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Cyclic Direct Simple Shear (Cyclic DSS) Test System

What is the Cyclic Direct Simple Shear test?

Cyclic DSS Data Sheet
Sample Geotechnical Report

ShearTrac II

The ShearTrac II cyclic direct simple shear (CDSS) system is a universal shear system capable of performing the consolidation, static and cyclic direct simple shear phases under full automatic control. The DSS test generates a fairly homogeneous state of shear stress throughout the specimen, which provides initial stress condition, stress path, and deformation configuration that models numerous field loading conditions more closely than any other strength tests such as triaxial. The system consists of a computer-controlled unit that utilizes a micro-stepper motor to apply the vertical load and an advanced servo motor to apply the horizontal cyclic load to the soil specimen.

Applicable Test Standards

  • ASTM D2435, D6528, D8269
  • AASHTO T 216


  • Fully automated via computer or standalone capability for control and data collection
  • Micro-stepper & servo electronic motor systems offers high speed and precise loading
  • More accurate, reliable, and easier to maintain than units requiring hydraulics or air pressure
  • Passive or active height control
  • Stress or strain controlled loading
  • Apply irregular stress ratio and strain time history (e.g. earthquake motion)
  • Capable of conducting static direct simple shear tests in drained (constant load) and undrained (constant volume) condition with or without shear bias
  • Software configurable excitation voltage for sensors
  • Remote network access for real-time monitoring and control
  • Software generates full report of the test or raw data (.CSV export)
  • Option to perform incremental consolidation and/or direct/residual shear testing


  • Horizontal loading capacity: 2.25 kN (500 lbf) standard
  • Vertical loading capacity: 11 kN (2500 lbf) standard
  • Horizontal displacement: cyclic peak to peak strain of up to 10%; monotonic strain of up to 25%
  • Vertical displacement: 25.4 mm (1.0 in)
  • Cyclic rate: Up to 5 Hz; Typical test range 0.033 to 2 Hz
  • Dimensions: 228 x 560 x 762 mm (9 x 22 x 30 in)
  • Weight: 63 kg (140 lbs)
  • Specimen size: 2.5 in (63.5 mm) diameter standard. Also available: 2.0 in (50 mm) diameter
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