Our Facilities


Penn State provides a number of excellent field facilities and experimental laboratories for evaluating new products. Facilities available for materials testing and new product evaluation include the CATO Park Materials and Structural Testing Laboratory and the NECEPT Pavements and Materials Laboratory. These extensive materials and testing laboratories provide facilities for full scale and bench testing for research involving materials used in nearly all civil structures: cement and concrete materials and systems; aggregate characterization; asphalt paving materials; composite materials and systems and other bridge materials including steel and wood. In addition, PTI has test track facilities for in-situ field durability testing of pavement materials; tire/pavement phenomena; the effects of crashes and impacts on barriers and vehicles; and bridge loadings, design, construction, monitoring and evaluation.

Also available for materials testing and new product evaluation is the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), the primary laboratory in the Materials Research Institute. MRL research activities extend over a broad range of inorganic materials organized into various centers and groups to take advantage of the critical mass of expertise and core research programs. Access to these laboratories allows the faculty and staff to evaluate a wide range of materials with a wide range of analytical techniques. This very sophisticated laboratory has an annual research budget of over $13 million and is supported by more than 100 sponsors in targeted research programs or by memberships in MRL Centers. Funding is received from all major federal programs including ONR, DARPA, NSF, ARO, AFOSR, DOE, industrial programs like EPRI and GRI, and the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Pennsylvania

NECEPT Superpave Laboratories

NECEPT maintains state-of-the-art pavement materials research facilities and has extensive expertise in developing and operating testing equipment for pavement materials, including asphalt binders and mixtures. NECEPT has all of the equipment needed to condition and fully characterize asphalt binders for both the new Superpave performance grading system and the traditional penetration/viscosity system. NECEPT also has all of the laboratory equipment needed to characterize component aggregate materials and to design, fabricate and characterize asphalt concrete mixture specimens according to requirements of both the Superpave Mixture Design and Analysis system and the Marshall method. NECEPT technicians have extensive experience in using the Superpave Shear Tester (SST) and the Indirect Tensile Tester (IDT). Several other closed-loop servo-hydraulic loading and testing pieces of equipment are also available in temperature controlled chambers, capable of performing a variety of static and repeated load tests within a wide range of temperatures.

NECEPT developed the bending beam rheometer (BBR), initial versions of the direct tension test, and the pressure aging vessel (PAV) for testing asphalt binders according to the Performance Graded Asphalt Binder Specification that NECEPT developed, which is a performance-related specification, now standardized as AASHTO MP1.

Capabilities

The center is positioned to support training activities, pavements and materials-related research and development, LTTP testing and analysis support, and the evaluation of Superpave equipment and procedures. NECEPT will stage an aggressive campaign to develop pooled funding studies through partnerships with industry, contractors and material suppliers, and other universities within the region. NECEPT has the facilities and the technical expertise to: Coordinate training activities and cross-certification in the Northeast with a regional database of certified technicians. Conduct SHRP-related short courses and training. Validate the equivalency of binders that meet a specific SHRP grade but that are produced by different means, especially modifiers. Develop a regional database of binder and mixture properties and to relate these properties to pavement performance to refine and validate the SHRP test procedures and specifications. · Validate the SHRF low-temperature pavement algorithm, a critical part of Superpave. Offer technicians an opportunity to be in residence at NECEPT for training and to learn how to better interpret test results. Develop the Penn State Test Track to Validate SHRF specifications and the use of SHRF methods for recycling. Conduct studies with proof tests (e.g., "torture" testers such as the mt tester) tests that are of special use in quality assurance/qualify control operations and which may become an integral part of volumetric mix design and QA/QC.Evaluate and document compatibility problems with SHRP mixtures. Develop, conduct, and analyze complex databases and statistical designs. Serve as a clearinghouse for technical information and provide support to the Northeast Asphalt User/producer Group. The center is positioned to support training activities, pavements and materials-related research and development, LTTP testing and analysis support, and the evaluation of Superpave equipment and procedures. NECEPT will stage an aggressive campaign to develop pooled funding studies through partnerships with industry, contractors and material suppliers, and other universities within the region. NECEPT has the facilities and the technical expertise to: Coordinate training activities and cross-certification in the Northeast with a regional database of certified technicians. Conduct SHRP-related short courses and training. Validate the equivalency of binders that meet a specific SHRP grade but that are produced by different means, especially modifiers. Develop a regional database of binder and mixture properties and to relate these properties to pavement performance to refine and validate the SHRP test procedures and specifications. · Validate the SHRF low-temperature pavement algorithm, a critical part of Superpave. Offer technicians an opportunity to be in residence at NECEPT for training and to learn how to better interpret test results. Develop the Penn State Test Track to Validate SHRF specifications and the use of SHRF methods for recycling. Conduct studies with proof tests (e.g., "torture" testers such as the mt tester) tests that are of special use in quality assurance/qualify control operations and which may become an integral part of volumetric mix design and QA/QC.Evaluate and document compatibility problems with SHRP mixtures. Develop, conduct, and analyze complex databases and statistical designs. Serve as a clearinghouse for technical information and provide support to the Northeast Asphalt User/producer Group.

Contact NECEPT

Office Address:

Pennsylvania State University
201 Transportation Research Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone:

814-863-1293

Fax:

814-865-3039

Email:

superpave@psu.edu

 
 

About

NECEPT's primary mission is to facilitate implementation and validation of the results of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) by promoting partnering between governmental agencies, industry (including materials, suppliers, contractors and consultants) and universities throughout the Northeast. 

Northeast Center of Excellence for Pavement Technology (NECEPT)

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-863-1293 | Fax: 814-865-3039

E-mail: superpave@psu.edu