Soil Mechanics Laboratory


Lecture In-charge : Dr. L. I. N. de Silva

Technical Officer  : Mr. H. A. M. I. T. Hettiarachchi                             


Soil mechanics is a discipline that uses the principles of mechanics to describe the behaviour of soil of engineering scale. Branch of Science dealing with the structure, Engineering properties and reactions (behaviour) of soils under loading and weathering. This studies theoretically and practically soils for building of structures over it. Knowledge of physics, mechanics, and hydraulics applied to study the behaviour of soils. Also called Geo-Technique (Geo-Tech Engineering) Studies the mutual interaction of soils and structure. The practice of Engineering which applies the principles of soil mechanics to the design of engineering structures is called soil mechanics Engineering or Geotechnical Engineering.

Laboratory facilities

Determination of the mechanical properties of soil materials for practical, researches and Testing

Contribution to the academic program

  • Practical classes
  • Semester 03
  • Semester 05
  • Semester 08
  • Research project 07 & 08
  • Testing facilities



Classification Tests

Casagrande Apparatus

To determine the Liquid Limit and Plastic Limit

Sieve Set

To perform Particle Size Analysis


To perform Hydrometer Analysis

Specific Gravity Bottle Test

To determine the Specific Gravity

Vibrating Table

To determine the Relative Density

Strength Tests

Triaxial Testing Apparatus

(with or without electronic data


To perform Unconsolidated Undrained Triaxial Test

To perform Consolidation Drained Triaxial Test

To perform Consolidated Undrained Triaxial Test With Pore Water –pressure Measurement

Unconfined Compression Test Apparatus

To perform Unconfined Compression Test

Direct - Shear Test (with or without electronic data acquisition)

To conduct Direct Shear Tests on soils

Compressibility and Permeability

Consolidation Test Apparatus

To perform One Dimensional Consolidation Test

To determine the Swelling Index

Rowe Cell

To measure both settlement and pore water pressure during consolidation

Falling Head Apparatus

 To perform Falling Head Permeability Test

Constant Head Apparatus

To perform Constant Head Permeability Test

Compaction Test


Proctor Compaction Apparatus (Standard and Modified)

To perform Proctor Compaction Test

CBR Laboratory Test Apparatus

To perform CBR test Under Soaked or Unsoaked Condition

In-situ tests


Core Cutter Apparatus

To determine the In-situ Density

Sand Cone Apparatus

To determine the In-situ Density

Vane Shear Apparatus

To perform Vane Shear Test

Field CBR Test Apparatus

To perform Field CBR Test

Cone Penetrometer          

To perform Cone Penetration Test

Mackintosh Probe Test Apparatus

To perform Mackintosh Probe Test

Plate Loading Test Apparatus

To perform Plate Loading Test to assess bearing Capacity of Soils

Health and safety regulations                         
  • Appropriate clothing must be worn (no shorts, capris, skirts or sleeveless shirts)                       
  • Confine long hair and loose clothing
  • Open-toed shoes or sandals are not permitted
  • Protective rubber aprons and safety goggles or glasses must be worn during sample preparation
  • Ask laboratory supervisors about training options.