Soil Compaction and Density

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  • Site prep - rollers, rammers, plates for compaction [1]
  • Compaction - penetrometer [2]


  • Type A, B, and C soils - [3]. Penetrometer reading of Type A - cohesive clay - is 1.5 tons per square foot, or 23 psi. Note that this is 100x less than psi of concrete.
    • If soil is disturbed, it can't be classified as A [4]
  • 'Compressive strength of unconfined sample' is the uniaxial load, unconfined, in psi. This is not the same as load bearing capacity of soil, measured in psf. Clay is 1500 psf. Note that 23 psi is over 3000 psf.
  • For geotechnical data - such as foundations - Static Cone Penetrometers are used -[5]
  • For A, B, C soil typification, a pocket penetrometer can be used. Ex Gilsen. [6]
  • Note readings are in tons/sf. Ie, 1 ton = about 2200 pounds
  • Pro version is $800 [7]