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Pavements

Mobile Concrete Laboratory

Transferring Advanced Concrete Technology To Our Partners

PDF Version of the flyer (0.2 mb)

Publication No. FHWA-IF-12-048

This is a photo of a concrete paver used during construction of concrete pavements Photo of the Federal Highway Adminstrations Mobile Concrete Laboratory. FHWA Mobile Concrete Laboratory stationed at a concrete plant during a field project

Mission

Set-up for nondestructive pavement thickness requirement on US 30 in Iowa
Setup for nondestructive pavement thickness measurement on US30 in Iowa.

Ultrasonic tomography
Ultrasonic tomography detects reinforcement and internal defects in concrete.

Device to nondestructively measure dowel bar alignment
Device to nondestructively measure dowel bar alignment.

Device to nondestructively measure pavement thickness
Device to nondestructively measure pavement thickness.

Air Void Analyzer measures air content, specific surface, and spacing factor in fresh concrete
Air Void Analyzer measures air content, specific surface, and spacing factor in fresh concrete.

Electrical resistivity measurement of concrete
Electrical resistivity measurement of concrete.

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion of concrete

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion of concrete
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion measurement.

Tensile bond stregnth testing of a bonded over asphalt overlay
Tensile bond strength testing of a bonded over asphalt overlay

Federal Highway Administration's Mobile Concrete Laboratory (MCL) introduces Federal, State, and local transportation personnel to the state-of-the-art concrete technology in materials selection, mixture design, field and laboratory testing, and pavement evaluation. In an effort to bridge the gap between research and the field, the MCL accomplishes this technology transfer in several ways:

  • By conducting on-site field testing at construction projects to supplement State highway agency (SHA) testing and to demonstrate new innovative equipment / construction practices.
  • By training SHA personnel through "hands-on" experience with new technologies.
  • By showcasing equipment and technology at industry conferences, symposia, and SHA facilities to familiarize transportation personnel with state-of-the-art technology.
  • By providing an equipment loan program where SHA personnel can borrow equipment for various lengths of time after having been trained in their use by MCL staff.

The current focus of the MCL includes assisting SHA's implementation of the mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide (MEPDG) and nondestructive testing, performance-related specifications (PRS), long life pavements, durability, and sustainability. An active partnership with manufacturers, contractors, industry associations, and academia is central to all of the MCL's activities.

Technology

Field demonstrations are performed using a fully equipped mobile concrete testing laboratory that can perform a wide range of concrete tests. These include conventional destructive tests as well as new and innovative nondestructive tests.

Examples of these capabilities are:

Conventional QC Tests:

  • Temperature, slump, air content, unit weight
  • Strength (compression, flexural, splitting tensile)
  • Elastic Modulus and Poisson's Ratio

Nondestructive and In Situ Tests:

  • Dowel Bar Alignment
  • Pavement Thickness
  • Tensile Bond Strength
  • Impact Echo
  • Ultrasonic Tomography
  • Pull Out Strength
  • Maturity Testing
  • Match Curing

Durability Related Tests:

  • Microwave Water Content
  • Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
  • Rapid Chloride Permeability
  • Surface Resistivity
  • Calorimetry
  • Air Void Analyzer
  • HIPERPAV Software
  • Aggregate Gradation Software

Customer Services

The MCL accomplishes its goal of technology deployment through project participation, demonstrations, training, and equipment loan. In an effort to reach a maximum number of transportation personnel with significant project findings, evaluation results, and innovative concrete technologies, the MCL provides project reports and published papers in journals and symposia proceedings. Presentations at industry conferences and showcases, such as ACI, PCI, ACPA, and TRB are utilized to further the transfer of these new technologies. MCL staff can also provide speakers, put on specialized workshops, and provide technical assistance.

Contacts

If your are interested in one or more of the services provided by the Mobile Concrete Laboratory, you can contact your FHWA Resource Center, Division Office, or the MCL staff directly:

Gary Crawford,
Project Manager, FHWA, (202) 366-1286.

Jagan Gudimettla,
MCL Project Engineer, Global Consulting, Inc., (202) 366-1335.

Jim Grove,
Senior Project Engineer, Global Consulting, Inc., (515) 294-5988.

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Pavement Technology
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

The Mobile Concrete Laboratory at the National Highway Institute's Materials Training Course
NHI training course

FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez being briefed in the Mobile Concrete Laboratory
FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez being briefed in the Mobile Concrete Laboratory

The Mobile Concrete Laboratory at a workshop in California
MCL at a workshop in California.

Publications

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Updated: 01/16/2013
 

FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration