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Materials and Structures Laboratories

Materials and Structures Laboratories are located in G86-ESB and G07/G07B/123-ERB.

    The specially designed test wall and slotted floor essentially make the laboratory a large testing area. The 40 x 40 foot concrete floor slab is built to transmit the load through concrete pilings to the rock sub strata. This enables the floor to withstand 75,000 pounds of force normal to any 4 x 10 foot section and a shear force parallel to the surface of 20,000 pounds on a two-foot high test wall is embedded in concrete and to these same pilings. It is made of seven wide flange steel columns spaced two-feet apart, capable of carrying 150,000 pounds axial load and 75,000 transverse load. This facility provides for static and dynamic testing of a wide variety of structural configurations with span lengths of 40 feet.
  • Universal Hydraulic Testing Machines
    Four physical testing machines permit static and dynamic testing of structural elements and materials over a wide continuous load range. They include 120,000 pound Baldwin, 20,000 pound Interlaken Series 3000 machines, and two 20,000 pound MTS 810, one equipped for high temperature fatigue testing. The Interlaken and both MTS are computer-controlled with on-line graphic displays. A number of fixtures are available including ASTM D790, etc. for tension, compression, bending, and shear of sheets, plates and bar specimens of metals, composites and so on.
  • Torsion Testing Machine
    A 10,000 pound-inch Riehle torsional testing machine can be operated either manually or electrically on specimens shorter than 12 inches and having almost any cross-sectional shape.
  • Fatigue Testing Equipment
    Fatigue specimens are tested using the Sonntag inertia type constant force universal fatigue testing machine. This machine can test standard fatigue specimens in tension-compression, flexure and torsion. For fatigue testing of structural models, variable amplitude electromagnetic shakers are available. The programmable hydraulic system mentioned above can be used for large amplitude long duration fatigue experiments.
  • Vibration Testing Equipment
    Dynamic characterization of either structural elements and materials or large scale structures can be performed by using free vibration or harmonic excitation techniques. The vibration facilities include a wide variety of signal generation and excitation devices ranging from 25 pounds to 500 pounds electromagnetic shakers. Acceleration, displacement and strain transducers are available for response pick-up over a broad frequency band. All the equipment necessary for data control, monitoring, acquisition and analysis is also available. This includes signal conditioning devices, frequency analyzers and Tektronix oscilloscopes with storage capability, and chart recorders.
    Our materials characterization labs (G07B&123-ERB) feature a Perking Elmer 7e combined Dynamic Mechanical and Thermo Mechanical Analyzer, Thermo Mechanical Analyzer and a Dynamic Scanning Calorimeter.