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Gilson Insights

Have questions about your materials testing equipment?  We have the answers to these questions and much more right here! Check back monthly for long-form blog posts, how-to guides and infographics. We’ll address industry insights, the operation and maintenance of specific equipment, and our product line recommendations, all designed to better serve you.

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Rebar in Concrete: Non-destructive Evaluation of the Reinforcement Matrix

Advances in technology continue to refine concrete cover meters and rebar locators, which have been around for decades and used to locate and identify concrete reinforcing steel accurately. They are integral to non-destructive evaluations of reinforced concrete structures and pavements to prevent damage to the reinforcing steel within the structure when drilling or cutting reinforced concrete. This blog post explores the features and capabilities of some of these popular instruments.

Soil Direct Shear Test: Understanding the Process

This blog provides an informative guide on why direct shear testing is essential, and we guide you on what equipment you need to perform the test based on ASTM D3080 and AASHTO T 236.

Setting Up A CMT Field Lab: Application-Specific Equipment & Considerations

In this month's blog, we examine the civil engineering laboratory equipment needed for typical operations performed where field laboratories for construction materials testing are required. With so many possible variations in specific project requirements, we break it down by application.

How To Set Up A Field Lab For Construction Materials Testing: The Essentials

In this blog, it will discuss setting up and furnishing temporary field-testing labs with essential laboratory equipment. Field labs are generally limited to a few particular tests, but no matter the material, most require the same essentials to measure properties like size, weight, and moisture.

California Bearing Ratio Test: CBR Values & Why They Matter

In this blog post we discuss why it is important to perform strength tests of soil subgrades for pavement design, and also review what is needed for each type of test method whether it be in the lab or out in the field including the DCP test.

Concrete Cracking: Evaluating Width, Depth & Movement

Cracks in concrete are so common that they're practically inevitable. The good news is, not all of them are bad. The bad news is, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. In this blog post, we will discuss how best to measure and monitor cracks and select the best equipment for the job.

Soil Hydrometer Testing: Sedimentation Method Techniques & Equipment

Measuring the particle size distribution of fine-grained soils like clay and silt is best performed using the soil hydrometer test. In this blog post, we provide some guidance from sample prepping to performing the test procedure by following the ASTM D7928 standard test method.

Inventing the Sonic Sifter: How a New Cafeteria Changed the Sieving Industry

Most materials have a lower size limit where sieving with a sieve shaker is no longer sufficient, and the agitation necessary for particle separation starts to break down and destroy some fragile materials. Particles in some substances resist separation and clump together due to electrostatic or moisture issues. For many years, these problems limited the effectiveness of measuring particle size by sieving. This article tells the story of how one man pushed back those boundaries.

Sonic Sieving: The Solution for Particle Size Problems

Test sieves are an efficient, productive, and economical means of characterizing the gradation of dry granular materials. However, the sieving method is not without limitations. If obstacles seem to be making it difficult to produce accurate, repeatable results for finer sizes, Sonic Sieving may be the answer.

Cement Testing Resource Guide: Methods & Equipment

"…[Hydraulic] cement can't be characterized as just one material."

In this blog, we discuss what specifications define hydraulic cement and their use, as well as test methods and which testing equipment to use for your test application.