Lab Access

Transnational Access (TA) to a portfolio of world class research complementary infrastructures is offered to selected talented European researchers. Users are given access to the infrastructures for the design of the test specimen and the instrumentation, for the execution of the tests and for the processing and interpretation of results. The lead user and the majority of the users in a team work in an institution in a EU Member State or EU Associated country, but other than the one where the TA facility is established. The following facilities offer Transnational Access:

Users are integrated into the scheduling of the infrastructure during the execution programme of each project, from the design and construction of the test specimen, to the instrumentation, experimental testing and interpretation of experimental results, receiving from the staff of the infrastructure all the support needed to carry out their project. A user support team is allocated to each user on a daily basis, to develop and execute the test programme, including appropriate technicians for test model fabrication, instrumentation, etc.

The infrastructure facilities are well prepared to host external researchers. During their stay,  external researcheres are integrated with the permanent staff, from whom they receive technical and scientific assistance. Following the necessary training, users are able to fully participate in the test preparation, execution, data acquisition and interpretation.

The services that are given to users having access to the shaking table (ST), bearing tester system (BTS), reaction wall (RW) and centrifuge (CG) infrastructures are:

Read more about the selected TA Research projects.

Prospective users are invited to consult the open calls for proposals, in the news category, for updated information on the availability. Read more about the submission procedure of TA Proposals.

TA Proposals

Important update (Aug. 2012): All facilities offering Transnational Access are fully booked until the end of SERIES. There is no availability for the submission of new proposals.

Submitted TA proposals were evaluated according to the following procedure:
Proposals for Transnational Access were submitted through this website using a common template.
The lead user and the majority of the users of a proposal were required to work in an institution in a EU Member State or EU Associated country, but other than the one where the TA facility is established.
Prospective users first applied for an account and submitted their proposal after the activation of the account.

Prospective users included in their proposal the following:

The submitted proposals were graded according to the following criteria and corresponding weights:

Criterion for Selection*
Weight (%)
Fundamental Scientific and Technical value and interest
10
Originality and innovation
9
Quality of proposing team(s), Number of users
9.5
Importance for public safety
7
Importance for European standardisation
7
Importance for European integration and cohesion
6
Importance for sustainable growth
5.5
Importance for European competitiveness
7.5
Importance and relevance to TA facility’s own S/T interests
8.5
Synergies and complementarities with other TA tests
5.5
Cost and feasibility according to TA facility
10
Previous use of TA facility by any in the user group
7.5
Availability of similar infrastructures in any of the users' countries
7
 
100% 

*A minimum average grade of 6 per criterion was required for acceptance

Acceptance depended on the access days available at each facility. Successful user teams signed a contract agreement with the corresponding facility, delineating the test program and the specimen(s), estimating the length of user stays at the facility and the days of use. The facility determined at a later stage in more detail the access days and the technical program, after consulting the user. It is an obligation of the users to publish the knowledge generated, first in interim and public final reports and then in Journal or Conference papers. The contract defines the rights and obligations of the facility and the users, including provisions for early termination.

   

Contact persons: M. N. Fardis, S. Bousias, D. Biskinis, G. Tsionis

AZALEE shaking table

The 6mx6m AZALEE shaking table

The TAMARIS infrastructure and its main shaking table AZALEE, to which access is offered, belong to CEA’s Seismic Laboratory. The infrastructure’s equipment has been upgraded recently, by installing a new digital controller for AZALEE.

The AZALEE shaking table, with 100t allowable model mass, is the largest shaking table 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 and vertical directions, respectively, 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 ±0.1 m in the horizontal and vertical directions, respectively.

The services offered to users that make the infrastructure unique include a team of about 20 expert scientists and technicians working in earthquake engineering RTD projects, the possibility for substructuring, a high quality control and acquisition system allowing recording 256 channels, and a scientific computing and processing system (CAST3M) for the definition and execution of tests and subsequent interpretation of results.

The areas of research supported by the infrastructure cover a variety of experimental and analytical RTD projects, both in the nuclear and non nuclear fields, for equipment, buildings and soil-structure interaction; both new and existing structures are addressed. Assessment and retrofitting of existing buildings and equipment are of special interest for the laboratory.

EQUALS shaking table

The EQUALS shaking table of the University of Bristol

The Earthquake and Large Structures Laboratory (EQUALS) is part of the Bristol Laboratories for Advanced Dynamics Engineering (BLADE) in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol, UK. It houses a 15t capacity, 6 DoF earthquake shaking table surrounded by a strong floor and adjacent strong walls up to 15m high.

