Expanding from geotechnical Cone Penetration Test (CPT) into other services is a great way to grow your business. Evaluating subsurface soil contamination provides many business opportunities and a way to differentiate yourself from other CPT service providers – allowing you to protect your business, while expanding into new regions and adding clients. In many instances, the existence of environmental contaminations in an area is known, but the question that needs to be answered is, “where is it”? In other posts, we explain how CPT works, and how it can be used to characterize the strata underground hundreds of feet deep, depending upon the actual subsurface conditions, the equipment being used etc., In addition to identifying soil types by layer and depth, geo-technical CPT testing also helps to establish groundwater levels and potential migration pathways. This makes it useful for identifying where contamination may migrate or be confined. Establishing a depth profile of the contamination underground and how the ‘plume’ is located and migrated, or where it is likely to expand in the future is vital to establishing a cleanup or remediation plan. Once contamination has been shown to be likely, our discrete soil and ground water sampling equipment delivers physical samples for confirmation. Once CPT became well-established and proven as a geo-technical evaluation tool, it was natural to try and see what other types of testing could be accomplished using the same tools. In addition to mapping groundwater conditions with in-situ pore pressure transducers, CPT tools that sense the direct presence of various types of hydrocarbons and other volatile organic compounds at depth are now available. A variety of cone sensors can be used to test for specific types of contamination. Multiple CPT equipment modules can be configured with multiple sensors, including soil moisture resistivity, video, radiation and sensing for [...]
Geo-technical Boring is less accurate, less efficient and more expensive than Cone Penetration Testing (CPT), here's why. When it comes to selecting a method for subsurface investigation and testing you are presented with different options. From the Standard Penetration Test (SPT), which is a type of Geo-technical Soil Boring to Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) there are many options to consider, and each provides certain advantages over the other. Today we’re going to compare Geo-technical Boring to CPT. Geo-technical boring is a method of drilling which is performed for site investigation. This drilling technique is most commonly used to obtain information on the physical properties of soil and rock under a foundation. This information helps to determine the depth of the foundation, ensure the site is safe and determines if structural compensations will be needed. This also ensures that the foundation, caissons and various supports are built in the right place. Hollow Stem Augers One type of geo-technical boring using a hollow stem auger is the Standard Penetration Test. Like it's name suggests, a hollow stem auger is a drilling tool that enables you to capture soil samples in the hollow portion of the drill for retrieving to the surface. One advantage of this approach is that you have actual soil samples you are working with. In the case of identifying the presence, location and depth of specific types of contaminants, this can be useful. Cone Penetration Testing Though geo-technical boring seems like a sufficient option for site subsurface investigation, geo-technical boring doesn’t provide the accuracy and efficiency that Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) can offer. Geo-technical Boring has the advantage that it uses many of the skills of conventional well drilling. Because the Boring operations and technical analysis, such as laboratory tests, are separate, Geo-technical Boring can require less skilled operators [...]
Sometimes it's hard to imagine how important designing the proper foundation support for a structure can be. The public may assume that the ground we are standing on is pretty much stable and should be able to hold whatever we build on it, without consideration of soil quality. However, there are examples throughout history of structures that were built upon soil conditions that were not suitable for their weight. Perhaps the most famous is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. With better soil quality, it may have been known today as the Tower of Pisa Unfortunately for the constructors, the Tower was built upon a patch of soil that was too soft on one side for the pressure the structure would exert as it's height climbed. The Tower actually had begun leaning during the construction process and had quite a tilt before it was even completed. Over time, builders began to realize that in order to build magnificent structures, and to have them endure over time, they had to understand the geology they were building on. They had to be able to translate an understanding of the soil quality that is not able to be seen into foundation designs that would support even the tallest skyscrapers we build today. Through lots of experimentation, science, engineering and creative solutions, we've been able to evolve our understanding of how to perform a variety of soil tests and how to link that to solid design and construction methods that will support structures as varied as highway bridges and high-rise buildings. As you explore the resources that we've provided in our CPT University, you'll learn about a variety of soil tests and the advantages of each. Tests such as Standard Penetration Tests (SPT), Cone Penetration Tests (CPT) and other forms of testing all have their [...]
