Pilot plant trials



Michael Kürschner

Head of laboratory


+49 241 80-25260



In our test hall, in addition to the usual standard tests, large-scale and small-scale pilot plant tests are also performed on special issues. The custom-made test stands are designed and manufactured in our mechanical workshop. In addition to the work for our own research activities, we also carry out commissioned designs.

Test type
Construction of a shearing device, 10 x 10 cm, for rock and soil samples. Vertical load up to 100 kN, horizontal load introduction up to 100 kN, feed speed from 0.001 to 10 mm/min.
Test stand for hydraulic crack generation in rock: In a massive abutment structure, rock blocks (300x300x450 mm³) are first clamped by means of hydraulic pressure pads. This simulates anisotropic stress conditions at depths of up to 1000 m. Fluid is then injected into a sealed borehole section in the test specimen using a high-pressure precision pump. At a certain fluid pressure in the loaded borehole section, the material fails in the area of the borehole wall and cracks form. The acoustic emissions (AE) during crack formation and crack propagation are recorded by up to 32 sensors, placed on the sides of the specimen. Subsequently, the acoustic events are localized in order to be able to trace the crack process in terms of place and time. The test stand was developed as part of a joint project at the RWTH. The results of the experiments are to be used for comparison with a numerical simulation tool currently being developed by a project partner.
Test stand for the investigation of geogrid-reinforced soil in a plane deformation state: In the test stand, for example, model tests can be performed to determine the deformation-dependent earth pressure distribution and the geogrid connecting forces at the facing. In addition, biaxial compression tests with constant supporting pressure can be carried out to determine the stress-strain behaviour of the reinforced soil.
Experiments on the investigation of soil-structure interaction under foundations (bearing failure; punching through).
Sandbox for the investigation of shear joint formation in layered, water-saturated soil systems: The subsurface can be pushed off at an angle while photos are taken of the soil body. To determine displacements and rotations of the soil particles, the photos are then evaluated using the PIV method.
Large oedometer test stand for the investigation of subsidence or settlement of soils under load and under the influence of groundwater.
Tilting table tests to investigate the shear parameters in the contact area between e.g. recultivation layers and deposited excavated tunnel material.
Shear frame for determining the shear strength of soil samples at extremely low tension levels.