Geo-Construction Laboratory

The lab provides a state-of-the-art testing facility for research focused on laboratory testing as well as for research complementing the ever-expanding field research efforts of CEER.

The Geo-Construction Laboratory is located in Room 42 of the Town Engineering Building on the Iowa State University (ISU) campus. The lab was established in 2005 to support ISU’s research needs.

The lab is equipped with a variety of geomaterial laboratory testing equipment and houses most of CEER’s in situ testing equipment. The lab has a number of testing and sample preparation devices unique to ISU, such as the 2×2 sample device, aggregate compaction mold permeameter, and horizontal permeameter devices. The lab also has a 5 ft x 7 ft x 5 ft deep soil test pit. This pit is equipped with a load frame designed to support up to 65,000 pounds of reaction force.

Vision and Objectives

The Geo-Construction Laboratory has the following objectives:

  • Better understand the engineering properties of soils and geomaterials that relate to highway construction performance and that have a high degree of reliability for agencies and contractors.
  • Improve earthwork construction quality and efficiency through the use of current and emerging construction equipment and intelligent construction technologies.
  • Develop improved laboratory and field testing technologies and procedures for verification testing.
  • Test the properties of soils and geomaterials that relate to performance and use this knowledge to develop methods of quality control/quality assurance (QC/QA) for geotechnical applications.
Soil Testing Equipment

The lab contains the following equipment for soil testing:

  • RoTaop RX-29 Sieve Shaker
  • Ploog Mechanical Soil Compactor w/ Compaction Molds
  • 5500 lb CBR Frame
  • Soil Moisture Pressure Plate, 15 Bar with regulator
  • Large Scale Aggregate Compaction Mold Vertical Permeameter
  • Large Scale Aggregate Compaction Mold Horizontal Permeameter
  • Tritest Triaxial Load Frame and Triaxial Chamber
  • LaMotte pH Meter
  • ELE Versiloader 2500 lb Load Frame
  • Load/Displacement sensors
  • Test pit 65000 lb load frame
  • Hydraulic jack 10,000 psi
  • Geokon and Campbell Scientific DAQ Systems
  • Analog and Digital Displacement Sensors
  • Thermo Aquafast II Colorimeter
  • Kneading Compactor
  • Hydrometer Set
Sample Preparation Equipment

The lab contains the following equipment for sample preparation:

  • Hobart 100 Soil Mixer 10 qt
  • Mini Soil Grinder
  • Humboldt Soil Grinder
  • Vibeco Vibratory Plate Compactor
  • 2 x 2 sample maker and extruder
  • Hammer drill for vibratory soil compaction
  • 2 Air Jet Dispersion tubes
  • Drying Oven
  • Sample Splitter
Other Equipment

In addition to sample preparation and testing equipment, the lab contains the folowing equipment for general use:

  • 3 Fisher ISOTEMP Ovens
  • Air Compressor, 300psi
  • Proctor sample extruder
  • Shelby tube extractor
  • Microwave