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Weight sounding test is a form of penetration test conducted at construction sites to assess liquefaction susceptibility, soil profiling, determination of the bearing capacity of shallow and deep foundations, etc.

The test consists of two stages, namely, static penetration and rotational penetration, and yields quicker results when conducted through an electrical machine instead of a manual tool.

Tools

  1. Figure-1 presents the components of weight sounding test tool.
  2. Weights include 5 kg clamp, two 10 kg and three 25 kg weights, Figure-2.
  3. The testing machine can be either manual or mechanical or electrical, Figure-3.
Weight Sounding Test Tool
Fig. 1: Weight Sounding Test Tool
Equipment of the Weight Sounding Test
Fig. 2: Equipment of the Weight Sounding Test
Examples of Automatic and Electric Weight Sounding Machines
Fig. 3: Examples of Automatic and Electric Weight Sounding Machines

Test Procedure

  1. Place the base plate or bottom plate at the test point.
  2. Apply static loads at the increments of 5, 15, 25, 50, 75, and 100 kg. Record the load that penetrates the rod into the soil, and use it as a measure of soil penetration resistance.
  3. If the screw does not penetrate the soil layer, then manually rotate the handle clockwise or use a motor to penetrate the rod into the soil. Use the number of half-turns that the screw point is turned to penetrate to a specified depth.
  4. Rotate handle to penetrate rod into the soil up to 25 cm, and record the number of half revolutions of the screw at that rod depth.
  5. End the test in case a large stone prevents its penetration, the screw reaches hard soil layer or a penetration depth of 10 m.
Performing Weight Sounding Test
Fig. 4: Performing Weight Sounding Test

Applications

  1. Soil profiling
  2. To determine the bearing capacity of shallow and deep foundations
  3. To specify engineering characteristics of soils like shear strength or compressibility, etc.
  4. To assess the liquefaction of areas where there are some limitations for performing other tests like a cone penetration test and standard penetration test
  5. When there is a lack of availability of testing equipment after an earthquake
  6. If small projects cannot afford cone penetration test and standard penetration test
What is weight sounding test of soil?

Weight sounding test is a form of penetration test conducted at construction sites. The test consists of two stages, namely, static penetration and rotational penetration.

What are the applications of weight sounding test?

It is used to assess liquefaction susceptibility, soil profiling, determination of the bearing capacity of shallow and deep foundations, etc.

What is soil liquefaction?

Soil liquefaction is the phenomenon in which the stiffness and the strength of the soil are lost under the action of an earthquake or due to rapid loading conditions. Soil liquefaction occurs in a fully saturated soil.
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Madeh Izat Hamakareem

Madeh Izat Hamakareem

EDITOR
Madeh is a Structural Engineer who works as Assistant Lecturer in Koya University. He is the author, editor and partner at theconstructor.org.

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