LNEC shaking table

The Earthquake Engineering Research Centre (NESDE) at LNEC has a large 3D shake table (LNEC-3G) located in a large testing hall with floor-to-ceiling height of 10m, enabling testing of tall structures. An overhead crane with 400kN capacity allows transportation of large specimens inside the testing hall, optimising the use of the facility concerning repeated cycles of construction, installation and removal of large specimens from the table.

LNEC-3G has three independent translational DoFs, with rotational ones minimised via a torque tube system. Under the horizontal cranks, passive gas actuators may enable peak velocities up to 0.7 m/s. The command and control of the shake table is fully digital, simulating specific motions expressed either as response spectra or as time-histories. The acquisition system, allows up to 154 channels for measuring pressures, forces, accelerations, displacements (LVDTs and optical), strains, etc.

LNEC’s current 3D shake table was designed specifically for testing civil engineering structures and components up to collapse or ultimate limit states. A special feature is its capacity in terms of payload (specimen weight 40 t), allowing testing of small real scale buildings (1-storey, 3D concrete frames have been tested) or larger buildings at smaller scales (bridge piers and 4-storey buildings have been tested at 1:3 scale).

The 3D shake table is surrounded by three stiff reaction walls able to support large horizontal forces, allowing seismic testing with substructuring by introducing additional actuators between the reaction walls and the model to simulate the dynamic reaction of a linear substructure on the model being tested on the shaking table.

The external users of the LNEC facility may count on the collaboration of LNEC staff, which plays an important role in all phases of the experimental studies. Staff comprises senior research officers, assistant researchers, doctoral students and technicians, working in a multidisciplinary environment characterised by an important experience in research in the different fields of earthquake engineering, both at national and European level.


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  Joint with US-NEES "Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructures

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