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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > June 2007 > New Mobile Concrete Lab Takes to the Road
June 2007Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-07-014

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New Mobile Concrete Lab Takes to the Road

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) new Mobile Concrete Laboratory (MCL) will be hitting the road this summer, introducing innovative concrete testing equipment to State highway agencies, industry organizations, universities, and others.

The 15-m (50-ft) trailer contains a fully functional laboratory, replacing the previous MCL that had been in use for 10 years. New technologies now taking a ride on the MCL 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 using 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 onsite 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.

Figure 7. Photo. Interior of FHWA's Mobile Concrete Laboratory. Counters on each side of the lab hold testing equipment, sinks, and work space.
FHWA's 15-m (50-ft) trailer contains a fully functional laboratory.
Figure 6. Photo. FHWA Mobile Concrete Laboratory. An exterior view of FHWA's Mobile Concrete Laboratory, which is housed in a 15-m (50-ft) trailer.
FHWA's 15-m (50-ft) trailer contains a fully functional laboratory.

"The lab will also still be capable of providing state-of-the-practice fresh and hardened concrete tests to compare to results obtained by the host agency or those obtained using new state-of-the-art technologies," says Gary Crawford of FHWA.

"Featured tests include match curing, maturity, tensile bond and pull out strength, impact echo, pulse velocity, and microwave water content."

The lab made its debut at the American Concrete Institute's convention in April 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. It is tentatively scheduled to travel this summer and fall to Texas, Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, and Virginia. For more information on the MCL or to schedule a visit to your State, contact Geoffrey Kurgan at FHWA, 202-366-1335 (email: geoffrey.kurgan@fhwa.dot.gov), or Gary Crawford at FHWA, 202-366-1286 (email: gary.crawford@fhwa.dot.gov). Additional information is also available on FHWA's Pavement Web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/concrete/mcl.cfm.

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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