Soil Mechanics Laboratory

  • Gas Pycnometer – for the measurement of specific gravity of soils or rock specimens.
  • Sedigraph Particle Sizer – for measurement of particle size distribution for particle sizes ranging for 300um to 0.1um by measuring particle settling velocities using x-ray absorption
  • Mercury Intrusion Porosimeter – allows measurement of micro pore size distributions.
  • Ion chromatography – for determining cation concentrations in soil or ground water.
  • Thermogravimetric Analyser (TGA) – allows for thermal analysis in which changes in physical and chemical properties of materials are measured as a function of increasing temperature.
  • Stress Path Triaxal Systems – 6 stress path triaxial systems, 4 manufactured by GDS instruments and 2 specific soft soil systems manufactured by Imperial College London. The systems allow for a range of testing capacities for testing of specimens ranging in consistency from very soft clay to soft rock.
  • Bender Elements System – in-house developed system allows measurement of the seismic velocity or small strain stiffness of a sample and can be incorporated into a triaxial or oedometer specimen.
  • Oedometer system – an in-house system that includes bender elements transducers to evaluate the shear wave velocity during CRS and Incremental Loading testing, capable of controlling /monitoring the pore fluid chemistry in natural soils.
  • Laboratory Vane Shear – bespoke equipment allowing measurement of rate effects.
  • Rheometer – measurement of rheological properties soft soils and slurries.
  • Bromshead Ring Shear apparatus – determination of drained residual shear strength.
  • Dynamic Triaxial Systems – 3 dynamic systems, manufactured by GCTS, GDS and IPC allow for a range of dynamic triaxial tests in term of sample size and dynamic frequency.
  • Large Scale Stress Controlled Calibration Chamber.

Figure 1 Figure 2

Figure 1: Lever Arm Oedometer and Imperial College Stress Path Triaxial


For further information regarding testing capabilities and rates please contact:
Lachlan Bates
Business Manager
Piority Research Centre for Geotechnical Science & Engineering
Discipline Civil, Surveying & Environmental Engineering  
University of Newcastle  
T: +61 2 4921 8978

M: +61 408 292 638


The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.