Experimental Facilities

The Laboratory for Resilient Steel Structures (RESSLab), as part of the Civil Engineering Institute (IIC), has available a wealth of experienced technical personnel as well as sophisticated testing equipment in order to facilitate a broad range of testing possibilities both in the laboratory and the field. A recent addition to the experimental facility at IIC is the Cage (shown below) that allows for multi-purpose experimental testing including the coupling of numerical and experimental substructures (Hybrid simulation). The Cage allows for the simultaneous use of up to 8 servo-hydraulic actuators with a state-of-the-art controller that was recently purchased through an SNSF Requip equipment grant.

Case: Multi-purpose experimental setup for multi-physics pseudo-dynamic and real-time hybrid experimentation.
High performance instrumentation allows us to measure deformations, displacements, forces, angles, pressures, temperatures etc. during a test at a precision that can be adapted to the particular situation, including full field displacement systems (i.e. Digital Image Correlation and Krypton LED system).
Sample types of experiments that can be carried out (but not limited to those) are summarized below:
  • fatigue tests on various structural elements
  • cyclic tests (quasi-static tests simulating seismic actions) at large displacements associated with structural collapse
  • Beam-to-column connections, steel braces, beam-columns under monotonic and/or cyclic loading
  • Supplemental damping devices for response modification of steel structures under wind and seismic loading
  • slip and resistance tests on bolted connections
  • push-outs (studs, connectors, profiled sheeting)
  • monitoring of structures under construction

The internal quality management system includes a committee and a Quality Manual. The quality manual consists of a website containing eight chapters covering the organization and procedures of the institute, the various document types, testing manuals, technical information on testing equipment as well as web-based tools to manage this equipment. The quality manual (in French) is only accessible within the institute’s intranet where it can be found at http://isswww.epfl.ch/manuel.