Engineering Materials and Structural Testing Laboratory (EMSTL)


The Engineering Materials and Structural Testing Laboratory (EMSTL) contains the Structural Testing, Civil Engineering Materials, Mechanical Testing, and Teaching Laboratories.

Structural Testing Laboratory
The Structural Testing Laboratory (5,350 ft2) has a strong wall and strong floor with a 300 kip per insert capacity (total of 257 inserts). The strong wall is “L” shaped, 18 feet high and has a 175-kip capacity at the top outer wall boundaries and 300 kips at the wall bottom.  There are 192 inserts available on the strong wall. The laboratory is served by a material testing system (MTS) hydraulic pumping unit and hard-line hydraulic system capable of delivering hydraulic fluid at 90 gpm @ 3,000 psi to any of the 6-valve manifold assemblies and a variety of actuators. An MTS FlexTest controller and software control the closed loop system.  

The Structural Testing Laboratory also contains a 770-cubic-foot Espec environmental chamber capable of generating 100% relative humidity and a temperature range of -35 to +85 degrees C (-31 to 185 degrees F). The chamber has a strong floor with a total of 9 inserts, each with a loading capacity of 15 kips. This combination allows for small-load frames to be constructed inside the environmental chamber. 

Civil Engineering Materials Laboratory
The EMSTL civil engineering materials laboratory (800 ft2) is used to mix concrete and perform sieve analyses and other material testing. Equipment includes drying ovens, rotary concrete and soil mixers, asphalt cement preparation and testing equipment, soils and concrete laboratory tools, a Pine Gyratory Compactor and a 500-kip Forney compression test machine complete with electronic compressometer and digital on-board test results storage. The lab is separated from the Structural Testing Laboratory by a roll-up door and has negative pressure to help prevent dust from blowing back into other EMSTL rooms. The mixing room has a semi-closed cistern system to allow for concrete cleanup while containing the larger, denser concrete waste. A vacuum truck can enter the laboratory to clean and maintain the cisterns. 

Mechanical Testing Laboratory
The Mechanical Testing laboratory (1,300 ft2) adjoins both the Structural Testing and the Civil Engineering Materials Laboratories. The Material Testing Laboratory houses the following four universal test machines (UTMs)

  1. 1.A 20-kip MTS servo-controlled fatigue-rated hydraulic machine with mechanical grips. This machine is powered in the same manner and is running the same MTS software as the 110-kip machine.
  2.  A 110-kip MTS servo-controlled fatigue-rated hydraulic machine with hydraulic grips. This is the primary machine used in the civil engineering materials course (CEEN 3320). The MTS system is powered and controlled by the same hydraulic system and FlexTest controller that operates the strong floor space.
  3. A 10-kip Instron electromechanical machine with mechanical grips. This machine is the primary UTM used in the mechanical engineering materials course (MEEN 3460). It is currently running Instron Bluehill software; however, this frame can be retrofitted to operate on the MTS TestSuite software.
  4. A 1.125-kip tabletop electromechanical Instron machine with mechanical grips. This machine is primarily used by biomedical engineering and runs Instron Bluehill software.

In addition to the UTMs, the Mechanical Testing Laboratory houses Brinell and Rockwell Hardness testers, a Charpy Impact machine and a toolmakers microscope. An array of grips, beam flexure apparatus, 5 PCs as well as hand and power tools to operate, maintain and utilize the laboratory equipment. 

The EMSTL has two National Instruments C-DAQ frames with modules to collect analog signals, strain conditioning, accelerometer and tilt sensors as well as digital to analog conversion. Sensors including linear potentiometers, LVDT’s, accelerometers, tilt sensors, string potentiometers and strain based sensors are housed in the lab. The laboratory is equipped with a wireless-capable Epson projection system and Bose speakers for multimedia content display. The lab is fully equipped with shop compressed air and power from wall and ceiling-mounted cord reels.

EMSTL Teaching Laboratory
The Teaching Laboratory (970 ft2) is connected by a secure card reader door to the Mechanical Testing Laboratory. The laboratory is a hybrid classroom /laboratory for a maximum of 16 students.  Students can work in groups of four and often collaborate among groups. The laboratory workstations have power and data connections for continuous student laptop use and charging.  The Teaching Laboratory serves as the aggregate, soils and civil engineering materials laboratory for the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering and supports class lab experiences. The Teaching Laboratory is also equipped with a wireless-capable Epson projector for presentation display.

Lab Director

David Newman
Director of Engineering Operations