A Cone Penetration Test (CPT) also referred to more informally as a Cone Test, is a way to get at subsurface information without having to directly sample the subsurface. Many organizations that order drilling services are also using CPT within their operations. CPT testing services is a good support option to well drilling services, since many of the potential customers and skills overlap. What is Cone Penetration Testing? Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) is the practice of using an ASTM standard hardened cone shape that is directly pushed into the ground to substantial depths. The cone is pushed using steel rods that are able to be connected to each other in 1 meter lengths as the depth increases. A powerful hydraulic ram is used to generate a substantial amount of downward force to enable the cone to penetrate soils, sand, clay and sometimes even soft rock. In order to keep the surface equipment (truck) in place and not simply be lifted up by the ram force, the vehicles that the CPT equipment is mounted on or in are typically quite heavy. Also, the use of anchor systems to the ground will increase the ability of any vehicle mounted CPT system to push harder and therefore deeper. There are a couple of different imperative goals to any subsurface investigation. The first one is the nature and sequence of strata or soil,sediments and other geological subsurface features. Using CPT for this is called geo-technical testing. In addition, the groundwater conditions can be established during a sounding. CPT can be used to determine: the composition, strength and distribution of subsurface soils. These can range from clay, sand, bedrock, groundwater table, hydrocarbons, contaminants and more. Advantages of CPT There are many different advantages to Cone Penetration Testing (CPT), including, prompt collection and interpretation of field [...]
Geo-Congress 2014, Atlanta, Booth 105 Join us at Geo-Congress 2014 in Atlanta starting Sunday, February 23rd and running through Tuesday, February 25th, 2014. We're excited to be a part of this historic gathering, the first Geo-Institute conference focused on sustainability. CPT is an important part of structural design, including sustainably focused projects. It is also a vital technology for ground water monitoring, protection and soil remediation which are essential to sustainable development. Vertek CPT is excited to be sharing the latest breakthrough CPT tools including the new S4 quick attach CPT system! We'll be planning our spring product demo schedule that is kicking off in May. So stop by booth #105 to arrange a time and place to experience these products first hand and see how Vertek CPT can help you to be successful in the CPT business. Hope to see you there!
In terms of measuring soil contamination, measuring soil electrical conductivity can provide useful information for a more complete site characterization study. Measuring sub-surface soil electrical conductivity is becoming less expensive as well as faster and easier. This form of measurement has most commonly been used for measuring physical and chemical soil properties but the ability to pinpoint contaminants is improving, particularly with software designed for the job. How to Measure Soil Conductivity Measuring soil electrical conductivity is facilitated by two different types of sensors, a contact sensor and a non-contact sensor. Contact sensors work by making contact with soil to measure electrical conductivity directly. These types of instruments are most often used along the surface of a field to characterize the soil for agricultural purposes. Non-Contact Sensors Non-contact sensors, as the name implies, function without having to touch the soil directly. This method is based on the measurement of the change in mutual impedance between a pair of coils passed through the soil. Electricity is applied through the coils, which creates a magnetic field. Much like the way an induction motor operates, this magnetic field induces an electrical current in nearby materials that are magnetic. You can assess the level of current induced by measuring the impedance in the operating coils. Passing non-contact sensors down a borehole has been used effectively to establish geophysical properties such as the presence of clay (which may have highly conductive materials distributed through it) and water table levels. In cases where an area is known to have contamination, the identification of clay layers and groundwater distribution can help to estimate where 'plumes' of contamination might be contained orspread underground. In the case of a borehole test, water samples can be gathered directly from discrete depths to confirm the presence of various types of contaminants. [...]
See The Vertek S4 Push System in Person! The 3rd International Symposium on Cone Penetration Testing will be held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 12-14, 2014. The theme of the Symposium is the solution of geotechnical and geo-environmental problems using the Cone Penetration Test (CPT). We'll be at booth #1 and also setup outside with our new S4 Push System which is designed to be attached to a wide variety of equipment. Learn more about our entire line of products and data acquisition systems.
