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Transportation Institute Construction Materials Research Capabilities


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Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Research Equipment and Capabilities

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The Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) at Michigan Technological University has extensive capabilities for characterization and structural behavior research on concrete, asphalt, aggregates, and geotechnical materials. Full-time research staff support multi-disciplinary teams of faculty and stateof-the-art equipment specifically chosen to provide a thorough and rigorous analysis of construction materials. MTTI has conducted externally-funded research for a diverse group of sponsors including federal, state, and local transportation agencies, as well as private industries and international clients. With a unique combination of internationally recognized research faculty, full-time professional staff, and highly trained graduate and undergraduate students, our team is an attractive research partner. After you look through this brochure, please feel free to call or send me an e-mail to discuss your research needs. We look forward to working with you.

Dr. Larry Sutter Professor and Director Michigan Tech Transportation Institute 1400 Townsend Dr. 301A Dillman Hall Houghton, Michigan 49931 (906) 487-2268 llsutter@mtu.edu

Contents Materials Characterization.................................................................................................................................4 Concrete and Composite Research...................................................................................................................6 Structural Behavior Research............................................................................................................................8 Asphalt Materials Research..............................................................................................................................10 Aggregate and Geotechnical Research...........................................................................................................12 Facilities Highlights...........................................................................................................................................14 Project Highlights..............................................................................................................................................16 Personnel Listing...............................................................................................................................................18 Supporters..........................................................................................................................................................21 Other Resources................................................................................................................................................22

Michigan Technological University campus, home of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute laboratories


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Materials Characterization

Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Research Equipment and Capabilities

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The Materials Characterization Laboratory applies a number of analytical techniques to characterize construction materials. Thorough analyses are performed using exceptional sample preparation equipment and a variety of analytical instruments. Analysis Techniques Optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, (SEM) and X-ray microscopy are employed individually or collectively depending upon research requirements.

Environmental scanning electron microscope for high-resolution imaging and elemental analysis

Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy is used to identify phases and provide quantitative elemental analyses. Elemental mapping is done with both SEM and an X-ray microscope.

Fine aggregate and surrounding cement paste viewed by epifluorscent microscopy showing gel that formed as a result of alkali attack of reactive silica aggregate.

Characterization Technology All microscopes are capable of capturing high-quality digital images. Image analysis techniques are used when suitable, helping to ensure accuracy and improve productivity. Epifluorescent techniques are used to characterize the finest features of air-void and pore structures. A wet chemical laboratory is also available and can be used for a variety of analyses– both chemical and physical.

False color-phase-map comprised of images collecting utilizing a number of microscopic and analytical techniques


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Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Concrete and Composite Research

Research Equipment and Capabilities

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The 15,000 square-foot Benedict Laboratory is utilized for research involving portland cement concrete (PCC) and mortars as well as studies with ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC). Concrete Mixing and Testing Our facility houses various sizes and types of mixers allowing for on-site production of concrete for testing. Researchers can perform a variety of tests on mixtures including semi-adiabatic calorimetry and rapid chloride penetration. This data can be used to create a new mixture design that fits your research needs.

Freeze/thaw chamber for testing the effects of cyclical freezing and thawing on concrete

A wide range of instruments are available for analyzing hardened concrete. This includes compression and tension load frames, creep frames, and a freeze/thaw chamber. Curing

Mixers and laboratory tests are used to create customized concrete

A temperature and humidity controlled curing room and two steam chambers are available to ensure that specimens can be cured quickly and uniformly. Six temperature-regulated lime water baths are also available for the wet curing of specimens.

Advanced concrete research facilities compliment our applied laboratories


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Structural Behavior Research

Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Research Equipment and Capabilities

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Our testing facilities allow for construction materials to be evaluated in structural systems before full deployment. Structural Analysis Our structural load frames can apply vertical or horizontal loads covering a range of load levels, loading rates and frequencies to simulate many loading conditions. A wide range of instrumentation is available to detect deflections in structures from 0.001" to 10" and rotations through 360 degrees. Beams, columns, piers, walls, connections, and pavement joints are just some of the components tested in our laboratories under real-world loading conditions.

