The material testing facilities in the Concrete Laboratory include those for the determination of physical and durability properties of materials, as well as simulated weathering and corrosion tests. The testing facilities and experienced technical staff provide a valuable resource for teaching, research, testing and failure analysis of construction materials, including concrete, mortars, cement, and aggregates. Most tests to British, Irish and European standards can be carried out on construction materials. Tests to determine strength, modulus of elasticity, constituent proportions, durability qualities, time-dependent effects (e.g. shrinkage, creep) can be carried out both on fresh or hardened concrete, as well as other construction materials. Furthermore, real-time data on long term properties of insitu concrete elements are continuously being collected from embedded sensors in concrete elements employed in buildings. Specialist testing equipment is also available such as SEM, flourecent microscope with image capturing facilities, freeze-thaw facilities, temperature control room, and so on.

The Concrete Laboratory contains equipment to carry out the following procedures and tests:

Sand and aggregate 

  • Sampling of materials using riffle boxes 
  • Particle size distribution making use of sieves, sieve shaker, electronic balance 
  • Determination of relative density 
  • Determination of flakiness and elongation in aggregates 
  • Determination of bulk density 
  • Aggregate impact test 
  • Aggregate crushing value 
  • 10% fines test 
  • Determination of aggregate cleanness 
  • Determination of organic impurities 
  • Moisture content oven method and using the “Speedy” moisture content apparatus 

Concrete manufacture 

  • Concrete mixers - pan/drum type 
  • Electro magnetic vibrating table · cube moulds 
  • Steel (100mm and 150mm) 
  • Plastic (100mm and 150mm) 
  • Cylinder (150mm) 
  • Beam moulds (100mm and 150mm) 
  • Batch moulds (4’’) 

Testing of fresh concrete 

  • Workability 
  • Slump test 
  • Vibro consistometer 
  • Compaction factor 
  • Air content test 
  • Flow table* 
  • Analysis of freshly mixed concrete 
  • Bulk density of fresh concrete 

Testing of hardened concrete 

  • Curing Tanks 
  • Normal curing 20°C /-2°C 
  • High Temperature for rapid curing 
  • Concrete Testing Machine (Cubes, cylinders and prisms) 
  • Compression testing machine (3000kN capacity) 
  • Concrete flexure testing machine 
  • Determination of the secant compression elastic modulus on concrete and mortar specimen system 
  • Determination of the strength (compression and tension) of concrete and mortar specimen system 
  • Cylinder capping apparatus 
  • Concrete strain gauge (for 150mm dia. cylinder) 
  • Demec strain gauges 
  • Vibrating wire strain gauge meter 
  • Gauge Technique strain logger for VW gauges 
  • Gauge Technique temperature logger for VW gauges 
  • Campbell Scientific automatic data logging equipment for VW gauges 
  • Ultrasonic test (“Pundit”) 
  • Rebound test hammer 
  • Electromagnetic Cover meter 
  • Creep rigs 
  • Concrete coring drill and bits 
  • Germann Instruments Rapid Chloride Test 
  • Proceq Canin corrosion analysing instrument 
  • AutoClam permeability and sorbtivity measurement 
  • Carbonation test coring bits and Rainbow indicator (carbonation) 
  • Humidity of flooring 
  • Shrinkage testing 
  • Freeze-thaw facilities