Are you new to the Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) business? Or maybe you're looking to convert your operation to CPT? Wherever your interest is surfacing from, we have everything you need to know about expanding into the CPT business with confidence. What do I get from a Cone Penetration Test (CPT)? In case you're new to the Cone Penetration Testing business, CPT will collect important subsurface information from standard tests and then from there determine important business factors, such as, how to design foundations for structures or the composition of subsurface soils. The difference between this type of data collection and other competitors is the benefit CPT has for businesses. CPT can provide immediate, onsite information that is quick and accurate. Above all, onsite results can improve your business productivity; ultimately leading to a more efficient business process. If you had the chance to take a look at our Solutions Brief: Enter the Cone Penetration Business with Confidence, then you may have already taken a deep dive into the advantages of collecting subsurface information with a process that is more quick and efficient than other options. Businesses are choosing to use a CPT solution for many different reasons; whether for construction or government purposes, they all benefit from the same advantage: speedy collection and interpretation of data, a safe solution for operators and the environment, and the ability to adapt to different weather and soil conditions. We understand how intimidating it can be to enter a new business; large or small. That's why we are focused on delivering educational content that addresses all of your CPT needs and concerns. From topics on 'What is a Cone Test' to 'Mud Rotary Drilling vs. CPT,' it's important to consider pros and cons and different scenarios in order to make the right choice [...]
If you're familiar with our CPT University blog then you may have had a chance to take a closer look into what CPT can do for your business. If you're yet to make the switch; it may be because you don't exactly have the means to support the transition into the CPT business. Fortunately, if you're still looking to reap the benefits of CPT rigs, the Vertek CPT Drill Rig Adapter may be the solution that you have been searching for. Read on to learn how you can start growing your drilling business. Converting a drill rig into a CPT platform using a Vertek CPT Drill Rig Adapter Businesses that transition out of SPT or Hollow Stem Auger Drilling are able to become more efficient and obtain a higher daily rate. How Does it Work? The drill rig CPT adapter kit enables drilling service providers to complete CPT testing with their existing equipment. So how does it work exactly? The simple adapter is first screwed onto the drill head. This enables the existing push and pull hydraulic system to advance and retract the CPT equipment to and from the subsurface. This is just a small snippet of what the drill rig CPT adapter kit can do, for even more on it's functionality, visit our drilling conversion page. A CPT Drilling Conversion Rig Kit Consists of: A Peizo-Cone Penetrometer A Data Acquisition System (DAS) and coaxial communication cable A Depth Marker for depth measurement A Drill Head Adapter for advancing and removal Rods or Rod Adapters Wear surface consumables and spares (tips, sleeves, pore pressure filters) Seismic shear wave equipment (optional) Converting a drilling rig can be a cost-effective entry into CPT. By following this route, you can enter the CPT business with a brand that offers exceptional domestic support and [...]
As we noted in a previous post about Soil Quality, there are a wide range of reasons that soil needs to be tested. For some applications, it is important to get data about soil that is sub-surface, and in many cases getting data from deep under a site can be useful or essential. When most people imagine how you would gather data from soil that is deep underground, they imagine using a drilling rig of some kind. Sure enough, there are special kinds of boring tools that will let you drill deep into the ground and extract a sample of the soil at depth for analysis. Advantages & Disadvantages of Geotechnical Boring Using Geotechnical Boring, whether it be small-diameter or large-diameter equipment allows users to see the solid that is extracted. This can be useful for gaining an understanding of the sub-surface topology if a goal is to create a multi-dimensional map of the subsurface Geological conditions. There are significant disadvantages however to using Geotechnical Boring to obtain soil samples for testing. One disadvantage is that the operation of boring is for obtaining samples only, you can't gather data from the boring activity itself and therefore all of this investment in equipment, labor and time provides value only in that it presents a sample for testing. Another disadvantage is that the soil being sampled then needs to be tested using some type of laboratory equipment. This often means removing a large number of samples from the site, getting them safely in an organized way to a lab facility somewhere, hopefully nearby, and waiting for the lab results to come back. If there are apparent conflicts in data, or a particular part of the site needs more evaluation, the entire process needs to be started up from scratch again. Perhaps the [...]
