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SOIL Testing Lab Equipment

Static Plate Load Test Apparatus (ev2)

Business Type: Manufacturers, Exporters, Suppliers, Retailers, Wholesalers

Make: Setest India
Origin: India

Model No.: SET-1258

The static plate load test, also known as DIN 18134, is a common method used to determine the load-bearing capacity of soil and pavement structures. This type of test involves applying a static load to a circular plate placed on the surface of the ground and measuring the resulting vertical settlement. The test can be performed on various types of soils and has the advantage of providing accurate and reliable results. Some of its key features include the ability to assess different layers of soil, identify weak areas that may require reinforcement, and determine the optimum thickness of pavement layers. Additionally, the test can be conducted in various weather conditions and can be used for both flexible and rigid pavements. The specifications for this test are outlined in DIN 18134, which specifies the equipment, procedures, and calculations required for conducting the test. This standard ensures that the test is performed consistently and accurately, allowing for comparisons between different sites and projects. Overall, the static plate load test is a valuable tool for assessing the stability and load-bearing capacity of soil and pavement structures, providing crucial information for construction and maintenance projects.

Static Plate Load Test Apparatus

When it comes to building a structure, one of the most important factors to consider is the strength of the foundation. A weak foundation can lead to structural failures, which can be catastrophic. This is where the static plate load test specification comes into play.

A static plate load test is a type of load test that measures the bearing capacity and settlement of a soil or pavement. It is used to evaluate the strength and stability of the ground before construction begins. In this blog, we will take a closer look at what a static plate load test specification entails and why it is vital in construction projects.

What is a Static Plate Load Test Apparatus?

A static plate load test involves applying a known load on a steel plate (known as the loading plate) placed on the surface of the soil. The load is increased gradually, and measurements are taken at regular intervals to determine the deformation or settlement of the soil. The test is usually carried out on undisturbed soil or compacted fill material to simulate real-life conditions.

Why is it important?

The main purpose of a static plate load test is to determine the soil’s bearing capacity, which refers to its ability to support a structure without excessive settlement or failure. It also helps engineers and contractors understand the behavior of the soil under different loads and ultimately design an appropriate foundation for the structure.

Moreover, conducting a static plate load test can save time and cost in the long run. If any issues with the soil’s bearing capacity are identified during this test, they can be addressed before construction begins, avoiding costly delays and potential structural failures.


The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM, DIN) has established standard specifications for conducting a static plate load test – ASTM D1196, DIN 18134. These specifications outline the equipment needed, testing procedures, data analysis, and reporting requirements. Let us take a closer look at each of these specifications.

Equipment Required

The following equipment is required to conduct a static plate load test:

  • Loading plate: A circular steel plate with a diameter of 300-600mm and a thickness of 25-50mm.
  • Reaction beams: Two steel beams, each with a minimum length of 2.5m and a minimum cross-section size of 50x75mm.
  • Jacks: Four hydraulic jacks, each with a capacity of at least 10t.
  • Load Cell for determination of Load.
  • 7 inch screen with indicator with thermal printer for visualization of load and displacement with data logging system.
  • LVDT with a range of at least 25mm and an accuracy of 0.01mm.
  • Pump: A hand pump for apply the load to the loading plate.
  • Difference size of spacer for the adjustment of load jack.

Testing Procedure

The following steps need to be followed when conducting a static plate load test:

Step 1: Prepare the test location by leveling the ground and compacting it to the desired density.

Step 2: Place the loading plate on top of the soil, ensuring that it is centered and level.

Step 3: Position the reaction beams on either side of the loading plate and place the hydraulic jacks on top of them.

Step 4: Connect the jacks to the loading plate and start applying load in increments.

Step 5: Record the settlement readings at specific load intervals until the desired maximum load is reached.

Step 6: Release the load gradually and record the recovery readings until there is no further settlement.

3. Data Analysis

Once the test is completed, the recorded data needs to be analyzed to determine the bearing capacity of the soil. The ASTM D1196 standard specifies two methods for data analysis – graphical method and mathematical method.

Graphical Method:

In this method, a load-settlement curve is plotted using the recorded data points. The point at which there is no further settlement is known as the elastic limit, and from this point, the bearing capacity can be determined.

Mathematical Method:

In this method, the bearing capacity is calculated using various formulas based on the type of soil being tested and the loading plate’s size and shape.

Reporting Requirements

The final step in conducting a static plate load test is to prepare a detailed report outlining the site conditions, equipment used, test procedure, data analysis, and results. The report should also include any observations, anomalies, and recommendations for further testing or design considerations.


In conclusion, a static plate load test is a crucial step in any construction project. It helps determine the soil’s bearing capacity and ensures a strong foundation for the structure. By following the ASTM D1196 specifications, engineers and contractors can conduct an accurate and reliable test to ensure the safety and stability of their projects.

It is essential to note that the static plate load test specification may vary depending on the project requirements and location. It is always advisable to consult with a qualified geotechnical engineer before conducting any load test to ensure it is done correctly and accurately.

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