Plate Load Test – Technical Standards including ASTM 1195 / ASTM 1196 and DIN18134
ASTM (USA)
ASTM D1195 / D1195 (2021) Standard Test Method for Repetitive Static Plate Tests of Soils and Flexible Pavement Components for Use in Evaluation and Design of Airport and Highway Pavements
Scope: This test method covers the apparatus and procedure for making repetitive static plate load tests on subgrade soils and compacted pavement components, in either the compacted condition or the natural state, and is to provide data for use in the evaluation and design of rigid and flexibletype airport and highway pavements. 

ASTM D1196 / D1196M (2021) Standard Test Method for Nonrepetitive State Plate Tests of Soils and Flexible Pavement Components for Use in Evaluation and Design of Airport and Highway Pavements
Scope: This test method covers the apparatus and procedure for making nonrepetitive static plate load tests on subgrade soils and compacted pavement components, in either the compacted condition or the natural state, and is to provide data for use in the evaluation and design of rigid and flexibletype airport and highway pavements. 
DIN (Germany)
Determining the deformation and strength characteristics of soil by the plate loading test (DIN18134 – 2012) 
Other supported standards include:
 DIN 18134:201204, Baugrund – Versuche und Versuchsgeräte – Plattendruckversuch, Deutschen Institut für Normung (Germany) – describes how to set up and carry out the plate loading test
 CNR BU 146 199212, determinazione del MODULO DI DEFORMAZIONE, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)
 ÖNORM B4417:197912, Erd und Grundbau; Untersuchung von Böden; Lastplattenversuch, Austrian Standards Institute (Austria)
 SN 670 317b:1998, Plattendruckversuch, Norme Suisse (Switzerland)
 TSC 06.720:2003, MERITVE IN PREISKAVE – DEFORMACIJSKI MODULI VGRAJENIH MATERIALOV, REPUBLIKA SLOVENIJA (Slovenia)
 NF P941171:200004, Portance des plates formes – Module sous chargement statique à la plaque, Norme française (France)
 BS 1377 Part 9:199008 Methods for test for soils for civil engineering purposes. Insitu tests, British Standards + HD 25 PAVEMENT FOUNDATIONS (UK)
 UNE 103808:200602, Ensayo de placa de carga, Asociación Española de Normalización y Certificación (Spain)
 Standaardbestek 250 – Hoofdstuk 14.16, Samendrukbaarheidsmodulus (Belgium)
 Aflevering Proefmethodes – Hoofdstuk 50.01, Samendrukbaarheidsmodulus (Belgium)
 MSZ 25093:1989, Útpályaszerkezetek teherbíró képességének vizsgálata, Magyarország (Hungary)
 VVMB 606 – Bestämning av bärighetsegenskaper med statisk plattbelastning Sammanfattning (Sweden)
The most important Technical Standards for values required for the Deformation Modulus, in Germany, are:
 “Zusätzliche Technische Vertragsbedingungen und Richtlinien für Erdarbeiten im Straßenbau” (Additional Technical Terms of Contract and Guidelines for Earthworks in Road Construction) ZTV EStB 09,
 “Zusätzliche Technische Vertragsbedingungen und Richtlinien für Aufgrabungen in Verkehrsflächen” (Additional Technical Terms of Contract and Guidelines for Excavations in Traffic Areas) ZTV AStB 97/06
 “Zusätzliche Technische Vertragsbedingungen und Richtlinien für den Bau von Schichten ohne Bindemittel im Straßenbau” (Additional Technical Terms of Contract and Guidelines for the Construction of Courses without Binder in Road Construction) ZTV SoBStB 07.
In accordance with ZTV EStB, quality control is carried out according to a statistical test plan. In this method, the statistical distribution of the inspection criterion being examined is determined within an inspection lot on a random sampling basis. The decision as to whether the inspection lot is accepted or rejected is made on the basis of the results of the random sampling.
This method can be applied to any kind of ground.
The application of this method is particularly advisable in the following cases:
 with large inspection lots
 with inspection lots for which the uniformity of the compaction is to be evaluated
 with inspection lots on which test procedures requiring little time are used and whose results are available immediately
The statistical method should also be used for sample compactions.
In the statistical method, one inspection lot is assessed each time. An inspection lot is a layer of compacted ground that has been processed under uniform conditions and for which there is a uniform requirement. The area of the inspection lot should be precisely specified.
The test is carried out on a random sampling basis in which the position of the test points in the testing area is to be determined by means of a random selection process. The scale of the random sampling (n) depends on the size of the inspection lot.
