The Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) at the University at Buffalo (UB) houses the Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL). SEESL is hosting a key equipment site, NEES@buffalo, in a nationwide earthquake engineering "collaboratory" - the National Science Foundation's "George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation" (NEES).
The Laboratory comprises of (i) physical facilities described in detail in this report, (ii) faculty specialists who develop and perform experiments and design lab instrumentation and setups, (iii) permanent laboratory staff and (iv) laboratory services for research and development. The physical facilities are described in detail in the Lab Manual, while the second through fourth items are described in in the website http://nees.buffalo.edu/
The physical features include:
· Three Earthquake Simulators, known also as Shake Table
o Two relocatable 7.0m x7.0m platforms with six-degrees-of-freedom, 50 tons payload each
o One 3.6m x 3.6m with five-degrees of freedom, 50 tons payload
· A two stories bi-axial Shaking Table system used as Non-structural Component Simulator
· A 175 m2 Strong Reaction Wall for reactions to horizontal loading devices (actuators) for large scale testing
· Two 340 m2 Strong Testing Floor(s) for vertical reactions and tie downs for large scale models
· A bi-axial Laminar Box for 1.0 g soil testing
· Reconfigurable assemblies of Static and Dynamic Servo-controlled Actuators with advanced control systems (STS, Flextest, etc)
· A High Performance Hydraulic Power Supply with flow exceeding 6000 litters per minute (1600 gallons per minute)
· High speed wide band Local and Wide Area Gigabit Networks interfaced and supported by with NEESit services
· Tele-presence & Tele-operations capabilities for local and wide area collaborations in real time
· Advanced Dynamic, Pseudo-dynamic, and Static Testing Capabilities including a generic advanced procedure “Real Time Dynamic Hybrid Testing (RTDHT)
This report introduces the laboratory systems, equipment and personnel and shows several examples of past experiments.
For details on services, additional information is available from the website http://nees.buffalo.edu/ For further details contact:
Prof. A.M. Reinhorn, Director SEESL
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
135 Ketter Hall, North Campus
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
Tel: (716) 645-2114 ext. 2419 or (716) 645-5400 ext 20
C. Pitman, Technical Services Manager, SEESL
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
161M Ketter Hall, North Campus
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
Tel: (716) 645-5400 ext. 16
The Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo has an extensive earthquake simulation, structural, and geotechnical engineering testing facility that is a key node in a nationwide earthquake engineering "collaboratory" - the National Science Foundation's "George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation" (NEES). The entire lab facility consists of four main laboratory rooms, two earthquake laboratories, identified below as Testing Area 1 and Testing Area 2, a Receiving Area and a Fabrication Area, located side by side within Ketter Hall. In addition to these laboratories, Ketter Hall also houses many of the Civil and Structural Engineering faculty offices and a number of smaller laboratories in structural and geotechnical engineering used for research and instruction. These laboratories are also briefly described herein. Figure 2‑1 presents a plan drawing of the laboratory facilities.
Figure 2‑1: Plan of Laboratory Facilities
Figure 2.1.1‑1: Testing Area 1 within Plan of Laboratory Facilities
The Testing Area 1 of the Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory is the smaller of the two main earthquake laboratories located within the building. Figure 2.1.1‑1 identifies Testing Area 1 within the general plan of the laboratory.
It consists of a large rectangular room approximately 70 ft. (21m) long, 65 ft. (20m) wide, and 30 ft. (9m) tall, enclosing a large strong floor area to which large scale or full-sized specimens and structural assemblages can be attached for quasi-static and dynamic testing. Portion of the area is dedicated to a seismic simulator and a Single-Degree-of-Freedom shake table. A Number of reaction frames are also available for providing lateral support. The area is accessible through a 20 ft. (6m) wide by 13 ft. (4m) high roll up door, and a 12 ft. (3.7m) wide by 12 ft. high (3.7m) roll up door. Both doors are located at the north end of the laboratory and open into the fabrication and receiving areas, which make for excellent accessibility to the loading bay. The laboratory has an overhead bridge crane which is capable of moving materials and test units to any location within the seismic laboratory. Also available within this laboratory are two bearing testing machines. The Large Bearing Testing Machine has been developed and primarily used for commercial testing of large bearings. The Small Bearing Testing Machine is highly versatile and is capable of applying simultaneous compression or tension, shear and rotation on specimens. An office is located in the southwest corner of the laboratory which houses the control center for the seismic simulator. A storage room is also located in this vicinity which stores instruments and data acquisition equipment.
