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.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Final adjustments

So we started doing some calibrations in the apparatus and realized we would like it just a bit stiffer. We decided to put another steel plate, this time to reinforce the bottom plate. But we couldn't just slide it in. The horizontal hydraulic piston and the cryostat dimensions were all designed around the current space between top and bottom. Instead we had to lower the bottom piston the same amount as the new the steel's thickness and then slide in the plate. This required us to lift up the whole rig from the top. A mobile hydraulic crane did the trick. 
While we were at it, we reconstructed the unistrut table that the rig sits on. We not only shortened it to account for the rig adjustment, we also repositioned the legs so that they were symmetric. Much prettier. 

Here Mike tightens down the steel plate with an allen. He also built the housing for a lower LVDT (the rounded square on posts beneath the rig) that will measure the position of the sample as it slides.
A spring loaded LVDT will come up through a hole in the plates and cryostat. A ceramic extender piece sits right on top of the spring loaded core and will actually be in contact with the ice.  
At the risk of repeating myself…we're almost there.

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