Section 3: Field Testing

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Texas Cone Penetration (TCP) Test

Conduct TCP testing in accordance with test procedure TEX 132-E Texas Cone Penetration Test. Ensure that the drill rig mobilized to the drill site is equipped with test equipment that conforms to the test procedure. Use a hammer with an automated trip mechanism to regulate the fall of the hammer to 24 in. plus or minus 1/2 in.

TCP values described in this manual are either the total number of blows necessary to drive the cone 12 in. or the distance the cone advances in inches in 100 blows.

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Standard Penetration Test (SPT)

The use of SPT testing for foundation design is acceptable for design methodologies in AASHTO. Conduct SPT tests in accordance with ASTM D-1586.

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In-Place Vane Shear Test

Use the in-place vane shear test to determine the in-place shearing strength of fine-grained soil, which does not lend itself to undisturbed sampling and triaxial testing. Use this test when encountering organic silty clay (muck) or very soft clay. Ensure these materials are free of gravel or large shell particles because pushing the vanes through these obstructions would disturb the sample and probably cause physical damage to the vanes. Use the test with extreme caution in soil that has Texas Cone Penetration values harder than 15 blows/12 in. Correct the vane shear results to the soil index properties.

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Torvane and Pocket Penetrometer

These two test devices are useful for index and classification purposes. They yield only approximate information and are not suitable for foundation design.

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