Technical Service Center
Materials Engineering and Research Lab
Laboratory and Field Testing of Soils, Rock, and Foundations
Tom Strauss, 303-445-2343
Building 56, Denver Federal Center
Denver, Colorado 80225-0007
MERL personnel perform various types of studies related to soil, rock, and foundation materials used for Reclamation structures. These include both laboratory and field studies of the properties and performance of engineering materials under various environmental and service life conditions.
Special equipment includes a 1-million-pound stiff testing machine, a large triaxial shear facility for soils, large direct-shear machines for testing up to 10-inch-diameter rock and concrete cores and 12- by 12-inch soil and soil-geosynthetic interfaces, and an ultrasonic nondestructive testing machine. Special equipment also is used in field studies.
Experienced geological petrographers provide technical expertise and assistance in evaluating materials and in solving problems related to design, construction, and research. Petrographic instruments available include petrographic and stereo microscopes, an X-ray diffractometer, and a scanning electron microscope.