The arithmetic average ( ) and the standard deviation (s) are calculated on the basis of the results (xi) of the random sample.
In the case of a 10% minimum quantile TM (degree of compaction, deformation modulus), the quality number Q is generated on the basis of and s (3).
At the acceptance of the construction work, the inspection lot will be accepted if Q≥k, where k is the acceptability constant in accordance with Table 1; otherwise the inspection lot will be rejected. It must then be brought into a condition that meets the requirements by the contractor. In the case of a rejection, the entire area of the inspection lot must be rejected.
Table 1: Scale of random sampling and acceptability constant for a single plan for the inspection of variables depending on the size of the inspection lot
Size of inspection lot
Area [m²] 
Length of utility trench
Length per m of trench depth 
Scale of random sampling n  Acceptability constant k 
up to 1000
over 1000 to 2000 over 2000 to 3000 over 3000 to 4000 over 4000 to 5000 over 5000 to 6000 
up to 100
over 100 to 200 over 200 to 300 over 300 to 400 over 400 to 500 over 500 to 600 
4
5 6 7 8 9 
0.88
0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 
The requirements mentioned below refer to the 10% minimum quantile TM in accordance with ZTV EStB.
In the case of a road surface for heavy to medium traffic on a frostproof subgrade or subbase, a deformation modulus of at least Ev2 = 120 MN/m² is required on the formation level. For light traffic, a deformation modulus of at least Ev2 = 100 MN/m² is required.
In the case of a frostsusceptible subgrade or subbase, a deformation modulus of at least Ev2 = 45 MN/m² must be proven on the formation level.
In the case of a frostsusceptible subgrade or subbase, Ev2 ≥ 70 MN/m² must be the case on the formation level after professional soil improvement has been carried out.
In accordance with ZTV EStB, the static plate loading test can be used as a substitute for determining the degree of compaction in accordance with Table 2 for coarsegrained soils and mixedgrained soils with a fine grain proportion of less than 15 % (m/m).
For allocation to the degree of compaction, the deformation modulus Ev2 must adhere to the lower limit given in Table 2, while the ratio Ev2/Ev1 must adhere to the upper limit given in Table 2.
If the Ev1 value has already reached 60% of the Ev2 value given in Table 2, higher Ev2/Ev1 ratios are also permitted.
Table 2: Standard values for allocation of the static deformation modulus Ev2 and the ratio Ev2/Ev1 to the degree of compaction DPr for coarsegrained soils
Soil group  Static deformation modulus E_{v2} [MN/m²]  Ratio
E_{v2}/E_{v1} 
Degree of compaction D_{pr} [%] 
GW, GI  ≥100
≥80 
≤2.3
≤2.5 
≥100
≥98 
GE, SE, SW, SI  ≥80
≥70 
≤2.3
≤2.5 
≥100
≥98 
For base courses without binder, the following applies in accordance with SoBStB:
In the case of roads of German construction classes SV, I to IV, on a formation level with Ev2 ≥ 45 MN/m² a deformation modulus of Ev2 ≥ 120 MN/m² must be achieved on the frost protection layer.
On roads of German construction classes V and VI, the required value is Ev2 ≥ 100 MN/m.
On gravel and crushed stone base courses, the ratio of the deformation moduli Ev2/Ev1 must not be greater than 2.2 if a degree of compaction DPr ≥ 103 % is stipulated. With a degree of compaction DPr < 103 %, Ev2/Ev1 must be ≤ 2.5.
Ev2/Ev1 ratios higher than 2.2 or 2.5 are permitted if the Ev1 value is at least 0.6 times the required Ev2 value.
In the case of roads of German construction classes SV, I to IV the following deformation modulus Ev2 must be achieved on frost protection layers with Ev2 ³ 120 MN/m² depending on the thickness of the base course without binder:
 on gravel base courses: ≥20 cm: Ev2 ≥150 MN/m² and ≥25 cm: Ev2 ≥180 MN/m²
 on crushed stone base courses: ≥15 cm: Ev2 ≥150 MN/m² and ≥20 cm: Ev2 ≥ 180 MN/m²
In the case of roads of German construction classes V and VI, the following deformation modulus Ev2 must be achieved on frost protection layers with Ev2 ≥ 100 MN/m² depending on the thickness of the base course without binder:
 on gravel base courses: ≥20 cm: E v2 ≥120 MN/m² and ≥25 cm: E v2 ≥ 150 MN/m²
 on crushed stone base courses: ≥15 cm: E v2 ≥120 MN/m² and ≥20 cm: E v2 ≥150 MN/m²
Unlike with ZTV EStB, these required values are not the 10% quantile but rather minimum values for which deviations should be evaluated as follows:
 With fewer than five individual values, each of the individual values must be equal to or exceed the required minimum values.
