Plate Load Testing

Plate Load Testing |Geotechnical Instrument Testing Services

Plate Load Testing

Plate load testing is performed on a prepared ground surface and is a method for determining the strength characteristics of soil in situ by measuring the amount of deformation and force when a rigid plate is forced to penetrate the soil.

This is a method for determining the strength characteristics of soil in situ by measuring the amount of deformation and force when a rigid plate is forced to penetrate the soil. The test is performed on a prepared ground surface. If the prepared soil surface has any hollows or voids, they will be filled with dry sand or crusher dust to prepare a level surface on which to bed the plate. Our plate load test equipment is designed around a hydraulic cylinder and load cell to mobilise 250kN. We have 3 plate sizes:

  • 645mm diameter having a 765kPa maximum bearing capacity
  • 500mm diameter having a 1270kPa maximum bearing capacity
  • 300mm diameter having a 3500kPa maximum bearing capacity

Displacement is measured by four 50mm travel transducers mounted to the rods in the timber beams. Timber is used to minimise thermal distortions.

Plate load testing 2

The hydraulic cylinder is controlled electronically by the data acquisition computer. This provides load ramps and holds.

Plate Load Testing

The data acquisition system can log data at sample rates from 10Hz to once every 300 seconds.

The sample rate is varied depending on what is happening during the test.

Plate load testing 4

Data is presented in Excel spreadsheet format with text data and graphical plots included.

The above example plot is the soil stress against the travel recorded with the displacement transducers.

Plate Load testing 5

This is a plot of the load cycle applied to the plate for the stress/displacement plot to the left.

Plate load testing 6

In this plot the resulting average displacement against time is shown.