Figure 2.1.1‑2: Shake Table O in Testing Area 1 with extension block
A portion of the seismic lab is dedicated to a 12 ft. (3.7m) by 12 ft. (3.7m) seismic simulator. An opening in the floor allows for a shake table pit to enclose the simulator as well as its mechanics. This shake table has been in use at the University at Buffalo for nearly 20 years. In 2004, it has been refurbished with a new controller and re-built actuators. Figure 188.8.131.52‑1 and Figure 184.108.40.206‑2 present plan, elevation and isometric views of the shaking table and a trench around it. Details and specifications of the seismic simulator are presented in the laboratory equipment section.
Figure 220.127.116.11‑1: View of the Shake table and the trench
Figure 18.104.22.168‑2: Plan and elevation view of the shake table
The test floor is a five cell reinforced concrete box girder 40 ft. (12.2m) long, 60 ft. (18.3m) wide, and 8 ft. (2.5m) overall in height. The thickness of the top test floor slab is 18 in. (46 cm). Tie down points consist of (4) 2 ˝" holes which are arranged symmetrically in both directions. Each tie down point has an axial load allowable capacity of 250 kips (1112kN). Figure 22.214.171.124‑1 presents a view of the strong floor including the layout of the tie down points.
Figure 126.96.36.199‑1: View of the strong floor with tie down points
Testing Area 1 has a 15ton / 33 kip (~150kN) capacity overhead bridge crane which is capable of moving materials and test units to any location within the seismic laboratory. Operation by Staff or Trained Personnel ONLY!
Figure 188.8.131.52‑1: 40Kip Gantry Crane
Located within the laboratory area are several reaction frames that have been fabricated in-house and are used to provide adequate support for lateral loading. The tallest frame can be used to test specimens up to 20 ft. (6m) tall with lateral loads of up to 250 kips (1112kN) at a height of approximately 8 ft. (2.4m) or lower. The frame can also support up to 120 kips (534kN) lateral load applied at a height of 8 ft. (2.4m) or higher. Arrangements are available for developing vertical load in addition to lateral load, and for providing lateral stability to the specimen.
Figure 184.108.40.206‑1: Picture of the tallest reaction frame
A second, shorter reaction frame that is also available has been designed for 55 kip (245kN) horizontal force applied at a height of 100 in. (2.54m) above the floor. It is furnished with 55 kip (245kN), ± 6 in. (15.24 cm) stroke, and 90gpm (340.7lpm) servovalve actuator. Specimens may be attached to the strong floor or to a W21 x 50 beam that is attached to the strong floor. The reaction frame may be used with an existing versatile steel portal frame (column W8 x 24, beam W8 x 21, length 100 in (2.54m), height 75 in. (1.9m), with simple connections that can be easily converted to semi-rigid and rigid) to test energy dissipating systems.
Figure 220.127.116.11‑2: Picture of the shorter reaction frame
Testing Area 1 features also a Single-Degree-of-Freedom shake table. Built by laboratory personnel and students, the table is 3 ft. by 5 ft. (0.9m by 1.5m), has payload of 6 kips (26.7kN), a stroke of ±3 in. (762mm) and can reach accelerations of 0.8g. The table is driven by a 5.5 kip (24.47kN) actuator with two 15gpm (56.78lpm) servovalves. The specimen height is restricted by uplift conditions since the table rides on slide bearings. It is suitable for use with an available three-story, 6 kip (26.7kN) steel model structure.
Figure 18.104.22.168‑1: Shake Table S in Testing Area 1 with proprietary model
Figure 22.214.171.124‑1: Picture of Portable Reaction Wall
The laboratory is equipped with two bearing testing machines. The Large Bearing Testing Machine has been developed and primarily used for commercial testing of large bearings. It is capable of applying 1600 kips (7117kN) vertical load, and lateral displacement of ±5 in. (125mm) amplitude and 10 in/sec (255mm/sec) peak velocity. Figure 126.96.36.199‑1 and Figure 188.8.131.52‑2 present views of the bearing testing machine in the testing of a single elastomeric bearing and of a pair of elastomeric bearings.
