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Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

Characterization and Advanced Testing Laboratory

Mission and Purpose

The Characterization and Advanced Testing (CAT) Laboratory is part of the Alan Levin Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering at Kansas State University.

The primary mission of the CAT Lab is to provide broad-based experimental and analytical support in the areas of mechanical properties, stress/strain analysis, dynamics and failure of engineering materials, components and structures. The lab is a multi-user shared facility that enables hands-on teaching opportunities, supports student design teams and promotes course development.

The CAT Lab also stimulates research activity and collaboration within the university and beyond by providing new capabilities, improving proposal development and facilitating the execution of projects, grants and industry contracts.

Working With Us

Whether you’re a student working on a class project or a company doing R&D, let us know if we can help. Here are some ways we can work together:

Students
Instructors
  • Lab course development
  • Adding hands-on learning to a course
  • Senior design (capstone design) support
Researchers
  • Gather preliminary data for proposal development
  • Long-term and short-term research projects
Industry
  • Perform standards testing
  • Material property validation
  • Independent or third-party observation
  • R&D

Capabilities at-a-glance

Below are some examples of our current capabilities. See capabilities for more details.

  • Materials: composites, metals, polymers and ceramics
  • Tension and compression testing
  • Load frame capacity range: 2 lbf to 55,000 lbf
  • Bending: 3 & 4 point
  • Panel shear
  • Digital image correlation (2D & 3D)
  • Fracture and fatigue
  • Heat treatment
  • Hardness testing
  • Structural damping
  • Vibration testing: modal analysis, sine, random, shock
  • NASA CubeSat vibration test