Mobile Concrete Laboratory
Transferring Advanced Concrete Technology To Our Partners
Photo of the Federal Highway Adminstrations Mobile Concrete Laboratory
Continously Reinforced Concrete Pavement Construction
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.
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
- Air Void Analyzer
- HIPERPAV Software
- Aggregate Gradation Software
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.
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:
Project Manager, FHWA, (202) 366-1286.
MCL Project Engineer, Global Consulting, Inc., (202) 366-1335.
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
Testing and Activities
NHI training course
MCL at a workshop in California.
FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez being briefed
in the Lab.
- MCL Flyer (.pdf, 0.2 mb)