The shaking table consists of a stiff 3mx3m platform, weighing 3.8 tonnes, with a regular grid of M12 bolt holes for attaching to the platform body and for mounting of specimens. The platform can accelerate horizontally up to 3.7g with no payload and 1.6g with a 10t payload. Corresponding vertical accelerations are 5.6g and 1.2g respectively. Peak velocities are 1 m/s in all translational axes, with peak displacements of ±0.15 m.

The shaking table is accompanied by a set of 40 servo-hydraulic actuators that can be configured to operate in conjunction with the shaking table, strong floor and reaction walls, providing a highly adaptable dynamic test facility that can be used for a variety of earthquake and dynamic load tests.

Hydraulic power for the shaking table is provided by a set of six shared, variable volume hydraulic pumps, providing up to 900 lt/min at a working pressure of 205 bar. The maximum flow capacity can be increased to around 1200 lt/min for up to 16 seconds at times of peak demand with the addition of extra hydraulic accumulators.

A special feature of the EQUALS facility is its digital control system, with world leading features, including a ‘hybrid test’ capability (also known as ‘dynamic sub-structuring’) in which part of the structural system of interest can be emulated by a numerical model embedded in the digital control system, while only a sub-component need be tested physically. Extensive instrumentation is available, including 256 data acquisition channels.

EQUALS has particular expertise in seismic testing of geotechnical problems. The facility is equipped with two lamellar, flexible, shear boxes for geomechanics testing. One of these is 6m-long, 1.5m-deep and 1m-wide; the other is 1.5m-long, 1m-deep and 1m-wide.

The EQUALS facility is supported by a multi-disciplinary group of academics specialising in advanced dynamics and materials from across the Civil, Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering, and Non-linear Dynamics fields, providing to users day-to-day support, specimen fabrication and manufacturing, as well as shaking table operation, electronics and instrumentation support. The Faculty has an extensive manufacturing workshop equipped with numerically controlled machines, etc.

The research based on the EQUALS shaking table includes the response of cable-stayed bridges, soil-structure interaction, the use of discrete damping elements in building structures, base isolation systems, torsional response of buildings, masonry structures, steel and concrete buildings, multiple-support excitation, travelling earthquake wave effects, non-linear self-aligning structures, dams, reservoir intake towers, retaining walls and strengthening systems with advanced composites.

EQUALS is particularly suited to testing of small- to medium-sized specimens in order to investigate fundamental dynamic and seismic phenomena. EQUALS is sometimes used to develop a large-scale experimental campaign that will be executed on a bigger shaking table, such as those at CEA Saclay or LNEC Lisbon. The shaking table can be augmented by additional actuators, to enable multiple-support excitation or travelling wave effects to be explored.

 

EUCENTRE shaking table & bearing tester

The 3-D reaction system for structural testing at EUCENTRE

The activities of the EUCENTRE benefit from one of the most advanced laboratories in the world (TREES Lab – Laboratory for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering and Seismology). The testing facilities available at the EUCENTRE TREES Lab consist of a large unidirectional high performance shake table, a reaction system composed of two L-shaped reaction walls and a strong floor and an advanced high performance bearing tester system.

The main specifications of the experimental facilities to which access will be offered are as follows:

Access to the shaking table will be given to projects focused on seismic risk reduction involving dynamic studies on scaled or real scale structures, using concrete, masonry, steel or wooden prototypes. Alternatively, tests can be performed on subassemblies or parts of structures whose behaviour can be conveniently and separately investigated from the whole structure. Users interested in shake table control issues may submit proposals for software implementation, development and testing.

Access to the Bearing Tester System will be given for cyclic static or dynamic seismic tests on bearings and seismic isolation devices, performance assessment and prototype study and development. User activities can be oriented to traditional devices (rubber bearings, dampers, pots, etc.) or to innovative devices, such as those based on pendulum (FPS, friction pendulum system with single and double curvature), magneto-rheological, etc.

JRC reaction wall

The ELSA reaction wall facility

The European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA) operates a 16 m-tall, 21 m-long reaction long, with two reaction platforms of total surface 760 m2 that allow testing real scale structural models on both sides of the wall. The laboratory is equipped with 20 actuators with capacities between 0.25 and 3 MN and strokes between ±0.25 and ±1.0 m. The hydraulic equipment is capable of delivering a flow of 1500 lt/min at a pressure of 210 bar.

The control system of the actuators allows development of different control and time stepping strategies; for example, the continuous pseudo-dynamic test method with substructuring, that permits testing elements of a large structure (such as a multi-span bridge), bidirectional testing of multi-storey buildings (allowing simulation of torsional response), and testing of strain-rate dependent devices (isolators or dissipaters) with substructuring.

