Transnational access to research infrastructure

Complex, costly and high-maintenance: modern research infrastructure needs a lot of effort – financially and technically. Therefore, SERA offers access to the largest collection of high-class experimental facilities for earthquake engineering in Europe to researchers from both academia and industry. The research facilities comprise reaction walls, shaking tables, facilities for integrated studies on geotechnical site effects and engineering seismology as well as an infrastructure for array seismology.

Work packages

Facilities in brief

3D shaking table at LNEC

3D shaking table at LNEC

The LNEC-3D shake table is capable of testing large civil engineering structures subjected to seismic actions of different intensities up to imminent collapse condition of structures or substructures. The specimens can be in real or in reduced scale depending on the dimensions of the prototype.

Due to its characteristics, the LNEC-3D shake table also allows to carry out dynamic tests for seismic qualification of equipment and components for the manufacturing industry and electric power distribution according to international standards.

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Array seismology at NORSAR

Array seismology at NORSAR

The infrastructure at NORSAR consists primarily of a data center and field installations on Norwegian territory and the European Arctic, comprising four different seismic arrays (with apertures ranging from 1 to 60km equipped with 1C or 3C short-period or broadband sensors) and three single 3C broadband stations.

NORSAR provides access to its unique digital database of seismic recordings from all its installations reaching back to April 1971. By offering access to its infrastructure, NORSAR will contribute its knowledge on 1) array seismology, 2) automatic online data processing, 3) near real-time seismic monitoring in various scales from regional seismicity, aftershock sequences and mining-induced seismicity to microearthquakes associated with ground instabilities or hydrothermal activities, and 4) seismic hazard and risk assessment as well as earthquake engineering.

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AZALEE shaking table at TAMARIS/CEA

AZALEE shaking table at TAMARIS/CEA

The AZALEE shaking table, with 100t allowable model mass, is one of the largest shaking tables in Europe. To date, tests with masses up to 92t have been successfully performed. The shaking table is 6mx6m and 6 Degrees-of-Freedom (DoF), allowing testing specimens under independent excitations of various types: sinusoidal, random, shock and time-history with 0 to 100 Hz frequency ranges.

Maximum accelerations of 1g and 2g in the horizontal respectively vertical directions can be applied to specimens with the maximum payload of the table. The peak velocity of the shaking table is 1m/s, peak displacements are 0.125 m and 0.1m in the horizontal respectively in the vertical directions.

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Bearing tester system at EUCENTRE

Bearing tester system at EUCENTRE

The EUCENTRE offers a bi-axial bearing bester system for testing full-scale bearing and isolation devices with 5 degrees of freedom and with high dynamic and force capabilities: vertical forces up to 5’0000 kN and horizontal forces up to 2’000 kN with horizontal displacements of ±480 mm. This experimental equipment is unique in Europe.

During the test it is possible to dynamically control the vertical force and displacement and the rotations of the three principle axes. The bearing tester system also features a component for the execution of full 3D tests (6 controlled DoF). With an alternative actuators configuration, the peak horizontal force can reach 2’800 kN.

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Centrifuge at University of Cambridge

Centrifuge at University of Cambridge

This machine is 150 g-ton machine and can carry payloads of up to 1 tonne. It is routinely used to test soil-structure systems like buildings with pile foundations, retaining walls etc. at the correct prototype stresses and strains. To model earthquake loading specialist actuators are mounted on the centrifuge swings that deliver strong earthquake input motions to the model soil-structure systems.

At present there are two earthquake actuators, one a purely mechanical earthquake actuator called the Stored Angular Momentum (SAM) actuator and a second, more recently added Servo- Hydraulic earthquake actuator. SAM actuator can apply powerful, sinusoidal shaking motions at g levels of up to 100g. The peak dynamic force that this actuator can produce is about 100 kN. Servo-hydraulic earthquake actuator can apply realistic earthquake motions like Kobe motion or Northridge motion to the models being tested and can operate at g levels of up to 80g. This actuator can also create a dynamic force of 100 kN and can operate in the frequency range of 10~200 Hz (noting frequency scales with the g level at which the model is being tested).

