The Materials and Structures Testing Laboratory (MSTL) performs a variety of tests for private and public authorities, ranging from standard tests on construction materials, to complex experiments on large scale components. Standard tests on construction materials include: compressive strength of cylindrical and cubic samples; tensile strength of steel samples and reinforcing bars (including for specimens longer than 500 mm). Laboratory services include the preparation of concrete and steel specimens. The Laboratory is equipped with ad-hoc strain gauges for measuring the 0.2% deformation in steel samples. For further information, please contact

Complex test are performed on a variety of light and heavy duty structures and structural components. Available instrumentation includes: displacement transducers, strain gauges, load cells and electro hydraulic actuators capable of performing complex and high-frequency load cycles.

Typical complex tests performed by MSTL are:

        • Timber testing: bending, compression and shear strength; tests on both large and small samples. The laboratory has tested many materials and structure types, including plywood, composite wood–concrete slabs, trusses, light structural panels for timber buildings and other wood panels with different type of constraint.
        • Concrete testing: bending strength and elastic modulus.

        • Tests of steel and composite steel-concrete elements, such as: large diameter pipes, high-strength threaded rods, beam-column joints.

        • Load tests on decks and structures: acceptance tests of bridges, footbridges and floors.

        • Non-destructive tests (NDT): sonic tests on masonry elements, tests with flat jacks on masonry elements, extraction tests of glued bars, pull-out tests, use of Pilodyn and Resistograph.

        • Vibration tests: on-site tests of structures (such as bridges or buildings) and tests performed within the laboratory (such as those performed on wind turbines or prototype slabs).

        • Fatigue tests on full-scale elements..

Complex test setups are designed on demand, based on client needs and instrumentation required. For further information, please contact