A F Howland Associates

A F Howland Associates

Plate Loading Test



Plate load tests are used to make a determination of the vertical deformation and strength characteristics of soil and can allow an estimate of ultimate bearing capacity, shear strength and modulus of sub-grade reaction to be made. The method involves applying a load through a rigid plate and assessing the amount of penetration with time. The test may be carried out at ground surface or in shallow pits and trenches. Common uses are to assess the suitability of working platforms for tracked plant such as cranes or piling rigs. A ‘reaction load system’ is required, which can be provided in a number of ways, most commonly by a piece of large plant that will remain stable throughout the test. Once the test area is levelled the plate is placed in position, the loading apparatus set up and a load applied to the plate either at a constant or incremental rate. The settlement is recorded against the load and the results used to determine the parameters required.

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