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What is a penetrometer?

What is a penetrometer?

A penetrometer measures the resistance required to penetrate an object. This principle can be applied in several disciplines.

Penetro measurement of soil

Where the soil is heavily traveled, heavy materials are stored or is a built-up environment, trees and crops can experience growth stagnation. This reduces the condition of trees and crops and is often caused by soil compaction. Soil compaction occurs when the soil is compressed by factors such as the above. The natural cavities in the soil then disappear and the resistance required to penetrate the soil increases.

This penetration resistance is an important indication of whether the soil is still rootable. This is essential for the formation of a strong and healthy root system of the tree or crop and indicates, as it were, how much effort a root has to make to continue growing in the soil.

Along with this resistance to penetration depends the air and oxygen content and moisture-delivery capacity of the soil. Highly compacted soils can severely inhibit or even block root growth and its functioning, causing trees and crops to even die altogether due to root suffocation.

To measure this penetration resistance of the soil (the resistance experienced by the tree roots/roots of the crop), a penetrometer is used. The instrument consists of a thin metal rod with a conical tip at the end that needs to be slowly pushed into the soil. The resistance encountered during this process is expressed in a value that serves as an indication of the soil density. This value is displayed on top of the instrument.

We are happy to help you accurately and reliably measure and monitor the desired soil density with one of our measuring instruments. View our range of penetrometers here.