Specialized laboratory tests

With a large central testing hall of about 1000 m² and numerous testing equipment, the Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research is one of the biggest laboratories internationally.

The main element in the testing hall is the test floor with overall dimensions: 63.1 m × 15.1 m × 3.5 m. This test floor consists of two concrete slabs (height: 0.7 m each) prestressed in two directions and connected by heavily reinforced cross-shaped concrete columns. The whole constitutes a large and stiff box-shaped element which is completely independent from the building itself. The test floor can withstand vertical loads up to 1 000 kN every 1.20 m and horizontal forces of 1 000 kN per running meter at a level of 1 m. This basic element, together with specially designed steel frames and a set of hydraulic actuators, offers the opportunity of performing full-scale tests on a wide range of concrete construction elements.

The infrastructure comprises:

- A unique central testing hall for large-scale load testing (shear resistance tests of hollow core slabs, bending tests on prestressed concrete beams, etc.)

- Testing machines with a capacity of up to 10 000 kN in compression and 2 500 kN in tension.

- A large number of hydraulic jacks for static and dynamic loading tests.

- Special equipment for measurements and data acquisition.

- Climate rooms (up to 50°C, 30% - 95% RH – CO2 concentration: 0 - 10 vol%), ovens (up to 1160°C) and freeze chambers (up to -20°C).

- Test configurations for durability tests: Chloride ingress (CTH, diffusion tests) / Chloride profiles (RCT, titrations) / Carbonation (climate chamber) / Alkali-silica reaction (Oberholster test) / Frost-resistance (in combination with de-icing salts) / Acid resistance (TAP – Testing apparatus for accelerated degradation tests) / Optical microscopy (including the preparation of thin sections) / Submersion in aggressive liquids / Roughness measurements (ALM) / etc.

- Optical microscopes and equipment for the preparation of thin sections

- Equipment for non-destructive testing (e.g. Ultrasonic measurements (FreshCon))

- Numerous equipment for testing the characteristics of various building materials such as cement, aggregates, concrete, masonry, reinforcement, etc.

  • Cement: Particle size distribution (Laser diffractometer) / Fineness (Blaine) / Hydration heat (Isothermal Calorimeter Tam Air) / Setting behavior (Vicat, FreshCon) / etc.
  • Aggregates: Particle size distribution (sieve analysis) / Water absorption /  Density / Shape factor / etc.
  • Fresh Concrete: Consistency (Slump, V-funnel, etc.) / Viscosity (rheometer) / Autogenous shrinkage / Air content / etc.
  • Hardened concrete: Hydration heat ((Semi-) adiabatic calorimeter) / Gaspermeability / Waterpermeability / Porosity (Mercury intrusion porosimeter, etc.) /  Air content (Air-void analyser) / Colorimetry / Shrinkage – creep / etc.
  • Masonry: Shear resistance / Bending resistance / Compression tests / etc.
  • Reinforcement: Weld shear force / Tensile tests on prestressed reinforcement / Tests on assembly and transport anchors / Tests on coupling sleeves / etc.



Durability tests: chemical lab - testing apparatus for accelerated degradation tests


Tests on cement: laser diffractometer


Mercury intrusion porosimeter: porosity – air void analyser


Shrinkage and creep measurements


Mechanical properties: E-modulus – three-point bending test


Preparation of thin sections


Tests on fresh mortar: air content – consistency