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Structural Testing Laboratories



The West Campus Structural Testing Laboratory, which opened in 2014, is designed to accommodate testing of full-scale systems and components. The laboratory has 10,000 ft2 of open laboratory area with a clear height of 43 ft. The strong floor has anchor points spaced 3 ft on center that support loads of up to 100,000 pounds at each anchor location.  An L-shaped reaction wall is located at one end of the reaction floor. Each face of the wall has a 36 ft long by 40 ft tall reaction area with anchor points spaced 3 ft on center. The wall allows the application of loads of up to 880,000 pounds anywhere on its surface in one or two directions simultaneously. The laboratory is equipped with two 20-ton cranes that can be operated independently or jointly. It has an MTS Silentflo hydraulic power unit with a rated flow capacity of 180 gpm and an MTS Flex-Text 60 control system capable of controlling up to eight channels operating jointly or separately through up to 6 different test stations.

The Learned Hall Structural Testing Laboratory, which has been actively operated since its opening in the 1970s, has 4,000 ft2 of open laboratory area with a clear height of 30 ft. There is a 20-ton traveling crane for transporting specimens and equipment. The strong floor has anchor points spaced 3 ft on center that support loads of up to 100,000 pounds at each anchor location. The laboratory has three MTS hydraulic power units with rated flow capacities of 90, 30, and 20 gpm to supply hydraulic oil to testing equipment. A Flex-Text II CTC control system capable of managing up to four actuators is available for cyclic and dynamic testing of full-scale structural components within the test bay. Reaction frames are available for testing approximately full-scale bridge systems as well as structural components. The Learned Hall Structural Testing Laboratory also has three digitally controlled self-reacting hydraulic testing machines with capacities of 60,000 120,000 and 600,000 pounds in both tension and compression.

Testing equipment is shared between the laboratories and with Marshal G. Lutz Fracture and Fatigue Laboratory. This shared equipment includes two 55,000-pound, one 110,000-pound, two 220,000-pound, and one 330,000-pound MTS hydraulic actuators. The actuators, which have stroke lengths of between 10 and 40 inches, are equipped with single or dual servovalves with rated flow capacities of up to 90 gpm. A Power-Team hydraulic loading system is also available that includes rams with several different load ratings, including four 100-ton dual acting rams. For data acquisition, the laboratories share multiple National Instruments data acquisition systems that can be configured to be used independently or jointly and a non-contact infrared based data acquisition system for recording deformations of both small and large-scale specimens.

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