Development of a Compaction Quality Control Standard for the Small Diameter Pressuremeter

This project will develop and automate a small diameter pressuremeter (originally termed the SDPMT but now called the SSMiniPMT) to determine the strength and stiffness (i.e., limit pressure pL and modulus E) of soils during compaction quality control (QC) in conjunction with or in lieu of nuclear density gauge (NDG) tests. Work in Stage 1 will focus on developing the SSMiniPMT for market use by improving the database and correlations from previous research along with results obtained for high strength soils. To choose proper testing sites, a meeting of the research team with the collaborating transportation agencies, and private industry will be held. The main site selection criteria will include locating the desired materials. Granular materials with densities greater than about 115 pcf will be targeted, while cohesive materials with densities from 100 to 130 pcf will also be explored. A minimum of four different locations will be chosen for the SSMiniPMT testing and the database improvements. SSMiniPMT test probes, 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-inches long, will be used at the selected sites. The tests will be performed in the same hole and depth as used for NDG testing. The E and pL values from SSMiniPMT will be compared to values from NDG gdry. Several key items will be addressed, including surface cracking during SSMiniPMT tests due to lack of confining stresses, improved calibrations, and software simplifications. Data from the testing program will be analyzed to help explore improved SSMiniPMT vs NDG correlations as the basis for the ASTM/AASHTO QC testing standard. In Stage 2, the control unit will be automated with the goal of enabling users to push one button to run the automated SSMiniPMT test and produce strength and stiffness values. The existing Roctest PENCEL Pressuremeter Control will be upgraded to an automated control unit capable of injecting water into the SSMiniPMT probes at a constant rate such that a test can be completed within 2-5 minutes. An ASTM and/or AASHTO standard test method will be developed. The ASTM Committee D18.02.06 Pressuremeter, within the D18 Committee on Soil and Rock and the AASHTO COMP TS 1b - Geotechnical Exploration, Instrumentation, Stabilization and Field Testing are the relevant committees for considering the proposed method. A DRAFT SSMiniPMT testing procedure standard will be prepared and submitted. The final report will provide all relevant data, findings, and conclusions along with guidance for highway agencies on how to use the SSMiniPMT equipment system to evaluate compaction quality control.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $140000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA 244

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    Florida Institute of Technology

  • Principal Investigators:

    Cosentino, Paul

  • Start Date: 20230101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01865731
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA 244
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 29 2022 8:56AM