Earthquake Engineering @ IIT Kanpur

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General Facilities for Structural Engineering
    Detailed experimental research projects are being undertaken in the laboratory. Testing of prototype structural components and scaled models have been successfully handled in the laboratory. The facilities available for experimental projects are described below.  


Structural Strong Floor:
    A double box type of structural testing floor of size 20m8.5m is designed as the primary housing and load bearing unit. The general layout of the laboratory and the location of the strong floor for structural testing is shown in Figure 1. A typical view of the strong floor is shown in Figure 2. The floor is capable of taking reversal of loads with high axial and flexural rigidities. There are a variety of load-resisting mechanisms that the floor can offer. The main classification based on the zonal performance of the floor is: (i) loading through the 546 tie-down points spaced at 0.5 m apart in both directions and capable of taking different loads per tie-down point; each tie-down point is capable of accommodating 180 kN (if one complete bay is loaded), 120 kN (if two complete bays are under reverse loads) and many other load combinations. (ii) The middle web zone of the floor acts as a very rigid zone capable of taking an axial force of 3,000 kN and flexural shear reaction of 12,000 kN at any two locations.

    Some of the typical limiting tests which can be housed are: (i) testing of long columns in the horizontal position; (ii) bending test of simple or continuous beams under distributed or point loads; (iii) beam-column tests; and (iv) testing of portal frames in the horizontal and vertical positions.

    The two bays of the structural floor below the ground level are provided with lighting and ventilation facilities. Sand filling all around the floor is provided to damp out possible transfer of deformations to the building.


Reaction Frames:
The application of load to the specimen is achieved with the help of steel reaction frames made up of I-section, channels and angles. The geometric configuration of the loading frame is kept flexible to suit the specimen size. The main column posts are provided with bolt holes at regular intervals to fasten horizontal girders at the required height. The column posts are fastened to the strong floor with the help of 28 tonne and 40 tonne studs. To accommodate higher loading on specimen, special frames are fabricated using composite columns and girders (usually battened) made up of standard rolled steel sections. Reaction saddles and rollers are also available.


Concrete Handling Facilities and Measurement of Concrete Properties:
    Efficient structural material processing and storage facilitate the preparation of the specimen. The coarse and fine aggregates are stored separately in a yard in front of the laboratory. The structural steel is stored in the covered area inside the laboratory next to the casting yard. Facilities including weighing machines, concrete and mortar mixers, moulds, vibrators and curing tanks are available. In addition, the following facilities are also available:  

  • Devices for measuring workability of fresh concrete, slump cone apparatus, compaction factor apparatus, Kelly Ball apparatus, Blaine apparatus

  • Flow tables for mortar and concrete

  • Prestressing jack for 7 mm and 8 mm wires

  • Temperature controlled ovens of different sizes with temperature range upto 300C

  • Concrete core cutting machine with 50 mm and 100 mm diameter core-bits

  • Schmidt hammers

  • Ultrasonic pulse velocity measuring system

  • Micro-covermeter for measurement of concrete cover

  • Air entrainment meter for measuring air content of fresh concrete  

  • Half cell surveyor for corrosion measurement

  • Diamond cutter for cutting and dressing concrete and rock

Fabrication and handling facilities:
Work in the laboratory is facilitated by the following fabrication and handling facilities:

  • 165 mm center precision lathe, 200 mm center lathe

  • 16 in Shaper

  • Power drill 7/8 in, electric portable drill 1/2 in, low-weight production drill 1/4 in

  • High speed power hacksaw 8 in

  • Flexible shaft grinder, power grinder

  • Electric welding set

  • Winch crab, chain pulley blocks up to 50 kN capacity

  • Hydraulic lift trolley and platform trolley

Loading Devices

The laboratory has the devices listed below for generating the required loads on specimen. Proving rings of 100 kN, 500 kN, 1000 kN, 2000 kN and 5000 kN capacity are also available for calibration of load cells.

  • Manual Hydraulic Jacks:
          Two each of 10 kN, 20 kN and 50 kN jacks with pumps are available.

  • Precision-Controlled MTS Dynamic Actuator::
            Two of Capacity : 250 kN and 500kN
            Maximum stroke length : 250 mm
            Uniaxial cyclic loading in displacement-control or load-control mode
          Can be programmed for user-specified loading cycles for simulation studies
            Complete with hydraulic power supply and dynamic controller

  • UTM's::
        For the purposes of material testing, a 2000 kN hydraulic universal testing machine and 1350 kN hydraulic compression testing machine are being used.