The Center for Innovative Materials Research (CIMR) at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has five projects that are expanding its research capabilities:
• The U.S. Army Tank Automotive, Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) has asked LTU to develop testing procedures measuring flammability, smoke and toxicity for composite materials used inside vehicles. The goal is to develop a standard for the military, contractors, and civilian and European agencies.
• CIMR is also testing the impact of environmental conditions on composite materials in military vehicles for TARDEC. These materials are subjected to a cycle of humidity and high and low temperatures.
• The transportation departments of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Oregon have asked CIMR to test a new bridge designed by Nabil Grace, dean of LTU’s College of Engineering, that utilizes high-performance concrete and composite materials. A series of tests must be run on a half-scale bridge that is 40 feet long.
• The National Science Foundation is funding research on Grace’s design of a deck bulb T-beam bridge to replace the box-beam design prevalent in Michigan. Tests must be run on the high-performance concrete and corrosion-free reinforcing materials.
• The Michigan Department of Transportation has asked Lawrence Tech researchers to test ultrasonic sensors that could provide non-destructive evaluation of deterioration inside concrete.
“We are investing in new testing equipment that will enhance our research capabilities in the future,” Grace said.