Texas Tech Civil Engineering Department has made a very strong commitment to develop a state-of-the-art testing capabilities for bituminous materials. Texas Tech has already acquired SuperpaveÔ Level I mix design capabilities and basic asphalt testing equipment. The 1200 ft2 bituminous materials laboratory and the 1000 ft2 aggregate characterization laboratory house the following equipment.
Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel
The closed-circuit wind tunnel offers a 1.8 x 12.-meter test seciton capable of wind speeds up to 45 meters per second. The facility also hosts a tornado vortex simulator and a pulsed-jet wind tunnel to simulate thunderstorm downbursts. The Wind Science and Engineering Research Center (WISE) at Texas Tech University works closely with TechMRT to conduct transportation-related research such as design loading for traffic signals,
"The mission of the Earl Survey Research Laboratory (ESRL) is to provide survey research services to the university community and to public sector agencies and organizations."
The Environmental Sciences Laboratory (ESL) at Texas Tech University occupies nearly 3000 square feet of floor space and is stocked with the standard meters, balances, centrifuges, ovens, furnaces, incubators and specialized extraction and distillation glassware necessary for basic and advanced water quality examination. The ESL also includes gas and liquid chromatographs (GC-MS, GC-ECD, HPLC, GC and LC) atomic absorption units (graphite and flame), and an auto-analyzer. The lab is equipped to extract and quantify most environmental constituents including pH, fecal coliforms, total coliforms, bacteria, VOCs, semi-volatiles, organic acids, amines hydrocarbons, explosives, anions, catioins, metals, organic carbon, total nitrogen, and nutrients.
The soils and aggregates laboratory has all the necessary capabilities for soil characterization, soil compaction, soil consolidation and soil shear strength tests to be performend at different test stations simultaneously.
"The TTU High Performance Computing Center (HPCC) supports research computing. Our facilities have been designed to support research computing equipment, but not production computing or equipment. The HPCC provides consulting and assistance to campus researchers with experimental software and/or hardware needs."
The NASA Water Recovery lab allows researchers to explore space-related issues related to wastewater recycling in space habitats. The lab includes bench-top wastewater treatment systems including the Texas Tech University-Water Recovery System which has been the main focus of wastewater recycling experiments for approximately 6 years. Additionally, the lab contains other innovative micro-gravity compatible biological wastewater treatment systems, a reverse osmosis unit, ion exchange columns, and UV disinfection lamps. In order to characterize the wastewater quality during experiments, the lab contains other analytical equipment including HPLC, GC, TN/TOC analyzer, IC for anions, GC/MS, pH meters. Additionally, the lab contains general laboratory equipment such as balances, centrifuges, ovens, furnaces, and specialized extraction and distillation glassware necessary for basic water quality examination.
The Structures Laboratory at Texas Tech University is capable of testing full-scale structural elements up to 18.3 m (60 ft) long. The test deck has a plan area of over 2,000 square feet, and is constructed as a three-compartment, heavily-reinforced concrete Vierendell girder with a depth of 3 m (10 ft). Tie-down points in the top slab are provided in a grid pattern with a 0.6 m (2 ft) spacing in each direction. The entire floor area of the structural laboratory is over 604 m2 (6,500 ft2) and includes support for welding, machining, wood-working, instrumentation, data collection, and hydraulics. The laboratory is outfitted with an 89 kN (10 ton) overhead crane with a 6.1 m (20 ft) clear height. A variety of laboratory testing and instrumentation equipment is present in the structures laboratory. To apply load, the laboratory has two dedicated rams with capacities of 4,450 kN (1,000 kips) and 1,620 kN (365 kips). Load cells, wire potentiometers, LVDT’s, dial gages, and other measuring devices are available for use. A Vishay Model 5000 data acquisition system is dedicated for use in the laboratory. Other data acquisition systems include a National Instruments SCX1 system, several Campbell Scientific systems, and a Vishay model 7000 system. Two Forney compression machines are used for cylinder testing. Steel load frames, columns, and beams exist to construct reaction frames. Additional testing equipment is located below and adjacent to the structures laboratory. A 250 kN (55 kip) MTS System is capable of applying cyclic loads. Two Rapid Chloride Permeablity Test systems and a LeicaTM Stereoscopic Materials Science Microscope are part comprehensive concrete materials laboratory.