Woman working in the Geomechanics Lab, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Triaxial Cell

This facility can assess very-small strain behaviour of saturated/unsaturated soils.


A standard triaxial cell apparatus for a 100mm diameter sample is equipped with bender elements and compression discs in order to assess very small strain behaviour in saturated/unsaturated soils. Bender elements and compression discs are installed in the cell pedestal and the top cap respectively, acting as a source and a receiver of mechanical waves.

A function generator is connected to the source in order to send an input mechanical signal through the soil. Different waveforms and frequencies (up to 10 kHz to avoid damaging the piezoceramic elements) can be applied. An oscilloscope is connected to both the source and the receiver in order to record the input and output signals. From the interpretation of the transmitted and received signals, the travel time and, hence, the velocity of the transmitted wave is inferred. This allows the determination of soil stiffness parameters.


We will carry out triaxial tests with measurement of velocity of propagation of compression and shear waves on your samples. We can process the data to derive the shear and bulk soil moduli. We are keen to tailor experimental procedures to your needs.