Rock Mechanics Labs I and II

Rock Mechanics Labs I and II


Research and teaching lab


  • 12 triaxial cells for rock mechanical compression tests
    • All cells equipped with heat regulating system up to 130 °C
    • Pump pressure limits 60 MPa. Three pump types: Gilson 307 pump, Teledyne Isco D-series, Quizix QX pump
    • Seven cells measure both radial and axial deformation, while the five remaining measure axial deformation
    • Tests can be performed with continuous core flooding with different fluids
  • 1 Hook cell for rock mechanical compression tests
  • Brazilian test cell for tensile strength measurements
  • Hassler cells for core flooding experiments. Core flooding experiments can be performed at temperatures up to 130 °C
  • Ion chromatograph (IC) for analysing water samples

All rock mechanical tests in the triaxial cells can be performed with elevated temperatures, high pore pressure and continuous flooding of injection fluids. During testing effective stresses can increase either by increase of confining pressure or reduction of pore pressure. Different rock mechanical property determination tests are listed below:

  • Standard triaxial compression tests: Axial stress and radial confining stress are kept equal and increased to a preset level, from which axial stress is increased further until failure has occurred.
  • Hydrostatic tests: Axial stress and radial confining stress are kept equal and increased until failure has occurred.
  • Uniaxial strain tests: Uniaxial compression test with no lateral deformation. This type of test is thought to simulate e.g. the compaction of a reservoir during depletion.
  • Constant stress path tests: Tests may be predefined to follow a specific stress path, and this is mainly done for special purposes, e.g. to mimic stress path conditions in a depleting reservoir.
  • Unconfined (uniaxial) compression tests: A sample is inserted into a load frame and the axial stress is increased with zero confining pressure until failure.
  • Hollow cylinder tests: Can be used as scaled models to simulate the borehole situation in the laboratory.
  • Creep tests: Time-dependent deformation in materials under constant stress.
  • Core flooding tests: Can be performed in both triaxial and Hassler cells. Testing the effect of injecting different chemicals or brines into core material, e.g. scale inhibitors, consolidation fluids and brines with different ion composition. Permeability measurements.
  • Tensile strength measurements are performed in a Brazilian test cell. This test is performed by applying a load with two platens diametrically compressed on a rock cylinder. Failure occurs by an extension fracture in or close to the load diametrical plane.


Engineer: Dr Reidar Inge Korsnes

Scientist: Dr Merete Vadla Madland