is equipped with tools for testing of soil properties to determine
all relevant charactersitics neccessary for civil engineering projects.
All tests described below are conducted in accordance with appropriate
British Standards Method of Test for Soil for Civil Engineering
Purposes. The types of tests that can be conducted in this laboratory
facility include the following:
mechanics laboratory also has equipment for testing soil permeability
characteristics. The Constant Head Apparatus is used specifically
for soils with high permeability such as sands and gravel. The permeability
characteristics of soils is required in many construction projects
where drainage is an important feature. These projects include landfill
site design, earth dam and sheet-pile wall design, contaminated
land investigations, and groundwater lowering feasibility
test for cohesionless and cohesive soils is conducted using a motorised
and manual mode shearbox equipment. Soil shear strength parameters
are important for stability as every physical structure will impose
some load on the soil that supports the foundations. The stress
set-up in the soil may cause soil deformation. This failure
mechanism is known as shear failure and occurs
when shear stresses set up in the soil mass exceeds the maximum
shear resistance that the soil or rock can offer.
California Bearing Ratio (CBR)
was developed in California, USA, for estimating the bearing value
of highway subbase and subgrades, hence its name. The test provides
data with respect to the performance of soil for subsequent use
in the civil engineering projects such as road construction.
Apparatus (Oedometer), evaluation of Consolidation Characteristics
of soils of low permeability can be conducted. The data from this
test together with classification data and the knowledge of the
soils loading history enable estimates to be made of the behaviour
of the foundation under load.
engineering projects require the use of soil as filling material.
It is necessary for the soil to be compacted to a dense state so
that satisfactory engineering properties can be acquired. The soil
mechanics laboratory has equipment for conducting this test.
tests will shed light on the following mechanical properties of
Relationship between dry density and moisture
content for a given degree of compactive effort achievable.
Moisture content at which maximum dry
density is achievable.
Value of the maximum dry density achievable.
content of the soil is the percentage of water present by mass of
a given soil sample. Moisture content is one of the parameters used
in classifying a given soil type for use in any engineering project.
index properties are used extensively by engineers to discriminate
between the different types of soils within broad categories.
For instance, clay soil will exhibit a wide range of engineering
properties that will depend on its mineralogical composition.
apparatus for particle size analysis
|The index property tests that
can be conducted in the soil mechanics laboratory include the following:
Determination of particle size distribution
using sedimentation by Hydrometer method.
Computerised instrumentation in the Industrial
Minerals laboratory can be used to determine fine particle size
Determination of plastic limit, shrinkage
characteristics, density and particle density (specific gravity).
Liquid limit test depending on the soil
type (e.g. clays); this test can be conducted by either using Casagrande
method or cone penetration method.
Efforts are currently underway for setting-up facilities for conducting
rock tests such as triaxial, uniaxial, permeability, durability
and other related rock strength tests.Thus, the rock mechanics laboratory
will support dimension stone projects (quality assurance), mining
industry, construction industry, foundation engineering and environmental