Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Cone Penetrometer

  • Wendy ZhouEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_67


A cone penetrometer is an instrument used to perform a cone penetrometer test (CTP), from which preliminarily geotechnical engineering properties of soils, such as the soil strength, can be evaluated, and the delineation of soil horizons can be interpreted (ASTM D3441 2005; ASTM D5778 2000). There are different types of cone penetrometers, including mechanical, mechanical friction, electrical friction, and piezocone penetrometers. Mechanical cone penetrometers are known for their low cost and easy operation, where as the electrical cone and piezocone penetrometers can potentially extend the range of soil engineering property measurements (NRCS 2012).

Regardless of the cone penetrometer type, the basic components of each typically includes a steel conical tip with a 60° (±5°) apex, a load cell, a steel friction sleeve, and cylindrical rods (ASTM D3441 2005; ASTM D5778 2000) as shown in Fig. 1. The specifications of these components, however, vary among types.
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  1. ASTM (2000) Standard test method for performing electronic friction cone and piezocone penetration testing of soils. ASTM standard D5778. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, 19 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. ASTM (2005) Standard method of deep quasi-static cone and friction-cone penetration tests of soil. ASTM standard D3441. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, 6 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Begemann HKS (1953) Improved method of determining resistance to adhesion by sounding through a loose sleeve placed behind the cone. In: Proceedings Third International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, ICSMFE, Zurich, Vol. 1, pp 213–217Google Scholar
  4. Begemann HKS (1965) The friction jacket cone as an aid in determining the soil profile. In: Proceedings Sixth International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, ICSMFE, Montreal, Vol. I, pp 17–20Google Scholar
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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and Geological EngineeringColorado School of MinesGoldenUSA