Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory 

Equipment in the Geotechnial Engineering Lag

As a teaching facility, undergraduate students discover soil properties using hands-on, active learning through laboratory experiments and demonstrations, including soil classification, Atterberg limits, permeability, moisture-unit weight relationships, unconfined compression, and direct shear.  Graduate students investigate advanced soil testing techniques, such as one-dimensional consolidation and triaxial compression testing.  As research facility, multiple load frames and data acquisition systems facilitate both conventional and custom geotechnical testing approaches.

Key Capabilities:

  • Soil characterization testing – Atterberg limits, grain size analysis, water content, specific gravity, moisture-unit weight (Proctor) relationships
  • Permeability testing using constant head and falling head methodology
  • Triaxial compression testing of soil at confining stresses up to 3.4 MPa (500 psi)
  • One-dimensional consolidation testing to vertical stresses up to 7 MPa (1000 psi)
  • One-dimensional compression testing of foamed glass aggregate
  • USDA permitted facility for the acceptance and testing of non-domestic soil samples.

Key Equipment:

  • Automated 22.4 kN (5,000 lb) GeoTac mechanical load frame
  • Two automated 8.9 kN (2,000 lb) GeoJac mechanical load frames
  • Two 44.5 kN (10,000 lb) Humboldt mechanical load frames
  • Two Humboldt 2750 direct shear apparatuses

Ancillary Equipment:

  • Testnet-GP geotechnical data acquisition software
  • Load cells with capacities ranging from 500 to 100,000 lb
  • Benchtop oven for drying soil samples
  • Harvard miniature compaction equipment for compacted soil specimens