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MACKINTOSH PROBE TEST

Objective: To determine the bearing capacity of soil layer profile.

Theory
The main purpose of the test is to provide an indication of the relative density
of granular deposit, such as sands and gravels from which it is virtually impossible to
obtain undisturbed samples. The great merit of the test and the main reason for its
widespread use is that it is simple and inexpensive. The soil strength parameters
which can be inferred are approximate, but may give a useful guide in ground
conditions where it may not be possible to obtain borehole samples of adequate
quality like gravels, sands, silts, clay containing sand or gravel and weak rock.
The usefulness of SPT results depends on the soil type, with fine-grained
sands giving the most useful results, with coarser sands and silty sands giving
reasonably useful results, and clay and gravelly soils yielding results which may be
very poorly representative of the true soil conditions.
This test method provides a disturbed soil sample for moisture content
determination, for identification and classification purposes, and for laboratory tests
appropriate for soil obtained from a sampler that will produce a large shear strain
disturbance in the sample. Soil deposits contained gravels, cobbles or boulders
typically result in penetration refusal and damage to equipment.
This test method is used extensively in a great variety of geotechnical
exploration projects. Many local correlations and widely published correlation which
relate blow count, or N-value, and the engineering behavior of earthworks and
foundations are available.

Procedure
1. Connect steel cone to the bottom of a steel rod.
2. Straighten the steel rod perpendicular to the ground surface on the point to be
tested.
3. Measure every 0.3m length of the steel rod and mark it with a chalk.
4. Lift the hammer to the maximum position and then release.
5. Count the number of blows that causes the rod to penetrate 0.3m.
6. Record the data for the number of blows for every 0.3m penetration into the
Mackintosh Probe test form.
7. Remove the hammer set, and connect a new steel rod on top of the original rod
in the final 0.3m.
8. Mark again the rod for every 0.3m interval. Continue with the hammer blows
and repeat the same work process.
9. The blows should be stopped when:
Numbers of blows reach 400 times for a 0.3m penetration because the
soil has high bearing capacity, or
The depth of penetration reaches 15m. Detail site investigation is
required by using boring test.
10. Clean the steel rod, steel cone and connector after they have been used.

Apparatus
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.

1.2m long steel rod


Steel cone
Connectors
Hammer set
Measuring tape
Chalk
Puller