A new 200-thousand dollar engineering laboratory for testing structural materials will be dedicated this (Friday) afternoon at Iowa State University. Lab manager Doug Wood says the facility will become the new home for civil engineering researchers to put all types of building materials through their paces. In the past it was typical construction materials like steel and concrete, but with fiber-reinforced plastics and concrete embedded with steel shavings, Wood says industry needs more thorough testing before products are put on the market. Wood says the high-tech gadgetry in this lab will be used to trash, tear up and torture the material that’ll be used to build the roads, bridges, buildings and dams of the future. Wood says “One machine tests items in tension and compression — it will pull things apart or squish things until they break. Another machine will also fatigue items…going between tension and compression cycling 24 hours a day on a material until we get the data on it…or it breaks.” Dedication is slated for two P.M.
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