Gilwilly Industrial Estate Penrith Cumbria. UK CA11 9BQ
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Soils Testing Equipment

Civil engineering projects almost always involve investigation of the soil and substrates. Materials Testing Equipment Ltd offer a range of high quality equipment for such investigation and testing. Our equipment has been carfully developed and designed to comply with relevant standards to achieve accuarte and repeatable results in every situation.

Primarily designed for use within materials laboratories, our equipment is also widely used in education establishments for the purposes of training the next generation of engineers and technicians. This use in education provides a valuable link between the education and research domain and the practical on-site geotechnical tests.

A soils characteristics are determined by it's three main components:

  • Mineral Particles
  • Water
  • Air

Mineral Particles provide the bulk and therefore the strength of a soil.

Water in small quantities provides a lubricating effect to the soil particles, assisting in compaction and adhesion.

Air or voids in the structure of a soil will lead to deterioration of the material, and therefor should be removed, for example by compaction.

  Special Feature Check out our current Special Feature. We are taking a closer look at the Soil Assessment Cone Penetrometer also known as the Mexe Penetrometer.

Sampling & Preparation

If a test is to offer meaningfull and representaive results, it is most important to ensure that the correct methods are used for the sampling, describing and preparing of the samples obtained. The procedures and equipment used are described in various National and International standards, thus ensuring truly representative sampling.

Materials Testing Equipment Ltd offer a range of equipment compliying with the relevant standards and ensuring you of accuarte and repeatable results.

The equipment featured below forms only a fraction of the equipment we have to offer. For details of equipment not featured on this page please CONTACT US for further information.

Boring Kit


75-14100 Mackintosh Boring And Prospecting Kit.

Particularly useful for initial site investigation work in remote areas, the Mackintosh boring and prospecting kit is portable and easy to use. Designed for core and water sampling this kit is capable of depths to 10 meters, depending on ground conditions. When used in conjunction with boreholes, large areas of ground can be investigated quickly, efficiently and cost effectively. Supplied in a sturdy padded carrying case.

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75-14025 Auger Head, dutch, 50mm diameter.

75-14030 Auger Head, 100mm diameter for gravel.

75-14035 Auger Head, 150mm diameter for gravel.

75-14040 Auger Handle and 'T' piece.

75-14050 Auger Head, 150mm diameter for soil.

75-14053 Auger Head, 150mm diameter for gravel (ALT).

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80-24190 Sample Tube 20mm x 38mm diameter. Supplied with end caps.

80-24195 Sample Tube adapter.

Sample Preparation & Reduction

To obtain a representative sample, it is required that more material be sampled than will be tested. This material sample is then reduced in quantity without affecting the overall mix of teh sample. This is achieved with the aid of a sample diver or quartering;

Riffle Boxes

Riffle Boxes for the efficient division of samples. All metal construction with tough protective coating.

35-20065 Riffle Box. 65mm Slot
35-20050 Riffle Box. 50mm Slot
35-20040 Riffle Box. 40mm Slot
35-20030 Riffle Box. 30mm Slot
35-20020 Riffle Box. 20mm Slot
35-20015 Riffle Box. 15mm Slot
35-20012 Riffle Box. 12mm Slot
35-20010 Riffle Box. 10mm Slot
35-20007 Riffle Box. 7mm Slot

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Gilson Sample Splitter Designed primarily for the reduction of samples with an initail mass to large to be easily handled. The Gilson sample splitter divides a sample so that half is representaive of the original and handles materials up to 150mm (6") in particle size.

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Sample reduction by grinding. Some tests, most notably chemical tests, require sample particles to be crushed. In such instances a mechanical grinder may be used;

75-15020 Rubber Headed Pestle. Specially designed for the gentle grinding of soil without breaking individual particles. Suitable for BS1377, BS1924, ASTM D421, AASHTO T87.

Mortar & Pestle Porcelain. Various sizes available. please contact us or use our product search for further details

Sample Mixing

It is often required that laboratory samples are mixed with water and/or other contituents prior to testing.


80-13100 Mixer, 5 Litre. Hobart type N50 5 litre mixing machine. Suitable for use with an isomantle to heat samples of asphalt. Also suitable for mixing soil and mortar samples.

80-13120 Mixer, 8 Litre. 8 litre mixing machine

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Mixer, 14 Litre. A larger capacity mixer for materials up to 20mm. With a positive mechanical action and adjustable blades which aid the mixing of the contents in both horizontal vertical planes. The powerful motor drives the pan through an enclosed gear reduction unit. Complete with a detachable pan and flip up pan cover for easy access and cleaning.

Available in 220-240 V, 50Hz 1ph and 110-120 V, 60Hz 1ph.

