ASTM D1586-08

    Standard Test Method for Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Split-Barrel Sampling of Soils


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    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method describes the procedure, generally known as the Standard Penetration Test (SPT), for driving a split-barrel sampler to obtain a representative disturbed soil sample for identification purposes, and measure the resistance of the soil to penetration of the sampler. Another method (Test Method D 3550) to drive a split-barrel sampler to obtain a representative soil sample is available but the hammer energy is not standardized.

    1.2 Practice D 6066 gives a guide to determining the normalized penetration resistance of sands for energy adjustments of N-value to a constant energy level for evaluating liquefaction potential.

    1.3 Test results and identification information are used to estimate subsurface conditions for foundation design.

    1.4 Penetration resistance testing is typically performed at 5-foot depth intervals or when a significant change of materials is observed during drilling, unless otherwise specified.

    1.5 This test method is limited to use in nonlithified soils and soils whose maximum particle size is approximately less than one-half of the sampler diameter.

    1.6 This test method involves use of rotary drilling equipment (Guide D 5783, Practice D 6151). Other drilling and sampling procedures (Guide D 6286, Guide D 6169) are available and may be more appropriate. Considerations for hand driving or shallow sampling without boreholes are not addressed. Subsurface investigations should be recorded in accordance with Practice D 5434. Samples should be preserved and transported in accordance with Practice D 4220 using Group B. Soil samples should be identified by group name and symbol in accordance with Practice D 2488.

    1.7 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D 6026, unless superseded by this test method.

    1.8 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard, except as noted below. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units, which are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.8.1 The gravitational system of inch-pound units is used when dealing with inch-pound units. In this system, the pound (lbf) represents a unit of force (weight), while the unit for mass is slugs.

    1.9 Penetration resistance measurements often will involve safety planning, administration, and documentation. This test method does not purport to address all aspects of exploration and site safety. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Performance of the test usually involves use of a drill rig; therefore, safety requirements as outlined in applicable safety standards (for example, OSHA regulations, NDA Drilling Safety Guide, drilling safety manuals, and other applicable state and local regulations) must be observed.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D854 Test Methods for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids by Water Pycnometer

    D1587 Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Fine-Grained Soils for Geotechnical Purposes

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D2487 Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System)

    D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)

    D3550 Practice for Thick Wall, Ring-Lined, Split Barrel, Drive Sampling of Soils

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4220 Practices for Preserving and Transporting Soil Samples

    D4633 Test Method for Energy Measurement for Dynamic Penetrometers

    D5434 Guide for Field Logging of Subsurface Explorations of Soil and Rock

    D5783 Guide for Use of Direct Rotary Drilling with Water-Based Drilling Fluid for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    D6066 Practice for Determining the Normalized Penetration Resistance of Sands for Evaluation of Liquefaction Potential

    D6151 Practice for Using Hollow-Stem Augers for Geotechnical Exploration and Soil Sampling

    D6169 Guide for Selection of Soil and Rock Sampling Devices Used With Drill Rigs for Environmental Investigations

    D6286 Guide for Selection of Drilling Methods for Environmental Site Characterization

    D6913 Test Methods for Particle-Size Distribution (Gradation) of Soils Using Sieve Analysis


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 93.020 (Earth works. Excavations. Foundation construction. Underground works)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil); 41113821(Soil penetration tester)


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D1586-08

    Citation Format

    ASTM D1586-08, Standard Test Method for Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Split-Barrel Sampling of Soils, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2008, www.astm.org

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