Laboratories overview

Leading Solutions in Materials
CTLGroup’s world-class laboratories are designed and staffed
to provide the most demanding Quality Management System for
routine and complex analysis testing of materials and structural
Our scientists and engineers regularly help solve a wide range of
problems in cementitious materials, aggregates, building systems,
and metals, and develop specialized testing programs for unique
testing services
ww Analytical Chemical Testing
ww Fatigue Testing (Stay Cable,AREMA,
ww Mechanical Behavior Testing
ww Mortar | Cement | Concrete Testing
ww Nondestructive Testing
ww Petrography
ww Physical Testing
ww Specialized Testing
quality management system (QMS)
CTLGroup has one of the most
demanding QMS for laboratory
testing of materials and structural
Through our QMS, our firm has
achieved various accreditations and
ww IAS ISO 17025 accredited
ww AASHTO accredited
ww 10 CFR 50, Appendix B/NQA-1
ww ISO 9001:2008 Bureau Veritas
ww ACI certified technicians
ww Association of American Railroads
ww Laboratories are validated by US Army
Corps of Engineers
ww Stadium® certified user
5400 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
For decades, our experts have been involved in the development
of nationally recognized tests and standards, giving them unique
insight and ability to create solutions. With 60,000 square feet of
laboratory facilities on campus, it enables the firm to provide a
combination of testing, research and engineering services rarely
matched in the industry.
We have an unparalleled capability to not only perform tests and
evaluations, but to also interpret the data and translate them into
meaningful results and action plans.
Laboratory Facilities & Resources
CTLGroup’s laboratory facilities are internationally respected as one of the
most comprehensive testing and research facilities in cementitious materials,
chemical admixtures, mortars, construction products and structural systems.
The firm’s 60,000 square feet of facilities consist of industry-leading:
Laboratories (Analytical Chemical, Mortar, Cement, Concrete,
Physical Testing)
Petrography Laboratory
Creep & Shrinkage Laboratory
Structural & Transportation Laboratory
(One of the largest private structural labs in the U.S., conducting static or
dynamic testing of full-scale engineered systems and components.
CTLGroup’s laboratory staff comprises several PhDs, registered professional
engineers and accredited technicians. Our team includes chemists, process
engineers, chemical engineers, a metallurgist, pavement engineers, civil
engineers and materials engineers, many of whom are world-recognized
authorities in their fields. We are multi-disciplinary professionals accustomed
to working together to meet our clients’ needs.
Testing Areas of Scope:
analysis &
Materials performance
Research & product development
Failure Analysis
Service life prediction and
Specialized Testing
Materials Consulting
S E R V I C E | at-a-glance
CTLGroup’s scientists and engineers help solve a range of
materials-related problems in cementitious materials. Our cement
chemists and process engineers can address any problem in
cement manufacturing, while our materials, pavement and
structural engineers help clients create structures that are strong,
stable and durable.
Working together, our experts address problems by applying
in-depth knowledge of how cementitious materials work, while
drawing on extensive experience to ensure that the solutions
offered are practical and cost effective.
A Matter of Scale
Please visit our world-class laboratories
that provide the most demanding Quality
Management Systems for the testing of
materials and structural components.
5400 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
3737 Executive Center Drive, Suite 255
Austin, TX 78731
40 Shuman Boulevard, Suite 218
Naperville, IL 60563
Engineers normally work in large dimensions without always needing to
consider what is happening at a very small scale. On the other hand,
scientists often deal with interactions at a molecular scale. CTLGroup’s
unique synergy means that our engineers and scientists straddle this
dimensional divide, thus enhancing our approach to those seemingly
impossible problems in your concrete.
