Soil Mechanics Capabilities

  • Soil Classification Testing- Atterberg Limits (Casagrande and fall cone method).
  • Soil and pore water pH and EC, cation exchange capacity and clay surface area measurement.
  • Dispersion - Pinhole and Emmerson class.
  • Particle Density – Gas or vacuum pycnometer.
  • Particle Size Distribution (>75um) – wet or dry sieve analysis.
  • Particle Size Distribution - including hydrometer or fine distribution measured using Sedigraph (provides 300 um – 0.1 um distribution).
  • Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry (MIP) – microstructure and pore size distribution; California Bearing Ratio.
  • Soil Compaction and Density (standard and modified MDD, OMC).
  • Shrink Swell Index and Swelling Pressure of clays.
  • Laboratory Vane Shear.
  • Direct Shear Testing (60mm, 100mm and 300mm shear boxes).
  • Large Strain (repeated) Direct Shear Testing (60mm, 100mm , and 300mm shear boxes)
  • Large Scale Direct Shear Testing (720mm x 720mm shear box).
  • Ring Shear.
  • One Dimensional Consolidation – lever arm oedometer and Constant Rate of Strain (CRS) including small strain stiffness using Bender Elements.
  • Rowe Cell - strain/pore pressure gradient controlled oedometer testing.
  • Unconfined (Uniaxial) Compression Test.
  • Triaxial Compression and Extension with pore pressure measurement, including UU, CU,CD, Stress Path, (38mm, 50mm, 70mm, 100mm, 150mm and 300mm diameters).
  • Bender Elements - Seismic velocity of specimen in triaxial compression.
  • Dynamic Triaxial testing up to 10,000Hz (50mm, 70mm, 100mm, 150mm diameters).
  • Resilient modulus.
  • Permeability - Falling head, constant head and constant head with flexible wall permeameter.


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.