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Materials Lab

Sieves and Sieve Shaker

Sieve analyses are performed on coarse and fine aggregates to ascertain if they meet ASTM gradation requirements. The results are also used to obtain the maximum size of aggregate and fineness modulus of the fine aggregate which are needed for the design of a concrete mix.

 Immersion Tank, Ovens, Scales, Flasks and Cone Test Apparatus

The specific gravity and percent absorption for aggregates are determined from knowing the immersed weight, saturated surface dry weight, and oven dry weight of a fixed amount of aggregate.  These properties are required for a concrete mix design.

The immersion tank and ovens are also used to determine the absorption, moisture content and density for concrete masonry units.

Mortar Cube Molds and Table Mixer

To test the quality of cement or questionable water, 2-inch cement mortar cubes are made in a small mixer and tested before using the cement or questionable water in a concrete project.  After curing, the cubes are tested in compression and the results are compared with ASTM strength requirements.

Compression Machine

Various interchangeable heads and platforms enable this machine to do compression tests on cement mortar cubes, 4x8 inch and 6x12 inch concrete cylinders, and concrete masonry units; perform splitting tension tests on 6x12 inch concrete cylinders; and run flexure tests on 6x6x18 inch concrete beams.

Slump Cones, Air Meters (Pressure Method and Volumetric Method), Unit Weight Bucket

The slump, unit weight and air tests are done on freshly mixed concrete to determine if any adjustments need to be made to the mix design before making larger batches.

Concrete Mixers, Scale, Molds for Cylinders and Beam, Curing Chamber

4x8 inch concrete cylinders, 6x12 inch concrete cylinders and 6x6x18 inch concrete beams are made, placed in the curing chamber, and tested at set intervals over the next 28 days.

Rebound Hammer

This nondestructive test is used to assess the uniformity and compression strength of the concrete. The harder the surface is, the larger the rebound number from the spring-loaded rod.


Strain can be determined by measuring the length of compression on the gage and knowing the original length between the stationary collars.  Stress-strain measurements on the 6x12 inch concrete cylinder are plotted to determine the Modulus of Elasticity.