Its well known that soil samples extracted from the sea bed need to be stored in a refrigerated container (reefer container) at 4°C as stipulated in the ASTM standard. Testing at in-situ temperature however, is not in the standard and is therefore not widely practiced.
SAGeo’s preliminary lab vane tests, conducted on the same core samples, found a difference in undrained shear strengths between the cold laboratory and normal laboratory (room temperature of 26°C) to vary from 5-35% depending on the soil consistency. It is still early days and SAGeo plan to conduct more test comparisons between the laboratories, to further document the fluctuation in results.
The cold laboratory is currently being equipped with the latest computer-controlled state-of-the-art laboratory apparatus from GDS (See images on right). Apparatus being installed includes:
- Static Triaxial Automated apparatus: Capable of doing UU, CIU, CAU, CK0U, CID, CAD CK0D compression and extension (8 units).
- Advanced Dynamic Triaxial Testing apparatus up to 5Hz frequency (2 units).
- Static Simple Shear apparatus, saturated with PWP measurement (1 unit).
- Electromechanical Dynamic Cyclic Simple Shear apparatus, saturated with PWP measurement (2 units).
- Automated Oedometer apparatus with constant rate of strain, capable of doing step loading or controlled strain loading to a maximum stress of 6.4MPa (8 units).
- Ring Shear apparatus for soil/steel interface testing (1 unit).
- Resonant Column apparatus (1 unit).
SAGeo cold laboratory runs alongside their normal laboratory operation, which amongst other suppliers apparatus, includes the following equipment from GDS:
- Static Triaxial Automated apparatus (6 units)
- Advanced Dynamic Triaxial Testing apparatus (2 units)
- Static Simple Shear apparatus (1 unit)
- Electromechanical Dynamic Cyclic Simple Shear apparatus (2 units).
- Automated Oedometer apparatus (5 units)
For more information about cold laboratory testing or any of SAGeo testing capabilities you can visit their website at www.sageolab.com