Physical Characterization Lab

The Soil Science Physical Characterization Lab is located in the ALS room 3035. The lab provides services to the general public, State and Federal government agencies, and to the staff and students of OSU. The lab also services other institutions both domestic and foreign.

Available services include but are not limited to (link) particle size analysis, moisture retention curves, bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, and particle density. The test procedures can be tailored to meet individual customer specifications. Some field equipment is available for loan with priority given to lab clients. Bulk density samplers with rings, bucket augers, and probes are the most commonly requested items.

Most of the work performed in the lab is on a fee basis. Fee schedules are available on request. Due to scheduling conflicts, the practice of allowing outside personnel to perform large scale projects in the lab has been curtailed.

The lab does offer (free of charge) the use of equipment, lab space, and lab materials to student groups for small scale projects. Instruction is provided to the students on theory, application, and performance of the test methods utilized during their project. The lab personnel do not perform the actual test procedures but will answer any questions and provide aid when required. Some of the student groups that have used this service in the past are: Forest Science, Forestry, Horticulture, Mechanical Engineering, Bioresource Engineering, Environmental Science, Geosciences, and Archeology.

The lab also manufactures and constructs equipment for field applications. A one page catalog of equipment that includes piezometers, tensiometers, thermocouples, and platinum electrodes is available on request. The lab welcomes the opportunity to build other types of equipment that does not appear in the catalog.

Please feel free to contact the lab for further information. We welcome all inquiries.

Will Austin
Phone: (541) 737-5731
Will.Austin@oregonstate.edu