Some Problems We’ve Solved
causes and suggest solutions for blockages in a cement plant
kiln system
Analyze a bridge’s environment and design a suitable high-performance
concrete mixture design for the bridge deck
Determine materials, workmanship or design-related causes for concrete
Evaluate cement and concrete for potential uses as silica-based waste
Design a very low-density, structural concrete mixture for a roof
Perform tests to determine causes for lowering strengths of concrete made
from a particular cement
Help with process planning, materials characterization, equipment
selection and ancillary materials, and commissioning a new cement plant
Assess distress in a troubled structure, investigate reasons for occurrence
and provide technical support in subsequent litigation
The materials consulting staff at CTLGroup comprises several PhDs and
registered Professional Engineers. Our team includes chemists, process
engineers, chemical engineers, pavement engineers, civil engineers and
materials engineers, many of whom are world-recognized authorities in
their fields. We are multi-disciplinary professionals accustomed to working
together to meet your needs. We are regularly involved in training and
writing publications aimed at educating the makers and users of cement and
S E R V I C E | at-a-glance
One of the most effective methods used to evaluate concrete
quality, diagnose causes of deterioration and determine extent
of damage is petrographic examination. It is applicable to
aggregates, concrete, mortar, grout, plaster, stucco, terrazzo and
similar portland cement mixtures.
Petrographic methods combine unaided visual inspection and examination
using stereo, petrographic and metallographic microscopes. CTLGroup’s
expert interpretation of findings helps us develop practical solutions to our
clients’ problems.
Using guidelines given in ASTM C856, Standard Practice for Petrographic
Examination of Hardened Concrete, CTLGroup’s staff of internationallyrecognized professional petrographers derive information that includes:
of material
of inferior quality, distress or deterioration
Probable future performance
Compliance with project specifications
Description of concrete
Petrographic examination can provide descriptive information that includes:
of cement hydration
of water-cement ratio
Extent of paste carbonation
Presence and amount of fly ash
Extent of corrosion of reinforcing steel
Evidence of alkali-aggregate reaction, sulfate attack or other chemical
Presence of potentially reactive aggregates
Evidence of improper finishing
Estimation of air content
Evidence of early freezing
Causes of cracking
Petrographic examination is often supplemented with chemical analysis, X-ray
diffraction analysis and scanning electron microscopy. Physical tests develop
data on compressive strength, volume change, air content of hardened
concrete, freeze-thaw durability and rapid chloride permeability.
CTLGroup provides all of these services. Our expert petrographers and
concrete technologists are available for on-site investigations.
5400 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
Analytical Services
S E R V I C E | at-a-glance
CTLGroup’s chemical services team uses several instrumental
methods, as well as traditional wet chemical techniques, to
provide a wide range of services. Instrumental analytical tools
include Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy, Direct Mercury
Analysis, Ion Specific Electrode Analysis, Ultraviolet-Visible
Light Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy,
Gas Chromatography, X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy, X-ray
Diffraction Spectroscopy and Atomic Absorption Flame - Graphite
Furnace Spectroscopy.
Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy (ICP)
ICP analysis is best suited for determining low concentrations of metals. We
use a dual-view optical emission spectrometer with detection limit ranges of
1-10 ppb or less for 71 of the 74 elements we can analyze by ICP. Atomic
absorption spectroscopy, by flame and graphite furnace, are complementary
instrumental methods to ICP and are also available at our laboratory.
Direct Mercury Analysis (DMA)
CTLGroup uses a direct mercury analyzer that can detect less than one part
per billion of mercury. The analyzer, which is calibrated in nanograms, can
analyze samples ranging from a few milligrams to several grams. Sample
preparation involves reducing a solid specimen to a uniform fine powder,
which ensures virtually no loss of mercury.
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
FTIR spectroscopy is used primarily for qualitative and quantitative analysis
of organic compounds, and also for determining the chemical structure
of inorganic compounds. FTIR applications include materials evaluation,
identification, failure analysis and quality control screening. The plot of
a compound’s IR transmission versus frequency is its “fingerprint,” which
when compared to reference spectra identifies material. We can also use gas
chromatography in the determination of organic compounds.
