Paradigm´s 12,500 square-foot facility is supported engineers and technicians who routinely perform analytical, physical, chemical and simulative tests. Our specialized testing capabilities allow us to solve the most difficult scientific and engineering problems wherever they may arise. These services coupled with our extensive geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing capabilities make Paradigm a leader in the engineering and testing fields.
Paradigm´s geotechnical laboratory capabilities include testing for characterization of subsurface soil. The tests routinely performed include:
- Atterberg limits
- Grain size analysis by sieve and hydro meter methods
- Moisture content
- Unit weight
- Triaxial and unconfined compression tests
- Consolidation testing, and
- Swell tests
Laboratory compaction tests, modified and standard proctor tests, California Bearing Ratio and soil-lime-cement-fly ash mixtures tests are utilized to determine properties of remolded or stabilized soils for embankment and subgrade designs.
Concrete Laboratory Facilities
Paradigm provides inspection and testing services on a full-time or on-call basis. We perform various types of materials testing and can design specialized tests to meet the unique needs of your project. Our Construction Materials Engineering services include:
- Concrete strength testing, mix design and evaluation,
- Concrete batch plant inspection,
- Asphalt batch plant and pavement construction inspection,
- Soil compaction testing and inspection,
- Complete laboratory testing of soil, concrete, asphalt and other construction materials,
- Mortar, block, brick and fireproofing testing,
- Weld inspection and testing,
- Field inspection and control of masonry construction,
- Steel fabrication, milling and erection inspection,
- Post-tensioning and reinforcing steel inspection, and
- Paradigm has a fully-equipped concrete laboratory capable of testing and evaluating aggregates, cements and fresh and hardened concrete and compression testing machines with a maximum capacity of 600,000 pounds. We can also determine flexural strength of concrete beams using either center point or third-point loading methods.
Our laboratory includes various equipment required to evaluate concrete constituent properties as well as batching concrete mixes. We also have access to a scanning electron microscope and petrographic analyses of concrete and aggregates.
Specialty Concrete Testing Capabilities
Paradigm provides specialty testing and inspection of concrete as listed below. Each description has a hot link to a description of that service and capability.
Soil Testing Facilities
Paradigm has a well-equipped modern soil laboratory capable of performing most tests required in the geotechnical sciences. Capabilities are enhanced by an experienced staff and large inventory of geotechnical testing equipment. Soil testing begins with the classification of materials. Tests include:
- Grain size,
- Hydrometer analysis,
- Pinhole dispersion,
- Double hydrometer,
- Modified and standard proctors,
- Relative density,
- Atterberg limits,
- Moisture content, and
- Organic contents
These tests are performed on a routine basis in the laboratory.
Paradigm maintains a state-of-the-art bituminous laboratory furnished with a full-range of equipment needed for engineering and testing. The laboratory has standard capabilities for assessing asphalt cements´ physical properties such as viscosity, penetration, softening point and flash point. Additionally, bituminous mixtures´ mechanical properties can be evaluated using conventional Hveem testing equipment. The materials testing laboratory contains a variety of equipment for the evaluation of the mechanical properties for materials under various modes of loading.
Structural Steel Inspection
Paradigm employs some of the most respected leaders in the field of structural steel shop fabrication and field erection inspection with more than 70 years experience. This knowledge and experience plays an important part in guiding the professional´s judgment in the inspection of steel and welding. The Team includes inspectors certified in accordance with AWS Standard QC-1-88 "Qualification and Certification of Welding Inspectors."
A typical scope of services for structural steel inspection is developed to satisfy the needs of a specific project. The size and complexity of the project are taken into consideration, but the program generally follows the guidelines established by AISC and AWS D1.1. Frequently, this includes provisions of an inspector at the fabrication shop and the erection site to review shop fabrication procedures. Mill certificates are also obtained to verify proper materials throughout the duration of the fabrication, as required. Any questionable materials are sampled and tested for physical and analytical properties at one of our laboratories. Visual inspection of welds is made in the fabrication shop and during erection for conformance with AWS D1.1, design specifications and erection drawings.
Paradigm provides development and application of nondestructive examination (NDE) techniques, necessary for the evaluation of critical, valuable or massive components that must be tested without destroying the structural integrity of the material. Included is a team of full-time NDE specialists that are trained and certified in accordance with American Society for Nondestructive Testing recommended practice SNT-TC-1A. In addition, NDE Services are conducted in strict compliance with our own in-house Quality Assurance / Quality Control manual developed to comply with the requirements of A2LA ANSI-N45-2.
Magnet Particle Inspection
Surface and near-surface defects in ferromagnetic materials are discovered through the use of portable magnetic particle equipment utilizing both visible and fluorescent inspection methods and in-house wet horizontal fluorescent equipment that is capable of producing up to 6,000 amps.
Liquid penetration inspection is a method that is used to reveal surface breaking flaws by bleedout of a colored or fluorescent dye from the flaw. These Surface flaws are located on both metallic and nonmetallic products and are revealed by techniques such as post-emulsified, water washable and solvent removable penetrants.
Digital Ultrasonic equipment using thickness gauging and the Pulse-Echo Technique for defect locating is one of the most effective tools available from the team. Flaw detectors are used to provide a valuable and exacting method of inspection of forgings, castings, sheet metal, tubular products, pressure vessels, structural welding and for thickness and corrosion surveys.