Laboratory of Geotechnics Prof. Jacqes Medina - LABGEO



The Geotechnics laboratory at PEC/COPPE/UFRJ develops a wide range of experimental activities related to the Geotechnics academic area. Some of those researches are conducted in partnership with other Academic Areas of the Program, other Programs at COPPE or even with other UFRJ Institutes. Some examples are: the study of tie beam corrosion in tropical residual soils, fulfilled in partnership with the Program in Metallurgical and Material Engineering; the study of mass movements on natural slopes of Rio de Janeiro performed in partnership with UFRJ Geosciences Institute; several researches on Environmental Geotechnics and the tomography study of tar mixture test specimens in collaboration with the Nuclear Engineering Program.

                                                         Atomic Absorption spectrometer at the soil chemistry laboratory

                                                                                 Geotechnical mini centrifuge

Besides geotechnical experimental researches, the Geotechnics Laboratory develops equipment for special laboratory tests, in situ and field tests.

The laboratory technical staff and electronic and machine workshops allow equipment and instrument development and maintenance. Some equipment designed and developed at the laboratory are: third generation automatic piezocone; vane test instrument with electric measure at the vane to eliminate friction effects; instrument for in situ collapse or expansion of soils under saturation ("expansion -collapse meter").

The Geotechnics laboratory is located in a new, modern building next to the Technology Center.  Those modern facilities shelter high technology equipment such as a drum centrifuge for work performance physical modeling.

                                                                    Front of the building and Access to the Geotechnics Laboratory

Soil mechanical and physicochemical behavior is studied through in situ and laboratory tests, work instrumentation, environmental Geotechnics, pavement mechanics, foundations, numerical methods stability of slopes and retention systems; embankments and dams.


Some of the tests that can be performed at the Geotechnics Laboratory and some of the available facilities are listed below:

• Soil physical characterization: Grain size distribution and Sedimentation, Atterberg Limits (LL and LP), Real Density of Grains.
• Soil tests: conventional consolidation and constant deformation; direct shear and ring shear; conventional and controlled stress path triaxial tests and cyclic solicitation; permeability and erosion tests.
• Chemical, physicochemical and mineralogical soil characterization, clays, sediments, residues and similar (inorganic) materials.
• Análises químicas e físico-químicas em águas e efluentes líquidos.
• Chemistry and physico-chemistry of soil stabilization: soil-cement; soil-lime; soil-residues.
• Chemistry of hydraulic binders: controlled low resistant materials. Use of residues on civil construction.
• Piezocone test, Electric vane test, Pile Load Test; Piezometer Installation and Readings , Slope Indicators, Spider magnet, Total Pressure Cell,  Strain Gages, Strain measuring Devices, Force Measuring Devices.
• Environmental Geotechnics: Column Tests, Diffusion Tests, Batch Tests, Diffusion tests with Coupled Consolidation, Sludge Consolidation Test, DKS Diffusion Test, Analysis of Gaseous Diffusion in Soil, Application of Electrokinetic technique in Contaminated Soil Remediation, Remediation of Soil contaminated with Gasoline and similar products through the vapor – air technique, Resistance Cone In Situ TestsUrban Solid Wastes (RSU) Laboratory and Field tests. 
• Field tests and instrumentation; calibration chamber; piezocone; Slope Indicators; electric hydraulic and pneumatic piezocones; load and pressure cells; leakage and deformation measuring equipment;  field data acquisition system; pore suction measuring system, test using a geotechnical centrifuge
• Resilient Modulus Test, Fatigue tests, Dynamic and Static Creep tests, Static Tensile Resistance tests, Marshall and SUPERPAVE Mix Designs, CBUQ cps modeling,  Aggregate characterization tests, RICE, LOTTMAN, Follow-up of experimental tracks,   Los Angeles test,  MCT Classification, Benkelman Beam, British Pendulum , Sand spot, Metal Framework for Wheel path rutting measure, Compaction tests, LWT, WTAT.
• Support to Computational Resources linked to Internet through Rio Network infrastructure.