Figure 184.108.40.206‑1: Testing of a Single Elastomeric Bearing in Large Bearing Testing Machine
Figure 220.127.116.11‑2: Testing of a Pair of Elastomeric Bearings in Large Bearing Testing Machine
The Small Bearing Testing Machine is a highly versatile machine that is capable of applying simultaneous compression or tension, shear and rotation on specimens. It has a 50 kip (223kN) vertical load capacity (but expandable if a higher capacity load cell is used), ±6 in. (150mm) horizontal displacement capacity, ±2 degrees rotational capacity and peak speed of over 20 in./sec (0.5m/sec). Figure 18.104.22.168‑3 presents a view of the machine in the testing of an XY-FPS bearing in combined tension and high speed shear.
Figure 22.214.171.124‑3: Testing of a Bearing in Small Bearing Testing Machine
An office is located in the southwest corner of the laboratory which houses the computer network control center for the seismic simulator as well as office space. A storage room is also located in this vicinity which stores a majority of the data acquisition equipment
Figure 126.96.36.199‑1: Control Room in Testing Area 1
The Test Area 1 of the laboratories is supplied with (2) MTS Hydraulic Power Supplies. Each of the pumps, 506.81 model, consists of (2) discrete hydraulic pumps with individual flow rates of 70 gpm, for a total of 280 gpm. The pumps can be operated individually or in any combination to achieve the required flow rate. The hydraulic supply, manifolds, is available at several stations throughout the laboratory.
Also available are six static actuators (four Parker and two Miller) and eight MTS dynamic actuators.
Figure 2.1.2‑1: Testing Area 2 within Plan of Laboratory Facilities
A set of two high-performance, six degrees-of-freedom shake tables, which can be rapidly repositioned from directly adjacent to one another to positions up to 100 feet apart (center-to-center). Together, the tables can host specimens of up to 100 metric tons and as long as 120 feet, and subject them to fully in-phase or totally uncorrelated dynamic excitations
Figure 188.8.131.52‑1: View of Shake table A
There are two Reaction Walls in Test Area 2, one next to strong floor and one next to the shake table trench.
Physical Dimensions of the Reaction Wall next to Strong Floor are:
· Length: 41'-0''
· Height: 30'-0''
· Thickness: 2'-0''
Figure 184.108.40.206‑1: Reaction Wall next to Strong Floor
Physical Dimensions of the Reaction Wall next to Shake Table Trench are:
Figure 220.127.116.11‑2: Reaction Wall next to Shake Table Trench
Physical Dimensions of the Strong Floor in Test Area 2 are:
· Length: 79'-0''
· Width: 39'-0''
Figure 18.104.22.168‑1: Picture of Testing Area 2
Test area 2 is equipped with 40T Gantry crane that spans width of test area and is operated by remote control. Operation is restricted to Staff or Trained Personnel ONLY!
Figure 22.214.171.124‑1: Picture of 40T Gantry Crane in Testing Area 2
Figure 126.96.36.199‑1: Picture of Instrumentation Platform in Testing Area 2
Two Observation Decks located on 2nd and 3rd level of the lab.
Figure 188.8.131.52‑1: Visitors Gallery in Testing Area 2
All servers are housed in the server room, located on the first floor of the Testing Area 2 lab. Servers are mounted in racks with redundant and backup power supply. Dual gigabit Ethernet connections are provided to each server. There is an integrated LCD/keyboard console to locally administer all servers in the rack.
The Servers housed are:
· NEES TPM
· Mass Storage (NAS)
· Domain Controllers
· Web Servers
· Email Server
Figure 184.108.40.206‑1: Server Room in Testing Area 2
Elevated Control Room houses Workstations capable of controlling any data acquisition or control system in the lab. These workstations are preloaded with all the necessary software to run any system in the lab. Additionally, software to quickly visualize and analyze captured data is preinstalled as well.
Figure 220.127.116.11‑1: Control Room in Testing Area 2
The pump room, located in the basement of the Testing Area 2, houses four MTS 506.92 Hydraulic Power Supply (HPS) units, each rated at 185gpm (700lpm) flow with 3,000psi (207 bar) working pressure.
Four hydraulic outlet stations are located along the table trench for connection of hoses. Two stations are used to connect to the moveable tables at any one time and any free stations can be used to allow connection of structural actuators to the strong floor along the north side of the floor for certain configurations.
