South Australia & NT Chapter

Laboratory Testing of Expansive Soils Seminar

Who Should Attend and Why?

Identifying and managing the risks associated with problematic soils is essential for the geotechnical engineer. Across much of metropolitan Adelaide, the presence of expansive clay soils means that practising geotechnical and structural engineers need to have an awareness and understanding of the requirements for specifying, undertaking and interpreting laboratory testing of expansive soils.

The AGS has organised a half day seminar to promote understanding of expansive soil testing, including practical demonstrations of laboratory test methods and presentations by some industry leading professionals and academics on where and why we have expansive soils, case histories and legal problems and a comparison and discussion of the typical tests undertaken as per AS2870 and good practice.

This seminar is open to all and will be of particular interest to all levels of professionals (and students) in:

  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Footing design
  • Structural engineering

Numbers are limited so early registration is essential to secure your place.

Program Outline


Proposed Details

1:00 PM Registration and coffee
1:30 PM Welcome  by AGS SA/NT Chapter Chair
1:35 PM Sponsor Presentations
1:45 PM Overview of Adelaide soil and geology. What makes our clay soils expansive? Expansive soil profile types in Adelaide.Speaker: Peter Mitchell (Aurecon)
2:05 PM Questions
2:10 PM Overview of the need for expansive soil testing and AS 2870 and “Special Procedures” requirements for expansive soil. Review of legal problems that arise from failure to comply with expansive soil design and construction requirements.Speaker: Peter Bayetto (FMG Engineering)
2:30 PM Questions and Afternoon Tea
3:00 PM Laboratory Demonstration of tests: moisture content, Atterberg Limits including linear shrinkage, Shrink-swell index, core shrinkage index, total suction.Speaker: Paul Hamilton  (Lab manager, Golder Associates)
4:30 PM Comparison of expansive soil tests. Overview of the various tests for expansive soil, their interpretation, the advantages and disadvantages of the various tests, and the correlations between test results and with expansive soil design parameters such as the instability index.Speaker: Don Cameron (Uni SA)
4:50 PM Questions
4:55 PM Discussion of laboratory tests results obtained by the laboratory on expansive clays, such as Hindmarsh Clay, Black Earth or Red Brown Earth.Open Forum
5:15 PM Close

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.