Construction and Materials Labs

Four construction and materials laboratories housed in the department provide cutting-edge equipment and training for students, preparing them for careers in the design and construction world.


Aggregate Materials Laboratory

In the Aggregate Materials Laboratory, students determine properties of aggregate that will be used in concrete, asphalt mixtures, masonry products and in roadway bases. Properties of interest include durability, strength, abrasion resistance and gradation.

Equipment includes a Los Angeles Abrasion machine, 3 Gilson testing screen shakers, 4 Rotosift-type sieve shakers, CBR equipment (includes 1 motorized and 2 manually operated load frames), resilient modulus equipment, a range of sampling and splitting devices, 7 large exterior-access aggregate bins, 18 small bins, 8 specific gravity workstations, a permeability workstation for 10 in. diameter specimens, 8 SUPERPAVE consensus and source testing equipment workstations (sand equivalent, flat/elongated aggregate templates, sand particle shape analyzers, and plasticity index), a 3-tier Micro-Deval station, a wet-ball mill device, aggregate crushing value test equipment, methylene blue testing equipment, sand organic impurities kit, a water-alcohol freeze/thaw station, a sulfate soundness station, a slake durability device, a portable point-load test device, a large minus #200 washing station, ultrasonic sieve cleaner, type M laboratory crusher from American Pulverizer Company and an Iowa Pore Index testing device.

Reese Asphalt (Bituminous) Laboratory

In the Asphalt Laboratory, students determine properties of binder and asphalt mixtures that will be used for roadway construction. Properties of interest include resistance to rutting, fatigue cracking, cold temperature cracking and moisture damage.

Binder Lab: Equipment includes 2 Brookfield rotational viscometers, Prentex pressure-aging vessel, Bohlin Gemini 150 dynamic shear rheometer, Applied Test Systems bending beam rheometer, ductility device, thin-film and rolling-thin-film ovens, absolute, kinematic, and Saybolt viscosity equipment, penetrometer, ring and ball softening point equipment, flash point equipment, clay-gel column chromatography equipment, asphalt cement pycnometers, asphalt extraction/recovery equipment (reflux, Abson and rotary evaporator methods plus non-standard equipment/methods for large-scale extraction/recovery, 1 small and 2 large batch centrifuges)

Mixture Lab: Equipment includes an Asphalt Mixture Performance Tester (AMPT) plus a 4" core drill for preparing specimens, APA Loaded Wheel Tester fitted to also run the Hamburg Wheel Test, MTS 651 environmental chamber for creep compliance and tensile strength, 3 Rice method specific gravity workstations, 3 Pine gyratory shear compactors, three asphalt ignition ovens, CoreLok device, Marshall stability/flow loading machine, a Geotest multi-loading machine (TSR, Marshall or CBR), mechanical and manual Marshall compaction equipment, water baths, ovens, sample extruder, 2 drum mixers, 2 8-quart Hobart mixers, 1 20-quart Hobart mixer w/heater, specific gravity electronic balance workstation, resilient modulus indirect tension equipment, including a PC workstation for data acquisition and test control and Tensile Strength Ratio (Lottman) equipment.
Asphalt mixture rutting and moisture damage test using Asphalt Pavement Analyzer.

Concrete Materials Laboratory

In the Concrete Laboratory, students test cement, plastic concrete, prepare concrete specimens for further testing and masonry products for use in structures and pavements. Properties of interest include durability, setting time, shrinkage and workability.‌

Concrete and cement testing equipment includes a controlled-environment room for moist-curing and conditioning specimens, counterflow 3.0 cubic foot concrete mixer, contractor-type 3.0 cf concrete mixer and one 6.0 cf mixer, freeze/thaw cabinet, a match-cure station, cement briquette tension testing device, Blaine cement fineness apparatus, Gillmore and Vicat cement setting time devices, ACME penetrometer device for fresh concrete setting time analysis, self-consolidating-concrete (SCC) testing equipment, Calmetrix semi-adiabatic calorimeter, mini-slump devices, Schmidt hammer and calibration anvil, several air content meters (pressuremeter "A"-type, "B"-type, roll-a-meters, and Chace indicator), cylinder capping molds for 2 in. through 6 in. diameter specimens, concrete and aggregate unit weight buckets, concrete saw, automated cylinder end-grinder, concrete resistivity equipment, salt scaling molds, salt ponding molds, microwave, etc., for concrete moisture content determination, concrete shrinkage equipment, various electronic balances, and miscellaneous supporting items.

Within the Concrete Laboratory is the Masonry Laboratory. The Masonry lab includes a mortar flow table, cube molds, water retentivity device, brick/block capping molds, brick/block unit weight station, a concrete block-forming machine, and a bond-wrench load frame.

Jones Structural Materials Testing Laboratory

In the Jones Structural Materials Testing Laboratory, students test hardened concrete, asphalt mixtures, steel and masonry products for use in structures and pavements. Properties of interest include compressive strength, flexural strength, splitting tensile strength, stiffness, toughness, and ductility.

The laboratory contains load testing equipment including a concrete cylinder (4" and 6") compressometer/extensometers, 600,000 lb. Forney compression machine, a 200,000 lb servo-controlled Tinius-Olsen universal compression/tension machine with data acquisition PC workstation, a 10,000 lb. beam flexure testing machine, a Cox & Sons California kneading compactor, a Rainhart portable beam tester, an MTS 651 environmental chamber, accessories for split-tensile and flexural (beam) strength testing and rebar tension and bending testing equipment.