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 January 2006 Interview

Based in Skokie, Ill., CTLGroup began as the research and development laboratory of the Portland Cement Association, a trade association for the cement industry. In 1987, with requests for consulting assistance and laboratory services growing, the laboratory incorporated as an independent subsidiary of PCA.

While CTLGroup’s heritage is within PCA, and it is best known for expertise in concrete- and cement-based materials and structures, the company now provides consulting, testing and research services that cover the range of construction materials and systems. Its consulting services combine expertise from each of four major areas of practice:

• Consulting and troubleshooting — Assessment of damage and analysis of causation, along with repair and remediation design services and contract administration during reconstruction.

• Structural diagnostics and monitoring — On-site structural behavior monitoring of bridges, pavements, and buildings, with services in nondestructive testing, instrumentation products and services, vibration analysis, load testing, crack and deflection monitoring, and structural integrity evaluation.

• Repair and rehabilitation — Repair solutions to counteract the effects of age, deterioration, damage, and defects on structures, utilizing repair program development and design, structural strengthening and upgrades, historic preservation and restoration, construction contract administration, and specialized testing and inspection.

• Litigation support — Investigations provide legal and insurance clients with damage assessment and technical analyses of causation for use in claims adjustment or litigation.

CTLGroup’s testing capabilities include:

• Materials consulting — Solutions for a wide range of problems related to cementitious materials, with expertise in troubleshooting all phases of concrete production, materials failure investigation, materials evaluation and development, concrete durability research and consulting, and cement manufacture research and consulting.

• Materials testing and analysis — Materials testing programs to enhance manufacturing processes, address durability and compatibility issues, assure product specification compliance, quantify engineering properties, determine compositional characteristics, investigate performance problems, and engineer high-performance materials.

• Petrography and microscopy — Specialized assistance in applied mineralogy as well as applied and forensic microscopy, cement clinker microscopy, field investigations, and color spectrometry analysis.

• Structural and transportation laboratory — Testing of bridge structures, building components, bridge stay cables, railroad and rapid transit components, as well as stay cable engineering, bridge system evaluations, and reduced- and full-scale prototype testing.

In serving its international client base, CTLGroup uses dozens of ASTM International standards in its laboratories, as well as standards and codes from other organizations such as the Post-Tensioning Institute, the American Concrete Institute, the International Concrete Repair Institute, the Transportation Research Board, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Association of Railroads. To increase its employees’ expertise in the use of these standards, CTLGroup enthusiastically supports their membership and active participation in standards developing organizations.

As a consequence of their expertise and experience, many on CTLGroup’s award-winning staff are widely published and quoted in technical journals and trade publications. These staff members include structural, civil, chemical and mechanical engineers; geologists; chemists and material scientists.

 
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