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Getting to the core of the problem

Invention Number: 
Lower cost, and faster set up time for triaxial strength testing of diamond drill cores of rock or concrete.

Developed within the school of Petroleum Engineering at UNSW, this invention is a new type of triaxial cell designed to run quick triaxial experiments under controlled temperature. The system design combines the best aspects of hoek cells and triaxial cells to form a hybrid design which has a number of key benefits over existing market solutions.

Key benefits

This technology enables quick triaxial experimentation on rock, concert and rock-type materials. The system is cheaper than commercial apparatuses and much faster to set up. Permeability testing can be conducted under triaxial loading and the temperature of the system can be accurately controlled using the a specially-designed heating system which consists of a heating jacket equipped with fine heating wires and an internal thermocouple connected to heat controller for temperature control.

Potential applications

As the system is essentially a triaxial cell, it has applications to a wide range of disciplines from Civil and construction Engineering to Mining Engineering. These can also include:

  • HP-HT triaxial testing required for Petroleum Engineering applications
  • Permeability measurements
  • Acoustic measurements

Specific Design Benefits

The especial miniature LVDTs coupled with a new 0.9mm Viton sleeve ensure that the displacements can be captured accurately under controlled temperature. The cell can be readily used with existing loading frames.


UNSW is seeking a partner to work with the researchers on further developing this technology for additional applications.