Our Pulse

18 September 2019

DRP On the Move!

DRP has a new home. 

As of October 25, our move into a new office at at 2800 Wilderness Place, Suites A & B, Boulder, CO will finally make the transition from concept to reality. After surviving months of an arduous permitting, construction, renovation, and moving process, we officially opened our new offices at 2800 Wilderness Place, Suites A & B, in Boulder, Colorado. Although our new facility is located literally less than 1,000 feet from our previous location, we feel like we’re a world away in the capabilities we are now be able to offer.

What This Move Means for Our Clients

Faster Turnaround

We understand that time is money for our clients. We’ve experienced incredible growth over the past two years and the addition of key personnel, including PhD scientists, now allows us to offer among the shortest turnaround times in the industry. However, as with all other aspects of our practice, we constantly strive to improve. Given our steady growth, the size of our shop area began to limit our ability to multi-task and perform different operations simultaneously. Our new facility will expand our shop area by more than 1,000 percent, allowing us to simultaneously process aggregates, cut and polish slabs, and produce high-quality thin sections. We are eager to the use our new facility to get clients the information they need more quickly than ever before.

Enhanced Technology

We’ve added exciting technology to our quiver of tools for petrographic analysis, some of which include:

  • Fluorescence microscopy;
  • An expansion to our vacuum impregnation capabilities; and
  • Instrumentational enhancements to our scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Regarding this last point, we recently upgraded the energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometer (EDS) system for our SEM with the acquisition of a Thermo Scientific Pathfinder® EDS system. This exciting technology allows us to perform higher resolution EDS analyses – a linchpin in our work with deterioration mechanisms such as alkali-silica reaction, alkali-carbonate reaction, microbial induced corrosion, marine water attack, sulfate attack, and deterioration from de-icing chemicals.

Expanded Testing

The new location also allows DRP to expand our existing capabilities for using resistivity measurements to characterize the ability of ions and fluids to move through concrete by calculating the Formation Factor. This approach was developed by Jason Weiss and his group at Purdue and Oregon State University obtaining quantitative information on the transport properties of concrete. With our Senior Petrographer Chunyu Qiao, PhD (formerly of the Weiss group), we are exploring new ways of using the Formation Factor to assess the durability and remaining service life of structures affected by alkali-silica reaction and other mechanisms.

As evidence of our expanded testing capabilities, we recently earned validation from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Materials Testing Center as a provider of laboratory tests for concrete, aggregate and rock. This validation allows us to provide petrographic examinations of aggregates for concrete (ASTM C295); measurements of the parameters of air void systems in hardened concrete (ASTM C457); and petrographic examinations of hardened concrete. In addition, have expanded our capabilities beyond petrographic services. We are now validated to test rock durability (CRD-C144 Rock Resistance to Freezing and Thawing, CRD-C169 Rock Resistance to Wetting and Drying and CRD-C130 Coarse Aggregate Scratch Hardness). These validations now allow us, in partnership with Twining, Inc., to perform all aspects of aggregate testing for USACE projects.

What This Move Means for Our Team

Finally, by expanding our facility, we can offer our team a more sustainable work environment that will pay big dividends in terms of their ability to efficiently complete their work. Our personnel will now have their own space after spending years in a bullpen-style office environment. This more comfortable setting will minimize distractions, improve focus, encourage collaboration with our clients and colleagues in other offices (we may even get a conference table!), improve efficiency, and facilitate faster service…all while maintaining our Boulder, Colorado roots.