Concerning the actual performance of experimental tests, the ELSA facility will offer the use of the PsD method with substructuring techniques for the simulation of the seismic action on large-scale structural systems, as well techniques for modal assessment and system identification.

The services offered to users that make the ELSA infrastructure unique include the competence and critical mass of its computational mechanics team; important links of collaboration established with the main research institutions outside Europe (USA, Japan, Taiwan, etc.) in earthquake engineering; and a comprehensive database containing the experimental data generated by the infrastructure and already used for calibration and adoption of European standards, mitigation of seismic risk for existing structures and preservation of cultural heritage buildings.

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:

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).

 

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.

Turner Beam Centrifuge

The Turner Beam Centrifuge facility at Cambridge has a balanced beam configuration that can carry a payload of 1 tonne and can accelerate it to 150g’s (150 g-ton machine). The working radius of the centrifuge is 4.125 m and the platform dimensions are approximately 1.0mx0.95m.

The earthquake actuation system on the centrifuge is the Stored Angular Momentum (SAM) based earthquake actuator. The capabilities of the SAM earthquake actuator are as follows:

The Turner Beam Centrifuge facility at the University of Cambridge

Foundations of special structures, both on-shore and off-shore, are tested with monotonic loading, cyclic loading or dynamic loading (earthquake loading in particular). The Schofield Centre plays a major role in disseminating standardised methods of centrifuge model making, particularly in the area of dynamic centrifuge modelling. New facilities are being developed to carry out model saturation using high viscosity pore fluids that are required to satisfy the scaling laws in dynamic centrifuge modelling.

The centrifuge facility has many in-flight and laboratory floor devices that were developed over a long period of time for soil characterisation. In-flight CPT’s have been used for in-flight soil characterisation and determination of boundary effects. Specialist calibration equipment has been developed and maintained in-house to guarantee the highest standards of instrumentation for high quality data retrieval. An automatic sand pourer has been commissioned to prepare sand models of specified density and soil stratification.

Hydraulic consolidation rigs have been added to the centre’s facilities to prepare clay soil samples of high quality with fully known stress history and user desired strength profiles. In addition, the hydraulic slip rings of the beam centrifuge and the electrical slip rings have been recently upgraded. A new fibre optic slip ring with very high bandwidth has been added to enable high speed communication between on-board computers and the control room. This enables high speed digital imaging to be carried out in-flight for the Particle Image Velocimetry for analyses of digital images and the deduction of the displacement and strain fields in soil models.

The centrifuge is supported by a mechanical workshop that maintains the centrifuge model packages and makes specialist equipment on a test-specific basis, by an instrumentation workshop that maintains existing instruments and by an electronic workshop that maintains and develops data acquisition systems and signal conditioning junction boxes.

Further, a 2D robotic actuator can apply horizontal, vertical and moment loads on structures in-flight. However, this actuator can only be used in non-earthquake tests at the present time.

TA Research Projects

 Distribution of projects per TA facility and progress of delivered access days
 
Facility
TA projects
to be hosted
Completed TA projects
Access days delivered
CEA
3
3
137
JRC
3
3
24
EUCENTRE
3
3
77
UNIVBRIS
7
7
148
LNEC
4
4
100
IFSTTAR
3
3
64
UCAM
4
4
66
TOTAL
27
27
616


 

List of projects with access to the seven laboratories offering Transnational Access through SERIES project.
(click on the project title for more information)
 

Selected during the 3rd and 4th User Selection Panel meetings:  

 

Title of Project Host TA Facility No. of Users (researchers) Access days (delivered) Project status
1. Seismic behavior of structural systems composed of cast in situ concrete walls (Se.Sy.Co.Wa)   EUCENTRE  4 25 completed
Final report available
Video
2. Seismic Behaviour of Mixed Reinforced Concrete - Unreinforced Masonry Wall Structures (CoMa-WallS)  EUCENTRE  9 20 completed
Final report available
Video
3. Assessment of the Seismic Behaviour of Flat-Bottom Silos Containing Grain-like Materials (ASESGRAM)  EQUALS, Bristol  20 completed
Final report available
4. EQUALS, Bristol 7 23 completed
Final report available
5. Investigation of the seismic behaviour of shallow rectangular underground structures in soft soils using centrifuge experiments (DRESBUS II)  IFSTTAR 16 completed
Final report available
6. Centrifuge study of the seismic performance of propped flexible retaining walls embedded in saturated sand (PROPWALL)  UCAM 7 20 completed
Final report available
7. Investigation of several aspects affecting the seismic behaviour of shallow rectangular underground structures in soft soils (TUNNELSEIS) UCAM 5 15 completed
Final report available

