Fhwa Dispatches New Mobile Concrete Lab

En route this summer and fall, the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) new mobile concrete laboratory (MCL) will introduce innovative concrete testing

En route this summer and fall, the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) new mobile concrete laboratory (MCL) will introduce innovative concrete testing equipment to state highway agencies, industry organizations, and universities. The 50-ft. trailer contains a fully functional laboratory, replacing the previous MCL in use for 10 years. New technologies on the tour include equipment designed to assist highway agencies in using self-consolidating concrete (SCC), implementing laboratory testing procedures contained in the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide, and employing two-lift construction. The lab will also continue to support the use of high performance concrete, nondestructive testing, durability testing, and the implementation of performance specifications.

MCL staff can provide on-site testing, conduct workshops on innovative equipment, train highway agency personnel in the use of new technologies, provide equipment loans, and make presentations at conferences and workshops. Featured tests include match curing, maturity, tensile bond and pull-out strength, impact echo, pulse velocity, and microwave water content. The lab also offers alkali silica reactivity detection, rapid chloride penetrability, coefficient of thermal expansion, and air void analyzer testing; automated petrography equipment; HIPERPAV II and curing application software; and, SCC viscosity-related equipment. Additionally, says FHWA’s Gary Crawford, The lab will still be capable of providing state-of-the-practice fresh and hardened concrete tests for comparison with results obtained by the host agency or those obtained using new state-of-the-art technologies.

The lab made its debut earlier this year at the American Concrete Institute’s convention in Atlanta. It is tentatively scheduled to travel this summer and fall to Texas, Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, and Virginia. For more MCL information or to schedule a visit, Geoffrey Kurgan of FHWA can be contacted at 202/366-1335 (email: geoffrey.kurgan[email protected]); or, FHWA’s Gary Crawford can be reached at 202/366-1286 (email: [email protected]). Additional information is also available on the FHWA Pavement Web site, www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/concrete/mcl.cfm. Û from Focus, June 2007, published by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration