Geotechnical soil and rock testing is an essential first step in understanding whether the terrain you hope to build upon is suitable for construction purposes. Once you know the properties of the soil and rocks in the area in which you wish to build, you are better placed to plan a design which compliments these foundations and will not place undue, or even dangerous, levels of stress upon them.


Element aims to provide you with a complete laboratory testing programme for soil and rocks; delivering timely, reliable and quality results, allowing you to make informed decisions about the safe and economical construction of your designs. The soil and rock testing services that are available at our Singapore and Malaysia locations Kaki Bukit, Sungei Kadut Loop and Johor are as follows:  



Classification of Soil

Soils are grouped into classification systems according to how they perform under specific physical conditions in relation to their intended use. Element can test the suitability of the soil in your intended construction terrain, using a variety of laboratory methods:

  • Moisture Content by Oven-Drying Method
  • Liquid Limit by Casagrande Apparatus Method
  • Liquid Limit by Cone Penetrometer Method
  • Plastic Limit and Plasticity Index
  • Shrinkage Characteristics by Linear Shrinkage
  • Density by Linear Measurement Method
  • Particle Density by Gas Jar Method, Small Pyknometer Method
  • Particle Size Distribution by Sieving(Wet and Dry) and Hydrometer Method 

Chemical analysis of Soil

Using specialized equipment and reagents, we can help determine the composition of soil at your construction site in order to inform the best ways to handle it when building. Such information is a powerful tool for budgeting, estimating project timelines and ensuring that you meet regulatory requirements. Element can provide:
  • Testing for chloride, carbonate and sulphate content, as well as for total dissolved salt
  • Establishing soil pH value
  • Identifying any other organic matter present in the soil


Strength Testing

Element can perform a range of strength tests on both the soil and rocks in your proposed construction project. Strength tests allow displacement under working loads to be predicted and evaluate the external forces required to cause failure in a soil or rock matrix. Tests that our laboratories offer include:


Soil Testing

  • Unconfined Compressive Strength
  • Shear Strength by Laboratory Vane Method
  • Undrained Shear Strength in Triaxial Compression (Without Pore Pressure Measurement)
  • Undrained Shear Strength in Triaxial Compression with Multistage Loading (Without Pore Pressure Measurement)
  • Consolidated-Undrained Triaxial Compression with Pore Pressure Measurement
  • Consolidated-Drained Triaxial Compression with Measurement of Volume Change
  • Unconsolidated-Undrained Triaxial Compression Test with Pore Pressure Measurement
  • Determination of Shear Strength by Direct Shear

Rock Testing

  • Point Load Test
  • Unconfined Compressive Strength of Intact Rock Core Specimen
  • Slake Durability Test
  • Indirect Tensile Brazil Test
  •  Moisture content of rock
  • Suggest Methods for Porosity/Density Determination Using Saturation and Caliper Techniques


Slake Durability tests of Shales and Similar Weak Rocks

Some softer rocks, when subjected to heavy weathering, are prone to degrade when subjected to wetting and drying cycles so it is important to identify these rock types in advance of using them in a construction project. Element offers slake durability testing to estimate how the proposed soft rocks or shales will perform in wet or abrasive conditions. 

We also perform a number of Soil boring (also called Geotechnical boring) testing services from our Singapore and North American laboratories.


Other Testing Procedures


  • Compressibility Tests - One-Dimensional Consolidation Properties
  • Permeability Tests by Falling-Head Method
  • Determination of Permeability In A Triaxial Cell
  • Determination of Permeability by the Constant Heads Method
  • pH value
  • Determination of Dry Density / Moisture Content relationship
  • Sand Replacement method Suitable for fine-medium grained soils (small Pouring Cylinder method)


The Element Advantage

Element offers geotechnical soil and rock testing services for the construction and building materials industry. Our laboratory is equipped with automated advanced testing apparatus, equipment and computer software to handle a variety of requirements. With our track record of delivering both large and small government and private sector projects, Element is confident and committed to delivering timely and quality services to its clients as the demand of the construction industry grows. 

To learn more about Element's soil and rock testing services, please contact our experts today.