Load Frames

Gilson’s versatile soil Load Frames measure the mechanical properties related to specimen strength and displacement and are suitable for numerous geotechnical and construction materials testing applications.

The table below indicates the typical testing applications for which each model is designed.


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, 20,000lbf
Models: HM-399, HM-399F
Load Frame, 0.02—2.0in/min, 10,000lbf
Models: HM-398, HM-398F

Click to enlarge or download the Load Frame Comparison Table which indicates force capacity and strain rate for common geotechnical testing applications.

Load Frame Comparison Table

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 for different testing procedures or data acquisition requirements.

Models have a force capacity of 10,000 or 20,000lbf (44.5 and 89kN) with 11.9x37.3in (302x947mm) WxH frame openings. Platen diameter is 8in (203mm). Units run on 1/8, 1/4 or 3/4hp DC motors and controllers regulate strain rates to ±1% of set point. Sturdy, 14-gauge powder-coated steel enclosures have adjusting nuts on the 1.25in (32mm) coarse-threaded rods to quickly adjust the horizontal cross-head height.

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