, as a more visual approach for the underlying soil strata may be necessary when more complicated soil conditions are encountered.

Machine Auger Tests

Machine auger tests usually comprise a 300mm wide by 3.0m long hydraulic post auger attached to an excavator. The hydraulic post auger is screwed into the ground and retrieved in 0.5m intervals, and then the soil profile is logged. This test approach is beneficial when a significant amount of tests are required in an area, and in a short amount of time. We have the team and resources to carry out cost effective shallow testing.

Whatever testing you require you can be assured the geotechnical team at Eliot Sinclair are highly skilled and able to undertake the tests you require with quality results you can trust.

48x48-pdfBulletin 13011: Types of Testing, written by Ryan Orange Phone2image004