Fully-automated hydro-pneumatic creep frames with a 200 kip capacity for testing long-term loads on UHPC

Field Testing Our researchers are committed to building and maintaining a resilient national transportation infrastructure though field deployment of promising laboratory solutions. Our lab has equipment for field-testing and deployment including non-destructive testing and data acquisition.

Two-story high self-reacting load frame with two 55 kip capacity actuators (total capacity of 110 kips) for compression tests on large specimens such as bridge supports

Thermal infrared camera used to detect sub-surface anomalies such as delaminations on concrete bridge decks

Remote sensing technologies are being developed in our facility that can capture material behavior without physically contacting structure systems.


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Asphalt Materials Research

Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Research Equipment and Capabilities

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The Binder Research and Testing facility, and the Mixture Performance Research and Testing Facilities conduct tests to improve the performance of materials used in warm and hot mix asphalt. Binder Research and Testing Our 900 square-foot binder testing laboratory incorporates a variety of Superpave standard instruments for determining the properties of asphalt binders.

Dynamic shear rheometer for testing the viscous and elastic behavior of asphalt binders

Asphalt Mixture Performance Research and Testing There are multiple laboratories for mixture performance and research encompassing over 4500 square feet. Labs are separated to allow for efficient processing and testing of raw materials. Our staff specializes in determining aggregate gradation, consensus requirements, and source properties for mixture design.

Asphalt pavement analyzer for testing asphalt mixture characteristics

Universal testing machine used for determining material properties such as dynamic modulus and flow number

Once a mixture design is complete, our researchers utilize pavement performance prediction equipment to determine detailed performance parameters including deformation, fatigue life, tensile strength, stiffness, and moisture susceptibility.


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Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Aggregate and Geotechnical Research

Research Equipment and Capabilities

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Our Aggregate and Geotechnical laboratories conduct research and testing of soils, aggregates, and rock.

Aggregate and Rock Our researchers have the ability to conduct direct shear, point load, and triaxial testing of rock up to a confining pressure of 40,000 psi. A high-capacity sieve system and a facility for handling bulk material are available for preparing samples for large-scale projects. Michigan Tech engineers have developed a large-diameter resonant column device for measurements on bulky aggregate such as railroad ballast.

High-capacity sievie system for separating different sizes of aggregate

Geotechnical Soil characterization equipment is available for determining permeability and bulk specific gravity. Automated helium bulkflow pycnometry is employed to make highly precise measurements. Soil dynamics research is conducted using a five kip, servo-hydraulic controlled, resilient modulus test system. This instrument has the ability to conduct resilient modulus testing under various stress paths with separate controls for confinement and axial stress.

Servo-hydraulic closed-loop triaxial testing system used to determine the resilient modulus of geotechnical materials

Aggregate image measurement system for characterizing aggregate shapes and determining angularity, sphericity, and texture

A unique system was designed and built by our staff to allow dynamic displacement measurements to be made within our triaxial cell. The system is capable of performing vertical and diametric measurements down to one micron in accuracy.


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Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Asphalt Materials

Facilities Highlights

Split-Hopkinson pressure bar used for dynamic stress/strain testing

Materials Characterization • FEI™ XL40 environmental scanning electron microscope equipped with: ◦◦ EDAX® EDS X-ray spectrometer ◦◦ Hot and cold stages ◦◦ Electron back-scatter detector • Horiba® XGT-2000W X-ray microscope • Olympus® BX60 polarized light petrographic microscope • Olympus® SZH10 stereo-zoom optical microscope • Logitech® IU30 vacuum impregnation unit • Logitech® CS10 thin section cutoff saw • Ingram Laboratories Model 204 thin section grinder • Lapmaster® 12 precision lapping machine • Buehler® Ecomet® variable-speed grinder and polisher with Automet® 2 power head • Buehler® Vibromet® 1 vibratory polisher • Diamond Pacific 24” lapping wheel

Research Equipment and Capabilities

Structural Behavior and Testing • MTS® 315.03 load frame with TestStar™ II S Controller – 1,000 kip capacity • Split-Hopkinson pressure bar dynamic stress/strain testing system • MTS® 810 material test system with TestStar™ II Controller – 55 kip capacity for specimens up to five feet in height • Self-reacting load frame with two independent MTS® 244.31 Actuators; can be configured to test very large specimens – 55 kip capacity each • Fully-automated hydro-pneumatic electromechanical creep frames equipped with an environmental test chamber – 200 kip capacity • Campell Scientific® CR9000X measurement and control system - portable data logger for field testing • Baldwin Warner & Swasey compression testing machine – 300 kip capacity

