Directory of European facilities for seismic and dynamic tests in support of industry
This Report constitutes an updated Directory of the major European Large Facilities for the experimentation in the field of the Structural Engineering. The Directory has been prepared in the frame of the activities of Task 6 "Enhancement of Standards for Dynamic Qualification" of the thematic Network Project CASCADE (contract N. HPRI-CT-1999-40006), under the 5th Framework Programme of the European Community. The Directory aims at providing: - A tool, mainly addressed to the European Industry, but also to the Scientific Community, for information on the Facilities presently available in Europe; -The state-of-the-art of the European Facilities in relation to and in comparison with the most recent advances in United States and Japan, countries considered at the forefront of the structural experimentation; - A prospect of the main needs and requirements of the European Industry and of the Scientific Community towards the structures experimentation: A guidance to the European Commission for drawing the development and enhancement lines for the Research Infrastructures operating in the Structural Engineering and for addressing funding in the future Research Programmes. This Directory takes into consideration only the so-defined Large Testing Installations, which public and private institutions make available to Industry for Research activities and for the Qualification of its products. In this category the following experimental facilities are mainly included: - Large Shaking Tables; - Reaction Walls. Information is also provided for large Centrifuges and Shear Stacks. Of course, many other types of Large Facilities are currently available (e.g. shock simulators, road simulators, fatigue testing equipment, material testing machines, etc.). However, these facilities, though very important for industrial applications, have not been taken into consideration in this Directory, firstly because they are generally more conventional than those listed and potential users may have an easier knowledge of them through usual information media (manufacturer leaflets, Internet, etc.); secondly because they are often of interest of a narrow band of users categories; moreover, in many cases they are properties of specific companies, used for their own peculiar needs and often not available for outer users; finally, because they represent a too wide population for being practically synthesized in this report. Shaking Tables and Reaction Walls represent, on the opposite, Facilities which are unlikely associated to specific applications and users: their complexity and their costs make them naturally rare. As above stated, the document establishes a comparison of the European Facilities state-of-the-art with the panorama, from one hand, of the Large Facilities in USA and Japan, which, in relation to the progress of technologies and experimentation techniques there developed, may represent the evolution prospectus for the European Facilities. From the other hand, the Directory, in the vision of future enlargement of the Community, casts a glance, where possible, to the Eastern Countries reality: requirements and needs of these Countries will certainly address the development and funding policies of European Community in the next years, as well as the services that the Community will be able to offer. The Directory is mainly addressed towards the European Industry. The information provided, therefore, leaves less consideration to the scientific background normally associated to the conception and use of such sophisticated Facilities. Such a type of information, useful for a deepening of the issues related to the experimentation, is available in Appendix C and in the literature listed in the References. It has been rather preferred to limit the information to that of practical utilization, collected in forms which can be easily read and compared, relevant to the performances of the Facilities and to their location and distribution; we did not neglect, however, whenever possible, to provide links which allow access to sources of more deep information. Nevertheless, the provided information are deemed such as to generate the interest even of the more demanding category of the Scientific Community. The level of the provided information may attract also the attention of Manufacturers of experimental equipment and, of course, of Facility Owners. With reference to these latter the document hints at concepts of Mutual Accreditation of the Laboratories, which is deemed a crucial step in view of an improved service towards the Industry. Policy Makers should represent a further category of interest for this Directory; the document may contribute to address development and financing policies for existing and new facilities, on the basis of the presently available potential and taking into consideration needs and requirements of the European Industry quality and competitiveness. For the collection of the concerned information different methodological approaches have been adopted: - the direct approach, whenever possible, to the Facilities Owners, part of whom personally contributed to the issuing of the Directory; - a close net of e-mail connections all over Europe has been created for the specific scope; - the access to the information available on the net; links are provided time-by-time in the text; the reference to analogous directories already issued; particular mention is due to the "Directory of International Earthquake Engineering Research Facilities", prepared for The National Science Foundation George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) by Soren Roth and David Cheney - SRI International Center for Science, Technology and Educational Development (October 2001).