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The Durability and Characterisation Lab (DURALAB)

The Durability and Characterisation Lab (DURALAB) is the first and only facility in Wales to simulate accelerate weathering of engineering materials (concrete, cement, plastics, metals, etc..). It comprises a wide range of environmental chambers (freeze/thaw, corrosion, carbonation, humidity) and characterisation equipment such as Mercury Intrusion Porosimeter, digital microscope, calorimeter, rapid chloride permeability, rheometer and viscometer. The lab is located in Queen's Buildings, West -1.02. To access the lab equipment and information about testing and costs, please get in touch.


Name Make/Model Details
Thermal Conductivity Testing Thermtest MP-2. Apparatus to measure liquids, paste, soil and building materials using transient line source and hot wire.
Calorimeter Calmetrix I-Cal 8000 HPC. I-Cal 8000 HPC ("High Precision Calorimeter") is an 8-channel Isothermal Calorimeter. Like all Calmetrix I-Cal isothermal calorimeter models, I-Cal 8000 HPC features a sample size of up to 125ml, which can be used for multiple applications, including R&D and Investigative work on cement, mortar and concrete properties as well as daily QC needs in cement and concrete production. I-Cal 8000 HPC's tight temperature control is suitable for short and long term testing up to 28 days. I-Cal 8000 HPC is fully compliant with ASTM C1679, ASTM C1702 and ASTM C563.
Digital Microscope Leica DMS 1000. Digital microscope system for digital inspection, observation and measurement. From tiniest detail to an overview, the optics ensures magnification of up to 300x. The built-in HDMI microscope camera provides full high definition live images of up to 30fps and a resolution of 5Mpixels. The micrscope is equipped with an articulate arm for measurement of bulky samples.
Corrosion chamber Q-LAB Q-Fog CRH600-HSC Cyclic corrosion testing provides the best possible laboratory simulation of natural atmospheric corrosion. Q-FOG cyclic corrosion chambers from Q-Lab can run traditional salt spray, prohesion, and most cyclic automotive tests, for a wide range of materials. Q-FOG chamber is available in 600 L.
Digital Microscope Keyence VHX-7000 Digital microscope with 4K integrated camera and with a XYZ motorised stage and integrated console. Max. still images: 12000x9000. Lens Handheld Observation. Real time depth composition. 3D Image stitching (Capturing Image Size) 50,000 x 50,000 Pixels.
UV Weathering chamber Q-LAB QUV SPRAY RP. UV light is responsible for almost all photodegradation of durable materials exposed outdoors. The QUV tester’s fluorescent lamps simulate the critical short-wave UV and realistically reproduce the physical property damage caused by sunlight. The QUV tester accommodates up to 48 specimens (75mm × 150mm) and complies with a wide range of international, national, and industry specifications.
Rheometer with temperature cell Anton-Paar MCR 92. Computer controlled compact rheometer with an air bearing motor drive system to measure the rheology of liquids and pastes at different temperatures. Coupled with a dedicated construction materials cells for mortar and concrete.
Mercury Intrusion Porosimeter (MIP) Anton-Paar PoreMaster 60GT. Compact and benchtop MIP capable of simultaneous low pressure and high pressure measurements of porous materials. Pore size range is from at least 0.0036 um up to at least 1,000 um.
Wet/Dry chamber FDM C700BXPRO + SPS07. A compact 700 L chamber to perform cyclic wetting and drying of a wide range of materials. Temperature can be set from -20°C to +70°C.
Carbonation chamber FDM C700BXPRO + CO200. A compact 700 L chamber to simulate exposure accelerated carbonation of a wide range of materials. Temperature can be set from -20°C to +70°C, with a maximum CO2 concentration of 20%.
Freeze/Thaw chamber FDM C1500BXPRO A compact 1200 L chamber to cyclic freezing and thawing on a wide range of materials. Temperature can be set from -20°C to +70°C.
Furnace for calcination NABERTHERM - LE6/11 R7. Furnace Nabertherm LE6/11 R7 standard chamber, drop down door, 1 zone, MaxT 1100°C, 6l chamber capacity.


  • Queen's Buildings
    5 The Parade
    Newport Road
    CF24 3AA