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Technical paper: A note on the relationships between penetration resistance and density of sand

By B M New, TRL

This paper was first published in GE’s July 1978 issue

The susceptibility to settlement of a cohesionless soil is critically dependent on its in situ density and is therefore of considerable interest to civil engineers.

This note further develops the relationships derived from empirical data from many sources, between the commonly used density descriptions and the split barrel penetration test. These relationships are applicable to most sands and are intended to act as a general guide for soils engineers.

Relative compaction is found to be a simpler and more apposite description of a soil’s compactness than descriptions (relative density or relative porosity) which involve the assessment of the soil’s minimum dry density. 

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