American Society of Civil Engineers

Miniature Piezocone for Use in Centrifuge Testing

by Edmundo R. Esquivel, Ph.D., (Geotechnical Researcher, FAPESP, Rua Thomaz Nogueira Gaia 1796, 14020-290 Ribeirao Preto, SP, Brazil. E-mail: and Claudio H. C. Silva, Ph.D., (Associate Professor, Federal University of Viçosa, 36570-000 Viçosa, MG, Brazil E-mail:
Section: Section II: Novel and Innovative Devices, pp. 118-129, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Innovations and Applications in Geotechnical Site Characterization
Abstract: A miniature piezocone was developed for use in centrifuge environments, including the piezocone design and fabrication. Several penetration tests were performed in centrifuge soil models encompassing normally consolidated and moderately overconsolidated clays, and medium dense to dense sands. For preparation of clay specimens, including preconsolidation, and for performance of piezocone penetration tests (CPTU) in the centrifuge, an experimental apparatus was designed and built. This apparatus allows the performance of tests under different conditions, such as rate of penetration and in-flight test site positioning. This research has shown that piezocone testing in centrifuge models is feasible, producing consistent and reliable data.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Centrifuge models
Cone penetration tests
Overconsolidated soils
Soil consolidation