Deltares, Delft / The Netherlands
This facility compromises of a rigid model container with loading and measurement systems. It can be used for studying soil behaviour and the interaction with structures using accurately prepared sand and clay models. With the GeoModel container full-scale models can be built and tested under laboratory conditions.
The GeoModel container measures 4 x 2.5 x 1.2 m (length x width x height), however, this container can be downsized if required. The container itself is very flexible and virtually any test that requires a sand bed up to 4 x 2.5 x 1.2m (length x width x height) can be performed. The container is equipped with a fluidisation system for building homogeneous sand models at the required density. Several other containers, both for atmospheric pressure and elevated pressure (several bars), are also available. The staff on the facility has experience in making homogeneous or deliberately layered soil samples. The container allows for phreatic flow or confined groundwater flow. Effective stress at large depths can be simulated using different air pressure levels. The sand bed can be liquified and/or densified to required specifications. An excavator is available for quickly replacing sand if needed. In additions, the Deltares workshop is able to design and manufacture items required for tests in the container.
The infrastructure is equipped with a new HBM QuantumX data acquisition system that can sample up to 100ks/sec. For data processing systems as Matlab, Python, and the standard CATMAN AP software package of HBM can be used. Data output can be delivered in 17 formats such as BIN, CSV, MATHLAB, ASCII and TXT format.
The GeoModel container can be used for studying soil behavior and the interaction with structures, with accurately prepared sand and clay models. Research areas normally supported by the infrastructure are geotechnics, soil mechanics and soil structure interaction for i.e. dike & dam construction, tunneling and pipelines, among others. Recent studies in the GeoModel container have provided insights into the deformations of underground utilities, effectiveness of mitigating measures for piping (internal erosion) of flood defenses and validation tests for domestic gas pipe connection in settling soil.