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Structures and Materials Division Research and Technology Directorate NASA Glenn Research Center

Tribology and mechanical Components Branch
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Tribology and Mechanical Components Branch - Facilities
Soil Design Laboratory
The Soils Design Laboratory has equipment for mixing soils, and testing their mechanical and engineering properties. The recent focus has been on the preparation and characterization of soils for lunar vehicle testing. The testing equipment includes:
  • Testing screen and sieve shaker for particle size determination down to No. 200 (74 µm)
  • Furnace capable of temperatures up to 2000°F (1093°C) for moisture content determination
  • 20" x 20" and 30" x 30" vibrating tables designed to settle and compact dry bulk materials in various types of containers
  • Negative Flow Exhausting (NFE) HEPA Filtered Workstation for fine grained material and powder handling and critical sample preparation
  • Inert atmosphere glovebox and gas purification workstation for critical sample preparation in optimum environmental conditions
  • Triaxial test set for determining the stress-strain characteristics of soils. Capable of performing drained and undrained tests of soil specimens of 1.4" (35 mm) or 2.8" (70 mm) diameter to confining pressures of 145 psi (1,000 kPa)
  • Bevameter testing device used to analyze the surface strength of soil, to facilitate modeling of terrain-vehicle interactions
  • Direct shear testing device for obtaining the shear strength characteristics of soils
  • Cone penetrometer for determining the cone index, density, and compaction of soil samples, with a maximum depth measurement of 750mm, maximum pressure reading of 5600 kPa, and capability of recording up to 75 cone-index data points per penetration/insertion
View inside the Soil Design Laboratory
Above: View inside the Soil Design Laboratory

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Additional Facility Images
Triaxial Testing System
Triaxial Testing System
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Triaxial Testing System
Bevameter Testing Device
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NFE Workstation
NFE Workstation
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Last Updated: April 21, 2009