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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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Specific Gravity of Soil - Understanding ASTM & AASHTO Methods

In this month's blog post we discuss the equipment and procedures that are used to perform the ASTM and AASHTO test method for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids.

Coarse Aggregate Gradation: Test Sieves or Screen Trays?

Does the particle size analysis of coarse aggregates always require a testing screen with large screen trays? In a situation where larger testing equipment is not available, there may still be ways to get the job done. Using conventional round test sieves for large particle sizes is less efficient, but still acceptable if done properly. We discuss test requirements, sieve capacities, and tips to help with equipment selection.

Sand Equivalent Test Method Explained: The Purpose and The Process

Fines and dust in asphalt and concrete aggregates have always been a problem. Whether naturally occurring or resulting from degradation during handling and transport, undesirable or unknown amounts of fines can impact the performance and cost of composite materials. This blog post discusses the importance, process, and procedure.

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.