Caixa experimental (flume) com aspersores simuladores de chuva para estudar mecanismos de instabilidade em encostas e analisar sistemas de coberturas de aterros sanitários sob a ação da chuva - Vista lateral e frontal -
                                                        (Tese de Doutorado - 2007 - Ronaldo Izzo)

                                                                                             Soil characterization bench and facilities

                                                                                                    Deformation and resistance tests

                                                                                 Static nailing equipment for piezocone tests

                                                                                                           Triaxial press


The Geotechnics Laboratory comprises the following departments:

• Pavements and Tar Mixtures Department
• Field Tests and Instrumentation Department
• Instrument Development Department
• Soil Characterization Department
• Special Geotechnical Tests Department
• Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy Department
• Environmental Geotechnics Department
• Physical Modeling Department (mini-centrifuge and 1 G models)
• Calibration Chamber Department
• Computational Resources Department

A large and modern infrastructure of equipment and instruments is available at those departments.. Some of them are listed below:


• 1 Sieve
• 3 Balances
• 1 Sedimentation bath
• 3 Ovens
• 2 Calibrated Hydrometers
• 1 Destilador
• 1 Water-bath for Grain Density Determination
• 1 Soil Disperser
• 1 Forced Ventilation oven
• 1 Heating Plate
• 1 Casa Grande Electrical equipment
• 2 Casa Grande Manual equipments


• 4  Marte 10kg balances
• 2   Marte 15kg balances
• Vibration Plate – Gilson Vibro – Deairator
• Edwards Vacuum Pump
• Fisaton Water Bath (25ºC) 
• 2 Test Specimen extractors
• Marshall – Solotest Press
• 6 Fanem Drying and sterilization ovens
• Meriam Absolut Viscosimeter
• Cannon Instrument Company Viscosimeter Bath
• Fisaton Vacuum Pump
• Cannon Instrument Company Kinematic Viscosimeter
• Saybolt Furol – Pavitest Viscosimeter
• Endocal Bath Fluid
• Pavitest Penetrometer
• Helvan Water bath(60ºC)
• Helvan Ductilometer
• Ductilometer – (granted by CENPES/Petrobras)
• Fanem Forced ventilation ovens
• Fisaton Heating Plate
• Solotest Sieve
• Superpave – Troxler Compactor
• Marshall doube (for 2 cps) – Solotest Compactor
• Marshall – Helvan Compactor
• MST Equipment
• Drilling Tool for in situ teat specimen collection
• Saw used to cut tar mixture test specimens


• 2 Dynamic Triaxial Test Apparatus Pórticos para Ensaios Triaxiais Dinâmicos
• 3 Diametral Compression Test Apparatus with dynamic loading; and Dynamic and Static Creep Tests ( Uniaxial Compression)  Pórticos
• 4 Cabinets for Pressure Autmmatic Control
• Automatic Benkelman Beam
• DSI British Pendulum
• Marshall – Soiltest Press
• 3 Automatic Temperature  Control Chambers

• 2 Marte10kg Balances
• 2 Marte 50 kg Balances
• Filizola 30kg Balance
• Marte 1kg Balance
• Los Angeles – Eberle Abrasion
• Solotest test specimen extractor
• Via Test Soil test specimen compactor
• Soil Test Soil test specimen compactor
• 3 Fanem Drying and sterilization ovens
• Ética drying and sterilization oven
• Fanen Forced ventilation drying and sterilization oven
• Solotest Sieve
• Bectel sieve shaker with 26 Bronzinox sieves


