Compaction is an important process in soil construction. The goal is to increase the density of the soil in order to enhance its stability and supporting capacity. Therefore, compaction equipment such as rollers apply pressure to the soil in order to expel or compress the air and water particles from the soil thus achieving a high density. Compaction machines are divided into heavy and light soil compacting equipment.
Light soil compaction equipments such as rammers and vibrating plate compactors are used for compacting smaller areas or hard-to-reach places such as pipe trenches, slopes and embankments. Rammers are suitable for cohesive soil (loam, clay, silt) as they apply impact load to it, their minimum base size is 15cm x 15cm and they can be hand as well as machine operated. Vibrating plate compactors can be forward moving or reversible and they are used mostly for coarse soil (gravel, sand). The usual weight of vibrating plate compactors ranges from 100 kg to 2 tonnes, while equipped with plate areas between 0.16 m2 and 1.6 m2.
Heavy soil compaction equipments are used for large areas with different types of soils such as asphalt, debris, gravel, crushed rocks or concrete. The category includes tandem vibration rollers, single drum rollers as well as vibration trench rollers. The vibrating rollers are equipped with a circular vibrator in the drum. The rollers are suitable for commercial and residential site development, utility installations, driveways, highways, landscaping jobs, trenches or shoring. The trench rollers, also called multipurpose compactors, are designed to operate in cohesive soils, such as clay, which are difficult to compact.