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Asphalt Penetrometers

Asphalt Penetrometers

Certified Material Testing Products offers a wide range of penetrometers and asphalt penetration test equipment to meet the needs of various industries. Our selection of light duty portable penetrometers, automatic and manual models, ensures that you can find the perfect equipment for your test requirements.

In the field of asphalt penetration test, accuracy is crucial. That's why we offer a variety of accessories such as bituminous and wax penetration needles, grease penetration cones, and transfer dishes. These accessories are designed to work in conjunction with our penetrometers, allowing you to perform precise and reliable unconfined compressive strength test.

One of the key products in this category is the Universal Penetrometer, Manual. This penetrometer is equipped with a manual control system, allowing for precise control over the penetration process in cohesive soils test. It offers reliable performance and is suitable for various applications.

For those who prefer automated testing, we also offer the Universal Penetrometer, Automatic. This model features an automatic control system, eliminating the need for manual operation. It offers high precision and efficiency, making it ideal for laboratories and test facilities.

To ensure compliance with industry standards, we provide ASTM certified options. The Universal Penetrometer Bituminous Needle and Universal Penetrometer Wax Penetration Needle are both ASTM certified, guaranteeing accuracy and reliability in your test range and results for your asphalt sample.

In addition to penetrometers and needles, we also offer a range of accessories such as grease penetration cones and transfer dishes. These accessories are essential for accurate testing and ensure that you can complete your test with ease and efficiency.

To enhance your testing process, we also provide sample containers in various sizes. Whether you require a 3oz tinned-metal sample container or a 6oz option, our sample containers are designed to securely hold and transport your samples.

At Certified MTP, we understand the importance of reliable and accurate testing equipment. That's why we offer a comprehensive selection of penetrometers and asphalt penetration test equipment, and with a handy carrying case. Update your equipment today and experience the precision and efficiency our products offer.

Certified MTP recommends different types of test and styles of penetrometers for density test:

Soil Pocket Penetrometer

Soil Pocket Penetrometer, Chrome-Plated with Engraved Scale

AMS 59032 Pocket Penetrometer

Dial Geotester Pocket Penetrometer Kit

Acme Mortar Penetrometer, Bench-Top

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Overview of Asphalt Penetrometers for Asphalt Testing


Asphalt penetrometers are essential tools in the field of geotechnical engineering and construction, particularly used for evaluating the penetration resistance of asphalt, quality, and cohesive soils. These devices are vital for ensuring that materials meet the necessary specifications for construction and agricultural applications. This comprehensive overview will delve into the various aspects of asphalt penetrometers, including their design, functionality, laboratory testing, food products, field work, and the importance of specific parameters such as unconfined compressive strength and shear strength, unconfined compressive strength.

Basic Principles of Asphalt Penetrometers

An asphalt penetrometer typically consists of a needle or cone that is used to penetrate the material being tested. The depth and resistance encountered by the needle provide measurements that are crucial for determining the compaction of the asphalt or soil. These devices are widely used in both laboratory settings and field testing, food products, to measure the penetration resistance, which is often expressed in terms of pounds per square inch.

Laboratory Testing and Field Applications

In laboratory testing, soil penetrometers are used to determine the soil's unconfined compressive strength and shear strength, and unconfined compressive strength. These measurements are critical in understanding the material's capacity to withstand loads and environmental stresses without undergoing shear strength failure. Laboratory settings provide a controlled environment where parameters like temperature, weight, and penetration depth can be meticulously adjusted and measured.

For field applications, asphalt or soil penetrometers such as the hand penetrometer are designed for ease of use and portability. These instruments often come with a carrying case, making them convenient for use in various locations, from construction sites to farms. The ability to conduct tests on-site allows for immediate assessments of quality, crucial for decisions related to planting, harvesting, food products, and construction.

Design Features of Soil Penetrometers

The typical penetrometer includes a plunger, needle or cone tip, and a scale for reading the penetration resistance. High-quality models are often made from durable materials like stainless steel to withstand harsh field conditions, per OSHA requirements. The dimensions, weight, and resistance of the penetrometer are designed in accordance with industry standards, such as those set by OSHA, ensuring reliability and safety in its operation.

Some penetrometers are equipped with digital displays for easier reading of measurements in cohesive soils, while others may use a more traditional dial or gauge. The choice of needle or cone type can be selected based on the specific testing requirements; for instance, a narrower needle may be used for testing softer materials in cohesive soils, while a wider cone might be appropriate for more compacted cohesive soils.

Measurement Techniques

To use an asphalt penetrometer, the device is typically set on the surface of the material, and the plunger is released. The force required to push the needle or cone into the material is measured at the right depth, which provides data on the material’s resistance. This process may be repeated several times across different areas to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the material's properties.

