There is need to determine the amount of weight soil in a certain area can withstand. This is vital for development projects. A certain standard test that is carried out in such instances was initially developed by Ralph R Proctor. The test is known as Proctor Test which is still used in most modern Geotechnical analyses of development sites.
Origin of the test
Ralph R Proctor is credited to have developed the test in the thirties, which is still in use today. It is a soil compaction test that is considered standard, used for Geotechnical analyses before any project. The test usually uses a technique akin to rapid impact compaction contractors. The test as developed by Proctor comprises of taking a mold of earth of a standard size as specified in the test details. The area where soil quality or compaction levels need to be determined, soil is taken from this area. A mallet of a certain weight is then dropped on this mold from a certain height. This then yields a certain pressure on the soil. The impact on the soil is then observed and it helps to determine the level of compaction that can be expected in a certain area. This compaction test is a preliminary method used by most Geotechnical experts on any site before a proposed construction can be started.
Uses of the test
When the test is used in any Geotechnical engineering context, the density of soil or dry unit weight is tested with different levels of moisture. The aim of the test is to decide which is the optimal moisture content of the soil being tested. This in turn will help determine the maximum compaction that can be achieved in an area for dam construction contractors. Besides soil the test is conducted on other substances as well, such as sand, gravel or other aggregate substances.
Equipment used for the test
Soil testing can be done with simple instruments as showcased in the simple Proctor test. For larger tests select machines are often used and the force that needs to be applied to the soil mold is then determined accordingly. Compacting tool or hammer is used for testing small molds of earth. Engineers might use simple mods and mallets for the tests or use other modern testing equipment as in the case of larger soil area assessments. Many mechanical services or companies offer specialized soil testing services as well. In such cases experienced personnel with the test equipment are sent to the fields or areas of inspection for the necessary tests to be carried out.