Soil Testing (classification)

Soil Testing Melbourne

Laboratory Accreditation:

SITE Geotechnical is accredited in the field of Construction Materials Testing, for tests within its scope of accreditation - issued by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA).

Accreditation Number 17066.

In addition to our on-site geotechnical services, we provide the detailed laboratory soil testing Melbourne engineers require for civil projects, and industrial, residential, or commercial land development.

Laboratory Soil Testing for Construction

Specifications for civil engineering projects will typically contain requirements that certain tests be performed to provide a measure of assurance that the construction materials and processes meet the design requirements.

If you require soil testing for construction, then you can call on the SITE Geotechnical team for any of the following laboratory tests.

Laboratory Tests:

CBR (California Bearing Ratio), is a measurement of soil strength. Usually, a recompacted sample is soaked for 4 days and its strength measured under load.

CLASSIFICATION (Atterberg Limits - Plasticity Index, Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, Linear Shrinkage & Sieve Analysis), is usually obtained to classify or categorise the soil and its properties. These tests can be used to assist in the assessment of material quality against specifications.

The following table may be used as a guide when comparing material description, classification, and CBR values:


CBR Classification

UCS (Unconfined Compressive Strength), is a measurement of soil strength. Usually, a recompacted sample is soaked for 4 hours and compressed after 7 days curing to confirm or determine strength (similar test to that for concrete specimens). This test is well suited for stabilised or modified materials having cementitious additives having UCS < 2MPa.

The illustration below highlights the strength (after soaking and crushing) which can be achieved with incremental increases in cementitious additive.

Unconfined Compressive Strength


 SOIL COMPACTION AND DENSITY TESTS. For most projects, control of compaction is necessary to ensure adequate density is achieved on-site. This usually involves laboratory compaction and field density tests using a nuclear density gauge or meter.

Nuclear Density Guage

The SITE Geotechnical team can assist with the laboratory soil testing Melbourne developers require when performing level 1 filling supervision for earthworks, roadworks and fill certification reports.  We have the necessary independence and equipment to undertake monitoring of earthworks, trench backfilling and roadworks compaction. This may include detailed documentation of the soil profile from the chosen site before filling commences and/or from a potential borrow site, provide a fill specification (or general instructions) of the earthworks which should be carried out to meet project objectives or regulatory authority requirements.   Subsequent Geotechnical Investigation and Testing Authority (GITA) work carried out By Site Geotechnical can be reported and documented to meet project requirements. 

Our team can carry out geotechnical investigations and laboratory soil testing for construction of pipelines, roadworks and landfill sites, where the correct trench backfill or earthworks filling and compaction will constitute a critical factor in the success or failure of the construction. 

The information provided in these reports and results can assist Engineers when designing or meeting the relevant Australian Standards such as AS3798 Guidelines on earthworks for commercial and residential developments and Melbourne Retail Water Agencies – MWRA (Including City West Water, South East Water & Yarra Valley Water), in conjunction with Water Supply Code of Australia and Sewerage Code of Australia of the Water Services Association of Australia, Backfill Specification.


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