 

Selected during the 1st and 2nd User Selection Panel meetings:

  Title of Project Host TA Facility No. of Users (researchers) Access days (delivered) Project Status
1. Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Shear wall RC buildings under Torsional effects using Advanced Techniques (ENISTAT)  AZALEE, CEA  33 completed
Final report available
Video
2. Seismic Strengthening of Deficient RC Buildings Using Ductile Post‐Tensioned Metal Strips (BANDIT)  AZALEE, CEA  19  57 completed
Final report available
Video 1
Video 2
3. Assessment of the seismic response of concentrically-braced steel frames (BRACED)  AZALEE, CEA  7 47 completed
Final report available
Video
4. Seismic Retrofitting of RC Frames with RC Infilling (SERFIN)  ELSA, JRC 7 11 completed
Final report available
Report on photogrammetry
Video 1
Video 2
5. Assessment of the seismic vulnerability of an old RC viaduct with frame piers and study of the effectiveness of different isolation systems through pseudodynamic test on a large scale model (RETRO)  ELSA, JRC 13 13 completed
Final report available
6. Full-scale experimental validation of dual eccentrically braced frame with removable links (DUAREM)   ELSA, JRC  13 - completed
Final report available
7. Polyfunctional Technical Textiles for the Protection and Monitoring of Masonry Structures Against Earthquakes (POLYMAST) EUCENTRE 12 32 completed
Final report available
Video 1
Video 2
8. Experimental Investigation of Dynamic Behaviour of Cantilever Retaining Walls (DYNCREW)  EQUALS, Bristol  25 completed
Final report available
Video
9. High-performance composite-reinforced earthquake resistant buildings with self-aligning capabilities (CERBSAC)   EQUALS, Bristol  20 completed
Final report available
Video
10. The dynamics of soft media reinforced with long inclusions (SMELI)  EQUALS, Bristol  20 completed
Final report available
11. Seismic behaviour of L- and T-shaped unreinforced masonry shear walls including acoustic insulation devices (MAID) EQUALS, Bristol  20 completed
Final report available
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
12. Experimental Investigation of Soil-Pile-Structure Seismic Interaction (PILESI) EQUALS, Bristol  12 20 completed
Final report available
13. Seismic performance of multi-storey timber buildings (TIMBER BUILDINGS)  LNEC 11  40 completed
Final common report
Final report (Rusticasa)
Final report (Legnocase)
Final report (TUGraz building)
Final report (Rubnerhaus)
Video 1
Video 2
14. Shaking table tests of Historic Architecture Retrofitted with Energy Dissipators (SHARED) LNEC 10  25 completed
Final report available
Video
15. Full scale testing of modern unreinforced thermal insulation clay block masonry houses (CLAY BLOCK MASONRY) LNEC 15 completed
Final report available
16. Assessment of innovative solutions for non-load bearing masonry enclosures (MASONRY ENCLOSURES)  LNEC  20 completed
Final report available
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
17.  Dynamic response of box-shaped underground structures (DRESBUS)  IFSTTAR  24 completed
Final report available
18.  Experimental and Numerical Investigations of Nonlinearity in soils using Advanced Laboratory-Scaled models (ENINALS)  IFSTTAR  8 24 completed
Final report available
19. Experimental Verification of Shallow Foundation Performance under Earthquake-induced Liquefaction (FLIQ)  UCAM  4 16 completed
Final report available
Video
20.  Shallow foundations exposed to seismic liquefaction: A centrifuge-based study on the level and mitigation of the effects (LIQMIT)  UCAM  4 15 completed
Final report available

  

TA Project: DRESBUS II

Click here to read the final report of the DRESBUS II project.

A concise presentation of the project's aim and main outcomes is available in the Joint brochure of the SERIES TA facilities.

TITLE OF PROPOSAL: Investigation of the seismic behaviour of shallow rectangular underground structures in soft soils using centrifuge experiments

HOST TA FACILITY: IFSTTAR, Nantes, France

TA AGREEMENT BETWEEN USERS AND FACILITY:
signed

STARTING DATE: January 2011

END DATE: December 2012

NO. OF USERS (researchers): 8

LEAD USER: 
Manolis Rovithis - Earthquake Planning and Protection Organisation (EPPO-ITSAK) (Greece)

ADDITIONAL USERS: 

Kyriazis Pitilakis - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Grigoris Tsinidis - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Anastasios Anastasiadis - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Dimitris Pitilakis - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Konstantia Makra - Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization (EPPO - ITSAK) (Greece)
Manolis Kirtas - Technological Educational Institute of Serres (Greece)
Roberto Paolucci - Politecnico di Milano (Italy)


SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RESEARCH:

Underground structures such as tunnels, metro and parking stations constitute a crucial component of the transportation network in urban areas. Τhe important socio - economic nature of these structures and the associated impact in case of earthquake induced damage denote the paramount importance of safe seismic design, especially in seismic prone regions.

