The Construction Materials Laboratory counts with a work area of 2,050 square feet and 1,670 square feet in an open area. These provide a convenient and comfortable space to perform tests on materials used in construction. Its usage is shared, serving the academia in education and research and offering services to the private and public enterprise.

In the academic aspect, students from the undergraduate course INCI 4035 – Civil Engineering Materials receive practical experiences in the most common tests used in the characterization of materials. Another academic aspect is the support provided by the facilities for extracurricular activities. Students associations participate in various student competitions, where the development of these projects takes place in the laboratory. The most popular ones are performed by student chapters of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The competitions of the ACI are: Egg Protector Device, Concrete Bowling Ball, FRP Reinforced Beam, Mortar Cubes. The most important project of the ASCE is the construction of a concrete canoe. However, all types of competitions that have to do with concrete, wood, and metals are developed. These include: Concrete Frisbee, Concrete Horse Shoe, Concrete Dome, Balsa Wood Tower and Bridge, Concrete Beam, and others.

Other usages of the laboratory are the accomplishment of research projects in the field of concrete or others innovative materials like materials composed in construction. The majority of these projects are prepared with the coordination and support of the Structures Laboratory.

The laboratory also provides services of testing materials to private and public enterprises. The most common tests are cylinder testing, concrete core removal, aggregate evaluation mortar testing, and others (See List of Testing).

The laboratory counts with the following equipment:

  • Shakers for sieving coarse aggregate
  • Shakers for fine aggregate
  • Stone crusher
  • Furnaces of various capacities
  • Precision balances with capacity of 4100 grams
  • Hot water  with a capacity of 8 liters, temperature ranges up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Abrasion machine “Los Angeles”
  • Concrete mixer with a capacity for 12 cubic feet
  • Concrete mixer with a capacity for 6 cubic feet
  • Universal testing machine Forney LT-1000-3 with a capacity of 300,000 kg (600,000 lbs)
  • Universal testing machine Tinius Olsen with a capacity of 300,000 lbs.
  • Universal testing machine Riehle with a capacity of 400,000 lbs.
  • Universal testing machine Riehle Screw-Gear with a capacity of 100,000 lbs.
  • Servohydraulic testing machine MTS 810 with a capacity of 55,000 lbs. in tension, compression, and dynamic
  • Impact machine Charpy Pendulum Hammer (Galdabini 300)
  • Twisting machine TecQuipment SM 21
  • Data acquisition module of the National Instrument model SCXI with two modules SCXI-1520 for “strain gauges” with eight channels each one and a module SCXI-1112 for the reading of thermo copulations with eight channels
  •  Calibration rings for cells of loads of 2,000, 10,000, 100,000, and 300,000 lbs. capacity
  • Two velocity meters of ultrasound pulses
  • Two rebound hammers to test concrete (Rebound hammer test)
  • Machine to tests Windsor Probe
  • Concrete core removal machine