Measurements taken from asphalt to soil penetrometers are often recorded in a report or table format, allowing for easy comparison and analysis of data over time or across different materials. These reports can help in determining the appropriate compaction of road materials, the suitability of soil for agricultural purposes, and other critical decisions.

Considerations and Precautions

When using asphalt or soil penetrometers for cohesive soils, it is essential to ensure that measurements are taken in a consistent manner to avoid variability in the data. Factors such as the angle of penetration, the speed of the plunger, and the type of hand penetrometer used can all influence the results. Additionally, it's important to maintain the penetrometer regularly, ensuring that components like the needle or cone remain sharp and clean for accurate measurements.

Applications Beyond Soil and Asphalt

Interestingly, asphalt and soil penetrometers are not solely used for testing soil or asphalt. In some industries, such as food production, penetrometers are used to determine the compaction of various food products. This versatility underlines the fundamental utility of penetrometers in measuring resistance and consistency across different materials for testing unconfined compressive strength.


Asphalt or soil penetrometers are indispensable tools in construction and agriculture and in testing cohesive soils, providing crucial data on the mechanical properties of soil and asphalt. Whether used in a laboratory setting to measure unconfined compressive strength and shear strength or in the field to assess soil quality for agricultural planning, penetrometers help professionals make informed decisions based on precise and reliable measurements. With advancements in technology and design, these devices continue to evolve, enhancing their accuracy and ease of use across various industries.


Overview of the Use of Penetrometers for Food Products

Penetrometers, traditionally used in geotechnical engineering to test soil compaction and consistency, have found a unique and valuable application in the food industry. This device, by measuring the penetration resistance of various food products, helps in determining their textural properties, which are crucial for quality control and consumer satisfaction. This overview will explore how penetrometers are adapted and utilized for food products, focusing on their operation, significance, and the compliance with industry standards such as those set by OSHA.

Penetrometer Design and Operation

The basic design of a penetrometer used in food testing typically includes a stainless steel plunger and a cone or needle tip, which is pressed into the food sample to measure its resistance. The depth to which the cone penetrates and the force required are measured to evaluate the texture and firmness of the product. This type of penetrometer is often portable, allowing for tests to be conducted directly on the production floor or in the laboratory.

Each penetrometer comes with a part number, indicating its type and specifications which dictate its suitability for different types of food products. For example, a softer food item might require a penetrometer with a different cone tip size or shape compared to a firmer one to accurately measure the sample's resistance without damaging it.

Importance in Food Quality Control

In the food industry, the consistency of products is not only a matter of meeting consumer expectations but also of ensuring safety and manageability in processing and packaging. Penetrometers help determine the firmness and texture of products like fruits, vegetables, cheeses, gels, and other processed foods. The readings obtained from these devices help in determining whether the food products have reached the desired shear strength and consistency for harvesting, processing, or consumption.

For instance, in the case of fruit like apples or pears, penetrometers can measure the firmness, which is directly related to ripeness. This measurement helps in deciding the right time for harvest, ensuring that the fruits are not too hard or too soft, which can affect both yield and quality.

Testing Procedure and Data Interpretation

To test a food product, the penetrometer's tip is placed on the surface of the sample, and the plunger is deployed to penetrate the food to a set distance. The resistance offered by the food is then recorded, usually in units that reflect the force required to push the penetrometer into the product. These readings are compiled into a report that outlines the test conditions, the number of samples tested, and the average and range of firmness across these samples.

This data is critical for food scientists and quality control managers who rely on consistent and repeatable measurements to make decisions about product formulations, processing techniques, and storage conditions. Independent testing, using separate devices or samples, can further validate the consistency and reliability of the results.

Compliance and Safety

Using penetrometers in the food industry also involves adhering to safety and sanitation standards. The tools must be cleaned and sanitized between tests to prevent cross-contamination between samples. Additionally, the construction of the penetrometer, particularly the materials that come into contact with the food, must be food-grade and resistant to corrosion, which is why stainless steel is commonly used.

OSHA standards, although more commonly associated with occupational safety in industries such as construction and manufacturing, also inform the safety practices around the use of penetrometers in the food industry. Ensuring that the devices are properly maintained and used correctly falls under general workplace safety regulations, which help protect workers from potential hazards associated with testing equipment.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite their utility, using penetrometers in the food industry comes with challenges. The variability in food products due to their biological nature means that multiple tests might be required to find a representative measure of firmness or texture. Additionally, the penetrometer must be capable of handling the diverse forms and surfaces of food products without altering their inherent properties, which requires precise calibration and possibly custom-designed tips or plungers.


Penetrometers offer a valuable tool for the food industry, enabling producers and quality control teams to measure the textural properties of food products efficiently and accurately. By determining the firmness and consistency of products, these devices help in ensuring quality and consumer satisfaction. As the industry continues to evolve, the penetrometer remains an essential instrument, adapting to meet the changing needs and challenges of food testing.