Cone penetration testing (CPT) has become the industry standard for in situ testing of cohesionless soils, and in particular, field liquefaction evaluation. The empirical methods for the interpretation of CPT data are either based on field data or the observation of CPT measurements in laboratory samples. In this study, a miniature cone penetrometer (with a diameter of 6 mm) is developed for understanding the response of loose to medium-dense sands. A modified triaxial cell is used for sample preparation and containment of the sample during cone penetration. The miniature cone can measure cone tip resistance, sleeve friction, and excess pore water pressure developed at the cone tip. While cone tip resistance is measured by a separate load cell, sleeve friction is obtained by subtracting cone tip resistance from a combined measurement of tip resistance and sleeve frictional force. Due to the free-draining nature of the sand tested in this study, no excess pore water pressure is developed during cone penetration. The measured data from the miniature cone are verified by comparison with CPT resistances measured in several other calibration chamber experiments on similar sands. Compared to a large calibration chamber with a standard size cone, the miniature cone allows quicker and less expensive CPT experiments in a more uniform sample.
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