Cone Penetration Test (CPT)
The cone penetration test (CPT) is an in situ testing method used to determine the geotechnical engineering properties of soils and delineating soil stratigraphy. The test method consists of pushing an instrumented cone tip first into the ground at a controlled rate (usually 2 centimeters/second). The resolution of the CPT in delineating stratigraphic layers is related to the size of the cone tip, with typical cone tips having a cross-sectional area of either 10 or 15 cm². Most modern electronic CPT cones now also employ a pressure transducer with a filter to gather pore water pressure data. The filter is usually located either on the cone tip (the so-called U1 position), immediately behind the cone tip (the most common U2 position) or behind the friction sleeve (U3 position). Pore water pressure data aids determining stratigraphy and is primarily used to correct tip friction values for those effects. CPT testing which also gathers this piezometer data is called CPTU testing. CPT and CPTU testing equipment generally advances the cone using Direct Push hydraulic rams using screwed-in anchors as a counter-force.