Pressuremeter Testing

Pressuremeter testing is used primarily to obtain strength, stiffness and in situ stress information of the ground. Various types of pressuremeter equipment are available to suit different soil and rock formations.

The pressuremeter instruments comprise cylindrical expanding devices, used either in a borehole, or drilled or pushed directly into the ground. These are inflated, hydraulically or pneumatically, while monitoring the pressure and radial displacement via internal transducers.

SOCOTEC is one of the few ground investigation companies in the UK that own and operate pressuremeter testing equipment together with in-house drilling services. With over 30 years’ experience of in situ testing, SOCOTEC offer a high level of technical knowledge and practical support.

A range of pressuremeter testing equipment is available to suit a variety of ground conditions, including:

·        High Pressure Dilatometer (HPD)

– borehole test suitable for rock and higher strength fine soils

·        Self Boring Pressuremeter (SBP)

– minimal insertion disturbance device suitable for lower strength finer soils

·        Cone Pressuremeter (CPM)

– push-in device used in conjunction with CPT rig

·        Flat (Marchetti) Dilatometer (DMT)

– push-in device used with CPT rig or other push platform

Test duration varies from a few minutes up to two or three hours, depending on the type of test. Preliminary field records can be provided on site following test completion, and initial interpretation within 24 hours. The test data is provided in AGS4 format.

Obtaining high quality data from pressuremeter testing is highly dependent on the skill of the field crew. SOCOTEC’s pressuremeter operators and in-house drilling crews are highly experienced, with access to a wide range of drilling equipment to undertake a successful pressuremeter testing programme.


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