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Basic Testing Equipment and Apparatus
Liquid Limit and Plastic Limit
- are widely used in the classification and characteristic of soil.


 Liquid Limit Device- used to determine the moisture content at which clay soils pass
from a plastic to a liquid state.
 Standard Sieves # 40- a sieve, or sifter, is a device for separating wanted elements from
unwanted material or for characterizing the particle size distribution of a sample,
typically using a woven screen such as a mesh or net or metal.
 Evaporating Dish- is used to evaporate excess solvents – most commonly water – to
produce a concentrated solution or a solid precipitate of the dissolved substance.
 Grooving Tool- used for recessing operations (permit intricate shapes to be produced).
Grooving tools are usually ground to the dimensions and shape required for a particular
 Spatula, Flexible- is a hand-held tool that is used for lifting, flipping, or spreading.
Flexible spatulas are typically made of silicon plastic or rubber.
 Graduated Cylinder- is used for measuring volumes (amounts) of liquids.
 Moisture Cans- to determine moisture contents in soil and other material. These are
made from aluminum or stainless steel.
 Triple Beam Balance, 0.01g or 0.1g sensitivity- is used to measure masses very
precisely. A triple-beam is the best all-around mechanical balance with good sensitivity
and high capacity.
 Oven with temperature control
 Glass Plate- used for mixing surface, cover, etc.
 Hard Towel

Sieve Analysis Test

- determines the particle size distribution of a given soil. The gradation test is widely
used in the classification and identification of soils.


 Standard Sieve 200 diameter opening 75mm (3”)

 63mm (2.5”)
 50mm (2”)
 37.5mm (1.5”)
 25mm (1”)
 19mm (0.75”)
 12.5mm (0.5”)
 9.50mm (3/8”)
 4.75mm (No.4)
 2.36mm (No.8)
 2.00mm (No.10)
 1.180mm (No.16)
 0.600mm (No.30)
 0.425mm (No.40)
 0.300mm (No.50)
 0.150mm (No.100)
 0.075mm (No.200)
 Pan, Brass 200 mm diameter x 50.0mm deep- the receiver or collector of fine material
through the bottom sieve.
 Wet Washing Sieve 200 diameter x 100mm high
 Cover, Brass sieve
 Triple Beam Balance with Digital Balance
 Pan (rectangular)
 Oven with temperature control
 Sieve Shaker- to expose the particles in a sample to all the openings in each sieve in a

Abrasion Test

- determines the hardness property of coarse aggregates.


 Abrasion Machine- a machine for measuring abrasion resistance or toughness.

 Standard Sieves no. 1.5” (37mm); 1” (25mm);3/4” (19mm);0.5”(12mm); 3/8”
(9.50mm) ; No.10 (2mm); pans and cover
 Weighing scales and weight
 Pan- is necessary to collect the fine material passing through the bottom sieve in a sieve

Specific Gravity (Coarse Aggregate)


 Wire mesh basket- used in testing the specific gravity of coarse aggregate.
 Balance and weights- a device for weighing. It has a balanced beam and two pans.
When the pans contain exactly the same mass the beam is in balance.
 Pans
 Cloth
 Water bucket

Miscellaneous Apparatus

 Heavy duty oven- these ovens come with heavy duty fittings and furnishings and the
cabinets are generally more robust. Uses/applications include ‘batch curing’ and ‘drying
properties’ and ‘dye penetrant inspection’.
 Mixing pans
 Wash bottles- used to rinse pieces of glassware and to add small quantities of water.
 Beakers- used to hold, mix, and heat liquids
 Graduated Cylinder- used to measure a precise volume of a liquid.
 Triple beam balance
 Analytical Balance- (often called a "lab balance") is a class of balance designed to
measure small mass in the sub-milligram range.
 Soil Extruder- used to extrude soil samples
 Asphalt Centrifuge Extractor- Is designed for determining the percentage of bitumen in
asphaltic mixtures.
 Erlenmeyer Flask- used to hold and mix chemicals. The small neck is to facilitate mixing
without spilling.
 Pycnometer bottle- is a device used to determine the density of a liquid.
 Test tubes
 Filter paper
 Desiccator- is a laboratory tool that is used to measure the properties of substances.
 Furnace- used for drying, heating, testing environmental stresses, such as changes in
temperature, light and humidity.
 Compression Testing Machine- is used to establish the compressive force or crush
resistance of a material and the ability of the material to recover after a specified
compressive force is applied and even held over a defined period of time
 Digital Vernier Caliper- is a precision instrument that can be used to measure internal
and external distances extremely accurately.
 Flexural Machine- these machines are designed to test the flexural strength of concrete
Laboratory Compaction
– method of test is intended for determining the relationship between the moisture
content of soils and resulting densities when the soil is compacted in the laboratory.


 Compaction Mold- used to determine the relationship between molding water content
and dry unit weight of soils. Soil placed as engineering fill is compacted to a dense state
to obtain satisfactory engineering properties such as, shear strength, compressibility, or
 Standard Sieve No. 19 mm (3/4”)
 Rammer
 Graduated Cylinder
 Mixing Pan
 Scoop
 Moisture Cans
 Straightedge- is a tool used for drawing straight lines, or checking their straightness. If it
has equally spaced markings along its length, it is usually called a ruler.
 Oven with temperature control
 Solution Balance and Triple beam balance- is a dual-beam mechanical balance, offering
precision and high-capacity weighing. The base and beam are cast aluminum with an
epoxy powder coating that resists common acids.
 Sample Extruder- used to extract the sample from its mold.

Field Density Test

- is widely used as a control test in embankment construction to ensure adequate
compaction or it is intended for determining the in-place density of soil.


