Four parameters are measured during triaxial strength tests (Holtz and Kovacs, 1981): load, axial deformation, confining pressure, and pore pressure. Loading is produced by a syringe-pump-controlled ram contacting the heat exchanger which then pushes on the sample at a rate related to the syringe-pump-piston travel. Movement of the ram, which can vary from 0.0001 mm/min to 2 mm/min, is measured using a linear displacement transducer connected to the load ram. Interchangeable load cells can be varied according to anticipated strength of the sediment and gas hydrate.

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