Frank Georg Schulz | TERRATEST

Benefits of Using Light Weight Deflectometer Over Other Methods of Soil Testing

Jul 23rd 2015 at 11:39 PM

Soil testing methods vary across the board. Often, the modern testing method is the better. This is because they feature modern technology that traditional tools and approaches lack. Additionally, tests developed at later dates also offer more updated methodologies that are more likely to comply with recent industry standards. Modern portable light weight deflectometers for example, are preferred by engineers and designers, not only because they are new, but because they offer many benefits (both technical and economic) over traditional tools and methods.

However, this is not to say that traditional methods don't have their merits. Depending on the type of substrates and the extent of area being tested, some testing methods and tools are still more suitable and advantageous than others. For testing pavements, subgrades, and subbases, the light weight deflectometer is definitely a superior choice of tool.

Lightweight deflectometers offer the same accuracy as the larger devices on which their design was based upon—traditional falling weight deflectometers (FWDs). These tools on the other hand, provide the unique benefit of portability because they are a lot more compact than FWDs whose sheer size and weight often delimits the types of soils and the kinds of areas they can test. Light weight deflectometers, unlike huge machines can test a range of different materials, ranging from asphaltic pavements to unbound subbases and subgrades, thinner, more sensitive pavements, and even recycled, foamed bitumen-bound materials.

Other types of soil testing tools and processes require calibration and tedious set-up (such as time-consuming safety tests), which can cause inaccuracies and problematic readings. Light weight deflectometers don't. In fact, these modern devices streamline the testing process and only require single-person handling so you can get other hands on deck to work on other aspects of the project instead of spending hours on field testing. High quality light weight deflectometers can perform as many as 30 tests within the same period it takes to perform one Benkelman Beam test. Not only do they streamline the testing process, light weight deflectometers also offer superior result accuracy, which remain unaffected by little material changes over the length of the pavement.

In addition to quicker and more convenient testing, light weight deflectometers are also cheaper to run and operate. While initial investment for the machine may be significant, long-term benefits are obvious over other methods like nuclear density testing, CBR tests, and other static plate load bearing tests.

About The Author:

TERRATEST GmbH is world leader in development and manufacturing of Light Weight Deflectometers for dynamic load plate test. They offer the world’s first light weight deflectometer “TERRATEST 5000 BLU” with Bluetooth and voice navigation. For more information about their products visit their website!

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