Soils, Rock and Materials Testing
Structural Soils have been undertaking laboratory testing on soil and rock samples through our own site investigation division and through direct contact with external clients for over 30 years.
The Bristol laboratory is the largest, employing 25 staff and having an extensive range of testing facilities. Satellite laboratories in Hemel Hempstead and Castleford, in the UK, further supplement our testing capabilities.
In the past two years we have been licensed by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs) to import soils and rock from all over the world. We are one of only a few laboratories in the UK that have this licence.
Routine Soil Testing
The laboratories have extensive soil testing capabilities, that include plasticity, particle size, compaction, triaxial, consolidation, shear box (small and large), ring shear, particle density and all the standard range of tests. We have added the capability of less common tests such as resistivity, pinhole dispersion and permeameter permeability.
Advanced Soil testing
We also have a large effective stress laboratory (25 cells) for carrying out consolidated drained and undrained triaxial and triaxial cell permeability. We are currently adding more high pressure cells and equipment to provide a better service to our mining and offshore clients who require testing at higher than standard pressures.
Over the last 5 years, mainly through working on large nuclear power station projects, we have extensively developed our rock testing capabilities that now include point load, UCS (unconfined compressive strength), UCS with deformation, rock triaxial and rock shear box. We will soon be offering P&S wave testing in conjunction with an eminent university.
The Bristol Laboratory is also able to carry out a range of aggregate testing to BS812 and BS EN 933. The laboratory and its site technicians are also able to carry out tests on fresh and hardened concrete to BS1881 or BS EN 12390. The laboratory is well supported by our sister company, RSK Materials, who can perform a comprehensive range of aggregate and concrete tests, including chemical and petrographic analyses.
Standards and Accreditation
The laboratories perform all testing to either BS1377:Parts1-9:1990, Soils for Civil engineering Purposes, or ISRM Suggested Methods for Rock Characterization, Testing and Monitoring.
Structural Soils holds current certification for all operations to ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007. These three standards for quality, environmental, and health and safety management are combined as an integrated management system. The laboratory also hold UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation for a range of soil testing (see attached schedule), and are in the process of gaining accreditation for a range of rock tests.
Clients and Projects
The laboratories work on a full range of projects, from a subsidence problem on a house to major site investigations for nuclear power stations, offshore investigations and testing only contracts in Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Congo, Kazakhstan, Albania, Egypt, Nigeria and Guinea.
All laboratory testing is processed and stored within a geotechnical database system. Reports can be supplied in paper and PDF format. Data can be supplied in various formats on request. Quality AGS data can be produced with ease direct from the database system.
Offering a diverse range of services we have also provided laboratory tours and training to clients’ junior staff, and have sent a technician to Kazakhstan to train laboratory technicians how to carry out rock shear box testing.