 With five or more individual values per inspection lot, one individual value in each case may fall below the required minimum value for the deformation modulus by no more than 10%.
 The permitted deviations only apply, however, if these individual values relate to the five measurement locations that are closest to each other in each case.
Other supported standards include:
 DIN 18134:201204, Baugrund – Versuche und Versuchsgeräte – Plattendruckversuch, Deutschen Institut für Normung (Germany) – describes how to set up and carry out the plate loading test
 CNR BU 146 199212, determinazione del MODULO DI DEFORMAZIONE, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)
 ÖNORM B4417:197912, Erd und Grundbau; Untersuchung von Böden; Lastplattenversuch, Austrian Standards Institute (Austria)
 SN 670 317b:1998, Plattendruckversuch, Norme Suisse (Switzerland)
 TSC 06.720:2003, MERITVE IN PREISKAVE – DEFORMACIJSKI MODULI VGRAJENIH MATERIALOV, REPUBLIKA SLOVENIJA (Slovenia)
 NF P941171:200004, Portance des plates formes – Module sous chargement statique à la plaque, Norme française (France)
 BS 1377 Part 9:199008 Methods for test for soils for civil engineering purposes. Insitu tests, British Standards + HD 25 PAVEMENT FOUNDATIONS (UK)
 UNE 103808:200602, Ensayo de placa de carga, Asociación Española de Normalización y Certificación (Spain)
 Standaardbestek 250 – Hoofdstuk 14.16, Samendrukbaarheidsmodulus (Belgium)
 Aflevering Proefmethodes – Hoofdstuk 50.01, Samendrukbaarheidsmodulus (Belgium)
 MSZ 25093:1989, Útpályaszerkezetek teherbíró képességének vizsgálata, Magyarország (Hungary)
 VVMB 606 – Bestämning av bärighetsegenskaper med statisk plattbelastning Sammanfattning (Sweden)
The most important Technical Standards for values required for the Deformation Modulus, in Germany, are:
 “Zusätzliche Technische Vertragsbedingungen und Richtlinien für Erdarbeiten im Straßenbau” (Additional Technical Terms of Contract and Guidelines for Earthworks in Road Construction) ZTV EStB 09,
 “Zusätzliche Technische Vertragsbedingungen und Richtlinien für Aufgrabungen in Verkehrsflächen” (Additional Technical Terms of Contract and Guidelines for Excavations in Traffic Areas) ZTV AStB 97/06
 “Zusätzliche Technische Vertragsbedingungen und Richtlinien für den Bau von Schichten ohne Bindemittel im Straßenbau” (Additional Technical Terms of Contract and Guidelines for the Construction of Courses without Binder in Road Construction) ZTV SoBStB 07.
In accordance with ZTV EStB, quality control is carried out according to a statistical test plan. In this method, the statistical distribution of the inspection criterion being examined is determined within an inspection lot on a random sampling basis. The decision as to whether the inspection lot is accepted or rejected is made on the basis of the results of the random sampling.
This method can be applied to any kind of ground.
The application of this method is particularly advisable in the following cases:
 with large inspection lots
 with inspection lots for which the uniformity of the compaction is to be evaluated
 with inspection lots on which test procedures requiring little time are used and whose results are available immediately
The statistical method should also be used for sample compactions.
In the statistical method, one inspection lot is assessed each time. An inspection lot is a layer of compacted ground that has been processed under uniform conditions and for which there is a uniform requirement. The area of the inspection lot should be precisely specified.
The test is carried out on a random sampling basis in which the position of the test points in the testing area is to be determined by means of a random selection process. The scale of the random sampling (n) depends on the size of the inspection lot.
The arithmetic average ( ) and the standard deviation (s) are calculated on the basis of the results (xi) of the random sample.
In the case of a 10% minimum quantile TM (degree of compaction, deformation modulus), the quality number Q is generated on the basis of and s (3).
At the acceptance of the construction work, the inspection lot will be accepted if Q≥k, where k is the acceptability constant in accordance with Table 1; otherwise the inspection lot will be rejected. It must then be brought into a condition that meets the requirements by the contractor. In the case of a rejection, the entire area of the inspection lot must be rejected.
