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Soil, Rock & Overburden Analysis

Rock Mechanics & Soil Testing
Geotechnical testing capabilities make Standard Laboratories, Inc. unique in the coal testing industry. These capabilities, and SL’s other analytical capabilities, enable SL to be a one-shop stop for all the laboratory requirements needed in a mining permit.

SL is capable of providing Rock Mechanics data in a timely and economically competitive manner. All strength testing is performed using state-of-the-art computer-controlled presses. Load cell calibrations are regularly verified with in-house National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) traceable Moorehouse Proving Rings. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) procedures are utilized to provide the customer with accurate and reliable data.

Rock Mechanics Capabilities Include:
  • Uniaxial Compression Testing
  • Sonic Velocities
  • Jacket Poisson's Ratio and Young's Modulus
  • Triaxial Compression Testing
  • Brazilian Indirect Tensile Testing
  • Point-Load Testing
  • Swelling Strain
  • Direct Shear Testing
  • Atterberg Limits
  • Slake Durability

      These tests are not only useful in underground mining, but also in surface and auger mining and blasting schemes. SL' Rock Mechanics capabilities have applications in industries such as rock quarries, concrete companies, and any other industry requiring reliable strength testing.

      Soils and Overburden
      With ever-increasing scrutiny placed on environmental quality, Standard Laboratories can provide state-of-the-art analysis of soils and overburden samples to help secure permits for planned facilities or expansion of existing facilities. Complete chemical and physical analyses can be performed to determine both micro and macro nutrients and potential toxins in soils and overburden. Geographically diverse soil characteristics require analytical procedures that are tailored to varying soil chemistry. Data from active mines can be utilized to predetermine placement of soils and overburden material to reduce potential acid production from strata to be encountered. Potentially problem strata can be identified and dealt with through proper placement and/or treatment to reduce overall reclamation cost. Soil fertility data can be utilized in planning of revegetation to determine which plant species are best suited to existing soil conditions.

      Soils and Overburden Capabilities Include:
      • Complete Overburden Analysis
      • Acid-Based Accounting
      • Exchangeable/Extractable Metals
      • Soil Fertility Analysis
      • Soil Texture and Classification
      • Trace Elements
      • Organic Anaysis
      • Atterberg Limits
      • Slake Durability

Soil / Overburden Analyses

Sample Preparation

Saturated Paste and Paste Extract Preparation
    Soluble Constituents
      Electrical Conductivity
      Sodium Absorption Ratio
      Total Dissolved Solids
Acid Soluble Iron
Acid Soluble Manganese
Acid-Base Account
Boron (Hot Water Soluble)
Carbonate Content/Inorganic Carbon (Coulometric)
Cation Exchange Capacity (USDA)
Cation Exchange Capacity (Sum of Bases)
Exchangeable Cations (Ca, Mg, Na, K)
Exchangeable Acidity
Exchangeable Metals
Micronutrients, DTPA Extraction
Neutralization Potential
Organic Carbon (Walkley Black)
Organic Matter (Titration or Ignition)
pH (1.1 Water)
pH (SMP Buffer)
Phosphorus (P-1 or P-2)
Potassium (1N Ammonium Acetate)
Specific Gravity (Particle Density)
Sulfur (Pyritic)
Sulfur (Sulfate)
Sulfur (Total)
Texture (Sand, Silt, Clay by Hydrometer)
Texture (Sand, Silt, Clay by Pipette)
Coarse Material Greater than 2mm
Trace Elements

Geotechnical Analysis

Uniaxial Compression (ASTM D2938-68, ISRM)
Triaxial Compression (ASTM D2664-86, ISRM)
    Confining Pressure – (Up To 10,000 PSI On 2.5”, 2.155”, 2.000”, & 1.875”)
    Confining Pressure – (Up To 5,000 PSI On 3”)
Compression Prep (ASTM D4543-85 Modified - Total Parallelism)
Axial Young’s Modulus (ASTM D3148-86)
Lateral Young’s Modulus (ASTM D3148-86)
Poisson’s Ratio (ASTM D3148-86)
Sonic Velocities (ASTM D2845-90, ISRM)
Sonic Poisson’s Ratio (ASTM D2845-90)
Sonic Modulus (ASTM D2845-90)
Water Content (ASTM D2216)
Bulk Density (ISRM)
Atterberg Limits (ASTM D4318-84)
Indirect Tensile (ASTM D3967-86, ISRM)(Brazilian 0.5:1 Length-To-Diameter)
Slake Durability (ASTM D4644-87, ISRM - Two Cycles)
Swelling Strain (ISRM - 24 Hours)
3-Point Flexural Strength (Needs At Least 6” Core)
Shear Strength

Geotechnical Testing is performed in compliance with either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM), as appropriate. Our laboratory uses state-of-the-art equipment with documented calibration such as in-house Moorehouse Compression Rings for calibration of load cells.

If the length-to-diameter ratio (L/D) for the Uniaxial Compressive Sample is less than 2.0, the strength will be corrected according to ASTM D2938-86. Uniaxial Compressive Strength on coal samples is normally performed on a 1:1 L/D ratio or corrected to a 1:1 basis.


Geotechnical Services
(PDF, 25KB)

Soil & Overburden Analysis
(PDF, 25KB)

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