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Fun Fact Friday: Dynamic Cone Penetrometer Testing

By November 15, 2019No Comments2 min read

Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) testing is a method of measuring the strength of loose soil that has not been disturbed, or compacted materials under existing field conditions. This is an important test to perform if any type of construction is planned for the area.

According to ASTM, the test method is used to “assess the compaction effort of compacted materials” based on the force and number of repetitions that it takes for a hammer to penetrate the material. This is called the penetration rate, which helps to determine other construction characteristics of the material, such as strata thickness and shear strength.

The test uses a hammer-like instrument that is comprised of a vertical rod that is driven into the soil, which then causes a measurable extension of the rod. The measurement is then taken into consideration along with other characteristics, such as density and strength, to determine if any precautions or limitations should be implemented in the construction process.

Encorus will be providing DCP testing services for the Buffalo Amtrak station renovation and reconstruction project. Senior Geologist Andy Kucserik and Technician Adam Svensson will be performing the testing in areas that are bound by the existing Amtrak railroad lines and an underground sewer tunnel.

If you have any questions or require DCP testing services, please contact Senior Geologist Andy Kucserik at (716) 592-3980 ext. 149 or

Citation: ASTM D7380-15, Standard Test Method for Soil Compaction Determination at Shallow Depths Using 5-lb (2.3 kg) Dynamic Cone Penetrometer, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2015,