20+ years of experience in construction materials testing

Strong and reliable constructions depend upon the suitability of the ground being built upon. Getting that ground geotechnically tested to make sure it’s fit for purpose, therefore, is just good common sense. Working for one of the most reputable engineering organisations of its type, our construction materials testing specialists use cutting-edge techniques and equipment to assess your sites in situ, allowing your team to build with confidence.

With over 20 years’ experience providing in situ construction materials testing services, we’ve worked on some of the UK’s highest profile engineering projects. Many of our tests can be performed without the need for downtime, keeping projects on track and on budget. What’s more, reports for many of our tests can be issued immediately, considerably reducing waiting times for project critical data.

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The best way to contact us about In-Situ Construction Materials Testing is directly through our website. Just leave us your details and a quick overview of what you need, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

    Engineer undertaking Construction Materials Testing


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    • We're based in Watford in Hertfordshire, not far from London, but we regularly travel throughout the UK to support our clients.

    • Whilst every project is different, we charge based on a competitive day rate. Simply get in touch for a tailored quotation.

    • Many of our clients are initially unsure as to exactly what type of testing is needed to capture the information their projects require. If that sounds like you, just get in touch and a member of our team will advise on the most appropriate and cost-effective approach to take.

    • Absolutely. Whilst the majority of our works are carried out during normal working hours between Monday and Friday, we understand that this won't be possible for every client. That's why we offer an out of hours and weekend working service available upon request.

    • On the whole, our lead time for site work is between 1-2 weeks from receipt of an instruction. That said, we completely understand that some projects require a more immediate response and will always do our best to accommodate urgent requests.

    • Yes. All of our engineers are trained to work at height with PASMA and IPAF certification. We can also bring any necessary access equipment with us - such as a tower or MEWP - as necessary.

    • Yes. We have a number of highly experienced engineers who have confined space training.

    • Whilst this can vary due to nature of each individual project, we typically aim to deliver our reports within 10 working days of the site work having been completed.

    Why choose Perry Testing?

    Time served professionals

    Every one of our engineers and technicians has at least 10 years' experience in structural investigation, scanning and materials testing.

    Easy-to-read, concise reports

    Our beautifully formatted reports are delivered promptly whilst getting straight to the point, providing the data you need direct to your inbox.

    Professional, friendly staff

    We take pride in the professionalism and attitude of our staff. From first contact to reporting, we'll treat you as we'd like to be treated ourselves.

    Proven track record

    Every year, we complete hundreds of projects for a truly loyal client base, firms that return time after time, confident in the service they'll receive.

    Nationwide service

    Our teams travel the length and breadth of the UK, delivering structural investigation and testing services on a truly diverse range of sites.

    Reduced risk and costs

    Using the very latest technology and techniques, we help reduce unexpected costs, keeping your team, project and organisation safe in the process.

    DCP Testing - Dynamic Cone Penetrometer

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    At Perry Testing, we use a Dynamic Core Penetrometer (or DCP) to obtain an indicative CBR value without the need for expensive downtime such as plant and operator costs.

    Generally applied to the ground via specially created trial pits or core holes, DCP testing is carried out by dropping a weight from a known distance onto the cone. The resultant movement measured can then be read directly from the instrument.

    DCP testing is typically used to measure road and pavement condition and stiffness. That said, we can also use the dynamic cone penetrometer to measure the strength of in-situ soils as well as to determine both the thickness and location of underlying soil layers.

    Hand Shear Vane Testing

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    Hand shear vane testing involves the application of an instrument in order to determine the undrained shear strength of cohesive soils.

    The result can be given in Kn/M² or it can be given as a vane shear strength using the calculation given in British Standard BS 1377. Either of these results can be provided instantly on site by our knowledgeable engineers.

    Incremental Plate Load Testing

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    Carried out in accordance with British Standard BS 1377, incremental plate load testing is an extremely popular method of…

    • Proving pile mats
    • Proving crane mats prior to the arrival of plant on site
    • Proving concrete slabs prior to the arrival or design of heavy plant

    Our specialist engineers will apply a counterweight (known as ‘kentledge’) to the surface with the weight being applied varying according to the loads that need to be simulated. The appropriate load will then be applied to the plate with any distortions being meticulously documented.

    CBR Testing - California Bearing Ratio

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    CBR testing (or California Bearing Ratio testing) can be used to evaluate the load-bearing potential of roads, pavements, and driveways, amongst other surfaces. It can prove particularly useful during situations involving a potential change in the use of a surface, such as the need to accommodate higher traffic volumes or heavier loads, or when gauging the quantities of materials needed for prospective road construction projects.

    SRD Testing - Sand Replacement Density

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    Experts in our field, Perry Testing offers a comprehensive sand replacement density testing service, designed to measure the in-situ density of natural soils or imported materials using sand pouring cylinders.

    The in-situ density is normally used for highway or pavement design purposes, providing designers and engineers with the relevant ‘degree of compaction’ (required for highway and site specifications). This allows our clients to be confident in the compaction of the material before proceeding with final layers.

    Sand replacement density testing is fully described in British Standard BS 1377: Soils for Civil Engineering Purposes: Part 9 and is both an efficient and accurate way of accessing the density of most materials.

    It is worth noting that, unlike other methods, with SRD testing there is no need for time consuming and expensive calibration of equipment for every site and material type.

    Core Cutter Density Testing

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    Core cutter density testing is used for almost the same purpose as SRD testing (covered above). This time, however, it is used solely for cohesive materials (e.g. clay). As with the former method, this is an extremely effective way of both quickly and accurately checking compaction on site.

    Once collected, the samples can then be used for further tests such as triaxial or permeability assessments.

    Laboratory Based Construction Materials Testing

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    Not all testing is carried out there and then on site. Many of the tests we most commonly carry out involve a physical sample being taken on site, with that sample then being transported to one of our UKAS-accredited partner laboratories for in-depth analysis.

    For more information on these services, visit our laboratory testing services page. Alternatively, why not get in touch?

    "Perry Testing are more than just another surveying company, they provide modern solutions to real problems. Always a pleasure to work with them."

    — Ben Joshua, Senior Engineer, Keltbray

    "We have engaged Perry Testing on a range and number of projects to provide scanning, sampling, and testing and always found them responsive and their reports to be high quality and informative. I would highly recommend them."

    — Malcolm Brady, Director, MBP

    "I have worked with Perry Testing Limited on several projects over the past 3 or 4 years, and they have always responded to our requests at very short notice, providing a professional, expert service every time."

    — Ben White, Managing Quantity Surveyor, United Living

    RAAC concrete testing

    Looking for advice on materials testing?

    Want to learn more about materials testing? Need a quotation? Get in touch! A member of our team will be only too happy to help!

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