TDI-Brooks announces the successful development and testing of a new instrument, the Auto-Minivane.  The Auto-Minivane instrument is a self-contained, stand-alone miniature vane shear testing device that can be used in a 0.5 m vertical-stroke format by an onshore or offshore laboratory. The 1-m-stroke format can be mounted onto a box corer at sea to measure soil strength deep into the box core soil sample.

The new Auto-Minivane accurately and precisely measures the undrained shear strength of very soft to stiff saturated fine-grained clayey soils in an automated process, including its ability to automatically advance down a series of preset depths for successive soil measurements in an acquired box core. The tool conforms to ASTM D4648/D4648M-16, and its measurements consistently match those generated with the conventional mechanical tools. Its operation removes essentially all of the unwanted operator-error and operator differences from the tests, allowing much better repeatability of results, as well as increased precision and accuracy. It can also be programmed to perform residual strength tests at each depth an undrained shear strength test is performed.

More details on TDI-Brooks’ Capabilities HERE.

Contact Jim Brooks at / +1 979-693-3446 and/or Melissa Wood at / +1 713-208-1734


TDI-Brooks is a 27-year-old research and service company specializing in geotechnical and offshore survey projects; multi-disciplinary oceanographic and environmental projects; surface geochemical exploration; and high-end environmental chemistry for IOC and offshore wind clients in addition to federal and state agencies. TDI-Brooks has over 27 years of vessel chartering and management experience and currently operates five (5) research vessels, Brooks McCall, Miss Emma McCall, Gyre, Proteus and the Nautilus. These are multi-use vessels suited for a wide variety of oceanographic research duties for the offshore renewables and energy sectors.

The Brooks McCall and Miss Emma McCall are both U.S. registered, and services the U.S. East Coast, Gulf of Mexico and Mexico. The Gyre and Proteus are Vanuatu registered, fully SOLAS compliant, and serve clients globally. The TDI-Brooks fleet is operated within a robust Safety Management System and all vessels are regularly vetted by client marine assurance groups and a part of the OCIMF Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID). Our field services are supplemented by high quality analytical and geotechnical laboratories located in College Station, Texas.

TDI-Brooks was formed in mid-1996 by Drs. James Brooks and Bernie Bernard. Headquartered in College Station, TX with a remote domestic office located in Houston, TX and strategically placed offices around the globe.  TDI-Brooks has a staff of over over-hundred and thirty individuals including fourteen Ph.D. level oceanographers, geochemists, biologists and geologists, hydrographers, geophysicists, mariners, cartographers, engineers, GIS and CADD specialists who perform surveys and produce deliverables of the highest quality. The company has international affiliates in Port Harcourt, Nigeria (TDI-Brooks Nigeria Ltd.) and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (GSI-Brooks) with branch offices in Colombia (TDI-Brooks Succursal Colombia) and Mexico.


The standard miniature vane shear test consists of inserting a four-bladed vane in the end of a remolded soil sample and rotating it at a constant rate to determine the torque required to cause a cylindrical surface to be sheared by the vane. This torque is then converted to a unit shearing resistance of the cylindrical surface area. The torque is measured by a torque spring or transducer that is attached directly to the vane. The ASTM methods include the use of both conventional calibrated torque spring units (Method A) and calibrated electrical torque transducer units (Method B), both with a motorized miniature vane shear device.  The TDI-Brooks Auto-Minivane tool conforms to ASTM Method B. We have operated this tool side-by-side with conventional Method A tool in our laboratory, testing hundreds of soil samples spanning a comprehensive range of soil strengths, and the results are the same using both devices.


Contact Us

TDI-Brooks International, Inc.
14391 S. Dowling Road
College Station, TX 77845

Phone: +1 (979) 693-3446