IFSTTAR Centrifuge

The LCPC geotechnical centrifuge

The IFSTTAR geotechnical centrifuge has a capacity to place a 2 tonnes model at a centrifuge acceleration of 100g. Its radius is 5.5 m and the platform of the swinging basket that supports the model is 1.4mx1.1m.

Many different devices have been developed for the preparation and characterisation of the soil beds (automatic hopper, consolidometers, on-board Cone Penetration Test (CPT) and Vane test devices), for applying forces on the model during flight (actuators for loading the models, electromagnetic hammer), and for measurements and observation (sensors, data acquisition systems, transparent face container, cameras, etc.).

For earthquake simulation tests, a shaking table set is added in the basket of the centrifuge so that a “horizontal” acceleration simulating the bedrock acceleration during the earthquake is superimposed to the “static vertical” centrifuge acceleration modelling the gravity.

The major characteristics of this device are:

  • maximum payload mass: 400 kg including the soil box (~ 120 kg);
  • maximum centrifuge acceleration: 80g;
  • maximum horizontal acceleration: 0.5 g prototype (for example 20g at 40 g gravity, 40 g at 80 g gravity);
  • maximum velocity: 1 m/s;
  • frequency range in broad band earthquake (“real earthquakes”): 30 to 300 Hz.

The services currently offered to users of the infrastructure include the competence of a 25 year old research team in centrifuge testing, the design of the experimental approach and of the experimental set up, the soil preparation and the model manufacturing (either within IFSTTAR capacities or through subcontracting).



What's next

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  Joint with US-NEES "Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructures

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