Ultraviolet and Visible Light Spectroscopy (UV-Vis)
Ultraviolet and visible absorption spectroscopy measures the attenuation
of a beam of light after it passes through a sample or after reflection from
a sample surface. With a spectral range from 190 to 900 nm, the UV-Vis
spectra are very useful for quantitative measurements.
X-ray Analysis
X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy are
complementary analytical techniques. XRF is used to determine the elemental
composition of substances and XRD to determine actual crystalline forms.
5400 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
S E R V I C E | at-a-glance
ASR Evaluation, Mitigation
and Monitoring
Alkali-silica reactivity (ASR) is a physico-chemial reaction that
sometimes occurs in concrete and can lead to the premature
deterioration and shortened service life of concrete structures.
CTLGroup is at the forefront of the management of concrete
structures subjected to ASR. We offer clients in a broad range of
industries, including nuclear, a full in-house approach, from initial
diagnosis and evaluation of the structure all the way through the
repair and long-term monitoring of the repair.
Since the discovery of ASR in the early 1940s, CTLGroup scientists and
engineers have been industry leaders in its detection, identification,
mitigation and testing. Decades of experience in ASR-related issues have been
instrumental in developing our approach, and our portfolio includes work on
many projects, specifications, test methods, rehabilitation techniques and
handbooks noted throughout the industry.
CTLGroup is an AASHTO Accredited Laboratory for aggregates, cement, and
concrete and is an ASR approved laboratory by MassDOT. This demonstrates
our commitment to delivering laboratory and consulting services that meet
the rigorous quality demands required by many industries, such as DOTs.
consulting & testing
Chemical analysis
Specialized concrete mixture formulations for power applications
Nondestructive testing & evaluation
Instrumentation & structural heath monitoring
Assessment of concrete
Structural condition assessment for nuclear containments & other
Creep & shrinkage testing
Mass concrete planning & thermal stress analysis
Cooling tower evaluation & repair
Quality Management System & Accreditations
ISO 17025
10CFR50 Appendix B/NQA-1 compliant
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
5400 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
3737 Executive Center Drive, Suite 255
Austin, TX 78731
40 Shuman Boulevard, Suite 218
Naperville, IL 60563
Chemical Testing
S E R V I C E | at-a-glance
CTLGroup’s chemical services team draws on more than 100 years
of collective laboratory experience to answer our clients’ complex
questions. With support from CTLGroup’s full range of testing and
consulting services, including physical testing, we can offer clients
a single source for complete materials characterization.
Our materials analysis capabilities include:
— trace metals analyses including TCLP extractions
cement, fly ash, slag and aggregate percentages in hardened
cement testing
Aggregate composition and alkali aggregate reactivity
Forensics/failure analyses
Coatings, paints and sealers
Lead in paint (qualitative and quantitative analysis)
Water — solids, alkalinity, direct mercury analysis, metals and corrosivity
Hexavalent chromium
Concrete mix-water suitability
Chloride content and depth profiling
Cement heat of hydration
Crystalline silica
Thermal analysis, thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry
Infrared spectroscopy and chromatography
XRF spectrometry is used in the cement and minerals industries for
formulations and process control. XRF can analyze the elemental
composition of virtually any substance. XRF complements x-ray diffraction
(XRD), in that XRF determines the presence and quantity of each element in a
specimen, and XRD determines the actual crystalline forms.
The technique is used extensively in the cement industry to analyze cement,
gypsum, limestone, clay, iron ore and other materials. Concrete and concrete
aggregates, ceramics, coal and fly ash also are routinely characterized using
these techniques. CTLGroup chemical services staff are recognized for
expertise in XRF spectrometry.
CTLGroup also uses fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), gas
chromatography (GC) and UV-Vis spectrometry to identify and quantify
organic compounds such as polymers, chemical admixtures, chemical
additives, oils, paints and coatings. Infrared spectroscopy also has
applications for inorganic materials such as clays, gypsum, silicates and
carbonates. FTIR can be used to study cement hydration and to identify rocks
and minerals.
5400 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
S E R V I C E | at-a-glance
Construction Materials
CTLGroup provides a full range of materials testing services.
