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Engineering Geology

The Engineering Geology Laboratory provides testing services for ground and construction materials, such as soils, rocks, and aggregates, to determine and evaluate their physical, mechanical, and geotechnical properties.

Geotechnical information are very vital to civil engineers and architects, because these information can ensure the suitability of materials for engineering construction. All tests in the laboratory are carried out according to the ASTM, BS, and ISRM standards, using a range of material testing devices. The laboratory principally provides services for the SGS projects as well as to the laboratory testing needs of other government and private sectors.

Soil testing

The laboratory carries out the evaluation of engineering properties of soils to determine their behaviors and their suitability for engineering construction. Soil testing (Figs. 1 and 2) includes the determination and evaluation of:

Soil classification
Triaxial compressive strength (UU, CU, CD)
Consolidation test
Shear box test


Testing the compressive strength of a rock sample

Laboratory Services Provided

- Soil testing

Specific gravity of soils
Laboratory determination of moisture content of soils
Particle size analysis (mechanical method)
Particle size analysis (hydrometer method)
Liquid limit, plastic limit, and plasticity index of soils
Shrinkage factors of soils
Classification of soils for engineering purposes
Maximum index density and unit weight of soils using a vibratory table
Minimum index density and unit weight of soils and calculation of relative density
Amount of material in soils finer than the no. 200 sieve
Moisture density relations of soils and soil aggregate mixture
California-bearing ratio of laboratory compacted soils
Unconfined compressive strength of soils
Direct shear test of soils under consolidated drained conditions ASTM-D-3080
Unconsolidated undrained compressive strength of cohesive soils in triaxial compression
Consolidated undrained triaxial compression test on cohesive soils
Permeability of granular soils (constant head)
Permeability of granular soils (falling head)
One-dimensional consolidated properties of soils
One-dimensional swell or settlement potential of cohesive soils

- Rock testing

Determination of the water content, porosity, density, and absorption of rocks
Determination of the point load strength of rocks
Determination of the shear strength LSRM-suggested
Triaxial compressive strength of undrained rock cores without pore pressure measurement
Unconfined compressive strength of intact rock cores
Elastic modules of intact rock cores in uniaxial compression
Elastic modules of undrained intact rock cores in triaxial compression without pore pressure measurement
Laboratory determination of pulse velocities and ultrasonic elastic constants of rocks
Slake durability of shales and similar weak rocks
Absorption and bulk specific gravity of dimension stones
Compressive strength of dimension stones
Modulus of rupture of dimension stones

- Aggregate testing

Particle size analysis
Flakiness index
Elongation index
Angularity number
Water absorption
Bulk density
Moisture content of aggregates
Aggregate impact value
Aggregate crushing strength
Aggregate abrasion value
Ten per cent fines value
Sieve analysis of fine and coarse aggregates
Specific gravity and absorption coarse aggregates
Specific gravity and absorption fine aggregates
Unit weight and voids in aggregates
Materials finer than no. 200 sieve in mineral aggregates by washing
Light weight pieces in aggregates
Organic impurities in sands for concrete
Clay lumps and friable particles in aggregates
Resistance to abrasion of small size coarse aggregates by using the Los Angeles machine
Resistance to abrasion of large size coarse aggregates by using the Los Angeles machine
Sand equivalent value of soils and fine aggregates
Soundness of aggregates by using sodium sulfate or magnesium sulfate
Potential alkali reactivity of aggregates (mortar bar method)
Potential alkali reactivity of carbonate rocks in concrete aggregate (rock cylinder method)
Potential alkali-silica reactivity of aggregate (chemical method)

- Concrete testing

Specific gravity, absorption, and voids in hardened concrete samples
Slump of hydraulic cement concrete samples
Length change of hardened hydraulic cement mortar and concrete samples
Length change of concrete due to alkali-carbonate rock reaction
Pulse velocity through the concrete samples
Compressive strength of cylindrical concrete specimens
Flexural strength of concrete (using simple beam with third point loading)
Flexural strength of concrete (using simple beam with center point loading)
Mechanical properties of hardened concrete under triaxial loads
Rebound number of hardened concrete samples
Static modulus of elasticity and Poisson's ratio of concrete in compression
Splitting tensile strength of cylinder concrete specimens
Fly ash or natural pozzolans for use as a material admixture in Portland cement concrete, sampling, and testing

- Field testing

Mechanical cone penetration tests of soils
Density of soils and rocks in place by sand replacement method in a test bit
Soil investigation and sampling by auger boring
Plate bearing