The Pavement Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) is a very robust instrument, designed
for rapid in-situ evaluation of strength of sub-grade and the bases for roads and runway pavements. Continuous measurements can be made down to a depth of 800mm or, when an extension is fitted, to a depth of 1200mm. Where pavement layers have different strengths,
the boundaries can be identified and the thickness of the layers determined.
A typical test takes only a few minutes, so this instrument provides a very efficient method of obtaining information that would normally require test-pits. Correlations have been established between measurements with DCP and California Bearing Ratio (CBR) so that the results can be interpreted and compared with CBR specifications for pavement design. Agreement is generally good over most of the range but differences are apparent at low values of CBR, especially for fine grained materials.
The design of the pavement DCP is similar to the one described by Kleyn, Maree and Savage (1982) in their paper “The application of the pavement DCP to determine the bearing properties and performance of road pavements”, published in proceedings of International Symposium on Bearing Capacity of Roads and Airfields, Vol.1. (The Norwegian Institute of Technology) and developed by TRRL, UK.