Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Equipment in our Lab

Main content start

RGL is committed to understanding (through experimentation and modeling) the natural and human-driven processes of fluid extraction/injection/storage, as well as the properties of raw Earth materials that may be used for innovative concretes or other geomaterials. To remain at the forefront of cutting edge research, it is necessary to continually modify and expand our capabilities. Much of our equipment has been built in house from scratch or contains custom retrofits we designed to be compatible with commercial systems. A summary is given below. For more information, view our virtual lab and/or contact  Anthony Clark.

Porosity & Permeability

Equipment used in testing

We have two systems to measure grain volume (and unconfined porosity) using helium. There is also a CoreTest AP-608 to measure porosity and Klinkenberg-corrected gas permeability (1 μD – 10 D) under hydrostatic confinement (3.5 – 68 MPa). Lastly, we use a CoreTest NDP-605 to measure tight samples (< 10 nD – 500 μD) under confinement (5 – 68 MPa) with a tunable gas pore pressure (1 – 17 MPa).

Acoustic Pressure Vessels


We possess two vessels for measuring the stress-dependent, ultrasonic velocities of rocks and geomaterials. The first is capable of applying both pore (0 – 60 MPa) and hydrostatic confining (0 – 60 MPa) pressure, and is equipped with one P-wave and S-wave transducer on each endcap affixed to opposite faces of the core sample. Axial strain is also recorded, allowing estimates of porosity evolution with stress. The other vessel is a biaxial system and thus can be used for either hydrostatic (0 – 60 MPa) or deviatoric (σdev ~ 0 – 200 MPa) tests. It has a second S-wave transducer polarized perpendicular to the first that facilitates quantification of S-wave splitting in anisotropic materials. Moreover, we built a custom insert to this vessel housing 10 P-wave acoustic emissions sensors and two (radial and axial) strain gauges for studying failure modes of rocks and geomaterials.



There are various ovens for heating samples above ambient temperature. These include multiple box ovens (e.g., Thelco Model 130 with Tmax = 250 °C and Carbolite LHT with Tmax = 600 °C) with different internal dimensions (from < 1 ft3 to > 1 ft3), and a Thermolyne F21135 tube furnace with Tmax ~ 1100 °C.

High-T High-P Reactors


We have two HTHP reactors for inducing various processes (e.g., in situ pyrolysis of organic matter in shale, decarbonation of limestone, and alkali-driven geopolymerization of aluminosilicates). The first reactor is an internally-heated pressure vessel with a maximum pressure rating of 34.5 MPa at 510 °C. The system is a 1 L volume bolted closure autoclave heated by a 200 W ceramic refractory heater. Samples are jacketed by annealed copper tubing to separate the pore fluid and confining pressures, and thermally isolated by cylindrical alumina spacers on either end. Our other system is a PARR 4760 vessel with external heater, and is used for small batch reactions (including caustic solutions) at pressures and temperatures up to 20 MPa and 350 °C, respectively.

3d Printing


We have a FormLabs Form1+ stereolithography desktop printer (25 μm min layer thickness), which create prints layer by layer via a directed light source to harden liquid photo-reactive resin from a bath. Additionally, we have used industrial printers (e.g., 3DSystems ProJet HD 3000 Plus) accessible on campus.