Three-way bender element testing is performed on triaxial tests and uses piezoelectric transducers to determine shear wave velocity in different directions, which is incorporated into the design of the offshore wind turbine foundations.
Cyclic simple shear tests determine the dynamic soil properties used to analyse offshore wind turbines under wave and seismic loading conditions.
By the end of June, Fugro will have increased cyclic simple shear testing and triaxial testing capacity by 60 per cent through a total of 20 automated triaxial stations. These automated stations control the vertical and horizontal stresses that replicate the unique conditions of the soil surrounding wind farm turbine foundations to determine the soil's holding capacity.
Victor Taboada, Fugro's marine geotechnical engineering manager in the Americas, said: "This expansion of our advanced laboratory testing capabilities is an exciting development that will ensure our ability to fulfil the increasing soil testing requirements coming from time-sensitive offshore wind projects in the US."
Located on Fugro's Houston campus, the Houston laboratory currently occupies 1,200m2 and employs 30 laboratory technicians managing over 140 testing stations. Fugro's international reach allows the Houston laboratory to provide round-the-clock solutions by utilising the increasing capacity of Fugro's geotechnical laboratories across the world, including in the UK, Australia, Singapore and, following the recent acquisition of OREX SC, in Belgium.