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Rock Mechanics Laboratory

The rock mechanics lab is extremely well equipped for both, research and instruction. 


Satec stiff testing system, model C600MB, 300-ton capacity, configured for compressive testing.  Recently updated with enhanced digital control with Bluehill 3 software. MTS-815 stiff testing system, 300-ton capacity, configured for compressive testing using the TestStar System for digital control. Tri-axial testing chambers.  Point-load testing equipment.  Photoelastic apparatus with bi-axial chamber allows for the study of stresses under two-dimensional loading conditions. Discontinuity shear testing apparatus. Schmidt hammer. 

Physical Modeling

The modeling laboratory is built with a stiff floor that may be used as a resistance plate for large-scale testing of rock support systems.


Computers in the computer lab are equipped with the NIOSH Ground Control Software suite of programs (ARMPS, ALPS, AMSS, AHSM, S-Pillar, etc.), as well as other packages such as ACPS, AMRS, LaModel and SDPS as well as with the RocScience suite of programs.  The application of these software packages is taught to the students in laboratory sessions in the rock mechanics and surface mining classes.

Field Studies

Equipment readily available for field research includes instruments for stress determination monitoring of support performance, measurement of deformation and strain, and in situ testing of rock properties.  

Small Equipment: several load cells, precision manometers, micrometers and dial gages, hydraulic pumps, hydraulic cylinders, drill presses for coring rock samples, surface grinder for samples.