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DYNLAB shaking table at IZIIS

DYNLAB shaking table at IZIIS

DYNLAB offers a five–degrees-of-freedom MTS shaking table. It is presently one of the most advanced shaking tables since it is operated with a new state-of-the-art digital control system produced by MTS as the most renowned producer of these simulators.

The main characteristics of this sophisticated shaking table are: Size of table: 5.0 x 5.0 m; Weight of table: 30 t; payload: 40 t;5 DOF, two lateral and four vertical actuators; Type of excitation: random, harmonic or computer generated; Frequency range: 0.1-80Hz; Maximum stroke: horizontal ±125 mm and vertical ±50 mm; Maximum acceleration (bare table) horizontal 3.0 g and vertical 1.5g Maximum velocity, horizontal 1.0 m/s, vertical 0.5 m/s.

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ELSA reaction wall

ELSA reaction wall

The ELSA reaction wall consists of a reinforced concrete vertical wall, which is rigidly connected to a horizontal floor allowing to test the impact of earthquakes and other hazards on the vulnerability of buildings.

By means of computer controlled hydraulic actuators it is possible to expose full scale structures to loads of dynamic strong forces and control the resulting movements with high precision. The wall and the floor are designed to resist the forces, typically several meganewton (MN), which are necessary to deform and seriously damage the full-scale test models of structures. The ELSA reaction wall is the largest facility of its kind in Europe and one of the largest in the world - only exceeded by a facility in Japan.

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STRULAB reaction wall

STRULAB reaction wall

STRULAB infrastructure is particularly suited to seismic testing of small to medium–sized structures. It has an 18mx16m strong floor and two 5.5m tall strong walls (6m, 4m) in orthogonal configuration for biaxial testing. Its main equipment comprises 8 actuators (capacities 360kN to 1MN and strokes ±0.25m to 1.0m) and 9 pistons (300–1’000kN capacities).

Three of the actuators may be used for dynamic testing of components, with one of them (1’500lpm servo valve) being employed for testing isolation devices. Continuous flow of 490 lit/min of oil is supplied by pumps, complemented by several standalone accumulators of different capacities. Two, 4-channel controller banks with networking capabilities are used for test execution, operated in tandem or independently. Its 128-ch data acquisition system is linked to a web database for on-line observation or off-line test rehearsal.

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Shaking table at EUCENTRE

Shaking table at EUCENTRE

This shaking table simulates earthquakes, and is able to reproduce any real event that has been measured, in order to test large dimension prototypes. The structure of the table is a honeycomb like steel network guaranteeing high stiffness and reduced mass, compatible with the forces developed during the structural tests. Six guides, supported with hydrostatic bearings, ensure minimum friction.

EQUALS shaking table

EQUALS shaking table

This shaking table comprises a 3m by 3m platform supported by 8 hydraulic actuators. The table can carry up to 15 tones and (depending on the loading) can reach acceleration levels up to about 5g with peak displacements of ±150mm, making it ideal for testing specimens to destruction.

The specimens' behavior can be recorded using accelerometers, displacement transducers, load cells and strain gages and other types of sensor. Typically, between 50 and 100 sensors are used. EQUALS is particularly suited for testing small to medium sized specimens in order to investigate fundamental dynamic and seismic phenomenon.

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EUROSEISTEST and EUROPROTEAS

EUROSEISTEST and EUROPROTEAS

EUROSEISTEST combined with the EUROPROTEAS and its data providing web portal is among the most powerful and advanced large-scale infrastructures in Europe and worldwide, supporting advanced research in earthquake engineering, geotechnical earthquake engineering, soil dynamics and seismology.

It consists of a 3D array of 21 accelerographs and a large-scale model structure (EUROPROTEAS) dedicated to study soil-structure interaction and wave propagation for free and forced oscillation.

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