Concrete’s structural viability is indispensable within the hydropower industry. But, how does one determine concrete’s structural strength after the material is formed into specific shapes for project components?
For the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the answer is: The Concrete Laboratory and its complete structural testing capabilities.
As a component of Reclamation’s Technical Service Center (TSC) located in Denver, Colorado, USA, the Engineering and Laboratory Services Division, utilizes the Concrete, Geotech and Structural Laboratory to test aspects of concrete.
In this video, Erika Focht, administrative assistant for two TSC groups, gives a brief explanation of the structural testing capabilities of Reclamation’s five-million-pound universal testing machine.
The machine can test formed-concrete’s strength-to-failure on large-size specimens, for example, concrete piers.
Additional videos highlighting TSC research:
- St. Mary Diversion Dam Rehab Modeling
- Reclamation dam safety study on debris loading
According to Reclamation, “The Concrete Laboratory performs various types of studies related to concrete making materials including cement, pozzolans, aggregate, admixtures, as well as innovative materials and techniques for concrete construction and repair for Reclamation structures. These include laboratory and field studies of the properties and performance of concrete materials.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate confirmed Brenda Burman as the 23rd U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner. Burman’s responsibilities include being responsible for Reclamation’s maintenance of 53 hydroelectric power plants.