Rock Mechanics Laboratory

  • True-triaxial apparatus, cubic samples of 300x300x300 mm. Maximum load adjustable in three individual (orthogonal) directions, up to a maximum of 3500 kN (~39 MPa). Equipped with a multichannel active source acoustics system (each of the 6 faces is installed with 4 vp and 4 vs sensors, sensitive at 1 MHz, that can be programmed as source or receiver). Setup is (currently) slightly modified such that one can drill into the rock while controlling the full 3D stress field. Future modifications include a full 3D acoustic emission acquisition module.
  • “Terratek” triaxial deformation apparatus, capable of 700 bar of confining pressure, temperatures up to 200 ˚C (internal furnace), pore fluid system (up to 700 bar) equipped with 2 high precision Isco-syringe pumps, maximum axial load of 300 kN (used with either 25, 30 or 40 mm diameter samples)
  • 500 kN loading frame, used for uniaxial compressive strength testing, as well as in usage with Hoek cells
  • 50 kN loading frame, used for Tensile strength testing (Brazil disk) and Fracture Toughness (Brazil disk / Chevron notch three-point bend tests)
  • Bore-hole simulator, confining pressure up to 700 bar, operates at room temperature. Sample of 400 mm diameter x 600 mm length with prepared borehole in sample.
  • High speed oscilloscopes, used for high precision vp/vs measurements and coda wave interferometry (when used during deformation tests)


  • Medical-grade CT scanner. High speed acquisition, programmable for time-lapse 3D imaging. Smallest voxel size: ~0.5 mm (depending on sample size).
  • µCT scanner, smallest voxel size: 2 µm (depending on sample size). Equipped with a loading frame for mm-sized core samples.
  • Helium pycnometer (samples up to 75 mm length, 40 mm diameter).
  • Liquid/gas permeameters (Ruska)
  • Microscopes
  • Thin section preparation lab
  • XRF/XRD chemical analysis
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (available on campus, not at CiTG)