Nondestructive and Other Testing Facilities

The PHRC and the BCERL have capabilities in addition to the purpose-built facilities described. There are a number of nondestructive testing systems for evaluation of wood, plastics, concrete and masonry materials using x-rays, wave propagation techniques and photoelastic methods. A real-time x-ray analysis system has been developed for x-ray video and still imaging of low density building materials, such as wood and composites. A combined impact-echo and modal analysis system has been developed to aid in locating and imaging defects in concrete and masonry materials. The PHRC can also aid in the development and evaluation of acoustical properties of building materials. PHRC and BCERL facilities house five universal testing machines with capacities from 22 to 120 kips and movable crossheads. Computer-controlled electrohydraulic actuators serving these machines can be used to apply desired displacement, load and strain rate profiles to components under test. The labs also house a number of other facilities and an extensive array of sensors, signal conditioning, data acquisition and control equipment that can be combined to automate a wide range of standards-based or custom building component testing.

3 D Contour Scan of concrete slab showing defective areas

X-Ray of bolted timber frame connection


The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing.

We conduct applied research, foster the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfer appropriate technologies to the housing community.

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

219 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2341

Fax: 814-863-7304