Infrastructure Material Laboratories consist of four research facilities specially designed and equipped with state-of-the art equipment for advanced characterization of a wide range of infrastructure materials. These laboratories provide advanced tools and expertise for the pursuit of industrial and academic research.
Research at the Concrete Performance Lab focuses on concrete durability, early-age properties of concrete and the pursuit of high-performance civil engineering materials. Concrete, the most widely used building material in the world, is a sustainable material when properly designed and constructed. While new materials may show promise, they are often made from natural resources that are simply not found in quantities abundant enough to compete with or even replace the most used construction material in the world, concrete. It is for this reason that concrete is the most advantageous for further development as an advanced material, and enhancements to concrete to generate special properties or to achieve superior performance may be a central path forward to ensure both long-term durability and sustainability.
Kiewit Materials Performance Lab was designed to carry out sensitive bench-scale experiments to characterize various types of materials and investigate their deterioration mechanisms. Materials of interest involve cement/concrete, metals, alloys, polymers, coatings, asphalt and wood. The laboratory is equipped with grounded bench-top space, two high-performance fume hoods, an environmental test chamber, and electrochemical testing equipment (including potentiostats/galvanostats and FRAs for AC Impedance analysis). Among many other capabilities, the laboratory is fully equipped to conduct sensitive electrochemical investigations to study corrosion phenomena in metals/alloys and to study performance and durability of coatings and composite materials.
The Oregon BEST Green Building Materials Laboratory includes research activities from the Schools of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering and Civil and Construction Engineering and the Department of Wood Science and Engineering. Equipment housed in this Oregon BEST Signature Laboratory will allow OSU researchers to characterize, develop and test high performance sustainable materials for a wide variety of applications including buildings and transportation infrastructure. It also enables OSU to continue to recruit top faculty, researchers and students to the OSU campus.
The Asphalt Materials Performance Laboratory is equipped to conduct modeling and testing in several areas of pavement technology including asphalt binder and mixture characterization, asphalt emulsion (tack coat) performance testing, aggregate characterization, and asphalt mix and structural design. Research conducted at the Asphalt Materials Performance Laboratory encourages the use of more sustainable pavement materials, such as permeable pavements, rubber asphalt, warm-mix asphalt technologies, recycled asphalt pavements, and alternative cement binders. The lab is also equipped with computational modeling tools to investigate possible applications of pavement design strategies that can have a considerable impact on fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance costs, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and lifecycle costs. The laboratory enables researchers to develop research programs to study pavement materials at both the applied and basic research levels.