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The Facility

Benedict Lab provides 15,000 ft2 of space for cement and concrete research.  The lab incorporates three floors of workspace.  The lower floor provides area for mixing of fresh concrete samples, including a room specifically for the mixing of Ultra High Performance Concrete.

The main floor provides space for large scale testing.  This space is serviced by a 5-ton overhead crane.  The upper floor provides location for the preparation of concrete samples and houses the Split-Hopkins bar for dynamic material characterization.




Concrete Preparation Laboratories

All necessary facilities are available for the preparation of mortar and concrete to prepare specimens for characterization and mechanical test analysis including:

  • Fully equipped concrete laboratory for mixing and performing wet concrete tests, including slump, pressure and volumetric air content, and maturity
  • 10 ft3 mortar type mixer, 7.5 HP electric motor, 220V / 3 phase/ 60 Hz, rubber blades, duo tread retractable axle with 16-in tires.
  • 3 ft3 four-paddle rotating drum mixer, 1/3 HP motor, portable.
  • 4 ft3 Croker RP100 CUMFLOW XD pan mixer.
  • 60 quart mixer, Model BTF060 from Food Equipment Direct.
  • 3-20 quart mixers
  • 27 ft3 custom concrete steam curing chamber
  • 20 in2 vibrating table.
  • Moist cure room and lime water baths with temperature control.
  • Multiple molds for cylindrical, cubes, and prisms for sample preparation.
  • Syntron UP-SI-DI vibrating table.
  • Fosdick M.T. CO-3hp Coring Machine
  • Clausing 2276 1.5hp Coring Machine
  • REID 618PF 1.25 Surface Grinder

Mechanical and Dynamic Testing
Mechanical and dynamic testing facilities are available for compression, tension, bending, and fatigue testing of all engineering materials.  A variety of computer operated mechanical test frames are available including:

  • MTS 55 kip servo-hydraulic stiff-frame system with Test-Star II digital control and a 6 g.p.m. hydraulic pump with Russell temperature control cabinet (-40o to 200o C).
  • MTS 55 kip servo-hydraulic structural actuators (2) with 10 in. stroke with 30 g.p.m. hydraulic pump.  Especially suitable for the testing of very ductile materials or large specimens.
  • MTS 407 digital controllers with function generator, AC and DC conditioning, PC communication links, load or displacement control, and cabling.
  • 1-Million pound MTS mechanical testing machine with Instron 8500 Controllors
  • Tinius Olson 120 kip compression/tension screw-driven testing machine.
  • Baldwin 300 kip Material Testing Equipment
  • Self-reacting load frame with several configuration options for large scale testing.
  • Syntech 20 kip electromechanical system with digital control.
  • Split-Hopkins Bar for testing aggregates/Portland Cement concrete and determination of dynamic fracture characteristics.
  • V-meter ultrasonic testing system.
  • Portable computer with digital oscilloscope and arbitrary waveform generator couple with a 400 watt bipolar power supply for control of dynamic testing.
  • Resonant column device for soil, asphalt, concrete and rock.
  • AET5000 acoustic emission instrument with four channels of data acquisition.
  • IOtech DaqBook 200 for dynamic acquisition, capabilities include vibration measurements, accelerator conditioning, load cell measurements, temperature, and low pass filtering.
  • Ten Mark L1 geophones, 1Hz (1 volt/g) accelerometer, and two 3-D Hz geophones.
  • Six single axis and two tri-axial accelerometers with voltage output conversion boxes.


Data Acquisition and Other Equipment

In addition to the data acquisition systems specifically mentioned above for use with testing equipment, the following acquisition systems and miscellaneous equipment is available for research laboratory use:

  • OPTIM Megadac 3016, portable for field testing and monitoring
  • Dynamic sampling rate of up to 25,000 samp/sec
  • 40 channels of 120-ohm resistance for ¼, ½ and full bridge
  • 24 channels of voltage readout
  • Voltage excitation source of +5V or ±15V
  • 8 channels of vibrating wire and thermistor readout
  • IEEE connection: AT-GPIB/TNT with software for DOS/Windows for fast data transfer
  • Standard terminal junction boxes and cabling
  • Backup power supplies and surge protectors
  • LVDTs and DCDTs with stroke ranging from 0.1-in. to 4-in. travel, are available for PI use
  • Load cells ranging from 2 kips to 1000 kips are available
  • Hydraulic hand-actuators, torque wrenches, cabling for field monitoring projects, etc.



  • Slump of hydraulic-cement concrete ASTM C143-00
  • Density (unit weight), yield, and air content (gravimetric) of concrete

ASTM C138-01a

  • Air content of freshly mixed concrete by the volumetric method ASTM C173-01
  • Air content of freshly mixed concrete by the pressure method ASTM C231-97
  • Temperature of freshly mixed Portland Cement concrete ASTM C1064-99
  • Making and curing concrete test specimens in the field ASTM C31-00
  • Compressive strength of cylindrical concrete specimens ASTM C39-01
  • Sieve analysis of fine and coarse aggregates ASTM C136-01
  • Materials finer than 75-μm (No. 200) sieve in mineral aggregates by washing    ASTM C117-95
  • Specific gravity and absorption of coarse aggregate ASTM C127-88
  • Specific gravity and absorption of fine aggregate ASTM C128-97
  • Organic impurities in fine aggregates for concrete ASTM C40-99


  • American Concrete Institute certified concrete technicians
  • Michigan Concrete Paving Association certified aggregate technicians
  • Pursuing Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory certification

Michigan Technological University | College of Engineering | Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) | University Transportation Center (UTC-MiSTI)

Benedict Laboratory
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Dr.
Houghton, MI - 49931-1200 - USA
Phone: +1 (906) 487-1474
Fax: +1 (906) 487-1620