Triaxial Load Frames

Triaxial Load Frames are used to determine shear strength tests (stress-strain relationships) performed in geotechnical testing labs. Soil specimens for triaxial tests are mounted in test cells which will be pressurized using fluid to replicate confining pressures typically found in the field.

Triaxial test cells are placed in a load frame where loads will be applied axially to determine the stress-strain relationships, which ultimately provide information about the sample's shear resistance, strength, and cohesion. These values are critical in the prediction of slope stability and structural foundation behavior.


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
Triaxial Load Frame
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

Models have a load capacity of either 10,000 or 20,000lbf (44.5 or 89kN) with various strain rate options. Controllers regulate strain rates to ±1% of the set point.

These heavy-duty units have a sturdy 16-gauge painted steel enclosure with an 11.9x37.3in (302x947mm) WxH frame opening and 8in (203mm) platen diameter. Adjustable nuts on 1.25in (32mm) diameter coarse-threaded rods allow quick adjustments of the horizontal crosshead height.

Digital and analog components are required to measure applied load and sample deformation. Components are user-friendly instruments that easily attach to the load frames for accurate and reliable triaxial shear strength testing.

Data Acquisition Software is available for automatic recordings of axial load and deformation data of UU, CU, CD, or unconfined soil samples. Pore pressure values can also be recorded or manually entered with a Pore Pressure Transducer and Digital Readout.

  • HM-396 model has a strain rate of 0.001—0.1in/min, a total load capacity of 10,000lbf with a high-speed platen advance that rapidly positions the platen for faster set-up.
  • HM-397 model has a strain rate of 0.0001—0.3in/min, and a total load capacity of 10,000lbf with a micro-stepping drive controller that allows more precise control of loading rates.
  • HM-397B model has a precision strain rate of 0.00001—0.29999in/min allowing for testing of sensitive soils and a total load capacity of 10,000lbf. The micro-stepping motor and drive controller precisely control load rates.
  • HM-399 model has an enhanced strain rate of 0.00001—0.29999in/min for sensitivity and a total load capacity of 20,000lbf, which makes this load frame the best choice when testing ASTM D4767 consolidated/undrained triaxial tests.
  • HM-398 model has a strain rate of 0.02-2.0in/min, and a total load capacity of 10,000lbf allows the use for a wider range of soils and asphalt test methods.