Advanced Laboratory Testing Services

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Advanced Laboratory
Testing Program

Mobile Advanced Geotechnical Laboratory

Lab Testing
Services Brochure

BGC’s laboratory testing capability is a valuable complement to our geotechnical and hydrotechnical engineering consulting services.  Our facility is used both to support the company's broader project work and as a resource for other geotechnical consultants.

BGC’s practice is founded on an appreciation for the impacts of geology on engineered structures, and our experts are well versed in the application of soil and rock testing to our projects.ᅠ The characterization of soil and rock properties and careful evaluation of the strength, compressibility and permeability of these materials are essential for the successful completion of many earthworks design and construction projects.  This is especially true given the inherent variability in the behavior of soil and rock.

  • Our Testing Philosophy

    Our philosophy is that laboratory testing should be carried out by qualified geotechnical engineers with strong backgrounds in soil and rock mechanics under the close supervision of senior staff. We understand that the quality of laboratory testing data can be difficult to assess after a test has been completed.  Hence, it is critical that all testing be performed by educated, experienced professionals using the latest equipment and following industry standards for technical competence.  All of our equipment and instrumentation are routinely calibrated to ensure the reliability of the data and each testing result is reviewed by senior geotechnical engineers prior to its release to the client.

  • Specialized Testing

    In addition to geotechnical index tests such as Atterberg Limits and grain size analyses, we specialize in:

    • Fully automated triaxial testing along any stress path
    • Direct shear tests on samples of up to 40 cm x 40 cm in size including liner interface shear strength testing
    • Direct simple shear strength tests
    • Filter compatibility testing for tailing dams
    • One-dimensional consolidation testing using fully automated oedometer systems
    • Constant head and falling head permeability tests using flexible wall permeameters
    • Strength and stiffness testing of rock.

    Some of our more popular advanced tests include Ko-consolidated, drained and undrained triaxial compression tests of sands, silts and clays, 1-D consolidation of silts and clays, and instrumented, unconfined compression (UCS) testing for the determination of strength and elastic moduli of bedrock core.

  • Applications

    BGC’s laboratory testing services are particularly well suited to addressing challenging geotechnical problems where reliable test results are paramount to the success of the project.  We have developed innovative sample preparation equipment and procedures for the handling of soft, sensitive soil and excel at designing and fabricating specialized apparati to suit project specific requirements.  Some examples of recent laboratory projects include the evaluation of the strength, compressibility and permeability of native saprolite to support the design and construction of a large tailings impoundment at a mine site in the Caribbean.  We recently carried out a large testing program to evaluate the strength and compressibility of marine clay recovered from the Beaufort Sea in water depths often exceeding 1 km.  These data were used to support oil field development planning.  Most recently, BGC completed a testing program to characterize the nature and engineering properties of marine sand, silt and clay recovered from on-land, intertidal and off-shore environments to support the design and construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline in Western Canada.

    A list and full description of the individual tests available in BGC’s geotechnical laboratory can be found in our advanced lab Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) and in the section below.

  • Available Tests

    Consolidated isotropic undrained triaxial compression


    [ASTM D4767]

    Triaxial [Cell pressure up to 3 MPa]


    Consolidated isotropic undrained triaxial extension



    Consolidated isotropic drained triaxial compression


    [ASTM D7181]

    Consolidated anisotropic drained triaxial compression



    Consolidated anisotropic undrained triaxial compression



    Ko consolidated undrained triaxial compression



    Unconsolidated undrained triaxial compression


    [ASTM D2850]

    Unconsolidated undrained triaxial extension



    Unconfined compressive strength


    [ASTM D2166]

    High Pressure Triaxial [Cell pressure up to 7 MPa]

    Consolidated isotropic undrained triaxial compression



    Consolidated isotropic drained triaxial compression



    Static Simple Shear [ Up to 2 MPa vertical stress]

    Consolidated constant volume direct simple shear


    [ASTM D6528]

    Consolidated constant stress direct simple shear



    Direct Shear

    Direct shear


    [ASTM D3080]

    Direct residual shear



    Large scale direct shear [σv = 5.5 MPa max, 40cm x 40cm sample size]




    Flexible wall permeability


    [ASTM 5084]

    High pressure flexible wall permeability [up to 7 MPa cell pressure]



    Constant head permeability of granular soils


    [ASTM 2434]


    1 Dimensional consolidation


    [ASTM D2435]

    1 Dimensional collapse potential of soil


    [ASTM D5333]

    Rock Testing

    Unconfined compressive strength of intact rock core specimens


    [ASTM D7012/D2664]

    Point load index test


    [ASTM D5731]

    Splitting (Brazilian) tensile strength of intact rock core specimens


    [ASTM D3967]

    Leeb Hardness


    [ASTM D3967]

    Index/aggregate Testing

    Petrographic analysis for fine and coarse fractions


    [ASTM C295]

    Grain size analysis


    [ASTM D422]

    Atterberg Limits


    [ASTM D4318]

    Specific gravity


    [ASTM D854]

    Aggregate soundness


    [ASTM C88]

    Standard Proctor


    [ASTM D698]

    Modified Proctor


    [ASTM D1557]

    California Bearing Ratio


    [ASTM D1883]

    Moisture content


    [ASTM D2216]

    Organic content


    [ASTM D2974]

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