SPT97 For Pile Calculation
The standard penetration test (SPT) is an in-situ dynamic penetration test designed to provide information on the geotechnical engineering properties of soil. The test procedure is described in the British Standard BS EN ISO 22476-3, ASTM D1586 and Australian Standards AS 12220.127.116.11. A detailed description of SPT test and procedure can be found on the geotechdata.info database.
The test uses a thick-walled sample tube, with an outside diameter of 50 mm and an inside diameter of 35 mm, and a length of around 650 mm. This is driven into the ground at the bottom of a borehole by blows from a slide hammer with a weight of 63.5 kg (140 lb) falling through a distance of 760 mm (30 in). The sample tube is driven 150 mm into the ground and then the number of blows needed for the tube to penetrate each 150 mm (6 in) up to a depth of 450 mm (18 in) is recorded. The sum of the number of blows required for the second and third 6 in. of penetration is termed the "standard penetration resistance" or the "N-value". In cases where 50 blows are insufficient to advance it through a 150 mm (6 in) interval the penetration after 50 blows is recorded. The blow count provides an indication of the density of the ground, and it is used in many empirical geotechnical engineering formulae.
The usefulness of SPT results depends on the soil type, with fine-grained sands giving the most useful results, with coarser sands and silty sands giving reasonably useful results, and clays and gravelly soils yielding results which may be very poorly representative of the true soil conditions. Soils in arid areas, such as the Western United States, may exhibit natural cementation. This condition will often increase the standard penetration value.
The SPT is used to provide results for empirical determination of a sand layer's susceptibility to earthquake liquefaction, based on research performed by Harry Seed, T. Leslie Youd, and others.
Correlation with Soil Mechanical Properties
Despite its many flaws, it is usual practice to correlate SPT results with soil properties relevant for geotechnical engineering design. The reason being that SPT results are often the only test results available, therefore the use of direct correlations has become common practice in many countries.
Different correlations are proposed for granular and cohesive soils.