 Jug, glass or plastics, 4L cap

 Sand Density Cone- determines the in-place density of soils
 Balance and weights
 Straightedge- a bar with one accurately straight edge, used for testing whether
something else is straight.
 Spoon- used in laboratory procedures for transferring small amounts of substances,
such as powders, semi-solids, or viscous liquids, from one place to another.
 Chisel- a long-bladed hand tool with a beveled cutting edge and a plain handle that is
struck with a hammer or mallet, used to cut or shape wood, stone, metal, or other hard
 Moisture Cans-used to determine moisture contents in soil and other material. These
are made from aluminum or stainless steel.
 Mallet- a hammer with a large, usually wooden head, used especially for hitting a chisel.
 Scoop- used to transfer solids: to a weigh paper for weighing, to a cover slip to measure
melting point, or a graduated cylinder, or to a watch glass from a flask or beaker
through scraping.
 Oven with temperature control or speedy moisture tester- a temperature controller is
an instrument used to control temperature calculating the difference between a
setpoint and a measured temperature.
 Calibrated sand passing sieve no. 10 retained no. 200

Speed Moisture Tester

- is used to determine the moisture content of the soil with the use of calcium carbide
as reagent.


 Speedy moisture tester- a well established portable test method for the determination
of moisture content of soils, sand and fine aggregates.
 Weighing scales
 Moisture Can
 Spoon / Scoop
 Reagent-Calcium Carbide- is a chemical compound with the chemical formula of CaC2.
Its main use industrially is in the production of acetylene and calcium cyanamide.

California Bearing Ratio

- is used to evaluate the potential strength or the bearing capacity of soil.


 CBR Machine- used for measuring the load-bearing capacity of soils used for building
 Molds
 Rammer- an instrument for ramming, or driving by impact and usually used to compact
loose earth or soil.
 Spacer Disc, Metal/Slotted weights- an instrument for ramming, or driving by impact
and usually used to compact loose earth or soil.
 Swell plate with adjustable stem and tripod
 Balances and weights
 Soaking Tank- use to allow the CBR mold with base-plate to be submerged.
 Dial indicators- they are typically used to measure deck clearances, crankshaft thrust
and straightness, lifter travel and other measurements that involve the distance
between two surfaces or small amounts of component travel.
 Oven with temperature control
 Mixing pans, scoop, straightedge, and graduated cylinder
 Filter paper- is a semi-permeable paper barrier placed perpendicular to a liquid or air
flow. It is used to separate fine substances from liquids or air .

Compression Strength Test

-Compression testing is a very common testing method that is used to establish the
compressive force or crush resistance of a material and the ability of the material to recover
after a specified compressive force is applied and even held over a defined period of time.
Compression tests are used to determine the material behavior under a load. The maximum
stress a material can sustain over a period under a load (constant or progressive) is determined.


 Compression Testing Machines- Compression Test machines are universal testing

machines specially configured to evaluate static compressive strength characteristics of
materials, products, and components.

Water Absorption Test

- This test method is used to determine the rate of absorption (sorptivity) of water by
hydraulic cement concrete by measuring the increase in the mass of a specimen resulting from
absorption of water as a function of time when only one surface of the specimen is exposed to


 Oven with Temperature Control

 Weighing Scale
 Water Bucket

Efflorescence Test
-It is crystalline, salty deposit that can occur on the surfaces of bricks. If the whitish layer
is not visible on the surface then it demonstrates an absence of alkalis in the brick.

 Distilled Water
 Sponge
 Evaporating Dish

Soundness Test
- The test conducted to identify the excess amount of lime in cement.


 Le-Ch-atelier's Apparatus- is the standard apparatus prescribed as per IS:5514 -1969 to

check the presence of the impurities in cement.
 Weighing balance
 Measuring cylinder- is a common piece of laboratory equipment used to measure the
volume of a liquid. It has a narrow cylindrical shape.
 Trowel- a tool with a pointed, scoop-shaped metal blade and wooden, metal, or plastic
handle. It is used for planting and weeding, mixing in fertilizer or other additives and
transferring plants to pots.
 Mixing pans
 Heater
 Thermometer- a device that measures temperature.

Slump Test
- Used to determine the consistency of concrete mixes having medium and high


 Slump Cone- also known as Abram’s cone. Is made of steel, plastic, etc. Its heights is 12
inches (30 cm). The diameter of the base opening is 8 inches (20 cm) and top opening is
4 inches (10 cm)
 16mm Rod
 Funnel- is a tube or pipe that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, used for
guiding liquid or powder into a small opening.
 Trowel
Penetration Test
-is used as a measure of consistency. A higher value of penetration indicates softer
consistency. The test is widely used all over the world for classifying bituminous materials into
different grades.


 Penetration Test Apparatus- are used for testing bitumen, tar, cement and soils. A
Chosen force is applied over a given area for a known period of time and the depth of
penetration or the depression made in the sample is measured in tenths of a millimeter
which is expressed as a penetration number.
 Needle
 Container
 Water Bath- laboratory equipment made from a container filled with heated water. It is
used to incubate samples in water at a constant temperature over a long period of time.
It is also used to enable certain chemical reactions to occur at high temperature.
 Stop watch- a watch that can be instantly started and stopped by pushing a button and
used to measure an exact duration of time.

Silt Test
- Excessive quantity of silt not only reduces the bonding of cement and fine aggregates
but also affects the strength and durability of work. This test is used to measure the cleanliness
of a sand sample by establishing the percentage of the silt present.


 Graduated cylinder
 Sand box - is a rectangular shear box with inside dimension of 41 cm in length and 28
cm in width. The frontwall, basal plate and sidewalls of the sandbox made of 1 cm thick
glass and fixed in position.