• Pavement Technology asphalt pavement analyzer • IPC® UTM 5P servo-pneumatic testing system • IPC® UTM-100 servo-hydraulic testing system • Pine Instrument® Superpave™ gyratory compactors • Troxler® pressure distribution analyzer • Troxler® dynamic angle validator and HMA load simulator • Gilson® Slab-Pac linear kneading compactor • Corelok® vacuum density test • SSDetect™ fine aggregate specific gravity device • James Cox & Sons® CS325B rolling thin film ovens • ATS® 504D pressure aging vessels • Prentex® VDO 9900 vaccum degassing oven • Bohlin ®ADS dynamic shear rheometer • Cannon® TE bending beam rheometers • Bohlin® direct tension tester • Aggregate image measurement system (AIMS)

Beam fatigue tester used for determining the fatigue life of asphalt mixtures

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Concrete and Composite Research • ScienTemp™ freeze/thaw concrete testing machine – 80 beam capacity • Doyon® BTF060 planetary mixer • Croker® Cumflow RP100 rotating pan mixer • Pine Instrument® AFCT1 coefficient of thermal expansion system • Reid 618PF surface grinder • Fosdick BM sensitive core drill • Syntron® VP-51-D1 electromagnetic vibrating table – 20" x 20"

Aggregate and Geotechnical • MTS® Servo-hydraulic controlled testing system for resilient modulus testing • Resonant column for determining the shear modulus of large aggregate such as railroad ballast • Geocomp® Shear Trac II • CKC e/p cyclic loader with a pneumatic closed-loop control system • Brainard-Kilman® S-600 soil triaxial test equipment • Brainard-Kilman® S-450 Terraload consolidometers • Wykeham® consolidometers • SoilTest® D-116A • GeoPyc® 1360 envelope density analyzer • AccuPyc® II 1340 series pycnometer • 40,000 psi triaxial rock testing cell with a MTS® servo-hydraulic control system • Franklin triaxial cells for determining HoekBrown criteria parameters • RockTest® point load test equipment • High-capacity aggregate sieving system • Rock core specimen preparation equipment • Resilient modulus compaction system


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Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Research Equipment and Capabilities

Development of Specifications for Michigan Superpave Simple Performance Tests

Project Highlights Evaluation of the Dynamic Fracture of Aggregate in PCC Pavements Principal Investigator: Stan Vitton, Ph.D., P.E. Primary Sponsor: Michigan Department of Transportation Traditionally, concrete pavements have been tested at low strain rates. However, concrete is a strain-rate sensitive material in which strength and stiffness increase with strain-rate loading. Under dynamic loading conditions, such as heavy traffic loads on concrete joints, strains rates are very high and consequently the concrete and its constituent materials should be tested under dynamic conditions. The purpose of this project was to determine the dynamic fracture characteristics of portland cement concrete, coarse aggregate, and mortar. This research yielded a new rate sensitivity measure known as the strain-rate parameter for use in measuring the dynamic strain rate of aggregate and concrete materials. The results of the research strongly suggest the dynamic strength of aggregate, mortar, and concrete as measured by dynamic strain rates, indicate unique material properties that can be used to better understand field performance.

Bridge Condition Assessment Using Remote Sensors Principal Investigator: Tess Ahlborn, Ph.D., P.E. Primary Sponsor: USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)

Principal Investigator: Zhanping You, Ph.D., P.E. Primary Sponsor: Michigan Department of Transportation The goal of this project was to develop Simple Performance Test (SPT) criteria for asphalt material technology in the State of Michigan. SPT criteria were developed using a combination of materials characterizations from the laboratory tests of specimens and field analysis. Using these tests, MTTI researchers were able to establish a dynamic modulus and flow number for typical Michigan hot mix asphalt (HMA) mixtures and correlate the laboratory data to standards for the field performance of asphalt pavement including rutting, fatigue, and lowtemperature cracking.

The goal of this project is to remotely monitor bridge condition indicators that can be used in combination with physical inspections for bridge assessment. Researchers are also investigating how to combine these measures into a single integrated bridge signature that can be used for overall appraisal of a bridges condition. This integrated signature is expected to provide inspectors and transportation officials with a baseline for measuring changes in the condition of bridge structure and its behavior over time.

