What are the limitations of Plate Load Test?

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Plate load test is carried out to check the bearing capacity of foundation soils.

The limitations of plate load test are:

(i) It has limited depth of influence. It could only give the bearing capacity of soils with depth up to two times the diameter of plate.

(ii) It may not provide information on the potential for long term consolidation of foundation soils.

(iii) There is scale effect as the size of test plate is smaller than actual foundation.


(iv) To gain access to test position, excavation is carried out which causes significant ground disturbance. The change in ground stress leads to the change of soil properties which the test is planned to investigate.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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