Moisture Content

Calculation of the moisture content of a soil may be a usefull guide to the overall characteristics of it, which in turn can aid in the determination of a test programme. There are a number of test methods described for reliable moisture content determination from the rapid method by use of teh Speedy Moisture tester to the definitive oven drying method.


70-09508 Oven 225Ltr (8cuft) complete with fan and dial gauge thermometer.

Various sizes and configurations available. Please contact us for further details

Speedy Moisture Meter

35-18010 Speedy Moisture Meter Large D2.

The speedy moisture meter has proven to be an invaluable instrument for the checking of moisture content. The equipment uses the principle that water will react with calcium carbide to liberate a gas. The amount of gas liberated is directly proportional to the amount of moisture in the sample. The equipment is simple to use whilst results obtained are accurate and reliable.

35-10820 Speedy Moisture Meter, D2 small. (Pictured).

35-10810 Speedy Moisture Meter, D2 large.

35-18015 Speedy Moisture Meter, G2 large.

45-13020 Speedy Reagent, calcium carbide powder, 400g tin.

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70-91120 Microwave Oven 0.7cuft.

70-91125 Microwave Oven 1.2cuft.

A full range of microwave ovens is available with capacities and power ratings to suit all requirments.

Soil Properties

Soil properties are used to differentiate between differing types of soils across the spectrum. Clay for instance will display a range of properties dependent upon its compostion. Tests to determine these index properties will provide valuable information when compared against empirical data relative to the index properties determined.

Casagrande Method


Soil properties can be radically altered by the moisture it contains. The liquid limit is the point at which the soil passes from being a plastic solid to being a liquid. Knowledge of this point of liquefaction allows for the correlation of several engineering properties relating to the soil.

75-24100 Casagrande Liquid Limit Device, hand operated (pictured) features a revolution counter. BS1377.

75-24110 Casagrande Liquid Limit Device, motorised complete with revolution counter. BS1377.

75-24150 Grooving Tool & Height Gauge, manufactured from brass for use with liquid limit test as described in BS1377.

Cone Penetrometer

75-24020 Cone Penetrometer, manual.

75-24021 Cone, for liquid limit test.

75-24005 Liquid Limit Test Cup, aluminium, 55mm x 40mm.

75-24008 Liquid Limit Test Cup, brass, 56mm x 41mm.

75-24002 Cone Penetrometer, automatic.

75-23830 Test Gauge, used to check the condition of the cone point.

Sand Replacement Equipment

Sand replacement equipment. Used to determine the dry density of soils in-situ as described in BS1377. Available in 100mm, 150mm and 200mm diameters.

75-41005 Sand Pouring Cylinder, 100mm.

75-41012 Calibrating Container, 100mm foruse with above.

75-41025 Tray, metal, for use with above.

Sand Pouring Cylinder, 150mm.

Calibrating Container, 150mm foruse with above.

Tray, metal, for use with above.

75-41010 Sand Pouring Cylinder, 200mm.

75-41020 Calibrating Container, 200mm foruse with above.

75-41030 Tray, metal, for use with above.

Also available in ASTM and ASSHTO variants

California Bearing Ratio (CBR)

Determination of Bearing Capacity

The California Bearing Ration method is used for the evaluation of subgrade and sub-base course materials in construction. It follows a standardised procedure and both BS and ASTM methods are very similar. The test can be performed in the laboratory on prepared samples or in-situ on site.

75-46000 CBR Laboratory and Field Equipment. For determining the bearing capacity of soils in the laboratory or from a vehicle on site.

75-47065 Load Ring 5kN

75-47100 Load Ring 10kN

75-47115 Load Ring 15kN

75-47145 Load Ring 30kN

CBR Moulds

75-46010 CBR Mould Body

75-46014 CBR Extension Collar

75-46023 CBR Solid Base

75-46150 CBR Cutting Collar

75-46019 CBR Perforated Base Plate

75-46180 "C" Spanner

75-46190 Base Plate Tool

75-46020 Static Comapction Plug

Compaction Test

75-21015 BS Standard Compaction Mould, 1 litre capacity

75-21020 BS Compaction Rammer 2.5kg, with a 300mm drop

75-21028 BS Compaction Rammer 4.5kg, with a 450mm drop

Vibrating Hammer Test

40-09120 Howard Support Frame Used for mounting a vibrating hammer and specimen mould, thus ensuring greater consistency of compaction and ease of operation.

A selection of suitable vibrating hammers and accessories is available. Please contact us with your requirments.


80-24310 Centrifuge Body Only

80-23820 Steel Bucket

80-35065 Rack for centrifuge tubes

80-24320 Angular Rotor, 6 place head

80-24028 Centrifuge tube, 50ml capacity