Geotechnical Laboratory Testing

Geotechnical testing is part of any ground investigation. Natural materials or made ground are sampled and sent for various site and laboratory tests to characterise the conditions that exist underneath a site. RSK’s in-house laboratories and site and monitoring teams are fully equipped and certified to conduct multiple types of geotechnical testing to assist clients in avoiding potential pitfalls.

A history of successful testing

Structural Soils, an RSK company, has been undertaking laboratory testing on soil and rock samples for more than 50 years. The company has an impressive list of clients ranging from government agencies, consultants and local authorities, to private entities and individuals.

Our geotechnical laboratories offer routine and advanced testing of soil, rock and aggregate; asbestos or other fibre-containing soil samples; hydrocarbon-or heavy-metal-contaminated soil; and biologically inactive but odorous organic soil or soil–sludge mixtures. These tests produce high-quality data that are incorporated into geotechnical reports.

Navigating unknown soil properties

Many of our clients seek a variety of testing for their projects to gain regulatory consent, design infrastructure and dispose of or reuse materials. Potential hurdles to this are budget restrictions, tight deadlines and unpredictability of the materials to be tested.

Our extensive experience enables us to help navigate these situations to avoid, or bridge, as many obstacles as we can. We also give our clients the assurance that the testing is rigorous and thorough.

A range of accredited and thorough testing methods

Our experienced technicians can perform a wide variety of accredited tests. Furthermore, we maintain a rigorous quality assurance protocol that involves many levels of quality checks, and we participate in national and international proficiency testing schemes. We have worked hard to develop an excellent reputation for trust, communication, fast response and personable client services.

We are dedicated to continually improving our services and willing to think outside the box to ensure our clients receive the testing services required.

Global capability

We have four UK geotechnical laboratories, in Bristol, Hemel Hempstead, Tonbridge and Castleford, which operate under a UKAS-accredited multisite status. The laboratories can test samples both from the UK and abroad: the Bristol laboratory is licensed to import and carry physical and mechanical testing of soils from anywhere in the world. We provide sound knowledge of all aspects of geotechnical engineering, and within the wider group, these services are another asset to the end-to-end bespoke service we offer to clients.

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Our Expertise

  • Soil and rock

    Our laboratory capability for soil and rock includes index properties and compaction; consolidation and swelling; compressive and tensile strength; shear strength; cyclic loading; elastic, electrical and thermal properties; abrasivity; and hardness.

  • Earthworks materials and aggregates

    For earthworks materials and aggregate, we can offer testing relating to sampling; grading and shaping; fragmentation and wear resistance; and durability (soundness).

  • Site testing

    In addition to laboratory work, we can travel to sites to provide testing for in-situ moisture and density; and soil bearing capacity, strength and stiffness; and soakaway tests.

  • Monitoring

    Our experts are also available for GPS borehole surveying; rising/falling head testing; topsoil (garden) validation; gas membrane installation validation; low-flow sampling (bladder and peristaltic); gas/flow monitoring; gas and vapour sample collection; landfill gas and leachate monitoring and sampling; flux monitoring/surveying; dust Frisbee gauge deployment and monitoring; and flame-ionisation detector surveys.

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