Physical properties

Shrinkit, automated shrinkage limit

The BGS Geotechnical and Geophysical Properties Laboratories provide a comprehensive, integrated rock and soil testing facility capable of both standard (e.g. BS1377:1990, ASTM and ISRM suggested methods) and specialised tests.

The laboratories are temperature-controlled and offer services compliant with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001 quality standards. Clients include local government, Environment Agency, universities, architects, environmental and civil engineering consultants and contractors, and the nuclear, oil and extractive industries.

Uniaxial compressive strength and deformability testing with vertical and horizontal strain measurement on prepared rock core

Ongoing research and development by BGS scientists has resulted in new and innovative laboratory and field equipment and methods, for example in characterising the shrink/swell properties of clays and mudstones and the resistivity and seismic properties of soils and rocks. Combined geotechnical and geophysical studies, complemented by expertise from other BGS laboratories such as mineralogy and petrology, provides new insights to understanding the behaviour of the shallow sub-surface.

The Clay Squeezing Laboratory provides a pore fluid extraction capability, principally for clays and mudstones, enabling chemical and isotope analysis of small fluid volumes in the BGS analytical geochemical, NERC isotope geosciences and Water Chemistry Laboratories. The data is used to model the movement of water and solutes, including contaminants, through low permeability rocks and soils and has been used by British and overseas radioactive waste management and environmental organisations.


Please contact David Entwisle for further information