Various Geotechnical lab equipment and their use

Geotech Lab Equipments
Geotech Lab Equipment

In this article, we study the geotechnical lab equipment which is used in laboratory as well as field testing. We study the basics of different machines and their usage in our field and learn the procedures of different machines and equipment.

Geotechnical lab equipment list

  • Point load index tester
  • Standard proctor equipment
  • Sieve shaker
  • Speedy moister meter
  • Odometer
  • Hydrometer analysis equipment
  • Constant and falling head permeability apparatus

Know some amazing Geology fun facts

Description of geotechnical lab equipment

Point load index tester

The Point Load Index Tester is used for determining the Diametral Point Load Strength Index of rock cores and irregular lumps, which can be tested without any treatment.

The Point Load Test is primarily an index test for the strength classification of rock materials.

This instrument is mainly intended for field measurements on rock specimens but it can also be used in the laboratory. The results of the test may also be used to predict the uniaxial compressive strength of rock from correlations.

The apparatus is light and portable

geotechnical lab equipment

Standard proctor machine

The proctor compaction test is done by the standard proctor machine.

The Proctor compaction test is a laboratory method of experimentally determining the optimal moisture content at which a given soil type will become most dense and achieve its maximum dry density.

Compaction is a method of mechanically increasing the density of soil, and it’s especially valuable in construction applications. If this process is not performed properly, soil settlement can occur, resulting in unnecessary maintenance costs or failure of the pavement or structure.

Sieve Shaker

The Function of a Sieve Shaker is to expose the particles in a sample to all the openings in each sieve in a stack.

sieve stack is a result of fitting each sieve to be used in a given particle size analysis into the one above. The sieve with the largest mesh holes is at the top with each subsequent sieve of a tighter mesh size than the one above it.

A sieve stack can consist of anywhere between 1 and 18 sieves. The number and mesh sizes of the sieves in a sieve stack are dictated by industry/application standards or the stated production standards of specific products.

Geotechnical lab equipment

Speedy Moisture Meter

Speedy Moisture Tester is used to determine the moisture content of soils, sand, and fine aggregates in the field. It is an easy and portable method.

The amount of gas, which is given off when water and calcium carbide are mixed and react, is directly proportional to the amount of water present in the sample and results in percentage moisture are taken from a pressure gauge.


An odometer test is a kind of investigation performed in a geotechnical engineering lab. This equipment measures a soil’s consolidation properties.

Odometer tests are performed by applying different loads to a soil sample and measuring the deformation response. The results from these tests are used to predict how the soil in the field will deform in response to a change in effective stress.

Hydrometer Analysis

A hydrometer or aerometer is an instrument used for measuring the relative density of liquids based on the concept of buoyancy. They are typically calibrated and graduated with one or more scales such as specific gravity. Hydrometers are calibrated for different uses, such as a lactometer for measuring the density (creaminess) of milk, a saccharometer for measuring the density of sugar in a liquid, or an alcoholometer for measuring higher levels of alcohol in spirits.

Constant and falling head permeability apparatus

geotechnical lab equipment

Soil permeability is a very important factor to study the behavior of soil in its natural condition with respect to water flow.

The falling head method is particularly suitable for fine-grained soils such as clay-like or silty soils in the range of 1×10-2 to 1×10-6 cm/s. The test is performed with a permeability cell, which has to be connected to a manometer stand.

During the test, the cell is placed in a soaking tank fitted with an overflow tube and the saturation is verified with the Vacuum control panel. As an option, the apparatus can be completed with a suitable de-airing tank and De-airing system.


In this article, we learned the functions of different equipment and machines related to the geotechnical lab along with the usage of different machines through practical use. Moreover, the basics of these machines are usage stepwise.

Also, check various lab equipment of Rock Mechanics Lab.

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