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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.

Friday, 2 December 2011

soldering up a storm

Now, in order for the confining pressure and pore fluid pressure intensifiers to respond and "stop on a dime", if you will, the hydraulics have to have something to push against. So we needed to rig up pipes that will carry compressed air from the air compressor in the room next door. In addition, there needs to be a reservoir of air on the ready in case a large volume is needed. Thus the big yellow buoy-looking thing on the left. So, armed with about 50 feet of 3/4" copper tubing, tube cutters, miscellaneous tees and elbows, solder, and a blowtorch (!!), we got to work. 

Often times that meant one of us jumping up on top of the rig itself and soldering into the existing pipes in the wall/ceiling. This was my first time soldering pipes, so I can't say I was very meticulous at the job. I road home on the subway just filthy, completely covered with a thin layer of hydraulic fluid and probably bits of wall insulation and flux. But I have to say, it was pretty darn fun!
Check out our handiwork below.

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