GeoEngineering Laboratory

Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
What the facility does

Pre-eminent international facility for buried pipe, culvert and storm-water detention system testing

Areas of expertise

Queen’s GeoEngineering Laboratory is the pre-eminent international facility for buried pipe, culvert and storm-water detention system testing. Capabilities include experiments on new, deteriorated and repaired culverts with a span of up to 10 metres and a unique ability to determine strength under simulated truckloads from 8 to 10 times larger than typical service loads using the lab’s 200-tonne loading system. Facilities include the unique 5-by-3-metre, 4.5-metre-deep test cell (the deep burial simulator) for testing pipes of up to 3 metre diameter under earth loads associated with 18 metres of overburden, which can also test in saturated ground and investigate soil erosion caused by water flow into leaking sewers. A permanent reaction pit is available with pulling or pushing capacity of 200 tonnes for undertaking trenchless pipe installation, repair or replacement. The laboratory includes an atmospheric control system for managing silica dust, carbon monoxide and other emissions from the lab’s construction equipment (a skid-steer loader, an excavator, compactors, a boom forklift and a man lift). Other facilities include a 2-by-2-metre, 1.6-metre-deep test box for simulating burial of pipes up to 0.6 metres in diameter under very deep burial.

Research services

Pipe testing, burial, soil-structure interaction, surface loading, strength testing, pipe repair, pipe deterioration

Sectors of application
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
Large test pitUsed to test near-surface (up to 2.5 metres of burial) pipelines, culverts and storm-water detention systems
Reaction pitFor use in trenchless construction, either for pulling or for pushing equipment, or in the lab’s 200t actuator
200-tonne reaction frame, actuators, loading pads and beamsTo simulate wheel pairs, single axles and tandem axles according to the Canadian (CHBDC) and U.S. (AASHTO) bridge-design standards
Biaxial cellSimulating deep burial on small-diameter buried pipes, elements of storm-water detention chambers and landfill barrier components at up to 1000 kPa overburden pressure
Mechanical and leakage testing frame for pipe jointsFor testing under shear and rotation or moment for pipes up to 1.5 metres in diameter
Deep burial simulatorFor testing pipes up to 3 metres in diameter under vertical earth pressures equivalent to 18 metres of overburden, and for saturated ground testing to investigate soil erosion caused by ingress of groundwater into leaking sewers.
  • 407 Express Toll Route
  • Advanced Drainage Systems
  • American Concrete Pipe Association
  • Armtech Ltd.
  • Big ‘O’ Pipe
  • Brentwood Industries
  • Contech Construction Products
  • Geotree Technologies Inc.
  • Hanson Pipe and Precast
  • Ipex Inc.
  • James Hardie Research and Development
  • M-Con Products Inc.
  • Ontario Concrete Pipe Association
  • Uponor Canada
  • AEGION Corporation