Obviously, seismic behaviour of underground structures differs substantially from aboveground structures due to the particular geometry and structural system of the former and the strong stress coupling with the surrounding soil. However, design of underground structures employed in modern seismic codes is based primarily on simplified guidelines, given the lack of well-documented case histories and postearthquake observations as well as the complexity of experimental tests in large-scale facilities.
To this end, Middle East Technical University (METU) proposed in IFSTTAR – Nantes an experimental investigation on seismic behaviour of underground structures within the framework of SERIES (Centrifuge modeling of dynamic behavior of box shaped underground structures in sand). This proposal extends the above experimental study, posing a series of original questions and further numerical developments with respect to the on-going METU experimental program.

The presently proposed research explores several critical open issues aiming at the development of a reliable and accurate analytical method for the seismic design of this kind of structures. To this end it is complementary but more general than the already agreed METU project. In particular it is proposed to perform well – focused centrifuge tests to investigate the following critical points:

(i) Seismic earth pressures distribution along the side-walls, which is also the main research point of the METU proposal.

(ii) Seismic shear stresses distribution along the perimeter of underground structures.

(iii) Impedance functions for underground structures to model kinematic and inertial soil structure interaction effects in the transversal and longitudinal direction. 

The production of high quality experimental data will be extremely valuable in order to better understand the seismic behaviour of underground structures and to validate numerical models. Along these lines, the collaboration of the two research teams on the production of a well-constrained set of experimental results will certainly enhance the research effort towards the development of reliable code regulations for seismic design of underground structures.

TA project: ASESGRAM

Click here to read the final report of the ASESGRAM Project.

A concise presentation of the aim and main outcomes of the project is available in the Joint brochure of the SERIES TA facilities.

TITLE OF PROPOSAL: Assessment of the Seismic Behaviour of Flat-Bottom Silos Containing Grain-like Materials

HOST TA FACILITY: 
EQUALS, Bristol, UK

TA AGREEMENT BETWEEN USERS AND FACILITY:
signed

STARTING DATE:
December 2010

END DATE:
February 2013

NO. OF USERS (researchers): 
3

LEAD USER: 
Dora Foti - Technical University of Bari (Italy)

ADDITIONAL USERS: 
Tomaso Trombetti - University of Bologna (Italy)
Salvador Ivorra Chorro - University of Alicante (Spain)

 

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RESEARCH:

This research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative methodology for the seismic design of flat-bottom silos containing granular, grain-like material.

The seismic design of such silos is currently developed estimating the inertia forces caused by earthquakes upon these structures using a “crude” evaluation (mass of the grain-like material multiplied by the Peak Ground Acceleration).
In recent analytical research work developed by the team, the actions provoked by earthquake ground motions on the walls of flat-bottom grain silos have been studied analytically. The mutual actions exchanged between the grain and the silo walls under static and accelerated conditions (constant vertical acceleration and constant horizontal acceleration) have been assessed. The analytical results obtained have allowed to formulate some synthetic suggestions aimed at assessing seismic effects on the walls of flat-bottom grain silos. The results indicate that, in the case of silos characterized by specific (but normal) height/diameter slenderness ratios, the portion of the grain mass interacting with the silo walls proves to be noticeably lower than the total grain mass contained in the silo used in the “traditional” design of such structures, thus allowing for smaller actions to be taken into account in the seismic design of such structures.

The proposed shaking table experimental test here proposed aims at the identification of the forces induced by the grain like material upon such silos in order to verify the theoretical findings. 

TA project: BANDIT

Click here and here to watch two videos from the BANDIT tests.

Click here to read the final report of the BANDIT Project.

A concise presentation of the project’s aim and main outcomes is available at SERIES' TA joint brochure.

