Carleton Lab has a designated student experimental teaching area within the lab. These experimental learning stations are equipped with state-of-the-art testing equipment that can be operated by the students.

The use of designated teaching equipment allows the students to experience experiments more closely than through traditional demonstrations as performed on the major testing equipment, which can only be operated by trained lab staff. Due to the nature and scale of the materials in the field of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, the lab operates a mix of dedicated student test equipment and full-scale testing machines, as used in material testing and standards laboratories. This gives students both a chance to perform hands-on experimentation as well as an understanding of full-scale testing through interactive demonstrations.

Instron 4206 30k Universal Testing Machine

The Instron 30k UTM is a displacement-controlled electromechanical testing machine. The intuitive yet versatile control system allows this machine to fulfill a wide array of duties, ranging from undergraduate and graduate teaching, independent research, doctoral research, to high-volume testing of small to medium-sized samples. The machine is capable of both tension and compression loading and is equipped with various gripping systems for various sample types.

MTS 7 kip Electromechanical Testing Machine

The MTS Criterion C43 Electromechanical Testing Machine is used for tension testing of small and low-strength samples. Typical specimens include reinforced plastics, thin metals, wire. composites, elastomers, wood products, textiles, biomaterials, paper products, and adhesives.

Industrial-Scale Equipment

Machine Shop

The Carleton Laboratory Machine Shop is open to students performing in-depth experimental research with faculty of the department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics or are members of the AISC Steel Bridge Team.  The use of the machine shop can give students an incredibly valuable insight into the world of machining. However, due to the inherent dangers of metal machining, proper training and supervision of student activities by laboratory staff is absolutely pivotal.

Elastoplastic Torsion Machine

The elastoplastic torsion machine allows students to test different material specimens in torsion, both in the elastic and plastic range. An angle meter and torsional load cell with digital readout make both the operation and data acquisition straightforward.

Torsion-Fatigue Machine

The torsion-fatigue machine allows students to test different material specimens in high cycle fatigue. An automatic cycle counter makes data collection a breeze. The machine is also significantly quieter than many older commercial models, making it ideal for use in a teaching environment.

Creep Testing Machine

The creep testing machine allows students to investigate the creep and thermal expansion properties of various materials. A digital micrometer and standard thermometer provide ease of data collection.

Soldering Stations

Carleton Laboratory has five new soldering stations that are used for both instruction and research. Students learn how to make low-voltage electrical connections by soldering contacts onto strain gages and breadboards. The stations are also used in the manufacture of various test apparatuses and setups.

Tinius Olsen Impact Tester

The Tinius Olsen impact tester allows students to experience the behavior of materials under highly dynamic (impact) loading. The impact hammer allows students to understand the effects metallurgic properties, stress concentrations due to geometric constraints, and temperature on the impact resistance of metals.

Three Point Bending Frame

The three point bending frame allows students to investigate the behavior of different materials under bending force. The importance of both tension and compression strength of materials is underlined by use of unreinforced and reinforced plaster beams. A compression force data is provided through a load cell with a digital display.

Hydraulic Benches

The hydraulic benches and laminar flow table allow students to perform various fluid mechanics experiments in a controlled, easily reproducible manner. The experiments range from laminar flow, weir flow, hydrostatic pressure, orifice discharge, Bernoulli’s theorem, etc. The hydraulic benches are fully self-contained and operate on a recirculating water supply, allowing students to perform the experiments without significant water waste.

Data Acquisition Systems

The laboratory maintains a full suite of modular PC-interfaced data acquisition systems at all major testing machines. These PC-integrated DAQ systems allow data to be acquired, displayed graphically, and post-processed in the NI LabView Developer’s Suite at each workstation. This technology permits students to truly experience the experiments in a live fashion without having to write down test results by hand during the test and, above all, provides them with a rich and precise data set of the test.