Volume 21, Issue 4 (December 1998)
Development of an Axisymmetric Field Simulator for Cone Penetration Tests in Sand
An experimental system capable of simulating axisymmetric field conditions has been developed. This system, as an improvement over conventional calibration chambers, enables cone penetration tests (CPT) to be calibrated under minimal boundary effects. The new simulator consists of a stack of 20 rings to house the sand specimen. These rings are lined with an inflatable silicone rubber membrane on the inside. The boundary expansion and stress are measured and individually controlled, respectively, at each ring level during the CPT. The soil from physical boundary to infinity is simulated using a nonlinear cavity expansion curve derived from a lateral compression test on the specimen. Results from a series of CPTs show that at relative densities of approximately 80%, the cone tip resistance values agree within 4% as the diameter ratio of the physical specimen over cone varies from 18 to 22. This paper describes unique features of this field simulator, presents available CPT data performed in the simulator, and discusses its implications on future calibration tests.