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Gilson Insights

Have questions about your materials testing equipment?  We have the answers to these questions and much more right here! Check back monthly for long-form blog posts, how-to guides and infographics. We’ll address industry insights, the operation and maintenance of specific equipment, and our product line recommendations, all designed to better serve you.

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Soil Sample Preparation: Saving Money in Your Geotechnical Lab

With a little thought and planning, you can avoid duplicating the equipment needed to perform many sample preparation tasks. Many ASTM and AASHTO soil tests performed follow similar techniques and use the same or similar equipment to set up samples for your soil testing.

Triaxial Shear Testing of Soils, Understanding Methods and Equipment

This month's blog discusses the triaxial shear test of soil. It focuses on three different test methods, all with variable requirements based on soil types and properties of individual specimens.

What is a Sieve? Make Sure You Choose the Right One

Quick, name the most widely used and cost-effective scientific instrument in your laboratory. Some possibilities come to mind, but our argument is for the ordinary test sieve. In this month’s blog post we discuss the purpose of sieves and how to select the right sieve to fit your particle sizing needs.

Specific Gravity of Soil - Understanding ASTM & AASHTO Methods

In this month's blog post we discuss the equipment and procedures that are used to perform the ASTM and AASHTO test method for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids.

Soil Direct Shear Test: Understanding the Process

This blog provides an informative guide on why direct shear testing is essential, and we guide you on what equipment you need to perform the test based on ASTM D3080 and AASHTO T 236.

Setting Up A CMT Field Lab: Application-Specific Equipment & Considerations

In this month's blog, we examine the civil engineering laboratory equipment needed for typical operations performed where field laboratories for construction materials testing are required. With so many possible variations in specific project requirements, we break it down by application.

How To Set Up A Field Lab For Construction Materials Testing: The Essentials

In this blog, it will discuss setting up and furnishing temporary field-testing labs with essential laboratory equipment. Field labs are generally limited to a few particular tests, but no matter the material, most require the same essentials to measure properties like size, weight, and moisture.

California Bearing Ratio Test: CBR Values & Why They Matter

In this blog post we discuss why it is important to perform strength tests of soil subgrades for pavement design, and also review what is needed for each type of test method whether it be in the lab or out in the field including the DCP test.

Soil Hydrometer Testing: Sedimentation Method Techniques & Equipment

Measuring the particle size distribution of fine-grained soils like clay and silt is best performed using the soil hydrometer test. In this blog post, we provide some guidance from sample prepping to performing the test procedure by following the ASTM D7928 standard test method.

Permeability of Soil Test: All You Need To Know

In this blog, we briefly discuss what soil permeability (hydraulic conductivity) is and detail what equipment can be used for a wide array of soil permeability tests.