Can One Use The Dynamic Cone Penetrometer To Predict The Allowable Bearing Pressure?

K. A. Mogotsi, F.H van der Merwe. September 2017.

Proceedings of the 9th YGE Conference, Durban.

It is a common question asked by the structural engineer to the geotechnical engineer whether one can determine allowable bearing pressure from a set of Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) results. This often comes as a shock to the geotechnical engineer as the DCP test wouldn’t be applicable in most applications. The DCP was originally designed in South Africa by Kleyn (1975) and was originally intended to be used for pavement applications as an indicator test. 

The test is done by driving a cone into the ground by means of an 8 kg standard mass falling through a constant distance of 575mm. The penetration depth is recorded after every 5 blows. A number of methods have been developed to estimate soil properties from the penetration rate. This paper discusses the DCP as a tool to predict bearing capacity.





Dynamic Cone Penetration and    

Allowable Bearing Pressure

Dynamic Cone Penetration (DCP) test is one of the most inexpensive field testing methods and is used with various empirical correlations. Since its development, the DCP has been widely used as a simple, but effective means of determining the in-situ stiffness of subgrade materials, and can be used to determine the load bearing capacity of the soil. 

Key Words: 

Dynamic Cone Penetrometer, DCP, In-situ testing,  bearing pressure estimation, economic testing.