Table 1: Scale of random sampling and acceptability constant for a single plan for the inspection of variables depending on the size of the inspection lot
Size of inspection lot
Area [m²] 
Length of utility trench
Length per m of trench depth 
Scale of random sampling n  Acceptability constant k 
up to 1000
over 1000 to 2000 over 2000 to 3000 over 3000 to 4000 over 4000 to 5000 over 5000 to 6000 
up to 100
over 100 to 200 over 200 to 300 over 300 to 400 over 400 to 500 over 500 to 600 
4
5 6 7 8 9 
0.88
0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88 
The requirements mentioned below refer to the 10% minimum quantile TM in accordance with ZTV EStB.
In the case of a road surface for heavy to medium traffic on a frostproof subgrade or subbase, a deformation modulus of at least Ev2 = 120 MN/m² is required on the formation level. For light traffic, a deformation modulus of at least Ev2 = 100 MN/m² is required.
In the case of a frostsusceptible subgrade or subbase, a deformation modulus of at least Ev2 = 45 MN/m² must be proven on the formation level.
In the case of a frostsusceptible subgrade or subbase, Ev2 ≥ 70 MN/m² must be the case on the formation level after professional soil improvement has been carried out.
In accordance with ZTV EStB, the static plate loading test can be used as a substitute for determining the degree of compaction in accordance with Table 2 for coarsegrained soils and mixedgrained soils with a fine grain proportion of less than 15 % (m/m).
For allocation to the degree of compaction, the deformation modulus Ev2 must adhere to the lower limit given in Table 2, while the ratio Ev2/Ev1 must adhere to the upper limit given in Table 2.
If the Ev1 value has already reached 60% of the Ev2 value given in Table 2, higher Ev2/Ev1 ratios are also permitted.
Table 2: Standard values for allocation of the static deformation modulus Ev2 and the ratio Ev2/Ev1 to the degree of compaction DPr for coarsegrained soils
Soil group  Static deformation modulus E_{v2} [MN/m²]  Ratio
E_{v2}/E_{v1} 
Degree of compaction D_{pr} [%] 
GW, GI  ≥100
≥80 
≤2.3
≤2.5 
≥100
≥98 
GE, SE, SW, SI  ≥80
≥70 
≤2.3
≤2.5 
≥100
≥98 
For base courses without binder, the following applies in accordance with SoBStB:
In the case of roads of German construction classes SV, I to IV, on a formation level with Ev2 ≥ 45 MN/m² a deformation modulus of Ev2 ≥ 120 MN/m² must be achieved on the frost protection layer.
On roads of German construction classes V and VI, the required value is Ev2 ≥ 100 MN/m.
On gravel and crushed stone base courses, the ratio of the deformation moduli Ev2/Ev1 must not be greater than 2.2 if a degree of compaction DPr ≥ 103 % is stipulated. With a degree of compaction DPr < 103 %, Ev2/Ev1 must be ≤ 2.5.
Ev2/Ev1 ratios higher than 2.2 or 2.5 are permitted if the Ev1 value is at least 0.6 times the required Ev2 value.
In the case of roads of German construction classes SV, I to IV the following deformation modulus Ev2 must be achieved on frost protection layers with Ev2 ³ 120 MN/m² depending on the thickness of the base course without binder:
 on gravel base courses: ≥20 cm: Ev2 ≥150 MN/m² and ≥25 cm: Ev2 ≥180 MN/m²
 on crushed stone base courses: ≥15 cm: Ev2 ≥150 MN/m² and ≥20 cm: Ev2 ≥ 180 MN/m²
In the case of roads of German construction classes V and VI, the following deformation modulus Ev2 must be achieved on frost protection layers with Ev2 ≥ 100 MN/m² depending on the thickness of the base course without binder:
 on gravel base courses: ≥20 cm: E v2 ≥120 MN/m² and ≥25 cm: E v2 ≥ 150 MN/m²
 on crushed stone base courses: ≥15 cm: E v2 ≥120 MN/m² and ≥20 cm: E v2 ≥150 MN/m²
Unlike with ZTV EStB, these required values are not the 10% quantile but rather minimum values for which deviations should be evaluated as follows:
 With fewer than five individual values, each of the individual values must be equal to or exceed the required minimum values.
 With five or more individual values per inspection lot, one individual value in each case may fall below the required minimum value for the deformation modulus by no more than 10%.
 The permitted deviations only apply, however, if these individual values relate to the five measurement locations that are closest to each other in each case.