Cone penetration testing

SafeLane offers specialist geotechnical and geo-environmental site investigation services, utilising cone penetration testing (CPT) techniques.

It uses bespoke equipment and software, employs highly trained geophysicists and ensures its clients receive the most accurate and reliable data possible - enabling informed decision making which leads to project success.

Cone penetration testing, also known as cone penetrometer testing (CPT for short) is a method used to determine the geotechnical engineering properties of soils and delineating soil stratigraphy.

Often used as part of an integrated ground investigation approach, CPT provides a fast and cost-effective means of quantifying the geotechnical and geo-environmental properties of soils – and of investigating potential unexploded ordnance (UXO) risks.

SafeLane uses a range of rigs to give the widest coverage possible, and has the ability to access and test on soft or uneven ground.

Cones used for geotechnical and environmental investigations are chosen based on the information required and the ground conditions encountered.

Using ground testing methods, SafeLane can determine soil types and stratification.  The data produced can be utilised for the identification of ground layers and soil types to map variability, with depths, across a given site.

Ground engineering properties that can be measured or derived include:

  • Undrained shear strength
  • Soil shear modulus
  • Effective horizontal stress
  • Effective overburden pressure
  • In situ horizontal stress
  • Friction angle (sand)
  • Bearing capacity
  • Relative density
  • Soil deformation

Geoenvironmental solutions:

SafeLane can investigate contamination in soil and groundwater, identifying and mapping the presence of:

  • Hydrocarbons 
  • Organic compounds 
  • Chlorinated solvents
  • Heavy metals

In addition SafeLane can identify:

  • water composition
  • temperature
  • thermal conductivity
  • ion concentration, type and activity
  • freshwater/saltwater interfaces

Obstructions and UXO surveys

SafeLane uses magnetometer based sensors to map subsurface ferrous objects such as unexploded ordnance.  It also utilises bespoke technology enabling it to investigate UXO and geotechnical properties simultaneously.

Capabilities includes:

  • detection of UXO
  • detection of metallic structures, such as ground anchors
  • measurement of sheet pile foundation depth

The benefits of cone penetration tests include:

  • low impact – receive a continuous subsurface picture with less ground disturbance than drilling
  • highly mobile – whether on land on in the marine environment, cone penetration tests can be conducted from multiple platforms from trucks to tracked vehicles barges to jack-up platforms
  • in situ measurement – more accurate data
  • multipurpose versatile application – ability to harvest a range of information from a single mobilisation
  • rapid data quickly – the digital output can be transferred in real time

What does cone penetration test measure?

A cone penetration test (CPT) measures the geotechnical engineering properties of soils and assesses subsurface stratigraphy.

What's the difference between SPT and CPT?

SPT is an acronym that stands for standard penetration test; it differs from CPT because it's a more basic soil testing procedure. The test is simple and low cost - but can only provide useful information in very specific types of soil conditions. It is not as accurate as a cone penetration test or CPT.

What is cone penetration testing?

Cone penetration testing, also known as cone penetrometer testing (CPT for short) is a method used to determine the geotechnical engineering properties of soils and delineating soil stratigraphy.

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