Geotechnics | Istituto Giordano
Gianluca Ferraiolo

Gianluca Ferraiolo
Tel. 0541 322.243


The Tectonics Department’s Geotechnics Laboratory is a laboratory authorised by the Ministry of Infrastructures pursuant to Ministerial Decree No. 5513 dated 18/08/2014 to operate in accordance with section 59 of Presidential Decree No. 380/2001 (replacing section 20 of Act No. 1086/71).

The laboratory has been operating for around 30 years in the field of structural engineering and road construction, testing material characteristics in accordance with the provisions of statutory law, official regulations and tender specifications.

In particular, we possess all the equipment requested by the recent circular No. 349/STC regarding geotechnical testing of soil and rock.

Our highly-skilled staff also perform laboratory tests for initial characterisation of aggregates falling within the scope of the Construction Products Directive and on-site inspections to confirm proper installation of materials.

Require the TESTING AND MATERIALS APPLICATION forms (pursuant to Act No. 1086 dated 5/11/1971 with the updates requested by the Ministerial Decree for cubes and rebars):

The Geotechnics Laboratory’s main activities regard the following test sectors:
  • Soil (classification, Proctor compaction, California Bearing Ratio (CBR), Atterberg limits, particle size, aerometry, oedometer tests, shear tests, triaxial tests, permeability tests, static and dynamic cone penetration)
  • Road construction (plate load, in situ density, in situ CBR, skid resistance/slipperiness)
  • Plastic mixes (laboratory mixing and curing, compression with free lateral expansion, direct permeability in triaxial cells)
  • Liquid bitumens, solid bitumens and bitumen emulsions (flash point, viscosity, density, penetration of residue, softening point, Fraass breaking point)
  • Bituminous mixtures (bitumen content, particle size analysis, percentage of voids, Marshall stability and flow, indirect tensile strength, in situ core drilling)
  • Rock (flexural strength tests, compression tests and elastic modulus, Point Load, JRC, frost resistance tests, petrographic examination, joint shear tests, triaxial tests, impact strength, imbibition, Brazilian indirect tensile strength, wear testing using a tribometer)
  • Aggregates (particle size, sand equivalent, Los Angeles resistance to fragmentation, thermal shock resistance, frost resistance, abrasion resistance, Micro-Deval abrasion resistance, volume stability following shrinkage, alkali reactivity test, flakiness index and shape index, water absorption and density)
  • Natural stone (thermal shock resistance with measurement of dynamic elastic modulus, flexural tests, compression tests, frost resistance tests, petrographic examination, impact strength, imbibition, Brazilian indirect tensile strength, wear testing using a tribometer, thermal expansion, slip resistance value (SRV) and unpolished slip resistance value (USRV)
  • Cementitious mixture (in situ sampling, compression and indirect tensile strength)
  • Concrete foundation piles (load tests, Cross-Hole Sonic Logging, pile length and integrity testing using the pulse-echo method)
  • Specimen extruder 
  • Standard set of sieves
  • Mechanical sieve shaker
  • Thermostatically-controlled tank for particle-size analysis by sedimentation
  • Stirrers for particle-size analysis and hydrometer
  • Equipment to determine liquid and plastic limits
  • Equipment to determine shrinkage limit
  • Laboratory mixer
  • Volumeter
  • Desiccators
  • Laboratory vane tester and penetrometer
  • Laboratory ovens of various size
  • Laboratory lathe
  • Oedometers capable of transmitting a load of at least 6 MPa over a sample area of not less than 20 cm2, complete with cells and instruments for measuring vertical stress with sensitivity and accuracy to within 10 mm
  • Direct shear testing equipment complete with shear boxes and instruments for measuring vertical and horizontal deformation with sensitivity and accuracy to within 10 mm. Instruments for measuring shear stress to an accuracy to within 0.2% of maximum value
  • Triaxial compression test cells with 4 bridge outputs for specimens of diameter up to 38 mm capable of withstanding a cell pressure of at least 1 MPa
  • Triaxial compression test cells with 4 bridge outputs for specimens of diameter up to 100 mm capable of withstanding a cell pressure of at least 1 MPa
  • Presses with capacity of not less than 50 kN (5 t) that allow a minimum rate of travel not exceeding 5x10E-4 mm/min and a maximum of not less than 1 mm/min;
  • Triaxial compression test apparatus comprising: system for applying pressure of not less than 0.9 MPa, self-compensated by 3 pressure regulators to guarantee pressure levels to an accuracy of 1%
  • Permeameter stand with a capacity of at least 3 cells for measuring constant and falling-head permeability along with respective permeameters
  • Proctor/CBR compactor (AASHTO standard and modified) with 4 and 6-inch diameter moulds
  • CBR test apparatus
  • Environmental chamber for storing specimens
  • Load test apparatus having 30 cm diameter plate, complete with jack, 350 bar pressure gauge and displacement measuring equipment
  • Foundation-pile load testing apparatus along with displacement measuring equipment
  • In situ density measuring equipment
  • Laboratory core drilling machine for taking samples from rocks having variable rotation and complete with 3 core barrels of length not less than 25 cm; complies with noise and safety regulations
  • Laboratory rock crusher
  • Rock grinder/leveller to smooth specimen surfaces. For machining materials to an accuracy of not less than a tenth of millimetre
  • Laboratory rock saw complete with blades of different size and hardness
  • Motorised hydraulic press for compression testing with capacity of 3000 kN, complete with load-application control system
  • Precision gauges to measure specimen size
  • Rock and rock joint direct shear testing machine
  • Point load tester
  • Instrument for measuring rock joint roughness
  • Instrument for measuring the pulse velocity of longitudinal elastic waves
  • Steel cells for triaxial compression testing of rock specimens (at least 3 cells with different test diameters, at least one of which of diameter 54.7 mm) capable of withstanding a cell pressure of not less than 50 MPa, complete with sheaths for the specimen, cell pressure application system, shims and adapters for specimens of different height
  • Freezer cabinet for frost resistance testing capable of holding at least 8 rock cubes with a side measuring 7.1 cm and guaranteeing minimum temperatures not exceeding 10°C
  • Thermostatically-controlled tank for frost resistance testing capable of holding at least 8 rock cubes with a side measuring 7.1 cm and guaranteeing maximum temperatures not exceeding 35°C
  • Rock permeameter complete with motorised hydraulic pump, pressure application system and all else required to carry out the test
  • Tribometer
  • Mechanical sand equivalent shaker
  • Rock abrasion tester
  • Ball mill
  • Pendulum friction tester
  • Geolab 2000 data logger and processor
  • Bituminous mixture oven
  • Automatic Marshall stability machine
  • Filler extractor
  • Refrigerated centrifuge
  • Hot bitumen extractors
  • Temperature bath for bituminous mixtures
  • Los Angeles abrasion machine
  • Flexural testing frame
  • Water permeability under pressure
  • Eurotron muffle furnace
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