Rock & Materials Testing

For hydrocarbon and energy project planning, operators need accurate characterization of underground formation properties for decision-making. As a global leader in rock and soil mechanics, RESPEC’s engineering team is a combined force of integrated backgrounds in geosciences. World-renowned for its service to hydrocarbon and energy companies, RESPEC’s specialized rock testing and research support the complete characterization of a rock’s physical composition as well as data about its mechanical, hydrological, and thermal behavior.

With unrivaled Materials Testing Laboratory evaluations and field analysis, supported by advanced computer-based modeling, our team has a primary goal of providing accurate data that increases certainty in subsurface evaluations. Since 1969, we’ve met the unique needs of oil and gas clients, government agencies, national laboratories, engineering firms, architects, and mining companies.

RESPEC’s state-of-the-art Materials Testing Laboratory and facilities have over 10,000 square feet of monitored, secure, and environmentally controlled floor space to ensure accurate data when preparing samples and testing rock. We conduct standardized testing according to the methods recommended by ASTM International, the International Society of Rock Mechanics, and the American Petroleum Institute. RESPEC’s additional facilities include its Thermal Properties Laboratory, Mechanical and Hydrological Properties Laboratory, Metrology Laboratory, Wet Laboratory, Specimen Preparation Shop, Core Logging Laboratory, and Core Storage.

Our capabilities include thermal properties measurements, mechanical and hydrological properties measurements, rock/fluid interaction studies, constitutive model development, specialty specimen preparation, customized testing, and brine mineralogy insoluble content.

With a long history of technical success in creating the safest, most innovative solutions in energy, RESPEC’s rock mechanics team uses the highest levels of theory, observation, and expertise to solve the industry’s most challenging problems.


  • Unconfined compressive strength (UCS) – ASTM D7012
  • Triaxial compressive strength (TCS) – ASTM D7012
  • Constant strain rate measurement of elastic constants (CSR) – ASTM D7012
  • Brazilian indirect tensile strength (BRZ) – ASTM D3967
  • Direct tensile strength (DTS) – ASTM D2936
  • Constant mean stress dilation (CMS) – ASTM STP 1350
  • Confined creep deformation (Creep) – ASTM D7070
  • Direct shear strength – ASTM D5607
  • Borehole compressive strength (BCS) – Procedure developed in-house
  • Uniaxial unconfined thermal expansion – ASTM D4535
  • Triaxial thermal expansion – Procedure developed in-house
  • Thermal conductivity, heat capacity, thermal diffusivity (hot disk test)– ISO 22007-:2015
  • Porosity, grain density, bulk volume, bulk density using a helium porosimeter – MetaRock procedure
  • Permeability using super-critical nitrogen – MetaRock procedure
  • P- and S- wave ultrasonic velocity – ASTM D2845
  • X-Ray diffraction (XRD) – USGS method Report 01-041
  • X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) – ASTM E1621
  • Rock sample preparation and bulk density determination – ASTM D4543
  • Moisture content – ASTM D2216
  • Insoluble content for evaporite rock – RESPEC TP-30 modified from ASTM E534
  • Spectral gamma core logging – Procedure and calibration developed in-house


MTS 311.31 UT4 Universal Testing Machine
Axial Force – Up to 220,000 lbf, Temperature – 70°F to 572°F, Sample Size – Up to 4 in
MTS 312.41 UT2 Universal Testing Machine with Triaxial Vessel
Axial Force – Up to 220,000 lbf, Confining Pressure – 7,500 psi, Temperature – 70°F to 392°F, Sample Size – Up to 4 in
MTS 315.03 STS Stiff Testing Machine with Triaxial Vessel
Axial Force – Up to 1,000,000 lbf, Confining Pressure – 20,000 psi, Temperature – 70°F to 392°F, Sample Size – Up to 3.5 in
16 Static Loading Triaxial Test Frames for Long-Term Creep (Built by REPEC and INSTRON)
Axial Force – Up to 220,000 lbf, Confining Pressure – 7,500 psi, Temperature – 70°F to 392°F, Sample Size – Up to 4 in
Rock Direct Shear Testing Machine (Built by RESPEC)
Normal Force – Up to 30,000 lbf, Shear Force – 30,000 lbf, Temperature – 70°F,
Sample Size – up to 6X6X6 in
Unitherm Model 1054L Thermal Dilatometer
Temperature – Up to 572°F, Sample Size – Up to 1.5 in
Thermtest TPS 1500 Thermal Constants Analyzer
Temperature – Up to 592°F, Sample Size – Up to 6 in diameter and irregularly shaped samples
15 Hydrostatic Consolidation Chamber for Salt Healing (Built by RESPEC)
Hydrostatic Pressure – Up to 3,000 psi, Temperature – 70°F, Sample Size – Up to 4 in
MetaRock Rackmount Ultrasonic Acoustic Velocity System
P- and S-Wave Velocity Measurements, Unaxial Benchtop or During Triaxial Creep or Strength,
Sample Size – Up to 4 in
RS-230 BGO Super Spec Spectral Core Gamma Logger
Sample Size – Any, Core Scanning in the Field or Scanning in a Gamma Shielded Machine
MTS Axial and Radial Extensometers or Conventional Strain Gage Measurement, Unconfined or Confined
Sample Size – Up to 4 in, Temperature – 70ׄ°F to 392°F
Malvern-Panalytical Empryean
X-ray diffraction for mineral characterization using a Cobalt source.
Olympus Vanta M Handheld XRF
Elemental analysis using X-ray fluorescence on any size rock sample.