Controls Group Laboratory vane apparatus Laboratory vane apparatus
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Soil mechanics

Laboratory vane apparatus

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ASTM D4648 | BS 1377:7
Main features
The laboratory Vane Shear Apparatus measures the shear strength of cohesive soils and is particularly useful for soils with low shear strength. Vane shear testing is a fast and economical method of measuring the shear strength of clay compared with elaborate tri-axial shear or direct shear tests.
This apparatus tests undrained strength of soils, both in undisturbed and remoulded conditions.
  • EASY PRELIMINARY TEST: a rapid method of determining soft soil shear strength, when an immediate value is required.
  • READY TO USE: Supplied with a 12.7 x 12.7mm Standard Vane and set of four calibrated springs.
  • EASY TO UPGRADE: Simple upgrade from manual to motorized versions.
  • ALTERNATIVE CONFIGURATIONS: Supplied with a 200mm base plate for standard specimen molds and sample containers. The optional attachment will also firmly hold sample tubes up to 100 mm, sample jars or a special container.
General description
General description
How it works
The laboratory Vane Apparatus derives from an original design by the UK based Transport Research Laboratory. The vane  is held in a rotating socket situated in the lower part of the vane head assembly. This socket rotates in a ball seating.
Four calibrated springs are supplied, each with a deflection/load chart.  
If the vane is prevented from rotating and the hand knob is turned clockwise, the circular graduated scale rotates, and a torque is applied to the springs.  The load applied can be determined by noting the angular deflection from the graduate scale and by reading the relevant spring calibration chart.
If the vane is permitted to rotate, the amount of vane deflation can be seen on the secondary scale.
Easy motorized attachment
Easy update this manual system with a motorized unit and achieve a constant rate of rotation.
Holding sampling tube
Optional attachments to accommodate the use of sample tubes up to 100 mm, sample jars or special container are available. This will hold the container rigid relative to the apparatus eliminating any errors during the test.

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Technical specifications

  • Vane 12.7 x 12.7 mm included
  • Four calibrated springs each with deflection/load
  • Weight: 11 kg approx.
  • Dimensions: 620 x 250 x 280 mm (H x W x D)  

Ordering info

- Laboratory Vane Apparatus for soil shear strength determination.
Supplied with:
- 12.7 mm x 12.7 mm vane
- set of four calibrated springs each with deflection/load chart
The system can be upgraded with a motorized actuator (to be ordered separately). 


27-WF1732 25.4 mm x 25.4 mm vane
27-WF1733 12.7 mm x 25.4 mm vane
27-WF1734 12.7 mm x 19 mm vane
Motorizing attachment
Model Standard Speed [°/min] Voltage
27-WF17D30/2 BS 1377:7 6 to 12 220V,50Hz,1Ph
27-WF17D30/2Y BS 1377:7 6 to 12 220V,60Hz,1Ph
27-WF17D30/3 ASTM D4648 60 to 90 220V,50Hz,1Ph
27-WF17D30/3Y ASTM D4648 60 to 90 220V,60Hz,1Ph
27-WF17D30/4 ASTM D4648 60 to 90 110V,60Hz,1Ph
Holding sample tube attachment
27-WF1738 Attachment for sampling tube or cylindrical container  
27-WF1731 12.7 mm x 12.7 mm vane
27-WF1735/A Set of kgf calibrated springs for laboratory vane apparatus