PI: James Ricles
Co-PI(s): Spencer Quiel
University: Lehigh University

A small-scale structural dynamic testing laboratory is essential for enhancing graduate and undergraduate structural engineering education on the effects of natural hazards mitigation on civil infrastructure and on developing mitigation measures to promote resiliency of this infrastructure. This laboratory would provide hands-on laboratory exercises, research training, and enable the development and validation of innovative testing methods and algorithms.

The proposed project is a continuation of a previously awarded PITA project to develop such a small-scale testing facility, which will include a shake table (also called a seismic simulator), two dynamic servo-hydraulic actuators, servo-hydraulic controller, and the hydraulic power supply system. The shake table, servo hydraulic controller, and pump will be acquired, while the existing real-time integrated control architecture available at the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Lehigh Real-Time Multi-Directional (RTMD) Experimental Facility (EF) housed in the Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center will be used to drive and control the shake table and newly acquired actuators.

The proposed facility will enable various types of testing to be performed on structural systems and components subjected to natural hazards, including extreme earthquake and wind loads. These tests include shake table testing for seismic simulation, as well as force/displacement controlled dynamic testing, hybrid simulation, and real-time hybrid simulation for both seismic and extreme wind loads. The reduced scale equipment will enable it to be conveniently arranged for use, making it economical, while also reducing congestion on the main laboratory floor.