The new, technologically advanced, Structural Concrete Materials Laboratory is included in Auburn University’s new Advanced Structural Engineering Laboratory. The Structural Concrete Materials Laboratory consists of 14 enclosed labs that cover over 5,000 sq.ft., and includes a very large (140 ft long by 15 ft wide) covered work area for hosting hands-on workforce training and certification workshops.
Laboratory spaces are uniquely equipped to specifically prepare and test paste, mortar, and concrete specimens. Aggregate can be characterized, crushed, sieved, blended, and tested. Six full-scale aggregate bins are provided nearby to allow aggregates from across North America to be stored, characterized, and tested. Concrete mixtures can be prepared in large drum or planetary mixers at room temperatures or temperatures that mimic on-site conditions. Samples can be cured in a 300 sq.ft., temperature-controlled, moist-cured room. The laboratory is designed to test various fresh and hardened properties, including for example hydration development, cracking potential, compliance, shrinkage, and durability. The mechanical properties of various specimens can be tested in 100,000- and 600,000-pound force testing machines. Specialized equipment in the laboratory include isothermal calorimeters, semi-adiabatic calorimeters, temperature-controlled water baths, match-curing molds, walk-in environmental chambers, more than two dozen 180,000-pound force creep evaluation frames, a freezing and thawing chamber, nondestructive test methods, etc. The Structural Concrete Materials Laboratory allows researchers to evaluate the performance of concrete and new cementitious materials to help improve the performance, return on investment, and sustainability of our built infrastructure.