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The HM-500 Gilson Pocket Penetrometer, also called a hand penetrometer, is a lightweight, hand-held soil penetrometer. This simple device to measure soil provides instant estimates of unconfined compressive strength of cohesive soils in laboratory or field settings. Although not designed to replace laboratory testing using Unconfined Compressive Strength Test Systems for the determination of unconfined shear strengths, the Pocket Penetrometer is a valuable measuring tool for providing approximate values quickly. It is specified by OSHA for soil strength estimates when evaluating stability and safety of trench excavations. Such evaluations can determine the need to modify slope angles or to reinforce excavations with shoring.
The 0.25in (6.4mm) diameter penetration piston is pushed into the soil surface to a calibration groove machined on the piston at 0.25in (6.4mm). Resistance of a calibrated spring registers penetration force on an integrated scale engraved on the piston barrel. Scale units are shown in tons per square foot (tsf) or kg/cm2, and a sliding indicator ring retains the reading until reset. The spring is calibrated and plated for rust resistance. Product dimensions are 0.75x6.6in (19x168mm) Dia.xL, and net weight is 6.8oz (193g). An optional adapter foot attachment increases the piston diameter from 0.25in (6.4mm) to 1in (25mm), increasing the surface area 16 times for testing of very soft soils.
Check out our Gilson Insights blog post, How Simple Soils Inspection Equipment Promotes Trench Safety to learn more about the lightweight and portable Pocket Penetrometer.
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