In order to use the existing concrete retaining wall as a structural foundation for our bridge, we needed to make sure that it was strong enough to withstand the forces exerted by the bridge. Four of us went to Clifton Forge on Friday to take samples of the concrete retaining wall at the site. Mark Folks from United Rentals joined us and taught us how to use the concrete coring drill.
We took three samples of concrete from the wall and brought them back to Blacksburg. On Saturday, we tested the samples to figure out the bearing capacity of the wall. We used the Quickie Saw to square up our samples, and then headed to RDF to use their testing facilities.
We used a concrete testing compressor to calculate the amount of force each sample could withstand before failing.
We knew that the wall had to withstand 3,000 psi for us to use it as a foundation for our bridge. We tested each sample in accordance with ASTM C39, and after calculating the bearing capacity of each, we determined that the wall is strong enough to support our bridge!
The Virginia Tech design/buildLAB is a Project Based Experiential Learning program focused on the research, development and implementation of innovative construction methods and architectural designs. Students collaborate with local communities and industry experts to conceive and realize built architecture projects that are both educational and charitable in nature. The blog is run by design/buildLAB students who are designing and building a fieldhouse for the Clifton Forge Little League.