Soil quality typically refers to three characteristics of a soil; the chemical, physical and biological properties. When used as an agricultural term, soil quality is often a measure of the soils ability to produce crops over the long term. However, because the chemical and physical properties of soils are of interest to engineers as well, soil quality is often a term used to describe soil properties of interest to designers, engineers and constructors. The soil quality parameters of most interest are the chemical properties and physical properties. We have featured a closer look into some of the other chemical properties of soils in previous posts, including the ability of soils to conduct electricity, and what this can tell us about types of soil contaminants that might be present. Here, we’re going to delve more deeply into physical soil quality, and one property of certain soils that can be fascinating, but also tragically dangerous. That property is the propensity of certain soil types, under certain conditions to exhibit liquefaction. Liquefaction and Soil Quality Liquefaction, as the name implies, is the term used to describe soil that behaves like a liquid. As you can see from the image above, this can lead to catastrophic outcomes. If the people constructing this building had a better understanding of the impact of soil quality on the stability of the structure, they might have had the opportunity to mitigate the potential damage. So clearly, the susceptibility of a soil to liquefaction is an important indicator of the soil's quality. But what is soil liquefaction? Well, as we noted above, liquefaction is when soil acts like a liquid, but how can this happen? Soil liquefaction most often occurs in loose, sandy soil types where the soil itself is mostly, or completely saturated with water. When this type [...]
Japanese CPT Services Built by Vertek Land Concierge Inc.’s subsurface technology manager Hideyuki Sato and colleague Yoshihiro Imai visited Vertek CPT's manufacturing facility for a demonstration of our S4 Cone Penetrometer Test (CPT) push system and Data Acquisition Systems (DAS). Land Concierge Inc. has been a customer of Vertek since 2009 and is our sales agent in Japan. Contact Mr. Sato with your Japanese soil testing equipment needs and questions. Vertek personnel demonstrated the versatility of the S4 and provided an interactive tour of our CPT fabrication facilities. Mr. Sato indicated that requests for CPT testing in Japan has increased since 2011 and many of his customers that are interested in incorporating Verteks’ S4 and CPT equipment into their business. Land Concierge's clients focus on: Contaminted sites Site characterization Bio-remediation Geothechnical in-situ testing Soil and groundwater sampling If your organization would like to send a representative to our Vermont facility to learn more about the CPT business and technologies, contact us today.
If you have been thinking about expanding into the Cone Penetration Testing business but still need some more information to feel confident with your decision; or need further details to bring to your employer, you have come to the right place. This post is an introduction to the basics of CPT and how it correlates with the ASTM Standards to meet your needs and better serve your business. If this is the first time you have really considered entering the CPT business; CPT is the use of a hardened cone shape that is pushed into the ground to substantial depths for the process of collecting immediate onsite data. CPT has proven to be an inexpensive option that not only is safe and efficient but delivers accurate data at a faster rate. Not only is CPT an effective and inexpensive option for your drilling assignments, but it also meets the ASTM Standards, ensuring that it meets the standard of excellence (safe, quality, etc). CPT Data & ASTM Standards "ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence" [ASTM]. To take a deeper dive into the value of ASTM Standards, take a look at this video: [/fusion_youtube]
Agronomists, Civil Engineers, Geological Engineers and more will often talk about 'Soil Quality'. As a result, there can be varying definitions of what 'quality' soil means. That means that there are a wide variety of tests to determine 'Soil Quality'. What Does Soil Quality Mean for You? For the Agronomist, Soil Quality refers to the capacity of soil to provide a kind of function related to growing capacity. This will take into account the soils ability to support life as in its chemical properties (does it have enough nitrogen etc.), it's biological properties (does it have the right bio-system to support the production of certain types of crops), will it retain the right amounts of water, is it's grain size suitable for tilling etc. There are many tests that will help one to evaluate the agricultural viability of soils. For the Civil and Geological Engineer some of these tests might be valuable. For instance, in making recommendations in how to reclaim a 'brown field' (a site that was formerly industrial that is now being re-developed for other purposes) it can be useful to identify the level of ability of an area to support specific types of grasses. When performing earthworks, it is not uncommon to use plantings such as trees as part of the anchor system to help to hold berms and such in place. Knowing Soil Quality in this respect can help to support a good decision with respect to the structural support that a living ecosystem can bring. Generally though, Engineering types are after more specific physical properties in order to 'do the math' on how an engineered system will interact with the soil conditions that are present. This enables engineers to either recommend changing the systems in place (such as by excavating large quantities of soil out, [...]
