The Phil M. Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory is located at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus (PRC) at the University of Texas at Austin. The Ferguson Laboratory is one of the largest structural research facilities in the world. Multi-story structures, full-scale structural components, and multi-girder bridges have been tested here.
The laboratory occupies 45,000 square feet and the main structural test area is 400 feet long by 50 feet wide. Most of this area is provided with structural tie-down floors for attaching loading frames and test specimens. Perpendicular strong walls provide three-dimensional loading capabilities in the southeast corner of the laboratory. Two, overhead traveling cranes serve the structural test area.
Auxiliary shops are located on each side of the crane bay. Complete facilities are available for fabrication and instrumentation of test specimens. A comprehensive range of hydraulic actuators, pumps, and closed-loop loading systems permit application of static, dynamic, and fatigue loads. A variety of data acquisition systems are also available.
Three computer-controlled uniaxial test frames are used for static, fatigue, and high-temperature tests of structural components, connections, and materials. The environmental chambers are capable of reaching temperatures up to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.