Determination of soil properties from standard penetration test complemented by torque measurement (SPT-T)

Anna S. P. Peixoto, David de Carvalho


The major problem on geotechnical work is to ensure that no settlements occur during the life cycle of the construction. This involves proper design of foundations and their bearing capacity. The Brazilian standard for design and execution of foundations, ABNT (2010) NBR 6122 imposes the utilization of field tests when designing building foundations. The Standard Penetration Test, SPT, ABNT (2001) NBR 6484, is still the most common in-situ test for those purposes. Ranzini (1988) suggested supplementing the conventional SPT with the measurement of the torque (SPT-T) required to turn the split spoon after driving, in order to provide a ‘static’ component to a ‘dynamic’ test. The adhesion between the soil and the sampler, obtained by the torque measurement, could be used to calculate the lateral skin friction of piles. This paper describes the SPT-T procedure including both a supplementary equipment and practical aspects. Also it presents an accurate torque measurement, a prediction method to calculate the bearing capacity of piles used in building foundations using the SPT-T test and a comparison between the estimated bearing capacities of building foundations with instrumented load tests in order to validate the method.



soil characterization; foundation design; SPT; torque measurement; load tests

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ISSN 1806-2563 (impresso) e ISSN 1807-8664 (on-line) e-mail:


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