Structures and Materials Research Laboratory

Peter Kiewit Institute Structures & Materials
Research Laboratory

Structures & Materials Research Laboratory
The Structures & Materials Research Laboratory, located at the University of Nebraska’s Peter Kiewit Institute, offers structural and material testing services to regional engineering firms for their design validations. The laboratory addresses the needs for infrastructure and construction engineering research and development, a focus area identified by the Nebraska Research Initiatives established by the Nebraska Legislature.

The structures lab provides capabilities for static, dynamic, and fatigue testing. The testing area of the structural floor is approximately 30 feet by 90 feet. The floor system is designed to withstand 750 kips per tie-down location and approximately 100 kips per square foot testing area. A 30-ft high reaction wall is designed to take maximum allowable load of 240 kips either pushing or pulling, 80 kips at each 10-ft anchor point. A hydraulic pump provides 4000 psi pressure line along the testing floor for hydraulic jack connection.

The capabilities of the Structures Research Laboratory are:
  • Max loading capacity of tie-down floor system = 750,000 pounds per 3-foot anchor spacing
  • Max load capacity of steel transfer beam = 500,000 pounds
  • 60 feet by 90 feet testing area
  • 25-ton crane (50,000 pounds)
  • A 30-foot Reaction Wall for prototype structural testing, including dynamic loads. Max horizontal load = 240,000 pounds
  • Underground chambers with 7 feet head room for testing setup
  • Removable floor panels designed for semi-truck wheel loads, where a flat bed can deliver heavy test articles directly into position
  • 70-foot long pre-stressing bed for casting pre-stressed or post-tensioned concrete structures
In addition to structural testing, the materials lab is equipped with: one Forney 400-kip concrete compression machine, one 55-kip MTS machine and one concrete freeze and thaw tester. A concrete curing room is available with climate control to set temperature up to 140oF and humidity to 100%. The materials lab is fully equipped for conducting concrete compressive strength, split-tension, modulus of elasticity, modulus of rupture, freeze and thaw durability, permeability, alkali-silica reactivity (ASR), and creep and shrinkage evaluations. The concrete lab is Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory certified.