The rock and ice mechanics lab at Lamont-Doherty is led by PIs Heather Savage, Christine McCarthy and Ben Holtzman. We are in the process of growing our lab and building our experimental program. Along with a team of postdocs, undergrads, grads, and longtime staff engineer Ted, we are rehabilitating and revamping some of the old equipment and building new rigs for exciting new experiments on both rock and ice. You can follow along with our progress here.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

a little calibrating

Today was a very productive day. While Ted worked on the strain gauges (they each have to be glued onto the side of the sample and then soldered to wires), I calibrated the LVDT. The box on the left provides an excitation voltage to the LVDT, which is a cylinder with a hollow in the middle. Using that little Schaevitz tool in the foreground, I systematically inserted a core piece into the hollow of the LVDT a half millimeter at a time. With each increment, the LVDT puts out a different voltage, which is measured by the box on the right. I make a plot of distance versus voltage that tells us the calibration factor for our experiments. 
Meanwhile, Heather checked the gauges and put a protective coating on the load cells. We use homemade load cells here, which is unusual I think. We will put one on the side of the sample to measure the horizontal load and one on the top to measure the vertical.


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