TITLE OF PROPOSAL: Seismic Strengthening of Deficient RC Buildings Using Ductile Post‐Tensioned Metal Strips

HOST TA FACILITY: 
CEA, Saclay, France

TA AGREEMENT BETWEEN USERS AND FACILITY:
Signed on April, 19th 2010

STARTING DATE:
March, 9th 2010 (kick off meeting)

END DATE:
December 2012

NO. OF USERS (researchers):
19

LEAD USER: 
Kypros Pilakoutas - University of Sheffield (UK)

PROJECT ENGINEER COORDINATOR:
Reyes Garcia Lopez - University of Sheffield (UK)


ADDITIONAL USERS:
Mihail Petkovski - University of Sheffield (UK)
Iman Hajirasouliha - University of Sheffield (UK)
Maurizio Guadagnini - University of Sheffield (UK)
Mihaela Anca Ciupala - University of East London (UK)
Nahit Kumbasar - Istanbul Technical University (Turkey)
Zekai Celep - Istanbul Technical University (Turkey)
Alper Ilki - Istanbul Technical University (Turkey)
Ercan Yuksel - Istanbul Technical University (Turkey)
Nicolae Taranu - Technical University “Gheorghe Asachi” of Iasi (Romania)
Mihai Budescu - Technical University “Gheorghe Asachi” of Iasi (Romania)
Ionut Ovidiu Toma - Technical University “Gheorghe Asachi” of Iasi (Romania)
Lluis Torres - University of Girona (Spain)
Albert Turon - University of Girona (Spain)
Cristina Barris - University of Girona (Spain)
Marta Baena - University of Girona (Spain)
M. "Saiid" Saiidi - University of Nevada, Reno (US)
Christis Chrysostomou – Cyprus University of Technology
Nicholas Kyriakides – Cyprus University of Technology

   

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RESEARCH:

Much of the existing building stock in Europe has been designed according to old standards and often suffers from poor quality materials and inadequate construction practices. As a result, these structures have deficient lateral load resistance and can rapidly lose their strength during earthquakes leading to collapse. Strengthening of deficient structures is an effective way of reducing their vulnerability and thus the societal risk. Among the different techniques currently available for seismic rehabilitation of RC structures, Post‐tensioned Metal Straps (PTMS) have demonstrated to offer very effective and economic solutions. The efficiency of PTMS technique to improve the flexural and compressive behaviour of deficient RC members has been proved by several static tests at The University of Sheffield. However, this technique is relatively new in construction and its performance should be evaluated by dynamic tests on full‐scale substandard RC building structures, to assist in the development of efficient design methods.
In this proposed project, two substandard full‐scale two‐storey RC frames with poor detailing in joints and columns will be tested under unidirectional shake table excitations to assess the potential and limitations of different seismic rehabilitation strategies using PTMS. In order to get maximum benefit from the frames, shaking tests will be performed independently in both X and Y directions.
The first building will be initially damaged to evaluate the seismic performance of typical substandard structures in Europe and developing countries. Using the experimental results, analytical models will be developed to predict the seismic behaviour of low strength RC beam‐column joints. Subsequently, the damaged building will be retrofitted using PTMS to examine the efficiency of this method for rehabilitation of damaged RC buildings after earthquakes. The second building will be initially strengthened using PTMS and adopting a different strengthening strategy for beams, columns and joints. After the strengthening intervention, shaking tests will be carried out to evaluate the efficiency of the proposed technique in improving the seismic performance of deficient structures at both the local and global level. CFRP will also be used to strengthen some of the joints of both structures in only one direction. This will provide additional data that will be used to evaluate the efficiency of PTMS compared to more conventional techniques. The results of this study will prove instrumental in understanding the seismic behaviour of deficient RC buildings, and in providing guidelines for the use of PTMS as an efficient and economic strengthening technique. 


View of a joint of BANDIT building strengthened with CFRP

TA project: BRACED

Click here to read the final report of the BRACED project.

Click here to watch a video from the BRACED experiments.

A concise presentation of the project's aim and main outcomes is available at the SERIES TA joint brochure.

TITLE OF PROPOSAL: Assessment of the Seismic Response of Concentrically-Braced Steel Frames

HOST TA FACILITY: 
CEA, Saclay, France

TA AGREEMENT BETWEEN USERS AND FACILITY FACILITY:
September 2010

STARTING DATE:
February, 10th 2010 (kick off meeting)

END DATE:
May 2013

NO. OF USERS (researchers):
9

LEAD USER:
Brian Broderick - Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)


ADDITIONAL USERS:
Alan Hunt - Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Jamie Goggins - National University of Ireland, Galway
Suhaib Salawdeh - National University of Ireland, Galway
Gerard O'Reilly - National University of Ireland, Galway
Darko Beg - University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Primoz Moze - University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Franc Sinur - University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Ahmed Elghazouli - Imperial College London (UK)


SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RESEARCH:


