When the materials testing laboratory in St. Paul opened its doors in 1938, it was quickly busy with armaments and defense equipment testing for World War II. After, it focused on infrastructure construction projects from stadiums to airport runways in the Twin Cities. Now, nearly three-quarters of a century later, the winds are blowing in a new direction.
In September 2010, Stork TCT crews broke ground on their 12th wind farm construction project of the year, traveling across North America to provide quality support services to this century's growth industry.
Not your father's power generation plant
Tracy Toepper, Construction Materials Engineering Department Manager, said, "I've been with this company for 29 years and this is probably one of the most exciting periods I've worked in. This year we've sent crews to New York, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Texas, Manitoba, Canada--not to mention three wind farms in Minnesota.
"We have a long history in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota, working on big local projects like highway design-builds and reconstructions, but today our specialized background in wind power construction testing is taking us all over the country. Our customers are interested in our ability to provide full-scale lab services--soils, concrete, and anchor engineering and testing all at once, in addition to metals, environmental, and chemical analysis capabilities. We're really enjoying the experience of bringing our expertise into new places and new markets. And, there's nothing like watching one of these huge towers go up and start spinning. Our crews are charged up and proud to be part of these projects."
Unique skill set to support new technology
Construction materials engineering technicians and Professional Engineers (P.E.s) onsite at a wind farm provide quality program support from the raw materials stage through assembly, installation, transmission infrastructure, and preventative maintenance. Stork TCT's range of wind power services, includes:
- concrete, aggregate, admixtures/fibers testing
- masonry/grout testing
- anchor bolt and anchor systems testing
- other hardware testing
- soils analysis for crane pad & construction site
- engineering observation on foundation soils
- product testing and analysis, including failure analysis, environmental testing, metallurgical testing, applied mechanics, corrosion testing, paints & coatings performance, etc.
Toepper expects to have a more wind energy projects online before the end of autumn, and ongoing work throughout the winter in regions where weather allows year-round construction. For more information on Stork TCT materials and product testing support for your wind farm or other construction project, contact him at [email protected] or 1-888-645-TEST.
Stork knows how . . .
Stork TCT is a member of the Stork Materials Technology network of independent laboratories. Stork TCT engineers, metallurgists, technicians, and other specialists support industry in the U.S. and around the world with customized materials, product and failure analysis programs.
Stork Materials Technology laboratories in the U.S. and Europe provide materials selection and engineering, materials testing, performance testing, failure analysis and consulting, nondestructive testing and inspection, calibration, construction materials testing and engineering, polymer and advanced materials testing, dimensional inspection, surface treatment, product qualification and development, and more.