Materials Engineering Facilities

The graduate laboratories jointly serve both teaching and research needs.


Bituminous Laboratory

The Bituminous Laboratory facilities located at Purdue University contain all conventional and Superpave asphalt cement and mixture test equipment required for binder classification and mixture design. Test equipment for conducting laboratory accelerated wheel track and full-scale accelerated testing are also included in these facilities.

Additional equipment for evaluating bitumen and bituminous aggregate mixtures include: all necessary for rheological studies (RTFOT, PAV, DSR and BBR), unconfined and triaxial testing, and indirect tensile testing. Compaction equipment includes: manual, mechanical and mechanical slanted foot rotating base Marshall, kneading compaction up to 200mm diameter, Superpave gyratory compaction, Corps of Engineers gyratory compaction, and linear kneading compaction. An environmental room or environmental chambers can be used to control temperature and humidity during testing. Facilities for durability testing include high temperature cycling, freeze-thaw and wetting-drying.

Three electro-hydraulic closed loop work stations are set up for beam fatigue and for static and dynamic tensile and compression test. This equipment can be programmed for a range of loading conditions. A computer interface provides the facility for acquisition and processing of data. The computer system can also function as a controller for tests and provide freedom for selection of the type, magnitude and frequency of loading.

Federal, state, and industry sponsors provide funding that employs undergraduate and graduate students, and post-doctorial faculty to conduct problem solving research.


Charles Pankow Concrete Materials Laboratory

The Charles Pankow Concrete Materials Laboratory has facilities for specialized in-depth analysis of building materials, in particular, cement and concrete. Recent projects have included studies on the early hydration of cement, sulfate attack on concrete by SEM backscatter techniques, the freeze-thaw durability of high-strength concrete, alkali silica reactivity and means to minimize it, influence of silica fume on the pore structure of concrete and image analysis characterization of cement microstructure. This internationally known laboratory was named after Dr. Charles Pankow, President of the Charles Pankow Building, Ltd, whose generous donation has provided for the purchase and maintenance of a significant amount of the equipment found in the lab.