The proposed research will investigate the ultimate behaviour of concentrically braced frames (CBFs). The seismic performance of these structuresisaffected by the reduced ductility capacity of hollow section bracing members under low cycle fatigue conditions. In addition, there is a need for improved design and detailing guidance for the gusset-plate connections commonly used in CBFs, especially for the case of out-of-plane buckling. The proposed research will validate recently-developed models for the ductility capacity of hollow section bracing members and recent proposals for the improved detailing of gusset plate connections. It will identify active yield mechanisms and failure modes in member/connection combinations and provide essential data on the earthquake response of European CBFs.
An integrated experimental and numerical research programme will be carried out by the project team, the central element of which will be a series of shake table experiments on full-scale model single-storey CBFs designed to Eurocode 8. The brace member and connection details will be varied between experiments to investigate the range of global and local member slenderness found in European design practice. In each experiment, three separate tests will be performed with table excitations scaled to produce elastic response, brace buckling/yielding and brace fracture. These experiments will be supported by correlative pre-test predictions and post-test simulations using pushover and time-history analysis.
The experimental programme will produce a unique set of data on the ultimate earthquake response of CBFs with realistic brace members and connections. The principal outcomes will include measurements of the displacement ductility capacity of the brace specimens; an evaluation of the influence of gusset plate detailing on connection ductility; observations on the contributions of brace and connection yielding to overall inelastic deformation of CBFs; measurements of equivalent viscous damping in CBFs; assessment and improvement of Eurocode 8 design guidance for CBFs; and validation of numerical models.
 


Model CBF on Azalee shaking table (without added mass)

TA project: CERBSAC

Click here to watch a video from the CERBSAC tests.

Click here to read the final report of the CERBSAC project.

A concise presentation of the project's aim and main outcomes is available in the Joint brochure of the SERIES TA facilities.

TITLE OF PROPOSAL: High-performance composite-reinforced earthquake resistant buildings with self-aligning capabilities

HOST TA FACILITY: EQUALS, Bristol, UK

TA AGREEMENT BETWEEN USERS AND FACILITY: August 2009

STARTING DATE:
March 2010

END DATE:
October 2011

NO. OF USERS (researchers):
6

LEAD USER:
Bohumil Kasal - TU Branschweig/Fraunhofer WKI (Germany) and ITAM Prague (Czech Republic)

ADDITIONAL USERS:
Andreas Heiduschke -TU Dresden (Germany)
Stanislav Pospisil - ITAM Prague (Czech Republic)
Shotta Urushadze - ITAM Prague (Czech Republic)
Zbigniew Zembaty - University of Techology Opole (Poland)
Norbert Rüther - Fraunhofer WKI (Germany)

 


SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RESEARCH:


This proposal is based on previous successful studies performed by the members of this team where scaled and full-scale prototypes of self-aligning frames were used (Heiduschke et al. 2008, Heiduschke et al. 2009). In the previous studies, it was shown that laminated wood frames with local composite reinforcement resist significant inertia forces. However, large drifts were impossible to control through moment connections. This has been viewed as a drawback from the standpoint of serviceability design. This proposal addresses the issue of excessive drift by including additional stiffening devices that will control drift at moderate earthquakes and allow energy dissipation during events of large magnitude. Such controlling devices will include x- and knee-bracing with controlled yielding, dissipative links, and/or shear walls. The idea is to allow the replaceable stiffening device to be damaged while leaving the main load bearing system (frame) intact. The challenge here is designing the frame as self-aligning, meaning that sufficient elastic energy be stored in the beams and columns and recovered after the EQ event. The loss of stiffness in the yielding bracing will reduce the recovery energy demand.
The overall objective of the proposed research is to increase the reliability and safety of buildings in natural disaster-prone areas using renewable natural resources, sustainable development principles, and the latest knowledge of composite materials through the development of hybrid and composite structures with high load-capacities, low mass, and high ductility. Additional benefits include an application of composite frames to historic masonry and adobe structures in seismic-prone areas to achieve their seismic protection while keeping original architectural and structural attributes intact. 

TA project: CLAY BLOCK MASONRY

Click here to read the final report of the CLAY BLOCK MASONRY project.

A concise overiew of the project is available in the Joint brochure of the SERIES TA facilities.

TITLE OF PROPOSAL: Full scale testing of modern unreinforced thermal insulation clay block masonry houses

HOST TA FACILITY: 
LNEC, Lisbon, Portugal

TA AGREEMENT BETWEEN USERS AND FACILITY:
7 Jan. 2010

STARTING DATE:
July 2010

END DATE:
July 2013

NO. OF USERS (researchers):
11

LEAD USER:
Suikai Lu - Wienerberger AG (Austria)

ADDITIONAL USERS:
Hervé Degee - University of Liège (Belgium)
Christophe Mordant - University of Liège (Belgium)
Veronika Sendova - Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology-IZIIS (fYR Macedonia)
Zoran Rakicevic - Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology-IZIIS (fYR Macedonia)
Ema Coelho – LNEC (Portugal)
Alfredo Campos Costa – LNEC (Portugal)
Paulo Candeias – LNEC (Portugal)
Luís Mendes – LNEC (Portugal)
António Correia – LNEC (Portugal)
Andreas Jäger - Wienerberger AG (Austria)

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RESEARCH:

Model A and model B in the LNEC test lab

This project focuses on testing of the seismic performance of modern unreinforced high thermal insulating clay block masonry houses. This solution represents a very common construction method in Europe that still lacks seismic vulnerability assessment. The aim of this project is to validate experimentally the effective three-dimensional dynamic response under seismic events.