Vertek S4 Push System In Action Extracting underground data to determine soil parameters in order to efficiently provide foundation requirements Vertek customer Michael Cox has launched PalmettoINSITU, LLC, a geotechnical exploration firm specializing in extracting and presenting more exact data from coastal, southeastern, and southwestern soils prior to development and construction projects. Geotechnical engineers will contract with PalmettoINSITU to extract underground data to determine soil parameters in order to efficiently provide foundation requirements for: Bridges, multi-story buildings, private residences, nuclear power plants, wind turbines, cellular communication towers, municipal water tanks, water treatment facilities, sinkholes, profiling top-of-rock, directional boring, and many other critical applications prior to development and construction. About Michael Cox: Michael Cox spent 13 years with S&ME, a global Top-100 engineering firm before launching PalmettoINSITU in June of 2014. Michael Cox graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with an MS in Information Technology and a BS in Computer Information Systems. Cox also earned an AS in Civil Engineering Technology, including AutoCAD and Surveying certificates from Trident Technical College in Charleston. Michael Cox is known as the "Indiana Jones" of capturing soil data in the geotechnical engineering space, due to his reputation and innovation for getting in and out of some of the most challenging site locations. Before beautiful residences, commercial buildings, or major facilities are built, their raw land is typically rough, wooded, wet, or otherwise a challenge to physically enter in order to begin testing the soil. Vertek's S4 Push System offers maximum flexibility to access these site locations due to application on a variety of equipment. Michael Cox earned over a decade of geotechnical experience working on the following projects: Norfolk Naval Shipyard (Virginia), Andrews Air Force Base (Maryland), The Boeing Facility (South Carolina), The Bellefonte Nuclear Station (Alabama), Robinson Nuclear Power Plant (South Carolina), The Google [...]
A Cone Penetration Test is used to collect key subsurface information from soil by pushing a hardened cone shape per ASTM International standards, deep into the ground with the help of steel rods, a hydraulic ram and, in most cases, a very heavy truck. CPT is typically used to determine the composition, distribution and strength of soil, sediment and other geological subsurface features like clay, sand, bedrock and even contaminants. The information gathered by Cone Penetration Testing can be used to inform important business decisions, like how to design the foundations of a structure. This helps prevent any future issues that could arise from building a structure blind. Of course, CPT testing isn’t the only method of soil investigation, but it is among the most commonly used and accepted, and for good reason. For starters, CPT testing offers quick collection and interpretation of field data; in fact, it is up to three times faster than traditional methods. In addition, CPT testing eliminates drill cuttings, while also being economical, environmentally friendly, safe and adaptive to various weather and soil conditions. In other words, CPT is the clear, superior choice for soil testing in the majority of situations. Best of all, thanks to developments like Vertek’s S4 Push System, it’s possible to perform CPT testing with nothing more than the CPT System and a commercial skidsteer. For a closer look at how CPT stacks up against competing methods of soil investigation, check out our ‘Mud Rotary Drilling vs. CPT’ post. If you're still curious about what expanding into the CPT business can do you your business, subscribe to our blog, or take a closer look at the video below! [/fusion_youtube]
When you think of Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) you may tend to focus on the soil being tested, which makes sense since soil testing and analysis is largely what CPT is all about. But let’s not forget another equally important aspect of soil testing: moisture. While measuring soil moisture levels isn't necessarily important in every investigation, it is often valuable information to have for your data set. When designing underground electrical equipment or digging tunnels, for example, knowing soil moisture conditions at certain depths is crucial. Measuring Moisture with a ‘Piezocone’ Measuring the moisture content of soil is a crucial aspect of CPT that is performed by a type of cone known as a ‘Piezocone.’ The Piezocone is a core component of many CPT systems; in fact, it’s actually a type of CPT cone. Able to measure the presence of groundwater, the Piezocone is fitted with a device that measures in-situ pore pressure. As such, when the cone penetrates into soils, water pressure is exerted on and measured by the Piezocone. Pore pressure data is recorded automatically during the testing process. As with any standard Cone Penetration Test, the Piezocone also measures pore pressure tip resistance, sleeve friction to provide a picture of the soil behavior being tested. Due to its relatively specialized nature, the Piezocone is typically used when soil conditions are expected to be fairly wet. The Piezocone is a standard configuration of most CPT cones while adding the ability to measure a greater breadth of information. If you found today's post interesting, subscribe to our blog for even more on the CPT business!