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Earthquakes and Structures
  Volume 18, Number 3, March 2020 , pages 337-348

A versatile small-scale structural laboratory for novel experimental earthquake engineering
Pei-Ching Chen, Guan-Chung Ting and Chao‐Hsien Li

    Experimental testing has been considered as one of the most straightforward approaches to realize the structural behavior for earthquake engineering studies. Recently, novel and advanced experimental techniques, which combine numerical simulation with experimental testing, have been developed and applied to structural testing practically. However, researchers have to take the risk of damaging specimens or facilities during the process of developing and validating new experimental methods. In view of this, a small-scale structural laboratory has been designed and constructed in order to verify the effectiveness of newly developed experimental technique before it is applied to large-scale testing for safety concerns in this paper. Two orthogonal steel reaction walls and one steel T-slotted reaction floor are designed and analyzed. Accordingly, a large variety of experimental setups can be completed by installing servo-hydraulic actuators and fixtures depending on different research purposes. Meanwhile, a state-of-the-art digital controller and multiple real-time computation machines are allocated. The integration of hardware and software interfaces provides the feasibility and flexibility of developing novel experimental methods that used to be difficult to complete in conventional structural laboratories. A simple experimental demonstration is presented which utilizes part of the hardware and software in the small-scale structural laboratory. Finally, experimental layouts of future potential development and application are addressed and discussed, providing the practitioners with valuable reference for experimental earthquake engineering.
Key Words
    small-scale structural laboratory; structural testing; advanced experimental technique; earthquake engineering
Pei-Ching Chen: Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, No.43, Sec.4, Keelung Rd., Taipei 10607, Taiwan
Guan-Chung Ting : Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, No.1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Chao‐Hsien Li: Department of Structural Engineering, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California, United States

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