Simple Performance Tests can improve the quality of hot mix asphalt resulting in extended pavement life

The research team also drafted asphalt SPT criteria for use in Michigan. These advanced specifications, when approved, should improve the quality of HMA mixtures and lead to extended asphalt pavement life in Michigan.

Impact of Hydrated Cement Paste and Entrained Air-Void Systems on Concrete Durability Principal Investigator: Larry Sutter, Ph.D. Primary Sponsor: Michigan Department of Transportation

The condition of the nation's infrastructure, particularly its bridges, has gained increased attention in recent years, primarily as a result of catastrophic events such as the I-35W collapse in Minneapolis. Our researchers are examining how technology can be used to improve bridge inspection processes while reducing their costs.

A remote bridge sensor under development in our laboratories

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Improving cement paste and air void systems can help prevent cracking and other failures due to winter weather

In cold climates, concrete used in pavements and bridges must be designed to withstand cyclic freezing and thawing. The durability of pavements in these environments is determined in part by the air-void system integral to hydrated cement paste (HCP). However, research used to establish current air content standards was predominantly conducted prior to 1970. Since that time many technological changes have occurred that have changed the quality and characteristics of HCP and air-entrained void systems. The goal of this project is to examine the relationship between freeze-thaw durability and the quality of HCP, including the air-void system parameters, for various concrete mixtures.

This research is being conducted on carefully prepared and characterized mixtures. Parameters examined include air content, unit weight, air-void system properties, calorimetric heat signature, absorptivity, freezethaw performance, maturity, and strength at various stages. The research will also examine the performance of new analytical equipment and techniques for HCP characterization.


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Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Personnel Listing Research Faculty Tess Ahlborn, Ph.D., P.E. – Director, Center for Structural Durability; Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering tess@mtu.edu, (906) 487-2625 Dr. Ahlborn’s research includes prestressed and ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) applications for resilient transportation infrastructure, and innovative bridge inspection approaches using remote sensing technologies. Qingli (Barbara) Dai, Ph.D. ­– Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. qingdai@mtu.edu, (906) 487-2620 Dr. Dai's research includes computer modeling and analysis of multi-phase heterogeneous composites, as well as micromechanics, non-structured materials, biomechanics, computer-aided design, and pavement technology. Devin Harris, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering dharris@mtu.edu, (906) 487-3521 Dr. Harris’s research includes innovative materials for civil infrastructure and the behavior and design of bridges. Jake Hiller, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering jhiller@mtu.edu, (906) 487-3053 Dr. Hiller’s research includes pavement mechanics and the interactions between materials, analysis, and performance.

Research Equipment and Capabilities

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Stan Vitton, Ph.D., P.E. – Director, Transportation Materials Research Center; Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering vitton@mtu.edu, (906) 487-2527 Dr. Vitton’s research includes geotechnical engineering, geo-mechanics, slope stability, and dust management. Zhanping You, Ph.D., P.E. – Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering zyou@mtu.edu, (906) 487-1059 Dr. You's research includes asphalt materials characterization and mixture design as well as performance evaluation and rehabilitation of asphalt materials, concentrating on micromechanical modeling of asphalt mixtures, and the numerical analysis of asphalt pavements.

Research Staff Jerry Anzalone, M.Sc. – Lab Manager and Research Scientist gcanzalo@mtu.edu, (906) 487-2423 Jerry manages the Materials Characterization Laboratory that encompasses sample preparation, chemical analyses, optical, x-ray, and electron microscopy. These services support the research efforts of multi-disciplinary clients both on an off campus. Henrique (Kiko) de Melo e Silva, M.Sc. – Research Engineer hademelo@mtu.edu, (906) 487-1130 Kiko oversees and conducts all aspects of mechanical testing, data acquisition, instrumentation, and hydraulics.

Rob Fritz, A.A.S. – Technical Lab Coordinator rwfritz@mtu.edu, (906) 487-2526 Rob is a certified technician whose duties include instructing staff on equipment use and safety. He is also responsible for maintenance and calibration of laboratory equipment and instrumentation.

