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  Specialized test equipment in the geotechnical laboratories include:
  • A constant-rate-of-strain consolidation apparatus.
  • Equipment for conducting high-pressure triaxial shear tests.
  • A servo-hydraulic, cyclic triaxial device that can test cylindrical specimens measuring 70 mm (2.8 in) or 100 mm (4.0 in) in diameter with full computer control of all test parameters.
  • A simple shear testing apparatus.
  • A servo-hydraulic, cyclic simple shear device with full computer control of all test parameters including variable confining pressures.
  • A separate soil dynamics laboratory with extensive facilities for resonant column and torsional shear testing.
  • A one-meter (3 ft) diameter pressure vessel for conducting penetration and model foundation tests in sands under controlled stress conditions.
  • Two large rectangular tanks (4 ft by 8 ft in plan, by 6 ft high) for testing scale models of foundations in soft clays.
  • For field testing, an extensive array of equipment for measuring in situ stress wave velocities using either downhole methods, crosshole methods, or the Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves (SASW) method.
  • A 45,000 lb mobile vibrator for generating surface vibrations at remote test sites, and a van for transporting associated instrumentation to the field.

Below are four specialized labs. Click each name for a description.

  • Soil Dynamics Laboratory
  • Centrifuge Laboratory
  • Geosynthetics and Geoenvironmental Laboratory
  • Rock Mechanics Laboratory
  • Cyclic testing Laboratory

The geotechnical engineering faculty has considerable experience in the construction of unique test equipment. A variety of university technicians and support staff are available to assist in the assembly of such equipment. In particular, a fully equipped machine shop with a full-time staff machinist is maintained by the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and is used extensively by the geotechnical engineering faculty and students.

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