C.S. Davidson construction material testing

June 2022

Construction material testing is an integral part of project development, as it helps engineers determine the viability and safety of a worksite or structure. C.S. Davidson specializes in laboratory and field tests for soils, concrete and asphalt. Our team of testing technicians holds American Concrete Institute (ACI) and nuclear density certifications for concrete and soil testing, and PennDOT certifications for asphaltic pavement and concrete.

Measuring concrete durability

C.S. Davidson tests concrete curbs and sidewalks to ensure they meet township specifications. We routinely test the concrete of sidewalks in Upper Allen Township, plus multiple other municipalities, to verify that each load meets the township requirements. Concrete testing is also conducted on the walls and floors of newly constructed buildings. The testing involves assessing the concrete’s air content, temperature, slump, and compressive strength. It is crucial to test the concrete’s air content once it arrives on site to determine its resistance to being damaged by freeze-thaw cycles. An insufficient air content can affect the finish on exterior slabs or any concrete exposed to weather conditions.

Assessing soil quality

To test soils, samples from the existing site are collected and lab tests measure the plasticity, density, and moisture content. Then the soil is tested for compaction to determine how it can be stabilized. Based on the results, technicians use a nuclear testing gauge in the field to ensure the constructors are compacting the soil appropriately. In some cases, when we return results to clients, the soil is too wet or unstable. To remedy this situation, the client can let the soil dry out or continue excavating until they find soil that meets our requirements. They can also find a controlled fill, a type of stone or aggregate that can be tested and approved. Material testing for soil is primarily done for fills placed under roadways, lots being developed for a new subdivision, or building a new warehouse. C.S. Davidson technicians also conduct soil-bearing tests to assess whether the foundation a client is planning to build on is suitable for the project and complies with the designed building foundations. If the foundation of a house or building is not designed to meet the soil conditions, it will result in ongoing movement, settlement, and cracking over time.

Examing asphalt performance

We perform bituminous pavement testing, also called asphalt testing, to assess the compaction of pavement layers. Asphalt testing determines the stability and flexibility of a parking lot and roadway pavement to ensure smooth movement and prevent future problems of cracking.

PennDOT requires compaction testing on trenches on the roadways, and our technicians are out daily on construction sites on state roads to ensure settlement does not occur on the roads. “If you see a new building, park, or development, chances are someone has tested the soil or concrete. Hopefully, the road you are driving on was tested as well,” said Mike Stiely, client manager at C.S. Davidson. “Our technicians test materials to ensure we are providing a public improvement and our projects will hold their value.” C.S. Davidson performs construction material testing for private clients and municipalities for short- and long-term projects. We believe that time management is key to effectively completing all our tests. 

Contact us today to learn more about our construction material testing.