Used in more than 40 countries, the Marchetti Dilatometer (DMT) is an excellent tool for geotechnical site investigation.

The equipment is simple, robust and has a vast published bibliography.

The Marchetti Flat Dilatometer – DMT (Dilatometric Marchetti Test) has been used worldwide since 1975, being considered one of the most accurate “in situ” testing tools to predict settlement and estimate the elasticity module (E) of the prospected soil layers.

With quick and simple execution, it can be used in practically all types of soil. The test is standardized by Eurocode  and ASTM.


The test consists of pushing a metal blade with a circular deformable membrane into the soil. 

In each 20cm interval nitrogen is inserted and tthe metallic membrane is deformed against the soil.

From this expansion, two readings are recorded on a precision manometer: the first (A) when the expansion of the membrane “overcomes” the soil compression effort, and the second (B) when it deforms the soil by 1.1m


As the Flat Dilatometer is an “in situ” test, it has the advantage of obtaining measures in diverse soil depths in a quick and simple routine.

The results can be interpreted to provide parameters such as:

  • Elasticity modulus (E)
  • Undrained shear strenght (Su)
  • Friction angles in sands (F)
  • Soil behaviour types
  • Over-consolidation ratio (OCR)


The seismic dilatometer is an add-on module that may be combined with the dilatometer or with a CPT for measuring the shear wave velocity Vs (SDMT) and compression wave velocity (SPDMT).

Thanks to the true interval test configuration (two receivers), the repeatability of the Vs measurements is very hign. The Vs values are calculated in real time at cost and time considerably lower than Downhole or Crosshole.




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Damasco Penna

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