General Description

The bearing plate test determines the soil bearing capacity by the application of an increasing pressure on a foundation formed by a circular plate lo...
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The bearing plate test determines the soil bearing capacity by the application of an increasing pressure on a foundation formed by a circular plate loaded against a reaction frame and measuring the associated vertical displacement (settlement).
Results are typically used for calculating the soil stiffness in term of Deformation Modulus and Subgrade Reaction Modulus.
CONTROLS propose several versions of bearing plate test apparatus depending on reference Standards (BS, ASTM, CNR), hydraulic cylinder capacities, plate dimensions, measuring bridges shape and type of reading (analogue, digital or electronic).



Technical Specifications

Hydraulic assembly
3 different capacities are available (100, 200 and 500 kN). All models use a dual flow hand pump connected to the cylinder with flexible hydraulic hose 3 meters long.
The assembly comprises two spherical seats: the lower transfers the reaction load to the plate; the upper, mounted at the top end of the loading column, is magnetic for simplifying the test execution.
Extension rods are included for closing the gap between upper spherical seat and reaction frame.

Plate and measuring tunnel
The loading plates are made in high strength steel. All plates include practical handles for easy transportation and can be placed in a pyramid arrangement to ensure rigidity. The plate range is composed by:
  • 160 mm (6”) dia. x 25 mm (1")
  • 300 mm (12") dia. x 25 mm (1")
  • 456 mm (18") dia. x 25 mm (1")
  • 608 mm (24") dia. x 25 mm (1")
  • 760 mm (30") dia. x 25 mm (1")
Measuring bridge
Made in aluminium alloy, lightweight, transportable, quick to assembly on site, features 2 external supports and in-built spirit level. The main measuring bar is 2.5 meter long and can be expanded with extensions up to 5.5 meters total length.

Load and displacement (settlement) measurement
3 alternatives measuring options are available:
  • Analogue configuration: with triple scale manometer dia. 200 mm and 30 mm x 0.01 mm dial gauges. Detail of the triple scale:
    • 100 kN: force 0-100 kN (div. 0.5 kN); oil pressure 0-690 Bar (div. 2.5 Bar) and specific load 0-1.41 MN/m2 (div. 0.01 MN/m2)
    • 200 kN: force 0-200 kN (div. 1 kN); oil pressure 0-600 Bar (div. 2.5 Bar) and specific load 0-2.83 MN/m2 (div. 0.02 MN/m2)  
    • 500 kN: force 0-500 kN (div. 2.5 kN); oil pressure 0-700 Bar (div. 2.5 Bar) and specific load 0-7.07 MN/m2 (div. 0.05 MN/m2)

Note: specific load values refer to a bearing plate with 300 mm dia.

  • Digital configuration: with digital readout unit (battery operated), built-in pressure transducer and digital gauges 25.4 mm x 0.001 mm
  • Electronic configuration with pressure transducer and 50 mm stroke displacement transducers connected to a DATALOG8 readout unit, battery operated.
The configuration with a single displacement measurement includes the measuring tunnel to detect the settlement of the plate perfectly in the centre and coaxially with load.

All complete testing kits 100 and 200 kN cap. outfits include a wheeled plastic carrying case housing the following parts:
  • hydraulic assembly (pump, cylinder, extension rods)
  • plates dia. 160 mm (6”) and 300 mm (12")
  • load and displacement devices
Additional plates dia. 456 mm (18”); 608 mm (24") and 760 mm (30") are packed in a separate wooden box, also included in the outfit. The hydraulic assembly 500 kN cap. is instead packed separately.
Measuring bridge 2.5 m and extensions may be optionally housed in a wooden carrying case available as accessory.

Extremely versatility
The complete kits to BS, ASTM or CNR are identified by a single code (see ordering information). Alternatively, all components are also proposed separately to design a tailor-made configuration giving the customer maximum flexibility.


  • BS 1377:9
  • CNR 146
  • ASTM D1195
  • ASTM D1196
  • CNR 92
  • ASTM D1194