Geotechnical Laboratory

The Deltares Geotechnical Laboratory specialises in complex, advanced tests (such as cyclical triaxial and shear tests) and the development and execution of non-standard experiments in order to determine soil parameters in specific conditions or to conduct experiments in conjunction with large-scale field trials.

You can find a number of examples here of the research possibilities afforded by this laboratory.

1.       Development of new measurement methods

To determine the impact of the dimensions of a test sample, which can be a factor affecting strength measurements in peat with long fibres, the Large Direct Simple Shear (LDSS) device was developed for testing samples with volumes up to 150 times larger. This was done as part of the large-scale IJkdijk trials near the Markermeer dike.

2.       Dynamic research

Our knowledge and equipment provide extensive opportunities for dynamic research such as the simulation of earthquakes and wind load. For example, we can conduct both small-scale and large-scale (sample diameters of up to 45 cm) cyclical triaxial tests.

3.       Measuring small deformations

The stiffness of soil increases sharply in the presence of small deformations such as those found in soil near wind turbines. Our laboratory has the instruments required (such as bender elements and ultrasonic devices) to generate a small deformation pulse in a sample, and to measure the speed and attenuation of the pulse. We also have special sensors for the precise measurement of small local deformations in the sample.

4.       Development of new parameters

In collaboration with the CUR and various Dutch drilling companies, Deltares has studied ways of determining sample disturbance during sampling in soft peat with the ultimate aim of developing a new parameter for determining sample disturbance in Dutch soils.

5.       Freezing research

The geotechnical laboratory has extensive experience with freezing ground. This is important for, among other things, obtaining and testing undisturbed sand samples and predicting frost-heave effects (pressure build-up, cracking).

geotechnisch lab