Buy the Book

Published By Lankelma

Lankelma is the foremost contractor for onshore in-situ soil testing in the UK. An acknowledged specialist in CPT, Lankelma also offers a worldwide consultancy and training service.

A.P. van den Berg develops, designs and manufactures geotechnical and environmental soil investigation equipment for onshore and offshore applications. Specialists in CPT systems and equipment.


Gardline Geosciences offers worldwide marine geotechnics, in-house consutancy and services with marine investigations ranging from nearshore to full ocean depth (down to 3000m).

About the Author

Hans Brouwer studied civil engineering at Delft University in The Netherlands. He has worked as a part-time lecturer at Amsterdam Polytechnic and was senior partner in a structural engineering consultancy. He has written a standard textbook in Dutch about the design of building foundations. He now lives in England where he writes technical textbooks in English, hopefully to reach a bigger readership.

Chapter 4

Part 1: Special cones: geotechnical cones

Cone pressuremeter

          CONE PRESSUREMETER   4.1
The cone pressuremeter (Figure 15), also known as the full displacement pressuremeter, combines a conventional 60° cone penetration sounding with the pressuremeter test. The pressuremeter has the same diameter as a 15 cm2 cone (46 mm) and is mounted on the penetrometer shaft, a short distance behind the cone. The expanding part of the pressuremeter module has a length to diameter ratio of 10 to 1 to ensure a predominantly radial expansion of the pressuremeter membrane during inflation. Figure 16 shows the different parts of the cone pressuremeter.  

The cone pressuremeter is a device well suited to measuring both the
soil strength and stiffness parameters. It allows the rapid and reliable
measurement of the undrained shear strength in clays and relative
density in sands, and the shear modulus in clays and sands.
The test
A cone pressuremeter test is carried out by allowing a pause in the
cone penetration test and then inflating the instrument membrane with
compressed gas using controlled stress and strain rates. During the
test, unload–reload loops are performed to allow an assessment of the
soil shear modulus to be determined.
Figure 17 gives typical tests results. From the pressure strain curves,
the undrained shear strength, the soil shear modulus and the in-situ
horizontal stress can be obtained. For more about interpretation, see
the book Cone penetration testing in geotechnical practice[2].
On completion of a test, the cone is advanced to the next test depth. In
addition the pressuremeter membrane can be inflated to a large radial
strain, approximately 50%, to ensure that the pressuremeter limit
pressure is approached at full inflation.
The speed of cone penetration testing enables the cone pressuremeter
to be an economical alternative to conventional self-boring and Menard-type
pressuremeter tests. 

<< Previous PageNext Page >>