Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) Test

The DCP test is carried out using hand held equipment that utilises an 8 kg hammer dropped through a distance of 575 mm.  This hammers a cone with an angle of 60º and maximum diameter of 20 mm into the ground.  The instrument is held vertical and the hammer raised to the specified height and left to drop freely.  Readings are taken of the distance of penetration (mm) into the ground for each blow of the hammer.  After completing the test the DCP is removed by tapping the hammer upwards against the handle.

Following completion of the DCP tests the soils are excavated to the depth limit of the test and the sequence of deposits described.  Representative disturbed samples should be taken to allow for laboratory testing if required.

The DCP test can be used to provide an assessment of the CBR value of in-situ materials, this value can then be used by others to design roads and pavements.

Example DCP Log

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