We offer both standard and specialized tests of aggregates,
admixtures, concrete, curing compounds, all cementitious
materials, packaged repair materials and grouts, dimensional
stone, cast stone, masonry, sealers or coatings for concrete and
reinforcing steel. Our website provides specifics on more than 350
tests performed in our labs.
Our Materials Engineering Group can help resolve issues of durability,
incompatibility or contamination. In addition to developing specialized
concrete mixture designs, we also consult for product development,
certification, on-site troubleshooting and calibration services.
Known and respected for the dependability of our results, CTLGroup
regularly provides third-party or referee services to other labs and product
manufacturers, as well as litigation support. CTLGroup staff members are
active in ASTM and ACI technical committees.
CTLGroup laboratories are also:
Inspected by Cement and Concrete Reference laboratory (CCRL)
 Participant in Cement and Concrete Proficiency Sample Program
QMS meets requirements of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Validated to
perform a variety of material test methods.
ISO 17025 Accredited
CTLGroup operates a state-of-the-art facility, fully equipped for X-ray
Fluorescence (XRF), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Conduction Calorimetry, Atomic
Absorption (AA), Chloride Titration, Particle Size Distribution (PSD), and
Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA). We run a variety of wet chemistry tests
and are one of only a handful of U.S. labs able to perform heat-of-hydration
Wide-ranging facilities and multidisciplinary staff allow us to solve all sorts of
construction industry problems, from design failures and repair specifications
to materials issues, to product development and cable-stay bridge design
and testing. CTLGroup offers a single source to meet all your material testing
5400 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
S E C T O R | at-a- glance
services highlights
analysis & characterization
analysis: XRD, XRF, TGA
characterization and
& waste stream
materials consulting
key facts
square feet of lab space - one
of the world’s most comprehensive
facilities serving the cement industry
class creep & shrinkage room
facilities, equipment and expertise
to characterize materials from nanoscale to full scale
characterization labs (XRD,
XRF, TGA, SEM), concrete and mortar
labs, physical testing capabilities and
loading frames in excess of 10 million
in cement pure compounds
the full life cycle of cement
from materials characterization in the
lab to evaluation of effectiveness in the
Global Cement
CTLGroup provides materials science and building system
solutions for clients such as manufacturers, architects,
engineering firms and contractors through materials
characterization testing and analysis, addressing issues relevant
to the cement industry.
We tackle a diverse set of challenges for our cement clients, including:
Production Process
Product Performance
feed/clinker grindability
Kiln system deposits
Environmental and Sustainability
Life cycle inventories
Low carbon cement production
Mineral admixtures
Supplementary cementing
materials (SCM)
ISO 17025 accredited
10 CFR 50, Appendix B/NQA-1 Complaint
Laboratories are validated by US Army Corps of Engineers
Stadium® certified user
Burj Khalifa creep & shrinkage tests
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed standard
reference materials
Life Cycle Inventory of Portland Cement Manufacture life cycle assessment
including CO2 emissions
Composition Analysis for several manufacturers composition of powdered
activated carbon influence on air content in fresh concrete
Panama Canal Expansion Project chemical and physical evaluation of
materials for Grupo Unidos por el Canal
Timothy Tonyan, Ph.D.
[email protected]
Don Broton
[email protected]
S E C T O R | at-a-glance
Ready Mix Concrete
CTLGroup provides the ready mixed concrete industry with much
more than just standard testing services.
