What is a Compaction Test (DCP Testing)?

Dynamic Cone Penetration (DCP) testing is a type of on-site soil compaction test that aims to determine the strength of in-situ soil, as well as the thickness and location of subsurface soil layer. It is an effective method used in industries whose work requires details about the integrity of the soil they work with, such as construction and engineering.

What is the DCP procedure?

Dynamic cone penetration can be performed using either a manually operated measurement instrument or an automated measurement device (Automated DCP testing). Both have their own applications; the manual DCP testing is used mostly for light projects such as testing the strength of soil under pavements over time, whereas the automated rig is used for construction and engineering applications.


A force is applied to the push cone unit (which is fitted with a measurement device) by a single or dual mass weight called the hammer). The resulting downward movement is then measured to determine the strength of the soil.


An Automated dynamic Cone Penetrometer (ADCP) rig can be mounted on several towing vehicles such as commercially available trucks, ATVs and lightweight trailers. Automated tests are faster and provide more consistency than their manual counterparts. They also decrease the operator’s manual labour.

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