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An initial investment by Oregon BEST established equipment as well as renovations to the physical space. New equipment acquired for this laboratory includes a Batch Viscoelastic Thermal Compression Device and an Eirich High Intensity Concrete Mixer. The GBML facility upgrades converted a large open storage space into viable laboratory and large-scale research test facility. The space includes a walk-in environmental chamber for accelerated aging of concrete specimens, a temperature and humidity controlled concrete mixing room meeting ASTM C 511-09, permanent and moveable stainless steel benchtops and cabinetry. The upgrades to the space also included energy efficient lighting and in-line tankless water heating.

A brand new state-of-the-art accelerated aging chamber called the MCMEC - Multi-Chamber Modular Environmental Conditioning System was installed in February of 2014. This piece of equipment will allow researchers at the GBML to do accelerated aging tests on a wide variety of materials, components and assemblies. The chamber is actually a single unit comprised of three smaller chambers that can be opened to form one large, 1 medium and 1 small or 3 small chambers. All can be operated independently or in concert to provide changing conditions for larger assemblies or components.

  • -30 C to + 40 C
  • 10 - 95% Relative Humidity
  • water misting system
  • UV Light degradation: 400-1200 W/square meter
  • Customizable space

VTC processing equipment is used to produce densified wood for enhanced mechanical properties. Densification is performed with no chemical treatment. VTC specimens have been prepared with modulus of elasticity over 40 GPa, modulus of rupture over 400 MPa, and Brinell hardness of over 50 N/mm2. These values are more than 3 times greater than the best available Douglas-fir timber on the market. Similar values can only be achieved by using synthetic fiber overlays. Potential resources include plantation-grown hybrid poplar, which is renewable, sustainable, and may be harvested after only 10 years.

The high intensity concrete mixer will allow Dr. Ideker and his research team to investigate, develop and test sustainable concrete mixtures. This will include work on recycled concrete aggregates, supplementary cementitious materials (e.g. fly ash, slag, silica fume, natural pozzalons, etc.) and rapid repair materials (e.g. calcium aluminate cements). This type of equipment is unique to the west coast and allows for advanced research in sustainable concrete materials at Oregon State University.