At the strong floor surface, adjacent to the strong wall, four high flow manual distribution manifolds (Error! Reference source not found.) are located, with four sets of 2 inch hand and check valves to allow connection to the three moveable Hydraulic Service Manifolds. These high flow (800gpm) Hydraulic Service Manifolds with additional accumulation are typically located near the lab reaction wall to provide full flow capacity to the high speed structural actuators. This arrangement will supply the highest available volume flow to the structural actuators for their demanding applications for real time hybrid and other high-demand testing. Also available are three low flow distribution manifolds along the south edge of the floor that are evenly spaced and each is provided with two sets of hand and check valves on the testing floor level.
Figure 2.2.1‑1: Fabrication area within Plan of Laboratory Facilities
The Fabrication Area is located between Testing Areas 1 and 2. The area is approximately 58 ft. (17.7m) long and 31 ft. (9.5m) wide, and has direct access to the delivery area and loading bay. Moreover, the area features an additional enclosed 19 ft. by 22 ft. (5.8m by 6.7m) restricted machine area and a 12 ft. by 20 ft. (3.7m by 6.1m) technician’s office. The area has a 15 kip (66kN) capacity overhead bridge crane that is capable of moving materials and test units within the fabrication area. A 6 kip (27kN) capacity forklift is available and typically stored in the Fabrication or Delivery Areas.
A Tinius Olsen Universal Testing Machine is located within the Fabrication Area. A MTS 150 kip (667kN) Compression/Tension Machine is located in this area as well. These machines are used in the testing of concrete specimens, in the calibration of load cells and in the compression testing of elastomeric and sliding bearings.
Figure 18.104.22.168‑1: Machine Shop area within the Plan of Laboratory Facilities
The laboratory maintains facilities and personnel for performing machining, fabrication, welding and erection of structural systems. The equipment necessary to do so is located and stored within the Fabrication Area. Available equipment includes the following:
· Large Drill Press
· Small Drill Press
· Lathe Machine
· Small Lathe Machine
· Vertical Saw
· Horizontal Saw
· Surface Grinder
· Bench Grinder
· Mill Machine
· Mig Welder
· Tack Welder
· Stick Welder
· Pipe Threading Machine
· Inspection Table
Figure 22.214.171.124‑2: View of Machine Shop
SEESL is equipped with several welding stations that can be moved to anywhere within the lab. The welding machines available are:
· Mig Welder
· Tack Welder
· Stick Welder
Figure 126.96.36.199‑1: Welding Station
Figure 188.8.131.52‑1: View of Materials storage
Machine shop area has a 15 kip (66kN) capacity overhead bridge crane that is capable of moving materials and test units within the area
Figure 184.108.40.206‑1: View of the Fabrication Area and the Gantry crane
Figure 2.2.2‑1: Delivery Area within Plan of Laboratory Facilities
The Delivery Area is located between Testing Area 2 and the Fabrication Area. The area is approximately 58 ft. (17.7m) long and 28 ft. (8.5m) wide, and has direct access to the loading bay. The area has a 15 kip (66kN) capacity overhead bridge crane that is capable of moving materials and test units within the Delivery Area. Access to the loading bay is through an overhead door with 15ft.-4 in. 4.7m) width and 16 ft.-8 in. (5.1m) height.
The back of the Delivery Area features a carpenter’s shop that is used in both the fabrication of specimens and in the fabrication of furniture used in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.
Figure 2.2.2‑2: View of the Delivery Area
List of the available rigging equipment :
· 6 kip (27kN) capacity forklift
· 2 ton capacity Strong Bac
· 0.45 ton (1000 lbs) capacity Crane Basket
Figure 220.127.116.11‑1: Forklift
Figure 18.104.22.168‑2: Strong Bac
Figure 22.214.171.124‑3: Crane Basket
Two Electric Scissor lifts are available for lifting personnel within all the lab areas
Figure 126.96.36.199‑1: Electric Scissor Lifts
Delivery area is equipped with 15 kip (66kN) capacity overhead bridge crane that is capable of moving materials and test units within area.