Our expertise includes developing specialized concrete mixture proportions
to meet challenging placement requirements or modern performance
specifications. We help improve overall concrete production quality, plant
performance and environmental compliance, and we assist with on-site
plant set up and qualification. Additionally, CTLGroup experts optimize
proportions to help clients gain a competitive edge, meet performance based
specifications and determine difficult mixture interactions in the field. We
tackle a diverse set of challenges for our cement clients, including:
Products & Services
testing & new product development
& training
Plant services & optimization
xx On-site batch plant configuration & troubleshooting
xx Quality control evaluations, equipment performance inspection & plant
xx Energy use audits & environmental compliance testing
Mixture proportion consulting & optimization
xx Review of concrete mixture proportions & specifications
xx Low heat mass concrete mixture optimization
xx Aggregate optimization & void space/particle packing analysis
xx Mixture development for creep & shrinkage performance
xx Sustainable concrete mixture development to reduce carbon footprint
xx Fiber reinforced concrete (FRC)
xx Flowable, tremie & self-consolidating concrete (SCC)
xx Rapid setting or high early strength concrete
xx Mixture development for durability/service life requirements or
performance based specification assistance
xx Mixture cost optimization
Engineering & problem solving
xx Concrete precooling & thermal analysis
xx Extended slump life/pumpability troubleshooting
xx Setting time/early strength troubleshooting & maturity for early
formwork removal
xx Formwork pressure assessment
xx Admixture - cementitious material interaction & fly ash troubleshooting
9001: 2008 Bureau Veritas certified
ISO 17025 accredited
by Cement and Concrete
Reference Laboratory (CCRL)
are validated by US Army
Corps of Engineers
in Cement and Concrete
Proficiency Sample Program
• CFR 50, Appendix B/NQA-1
key facts
SF of lab space – one of the
world’s most comprehensive facilities
class creep & shrinkage room
facilities, equipment & expertise to
characterize materials from nano-scale
to full scale
characterization labs (XRD,
XRF, TGA, SEM), concrete & mortar
labs, physical testing capabilities &
loading frames in excess of 10 million
Timothy Tonyan, Ph.D.
[email protected]
Boyd Clark, Ph.D.
[email protected]
Illinois Tollway development of high-early strength concrete for pavement &
bridge deck repair
Kiewit concrete mixture development of South River Tunnel & Pumping
Prairie, Inc. creep testing for Trump Tower
Walsh Construction batch plant consulting & development of selfconsolidating mass concrete for the Holtwood hydroelectric project
S E R V I C E | at-a-glance
Structural Investigation,
Testing & Research
Since 1958, CTLGroup has studied structural component behavior
resulting in noteworthy contributions to structural engineering
and engineered construction including:
design code provisions for reinforced and prestressed concrete
on seismic behavior of reinforced concrete structures
Design methodology to minimize progressive collapse of precast
Experimental data to support analytical design assumptions and concepts
for nuclear plant containments
Innovations in bridge design, testing and evaluation
The Facilities and Equipment
The CTLGroup structural testing facility has a 56x120 ft test floor adaptable
for three-dimensional loading in static, dynamic and pseudodynamic testing.
Conventional and digital servohydraulic ram and actuator systems are
configured for multiple power units ranging in individual capacity from 1,000
to 10,000,000 lb force and stroke up to 36 in. Also included are:
20-ton radio-controlled overhead cranes
300-, 400-, and 1,000-kip universal testing machines
1,000-kip compression testing machine
Carpentry, machining and welding shops
Concrete casting equipment
Control, measurement, storage and analysis of applied loads and structural
response for on-site and laboratory testing are accomplished using
transducers to measure force, strain, pressure, displacement, fluid flow,
temperature, humidity, acceleration and rotation. Test control and data
acquisition/analysis are accomplished using continually upgraded digital
hardware and software designed, configured and applied by professionals
who provide clients with structural measurements and diagnostics expertise.
CTLGroup uses state-of-the-art nondestructive testing and diagnostic
technology for structural health monitoring and performance evaluation.
These include impact echo, impulse response, parallel seismic, ultrasonic
pulse velocity, corrosion assessment, covermeter surveys, rebound hammer,
ultrasonic thickness measurement of metal, cable wire break detection
system and vibration and modal analysis. CTLGroup’s laser-based vibration
and cable-force measurement techniques offer fast, economic alternatives.
The Service Range
integrity and reliability assessments
Instrumentation/data acquisition
Failure analysis
Commercial product testing
5400 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
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