• 1 Self-compensating mercury pot pressure system with 6 exits (W. Farrance)
• 8 Triaxial cells for testing 2” diameter samples.( R. Top )
• 2 Triaxial cells for testing  4”  diaqmeter samples. ( W. Farrance)
• 2 10 ton electro-mechanical presses.. (W. Farrance)
• 2 1 ton electro-mechanical press  (W. Farrance)
• 1 5 ton digital electo-mechanical press. (Tritech)
• 1 vane laboratory test equipment. (W. Farrance)
• 4 volume variation electric gauges  (W. Farrance)
• 6 1000 kPa pressure transmitters. ( Wica)
• 5 1000 kPa Pressure transducers. ( Aschroft)
• 1 Torsion shear test equipment. (W.Farrance)
• 1 Direct shear test equipment 5x5 cm box ( R.Top)
• 1 Automatic direct shear test equipment  6x6 cm box. (W.F)
• 2 3 press sets for edometric test.  (W. Farrance)
• 2 permeability test panels with 6 permeameters. (R.Top)
• 1 pinhole-type test equipment .
• 1 two-stage vacuum pump (Edwards)
• 4 triaxial test data acquisition systems  ( COPPE)
• 1 controlled tension test bench  (R.Top)
• 6 Load cells with capacity from  100 to 1500 kg. ( COPPE)
• 4 50 mm course displacement transducers  ( W.Farrance)
• 3 10 mm course displacement transducers ( W.Farrance)


• pH, conductivity and redox potential measuring instruments (bench and portable)
• Sensible ion analysis instrument 
• Visible Spectrophotometers
• Atomic Absorption Spectrometer
• Flame Photometer
• Dissolved Oxygen Measuring System (portable)
• Turbidimeter
• Analytical Balances
• Two-stage Edwards Vacuum Pump and vacuum filtration apparatus
• Muffle Furnace (up to 1200ºC)
• Centrifuges (up to 4000 rpm)
• Shaking table
• Ball Mill (for small quantities)
• Vertical Autoclave
• Ultra Sound Equipment


• Column Test Equipment
• Simple Diffusion Test Equipment
• DKS Diffusion Test Equipment
• Flowing Material Consolidation Test Equipment
• Electrokinetic Technique Equipment
• Vapor – Air Technique Equipment 
• Batch Test Equipment
• Soil Gas Diffusion Analysis Equipment
• Fume hood


• Piezocone and Cone Resistance Test Equipment
• Electric Vane Test Equipment
• Horizontal Displacement Measure Equipment in Slope Indicator Tubes
• Settlement Magnetic Gauge
• Electric Water Level Gauge
• Gauge reading systems (Force, Pressure, Displacement, Volume variation and  Temperature)


• Data Acquisition System foe electrical signal measure and simulation
• Mechanical Lathe
• Milling drilling machine
• Electric Saw for Metals
• Calibration Systems (Force, Pressure, Displacement, Volume variation and Temperature)


• More than a hundred computers connected in a network
• Wireless network with high connection capacity in the perimeter of LabGEO (including external area)
• Dedicated computers for data acquisition
• Industrial computers for controlling specialized equipment, such as the Centrifuge
• 3d printer
• Certified Local Network and Internet Connectivity via Rede Rio's backbone




Profa. Anna Laura Lopes da Silva Nunes (professora responsável)
Prof. Claudio Fernando Mahler
Prof. Fernando Artur Brasil Danziger
Prof. Francisco de Rezende Lopes
Prof. Francisco Jose Casanova de Oliveira e Castro

Prof. Francisco Thiago Sacramento Aragão
Prof. Ian Schumann Marques Martins
Prof. Jacques de Medina
Profa. Laura Maria Goretti da Motta
Prof. Marcio de Souza Soares de Almeida
Profa. Maria Claudia Barbosa
Prof. Mauricio Ehrlich
Prof. Paulo Eduardo Lima de Santa Maria
Prof. Willy Alvarenga Lacerda

Technicians and administrative staff




André Luís Souza Salviano (Gerente)
Luiz Carlos Lima de Almeida
Luiz Carlos de Oliveira
Marcos Pereira Antunes
Mariluce de Oliveira Ubaldo
Mauro Dias de Souza
Max Gomes de Souza
Ricardo Gil Domingues
Rita de Cássia Lisboa da Motta
Sara Nunes Soares
Sérgio Iório
Viktor Labuto Fragoso Sereno Ramos



Allan Moreno Fernandes
Leandro Pereira dos Santos
Marcos Antonio Fritzen
Maria Alice Marques dos Santos
Roberto Brandão da Silva Vianna
Tatiane Benites da Silva
Washington Rafael Ferreira dos Santos