Broadening Capabilities While Improving Safety
12 December 2017
The growing graduate research population working in both novel civil materials and on research ranging from the nano- to the mega-scale have made necessary the design of a chemical wet lab in the Carleton Laboratory. Historically, the Laboratory has had no such facility, but the research trajectory of multiple junior and senior faculty have made this an increasingly urgent need. In 2016, the Laboratory initiated a capital project to upgrade an existing exhaust canopy in the Concrete Materials Laboratory to a full chemical fume hood, allowing for wet lab chemical work to be performed within the Laboratory proper. The design includes the installation of a state-of-the-art chemical fume hood with acid and flammable chemical storage, a furnace exhaust canopy, and electrical services to serve new lab benches surrounding the hood. The project was completed in December 2017 and the fume hood is now available to the researchers of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. This new facility is an immense step forward for the Carleton Laboratory. It will benefit greatly not only the laboratory staff but various faculty in their research efforts: R. Betti, P. Culligan, S. Kawashima, H. Ling, and H. Yin.
Additionally, two new downdraft benches have also been ordered to improve both cleanliness and air quality in the fabrication areas of the Laboratory. A wet downdraft bench was installed in the machine shop, creating an optimal work environment for sanding of any material. The downdraft bench’s water catch basin exceeds current safety standards and allows the sanders to be used interchangeably with different combustible materials such as wood, plastic, aluminum, and titanium along with steel. A dry downdraft booth has been installed near the welding area of the machine shop. This booth provides a safe environment for hot grinding and cutting operations on steel.
Both of these benches are being used by undergraduate and graduate students as well as researchers in support of various projects including AISC/ASCE Steel Bridge Competition, independent study projects, as well as graduate research.