Ralph Hodek, Ph.D., P.E. – Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering rjhodek@mtu.edu, (906) 487-2797 Dr. Hodek's research includes soil mechanics and foundation engineering with an emphasis on deep foundations.

Jim Vivian – Program Manager, Transportation Materials Research Center jrvivian@mtu.edu, (906) 487-3018 Jim oversees the asphalt and geotechnical materials labs. He is also responsible for the quality assurance of the Transportation Research Materials Center.

Larry Sutter, Ph.D. – Professor and Director, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute; University Transportation Center for Materials in Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure llsutter@mtu.edu, (906) 487-2268 Dr. Sutter’s research focuses on concrete durability and materials characterization. This includes the effects of deicing chemicals on pavement materials and the use of fly ash and other recovered industrial materials in pavement.

Michael Yokie, B.Sc., – Lab Manager and Research Associate mayokie@mtu.edu, (906) 487-1474 Michael manages Benedict Laboratory and is a certified technician who oversees and conducts all aspects of mix design, fresh mixing, and hardened concrete testing.


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Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Research Equipment and Capabilities

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Supporters Research Sponsors • Applied Pavement Technologies, Inc. • Cleveland Cliffs Mining Services (now Cliffs Natural Resources) • Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute • Department of Energy • Federal Highway Administration • Great Lakes Cement Promotion Association • Holcim Cement • Innovative Pavement Research Foundation • Lafarge Cement • Michigan Concrete Association • National Cooperative Highway Research Program • National Institute for Global Environmental Change • National Science Foundation • Office of Surface Mines • State Departments of Transportation ▪▪ Alabama ▪▪ Iowa ▪▪ Michigan ▪▪ Minnesota ▪▪ South Dakota ▪▪ Texas ▪▪ Wisconsin • Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute • The Portland Cement Association

Partners and Collaborators • Case Western Reserve University • Indiana University • International Partners ▪▪ Fédération Internationale du Béton ▪▪ University of Toronto • Iowa State University • Michigan Tech Research Institute • National Center for Asphalt Technology • Purdue University • University of Alaska – Fairbanks • University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign • University of Minnesota • University of Minnesota Duluth • University of New Brunswick • University of North Dakota • University of Wisconsin – Madison • University of Wisconsin – Superior


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Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Other OtherResources Resources Michigan Tech Transportation Institute’s organizational structure was designed to promote activities by a number of transportation centers and programs. Center for

Technology & Training Michigan Tech Transportation Institute • Michigan Technological University

The Center for Technology & Training (CTT) provides outreach and education to agencies that manage public infrastructure, as well as software development and research services in the areas of asset management, cost estimating, project management, and traffic safety engineering.

U.S. DOT University Transportation Center for

Materials in Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure

The University Transportation Center for Materials in Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (UTC-MiSTI) is one of 59 USDOT University Transportation Centers (UTC) charged with conducting research, education, technology transfer, and workforce development. The Tier II center focuses its efforts in the area of infrastructure materials.

One of seven regional programs financed by FHWA and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) at Michigan Tech develops and provides training, workshops and materials to meet the needs and conditions of each tribal community served, and works to enhance intergovernmental cooperation among tribal, federal, state and local authorities.

The Rail Transportation Program (RTP) has focused on engaging students and faculty in research and education in the rail and intermodal transportation field since its inception in 2007. The multi-disciplinary program uses three activity groups to increase rail exposure to students, faculty, and industry partners: projects and research, education, and events and extracurricular activities.

Transportation Materials Research Center The mission of the Transportation Materials Research Center (TMRC) is to provide expertise and facilities to support the Michigan Department of Transportation by improving materials that are currently in use and by developing new materials. The TMRC is funded by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The Center for Structural Durability (CSD) focuses on bridges, geotechnical applications, and construction by developing new technologies and promoting research and education which directly assists the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in achieving their performance goals of safe and durable highway structural systems.

Research Equipment and Capabilities

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Michigan Tech Transportation Institute Michigan Technological University 1400 Townsend Dr. Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295 (906) 487-1885 www.mtti.mtu.edu

TM

Photo Credit: Brockit Inc., Michigan Technological University Marketing and Communications Text and Design by: Trevor Kuehl


MTTI Facilities Brochure  

Michigan Tech Transportation Institute Construction Materials Research Facilities

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