Experimental setup

Two full scale 2-storey models with dimensions of 3.7x4.2m2 in the ground floor and a height of 5.4m were built on specially designed steel foundations. Model A is regular in plan while model B includes significant irregularities. Four additional masses of 600kg  each were placed on the first floor for considering a life load of 2 kN/m².

For building the models premium insulation filled clay blocks from Wienerberger with excellent mechanical and thermal performance were used. The blocks were masoned with thin layer mortar with a thickness of approximately 1mm.

The instrumentation setup was conceived in such a way to collect as much relevant data as possible to characterize the overall and local seismic behaviour of the tested mock-ups.
 

Testing procedure and results

As seismic input a semi-artificial earthquake based on a central European record (Friuli 1976 – Tolmezzo Station) fitted to a specific EC8 elastic response spectrum was used. From this reference signal (REF), with a PGA of 0.36g (N-S) and 0.32g (E-W), other signals with scaled intensities were generated (12.5% REF, 25% REF,…). The models were loaded in eight stages with consecutive uniaxial loading in both directions for the first stage, followed by determination of natural frequency, followed by biaxial loading for the next stage, and so on. For each load level several shakes with increasing intensity were performed to reach the final intensity of the single step, giving a total number of 62 shakes for model A and 54 shakes for model B.

The tests on both models were stopped at the REF intensity level because heavy damage was observed and  collapse was imminent. With this result the design PGA predicted by pushover analysis was exceeded by a factor of 2.0 to 2.5. In a next step the data collected during the tests will be analyzed in detail and additional numerical simulations will be performed to further assess the seismic performance of the tested type of masonry.

TA project: CoMa-WallS

Click here to watch a video. 

Click here to read the final report of the CoMa-Walls Project.

A concise presentation of the project's aim and main outcomes is available in the Joint brochure of the TA facilities.

TITLE OF PROPOSAL: Seismic Behaviour of Mixed Reinforced Concrete - Unreinforced Masonry Wall Structures

HOST TA FACILITY: 
EUCENTRE, Pavia, Italy

TA AGREEMENT BETWEEN USERS AND FACILITY:
August 2012

STARTING DATE:
September 2012

END DATE:
January 2013

NO. OF USERS (researchers):
9

LEAD USER:
Katrin Beyer - EPFL: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)

ADDITIONAL USERS:
Baris Binici - METU: Middle East Technical University (Turkey)
Christoph Butenweg - Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (Germany)
Murat Altug Erberik - METU: Middle East Technical University (Turkey)
Pierino Lestuzzi - EPFL: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Marco Tondelli - EPFL: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Sarah Petry - EPFL: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Alessandro Paparo - EPFL: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Jenö Varga - Keller AG Ziegeleien (Switzerland)
Thomas Wenk - Wenk Erdbebeningenieurwesen und Baudynamik GmbH (Switzerland)

Structure on the shaking table before testing.


SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RESEARCH:
 

The objective of the proposed research project is to investigate the seismic behaviour of mixed reinforced concrete (RC) and unreinforced masonry (URM) wall structures by means of shaking table tests. Although such structures are very common in practice, they have not been tested in the past. In mixed RC and URM wall structures the system stiffness and overall structural behaviour will strongly depend on both types of structural elements because the stiffnesses of the walls are comparable. 
The proposed test unit is a four storey building built at half scale. The test unit will be subjected to unidirectional excitation at different levels. The structure represents a modern, engineered residential building with RC slabs. It has two RC and six URM walls; four of the latter will be loaded in-plane and two out-of-plane.

The test results will allow addressing open issues in European standardization concerning the seismic design of mixed structural systems, where two different types of structural systems act in parallel. Among the open issues are, for example, the choice of force-reduction factors q for mixed structural systems, assumptions concerning the distribution of base shear forces between different types of structural elements, importance and quantification of compatibility forces due to different deformation characteristics of structural elements. In addition, performance limit states of such structures are not defined. For mixed RC-URM wall structures quantitative conclusions concerning these issues will be possible.