Plate Load Test

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Definition - What does Plate Load Test mean?

Plate load test is used to determine soil characteristics such as ultimate bearing capacity, soil stiffness and the tendency of soil settlement. It is conducted on the subgrade, base and surface layers of the test area. These factors are important in trenchless technology to design buried pipelines and in the design of temporary working platforms for drill rigs.

The plate load test can be carried out on cohesion-free, sandy and clayey soil.

Trenchlesspedia explains Plate Load Test

The plate load test consists of a steel plate of known diameter, and loads of varying weights. The plate is placed on the test area and loaded in increments. The settlement is recorded at every load increment. The static load is gradually increased until the plate starts to settle at a rapid rate.

The ultimate bearing capacity is determined by dividing the total value of the load on the plate by the area of the test plate.

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