Dr. Nabil GraceStructural Testing Center

Nabil F. Grace Ph.D

PE Chair and University Distinguished Professor,
Civil Engineering Department Director,
Center for Innovative Materials Research

Lawrence Technological University
21000 West Ten Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

The Structural Testing Center at LTU, one of the largest and most advanced academic testing facilities in the state of Michigan, houses two major research facilities. The first facility has 3600 square feet and two steel testing frames with 200 kip capacity reaction floors. An ultrasonic testing system includes piezoelectric transducers, a pulser-receiver, and a data acquisition and analysis system for nondestructive evaluation is available. A rotary actuator and its reaction frame for torsional tests of FRP shapes have been recently acquired. Six hydraulic testing actuators of various capacities (20 kips-200 kips) with two large hydraulic pumps of 36 GPM capacity, and three data acquisition systems are available for the use in the ongoing/future research projects. Several types of sensors are available to measure strains, large deflections, loads, etc.

The second facility is a newly developed environmental testing area with 2500 square feet. This durability testing facility houses various environmental chambers to conduct freeze/thaw, dry heat, ocean water, alkaline, hot water, etc. One of the environmental chambers is specifically designed to conduct the well-known ASTM 666 Standard for freeze/thaw. The chamber was constructed to accommodate full-scale specimens (the chamber is 20 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 10 feet deep). Other chambers, including the dry heat chamber can accommodate specimens up to 12 feet long. All the needed durability tests can be conducted simultaneously. This comprehensive durability facility, designed for infrastructure evaluation, was completed in 2000.