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Journal of Applied Sciences
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 918 - 921

Development of a Hydraulic-driven Soil Penetrometer for Measuring Soil Compaction in Field Conditions

Yucel Tekin and Rasim Okursoy    

Abstract: Soil compaction is an important physical limiting factor for root emergence and the growth of plants. Therefore it is essential to control soil compaction, which is normally caused by heavy traffic in fields during the growing season. Soil compaction in fields is usually measured by using standard soil cone penetrometers, which can be of several different types according to their design. Most of the time, especially in heavy soil conditions, measuring soil compaction with a standard hand penetrometer produces measurement errors if the cone of the penetrometer cannot be pushed into the soil at a standard rate. Obtaining data with hand penetrometers is also difficult and takes a long time and effort. For this reason, a three-point hitch-mounted and hydraulic-driven soil cone penetrometer has been designed in order to reduce time and effort and to reduce possible measurement errors in the sampling of soil compaction data for research purposes. The hydraulic penetrometer is mounted on the three-point hitch and a hydraulic piston pushes the standard penetrometer cone into the soil at a constant speed. Forces acting on the cone base are recorded with a computer-based 16-bit data acquisition system composed of a load cell, a portable computer, signal amplification and necessary control software for the sampling. As a conclusion, the designed and constructed three-point hitch-mounted hydraulic-driven standard soil cone penetrometer provides with quick and very accurate measurements about soil compaction in clay soil in heavy conditions.

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