Load Frames

Our Load Frames are versatile loading devices used to perform strength and displacement tests in geotechnical, soil mechanics, and asphalt laboratories. Models have a force capacity of either 10,000 or 20,000lbf (44.5& or 89kN) with 11.9x37.3in (302x947mm) WxH frame openings and 8in (203mm) platen diameter.


Load Frame, 0.001–0.1in/min, 10,000lbf
Models: HM-396, HM-396F
Load Frame, 0.0001–0.3in/min, 10,000lbf
Models: HM-397, HM-397F
Load Frame, 0.00001–0.29999in/min, 10,000lbf
Models: HM-397B, HM-397BF
Load Frame, 0.00001–0.29999in/min, 20,000lbf
Models: HM-399, HM-399F
Load Frame, 0.02–2.0in/min, 10,000lbf
Models: HM-398, HM-398F
Load Frames
ModelStrain Rate
Marshall, Lottman,
Semi-Circular Bend (SCB),
Tack Shear
HM-396 0.001 – 0.1 10,000 X
HM-397 0.0001 – 0.3 10,000 X
HM-397B 0.00001 – 0.29999 10,000 X
HM-398 0.00001 – 0.29999 20,000 X
HM-399 0.02 – 2.0 10,000

These basic loading devices are outfitted with specialized components and fixtures for the following test applications unconfined compressive strength of soils and soil-cement (Unconsolidated Undrained (UU), Consolidated Undrained (CU), Consolidated Drained (CD)), Marshall stability and flow, asphalt semi-circular bend, indirect tensile strength, and tack bond. The load frames in this series are designed to work with a variety of digital and analog sets and other ancillary products, ensuring each testing lab can create a test system that meets specific needs. A simple change of components easily adapts the unit to different testing procedures or data acquisition requirements.

The controllers regulate strain rates to ±1% of the set point. Sturdy, 16-gauge powder-coated steel enclosures have to adjust nuts on the 1.25in (32mm) coarse-threaded rods to adjust the horizontal cross-head height quickly.

Common testing applications, data collected, and applicable equipment used with Gilson’s Load Frames include:

  • California Bearing Ratio (CBR), Limerock Bearing Ratio (LBR): Soil compaction and moisture susceptibility using data readout, load cell, displacement transducer, and penetration piston. An analog CBR component set is also available.
  • Unconfined Compressive Strength: Compressive strength and the stress-strain relationship of cohesive, unconfined soil using analog unconfined compression component set or four-channel data readout, load cell, and displacement transducer.
  • Compressive Strength of Molded Soil-Cement Cylinders: Unconfined compressive strength of molded soil-cement cylinders using data readout, load cell, and displacement transducer.
  • Triaxial Compression Test on Cohesive Soils: Strength and the uncorrected stress-strain relationship of Unconsolidated Undrained (UU), Consolidated Undrained (CU), Consolidated Drained (CD), or unconfined soil using data readout, and load and displacement kit.

For more information on Soil Testing, here are our related blogs: