The Materials Laboratory is housed in the CE Department and it is primarily used to support CE 33200 Mechanics of Deformable Bodies, and is adequate for attaining the SOs associated with this course. Supporting electronic control, data acquisition and computer software systems are available. Additional equipment for the static, dynamic and fatigue testing of materials include testing machines for tension, compression, transverse-bending and torsion investigation. The laboratory contains hardness testing machines, impact testers, electric strain gauge consoles, and assorted peripheral equipment. Facilities for preparing, curing and testing concrete are available. The laboratory houses two computer-controlled servo-hydraulic test machines for testing materials:
- Instron 8500 series Testing Machine. This machine is digitally controlled and capable of applying ± 55 kips (± 250 kN) dynamic loads
- Instron 600QC Testing Machine. This machine is digitally controlled and capable of applying 600 kips compressive loads.
The four experiments conducted as part of CE 33200 Mechanics of Deformable Bodies include:
(1) uniaxial tension of metallic bars of different materials
(2) torsion of metallic bars of different materials
(3) bending of metallic beams of different materials
(4) buckling of steel bars.
The data is collected electronically via attached and integrated data loggers.
The Concrete Laboratory is also part of the Civil Engineering Department, and is available on any schedule that it is needed. It is primarily used to support CE 44100 Reinforced Concrete, and is adequate for attaining the SOs associated with this course.
The following seven experiments are conducted as a part of the laboratory in CE 44100:
(1) determination of the specific gravity and absorption capacity of coarse aggregate
(2) determination of the specific gravity and absorption capacity of fine aggregate
(3) determination of the specific unit weight of coarse aggregate
(4) determination of the gradation and size distribution of aggregate
(5) determination of the slump and air content of concrete
(6) determination of the initial and final setting times of concrete
(7) casting and testing concrete cylinders and beams to determine elastic modulus, compressive strength and modulus of rupture.
The lab has recently undergone improvements to replace some of the older and more basic equipment and purchase additional items. Major improvements include a cyclic temperature-humidity chamber ($40,000) useful also for freeze-thaw testing, mixers of different capacities, abrasion testing, aggregate/concrete crusher, ovens, and ancillary equipment/supplies. In summer 2016, the lab also underwent refurbishing (e.g., cleaning, painting, repairing, etc.) and was outfitted with more work benches to accommodate increasing student numbers, more storage shelves, more materials bins, and more cabinetry.