Figure 188.8.131.52‑1: View of the 15kip Gantry Crane
Wood fabrication area is equipped with following:
· Table Saw
· Panel Saw
· Circular Saw
· Air Extractor
Figure 2.2.3‑1: Wood Fabrication Area
The geo-engineering research laboratory includes (a) two automated computer controlled (Geocomp and GDS) apparatus for stress/strain controlled static/cyclic triaxial testing, consolidation and permeability testing, (b) two (Brainard-Kilman) pressure panels capable up to 1400kPa of pressure, (c) 70 mm diameter triaxial cells and flexiwall permeameters, (d) two Geotest (S22/5A) 100x100mm direct shear test apparatus and one 100x100mm Soil Test (D-500A) direct shear apparatus and digital data acquisition system, (e) Five 70mm diameter ELE consolidation cells and load stations with 8-channel ELE digital data logger, (f) two HP network analyzers (LF Impedance Analyzer 4192A, 5Hz-13MHz and RF Impedance/Material Analyzer 4191A, 1MHz-1.8GHz) for material characterization/non-destructive testing; (g) a 60 cm diameter and 2.25m high calibration chamber and model test facility for static and dynamic penetration testing and model pile studies. The laboratory is provided with compressed air up to 700kPa pressure.
Geocomp apparatus consists of Loadtrac, Flow Trac, Hydraulic loading frame, Parker Actuator, Triaxial cells, signal conditioning unit, and Pentium-III computer and software for triaxial shear, cyclic shear, permeability, and consolidation testing. Specimens up to about 70 mm diameter with a cell pressure up to 800kPa can be tested. Axial load capacity is 2000 lbs. Axial strain up to 25% can be reached. Cyclic loading frequency in the range of 0.1 to 10Hz is possible.
GDS apparatus consists of digital panels for back pressure saturation, cell and pore pressure control, and loading and a computer. Specimen size is limited to 38 mm. Axial strain up to 25% can be reached. Cyclic loading frequency is limited to 2Hz.
The geo-engineering laboratory also includes a laminar box (2.75(W)x5(L), 6.2m high, internal dimensions) for full-scale prototype 1-g soil and soil-structure interaction studies for earthquake engineering research as described in the NEES Laboratory Manual.
The laboratory is equipped for conducting standard laboratory tests including classification tests, compaction, permeability (constant head and falling head), unconfined compression and direct shear tests.
In particular the laboratory houses (a) two Geotest (S22/5A) 100x100mm direct shear test apparatus and one 100x100mm Soil Test (D-500A) direct shear apparatus and digital data acquisition system, (b) five 70mm diameter ELE consolidation cells and load stations with 8-channel ELE digital data logger, and (c) two Geotest (S 2013 and S 2014) unconfined compression test machines.
While the laboratory is used primarily for undergraduate instruction, it is also used for research.
The laboratory houses an MTS Axial-Torsion machine (shown in Figure 2.3.3‑1), a small portable shake table, several frames for loading small structural models, a small electro-hydraulic actuator, four computers and a portable data acquisition system.
The MTS machine is capable of applying 100 kips (445kN) tension, 50 kip-in. (5.65kN-m) torque and rotation of up to 50 degrees. It is used both for instruction and research.
The small portable shake table is used for instruction and demonstrations in the laboratory and in classrooms. It is often transported to local schools and museums for demonstrations. It is equipped with two scaled models of a seismically isolated structure and of a damped structure; both built using a length scale of 16 and a time scale of 4.
The portable data acquisition system features 16 channels of data acquisition and LabView data acquisition software.
Figure 2.3.3‑1: Picture of MTS Axial-Torsion machine
Electronic Packaging Laboratory is a multi-disciplinary research laboratory in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental engineering. It brings together faculty members from civil, electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering for interdisciplinary research. The focus of the laboratory is the development of next generation microelectronics technology as well as finding new applications for their use in real world, such as using MEMS sensors for earthquake instrumentation and chemical agent detection in and around civil infrastructure.
The laboratory has extensive material characterization facilities, including a thermal chamber, high g (300g) vibration system, and material characterization units for mechanical, electrical, optical and thermal property determination. The laboratory also houses a sophisticated Moire interferometry system. More information about the laboratory can be found at the website www.packaging.buffalo.edu
Figure 2.3.4‑1 Electronics Packaging Laboratory
Figure 2.3.4‑2 Electronics Packaging Laboratory