Smart Structures has acquired GPE!

Through over 20 years of research and product development, GPE’s commitment to excellence has been unconditional and will remain that way as we pioneer our way into the 21st century. GPE was founded in 1977, and its mission was to design, manufacture and supply the geotechnical engineering community with testing and inspection equipment, specializing in hard-to-find items unavailable elsewhere. GPE offered the geotechnical profession a full range of drilled shaft inspection and testing equipment, soil exploration and analysis equipment, and offering testing and inspection services.

Smart Structures has now Integrated and elevated GPE Products and Solutions with our Hardware, Sensors and Software. We offer a more cost-effective and Robust product ready to meet the needs of our clients.

Take a Look at Our Exciting New Product Offerings below!

Smart Structures / GPE Products

Smart Shaft Inspection System (MiniSID)

Bottom cleanliness of drilled shaft foundations has been proven, through load testing, to directly influence end bearing performance. Further research shows that displaced bottom sediment also reduces side shear in the bottom 1 to 2 shaft diameters. Good bottom cleaning methods such as airlifting and submersible pumps will significantly increase end bearing reliability. SID Smart Shaft Inspection System™ provides the ability to verify the effectiveness of these cleaning methods which ultimately provides increased end bearing confidence.

The essential operation of a shaft inspection device involves lowering a stainless-steel inspection bell into the bottom of a drilled shaft excavation. The bell is filled with compressed air, and a camera is mounted on the top of the bell for a clear view of the circular inspection zone. Gauge posts inside the bell identify sediment depths in the viewing area when the inspection bell can rest on the bottom of the excavation.


The Dilatometer (DMT) provides a simple method for the rapid, accurate, and economical insitu determination of important soil parameters. GPE, inc. has distributed and manufactured the DMT in North America for over 20 years since its introduction to the U.S. by Dr. John Schmertmann. Developed in Italy by Dr. Silvano Marchetti, the DMT is now used in over 35 countries and is the topic of over 300 research publications. The ASTM Suggested Method (ASTM Geot. Testing Journal, June, 1986) is currently being revised as a Standard Method.

THE BLADE is constructed of high-strength stainless steel. Normally the blade is advancing by pushing from a cone penetrometer rig, at up to 250 tests per day. It may also be pushed with the hydraulic capability of a drill rig. Penetration by driving with SPT or lighter equipment is possible as well. Testing can also start from the bottom of a borehole. The DMT data are then analyzed by computer using published methods described in the user’s manual.

THE TEST starts by inserting the dilatometer blade into the ground. Gas pressure supplied through tubing from a control unit at the surface is then used to expand a flexible membrane on the face of the blade. The operator determines the A-pressure required to initiate movement of the membrane and the B-pressure required to move its center 1 mm into the soil. Typically the operator performs this simple test at depth intervals of 20 cm or 1 ft.