n Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese - The effect of bedding errors on the accuracy of plate load tests : technical paper

Volume 57, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-2019



During conventional plate load tests the stiffness of the ground is determined by measuring the settlement of a plate placed on the ground surface. If the contact between the plate and the ground is rough, bedding errors may occur during the test when plastic deformation occurs at the contacts between the plate and the ground. This paper addresses the effect of bedding errors on the accuracy of plate load tests. Three different surface preparation methods were investigated. In addition, a modified plate load test was designed to eliminate the effect of bedding errors that occur during these tests. Telescopic probes were used to measure the relative displacement at two points below the centre of the plate. The stiffness values, determined from the vertical displacement of the plate, were compared with the internal stiffness values determined by means of the telescopic probes. All stiffness values were compared with Continuous Surface Wave (CSW) measurements performed on the same material. The test apparatus, methods and results are discussed in this paper.

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