Civil Engineering

Geotechnics Laboratory

Earth’s crust has multiple properties that need to be researched on a regular and thoroughly basis. The Geotechnics Laboratory is an ideal place for such purpose given that it allows testing that will study in depth the composition of our soils and rocks.

In this context, the Geotechnics Laboratory intends to provide the university community with an environment conducive to the preparation of academic works, teaching projects and scientific research in such area. It also aims to provide the industry with specialized technical support.


Several types of tests, such as standard, soil and rock tests, are carried out in this laboratory.

Standard Tests

  • Classification tests: particle-size distribution by (electromechanical) sieving, complete sieving (hydrometer), liquid limit (motorized equipment), plastic limit and shrinkage limit.
  • Index property tests: moisture content, volume weight, specific gravity in fine, granular and organic soils.
  • In-situ density: sand cone and electrical densimeter.
  • Moisture content of soils, sand and fine aggregates in the field (Speedy type).
  • Standard proctor, modified proctor and CBR compaction tests.
  • Minimum and maximum soil density.

Soil Tests

  • Direct and residual shear tests.
  • Unconfined compression tests.
  • Triaxial (CD, CU, UU) tests. Diameter: 35, 50 and 70 mm.
  • Hydraulic conductivity tests (rigid- or flexible-wall permeability).
  • Consolidation tests.
  • Expansion tests.

Rock Tests

  • Physical properties: moisture, bulk density, porosity.
  • Mechanical properties of rocks: unconfined compressive strength and physical properties.
  • Triaxial test.
  • Shear test.
  • Point load test.
  • Durability-alteration test.
  • Sclerometer test.
  • Macroscopic petrography.
  • Microscopic petrography.


The Laboratory is divided into two areas: one for soil mechanics and another for rock mechanics. Both are in line with the requirements of national and international standards.

Equipment and Technology

The Laboratory has modern duly calibrated equipment handled by a group of highly experienced professionals, which guarantees the quality of geotechnical studies.

  • Systems for triaxial tests.
  • Direct shear machines.
  • Oedometer.
  • Simple compression equipment.
  • Automatic soil compactor.
  • Rock or concrete block and core sample cutting machine.
  • Digital point load equipment.
  • Rock triaxial equipment.
  • Direct shear apparatus for rocks.
  • Slake durability apparatus.
  • Vibrator for coarse aggregate.
  • Vibrator for fine aggregate.
  • Electrical density gauge for field use.
  • Motorized liquid limit machine.
  • Digital soil moisture meter for field use.
  • Rock classification Schmidt hammer (sclerometer).

Contact Information

For further information, please contact the Geotechnics Laboratory.