Design of a portable triaxial compression apparatus

D. S. Jeng, L. Foley and M. Bolton

Abstract

A portable system for performing triaxial tests has been developed for testing in the field. Portable and robust system components have been used to provide for low maintenance and simple operation for field technicians. In this study, the apparatus is primarily designed only for triaxial tests and specifically for unconsolidated un-drained triaxial tests, as this is the only test that may be conveniently performed in the field. The main advantage the portable apparatus has over existing laboratory equipment is the ability to perform triaxial tests in the field during borehole investigations. This means the entire range of soil conditions encountered on site can be replicated and the results used in engineering design. A series of unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests on clay were successfully performed with the portable apparatus and demonstrated its capability.