If you have ever been curious about the Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) business, you have come to the right place. In today's post we are going to take a dive into the basic concepts and what expanding into CPT can do for your engineering business. Geotechnical Engineers and CPT Testing Geotechnical engineering is a branch of civil engineering that focuses on the engineering behavior of earth materials. Geotechnical engineers have been using Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) for over 40 years to assist in the design and construction of foundations, embankments and other structures. The standardized CPT works by pushing a 55-60 degree cone into the ground at a rate of 1-2 cm per second and is used to identify the conditions in the upper 100 feet of the subsurface. The data compiled from this testing is valuable for assessing the subsurface stratigraphy associated with soft materials, discontinuous lenses, organic materials, potentially liquified materials (such as sand, silt and granule gravel), and predicting landslides or ground settling. The cone resistance in conjunction with the friction ratio can also be used to determine soil types. While these results are often more accurate when referring to textbook soils, there are some major benefits to utilizing CPT techniques as opposed to drilling. In fact, there are a number of different advantages of CPT, including: economically friendly testing, as well as its ability to perform at a fast rate and effective in characterizing large volumes of soil without having to do a large number of laboratory testing. CPT is also accurate, eliminating the possibility of disturbances to soil samples and sample storage. By leveraging CPT results, engineers can determine the best methods for several aspects of design and construction projects. Detect lenses, thin layers and sand stringers. Evaluate the thickness and extent of compressible soil [...]
When faced with the prospect of a major purchase, it’s common to look into the possibility of buying used. In most circumstances, this is a perfectly valid option with a number of upsides, the most obvious of which being a lower upfront investment. However, when it comes to buying a used CPT Rig, you might be better off buying a new rig from a trusted vendor. Here’s why. Used Means Used First and foremost, Cone Penetration Testing is too important to leave up to chance. Sure, your used CPT Rig may appear in fine working order and you may have acquired it from a reputable seller, but there’s no getting around the simple fact that a used rig has a higher chance of failing than a brand new one. This point is further compounded when you consider the fact that even the best used CPT Rig dealer can’t match the expertise of a CPT Rig manufacturer. Expertise Straight from the Source When you buy a CPT Rig from Vertek CPT, you’re also getting access to our knowledgeable technical sales staff; something used CPT Rig sellers can’t offer. Additionally, in some instances, Vertek CPT will provide comprehensive training and will even accompany you to your first job site to maximize your chances of success. You can’t get that kind of service or expertise from a used CPT Rig dealer. Even if you think you have enough experience with CPT Rigs to ensure success with a used rig, though, it’s also worth noting that not every CPT Rig is right for every task. A Wide Variety of CPT Rigs If you have a broad enough knowledge base to feel comfortable buying and setting up a used CPT Rig, then you probably also know that there are many kinds of CPT Rigs. Cone [...]
Your average Cone Penetration Testing Rig is a fairly complex piece of machinery, but it can’t do its job alone. Indeed, every CPT Rig needs a DataPack, or data acquisition and analysis package (DAS), to properly measure and document soil information gathered from digital CPT cones and other sensors. But what exactly is a DataPack? Typically, CPT DataPacks like the VTK DataPack offer a simple “all-in-one” solution to commercial CPT service providers. The DataPack is most often designed to be field portable as it operates onsite during the CPT Testing process. As such, most DataPacks are best used with any commercial, off-the-shelf laptop for optimal portability. The Benefits of Automated Data Collection While sensor-specific data, such as calibration factors, serial numbers and sensor type, are in fact stored in each sensor module in the cone, that data is also automatically transmitted to the DataPack with each penetration. This automated collection of data offers a number of advantages. For starters, with the DataPack handling all the data collection, even a technician with minimal training can operate the system with relative ease. Automated data collection and analysis also reduces operator error or bias, while further speeding up the CPT Testing process as reporting is instant. This in turn allows for increased productivity and profit for the operator as many more soundings can be performed in a shift. Perhaps most importantly, the DataPack can also present information immediately in the form of a client-ready visual report. Again, this saves field engineers time as they don’t have to crunch the data manually. Since CPT is still a fairly new field, this makes it easier for technicians to make the shift to CPT from related vocations. The added confidence the DataPack offers technicians in turn helps ease the way for new entrants into the CPT [...]