Soil Penetrometer Test

Penetrometer is a fantastic little invention which geotechnical engineers and technologists find very handy. It is a small handheld gauge which contains a telescoping rod which can be pushed into the soil. The distance the rod goes into the soil corresponds to a compressive strength on the dial.

Measurement of Soil

The pocket penetrometer measures the compressive strength of the soil. Most penetrometers available today contain units of tons/ft2 or kg/cm2, and the compressive strength is read directly from the gauge. Some common conversions are:

1 ton/ft2= 2000 psf = 13.9 psi

1 kg/cm2= 98.1 kPa

Soil Pocket Penetrometer


A pocket penetrometer is a primative instrument that is subject to many errors such as non-uniform soil. As a minimum, you should take a series of measurements in one area and average them. The penetrometer should not replace laboratory testing or field analysis, or be used to produce foundation design data.

Soil Pocket Penetrometer Test

Author: Engineer-Nisar

Civil Engineer

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