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Continuous Pseudo-dynamic Testing at ELSA

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Abstract

The ELSA laboratory is equipped with a large reaction-wall facility and has acquired its best expertise on the development and implementation of innovative experimental techniques mainly related to testing large-scale specimens by means of the pseudo-dynamic method. Relevant achievements within the testing techniques, such as the continuous pseudo-dynamic test, the implementation of monolithic or distributed substructuring and the development of active control systems, have been obtained thanks to an accurate, home-designed, control system. Its role of reference laboratory in Europe has allowed ELSA to benefit from the collaboration of many prominent research institutions within international projects, providing the maximum sci-entific added value to the results of the tests.

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... This article gives some general ideas and examples about the application of the pseudodynamic (PsD) testing technique, especially regarding a rational approach to the consideration of the damping, in accordance with the experience at the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA) [Molina and Geradin, 2007;Pegon et al., 2008]. ...
... In the case of a classical PsD test, the selected size of the rising and holding periods will also affect the errors in the restoring forces. However, the current analysis will be limited to the continuous version of the PsD method as developed in ELSA [Magonette et al., 1998, Pegon et al., 2008 for which a new measurement of force is done and the new displacement is solved and sent to the controller within every sampling period of the control loop (typically 2 ms) so that the mentioned rising and holding periods can be considered null. The equation of motion is solved with its variables in the prototype time scale, but the computed displacement is send as reference to the controller in the laboratory (real time) scale. ...
Article
By comparison of dynamic and pseudo-dynamic tests, it is shown that conventional construction materials exhibit pure hysteretic damping and consequently, when quasistatic restoring forces are measured directly, the addition of viscous damping in the equation of motion must be avoided unless it is intended to reflect missing physical elements. Equally important in pseudo-dynamic testing is the fact that the apparent damping can be easily distorted by the inevitable control errors. The identification of a spatial model from the results of the tests allows obtaining a reliable estimation of the damping distortion for each vibration mode.
... The continuous PsD testing method (Molina et al. 1999, Pegon et al. 2008) was utilized for the PsD experiments. PsD experiments were conducted by solving the following equation of motion: E Q -T A R G E T ; t e m p : i n t r a l i n k -; e 1 ; 4 1 ; 2 1 6 ...
... The hysteretic damping of the structure was simulated by the physical testing of the specimens; therefore, the viscous damping matrix was assumed to be zero. This assumption is consistent with the damping proposed in the literature (Molina et al. 1999, Pegon et al. 2008, Molina et al. 2011). The equation of motion was solved by explicit Newmark time integration, and the corresponding displacement feedback was sent to the actuators. ...
Article
Full-text available
Three story–three bay reinforced concrete (RC) frames with and without chevron braces were tested using the continuous pseudodynamic test method. New steel–concrete composite lateral load–carrying members called Buckling Restrained Braces (BRBs) were used as chevron brace members while retrofitting the RC frame. The BRBs were fitted to the interior span of the RC frame by using anchorage rods. The chevron braced frame was observed to be effective in controlling interstory drift. The test results indicated that retrofitting with BRBs was beneficial in resisting deformation without significant damage under simulated ground motions. Furthermore, significant yielding that occurred on the core plate of the BRBs enabled the braced frame to dissipate energy induced by dynamic loading. The test results were compared with the results of the nonlinear time-history analysis. The analysis results were capable of estimating the base shear capacity and displacement demands with reasonable accuracy.
... This controller has evolved during the years in its conceptual design, hardware, and software. Figure 1a basically presents the hardware architecture evolved during more than 20 years at ELSA laboratory to validate (Donea et al. 1996;Magonette 1991;Molina et al. 1999) and successively to improve the methodology (Magonette 2001;Molina et al. 2011Molina et al. , 2013aPegon, Molina, and Magonette 2008) and perform hybrid testing to reproduce actions such as earthquakes on real-scale buildings (Abbiati et al. 2015;Negro 2013a, 2013b;Bournas, Molina, and Negro 2015;Chrysostomou et al. 2013;Dal Lago, Toniolo, and Lamperti 2016;Del Lago and Molina 2018;Labbé et al. 2015;Molina et al. 2004;Sorace et al. 2008). This architecture consisted of a few main components. ...
Article
This paper presents an overview of the developments performed at the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA) of the Joint Research Centre of European Commission concerning the new generation of servo-hydraulic real-time digital controller/acquisition system adopted in large scale experiments. The hardware architecture is based on EtherCAT® modules that guarantee a versatile and modular system easily adaptable to changing requirements (a typical situation experienced at ELSA with custom adapted non-standardized large scale structural experiments). Other fundamental features of this system are that all the analog signals are digitalized in the proximity of the transducers reducing noise-to-signal ratio (a great advantage for Pseudo-dynamic tests but in general for all experimentation), and all the different slave controllers communicate at each time sampling through a deterministic robust digital bus. In addition to the increasing computer performances, the developed simplified software architecture does offer a substantial improvement of control quality in terms of speed, safety, and accuracy compared with conventional/commercial systems. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13632469.2021.1979134
... This is possible for the controller used whenever the numerical model consists of constant matrices of stiffness and viscous damping. As explained in a more comprehensive manner by Pegon et al. [25], this particular algorithm strategy is called monolithic substructuring since both substructures use the same time discretisation in a common solving algorithm (Explicit Newmark in our case). Considering that the prototype time increment of every sub-step of the accelerogram was 0.005s/ 2000 = 2.5 × 10 − 6 s, being executed in 1ms of real time, it can be said that the experiment was performed with a time dilation of 1 × 10 − 3 s/2.5 × 10 − 6 s = 400. ...
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Full-scale testing of a two-storey flat slab structure is reported, undertaken in the SlabSTRESS research project; the construction and testing were planned and carried out at the ELSA laboratory of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. The dimensions are three bays by two, spans 4.5 and 5 m, slab thickness 0.2 m, interstorey height 3.2 m. Two different longitudinal reinforcement details were considered; welded studs shear reinforcement was provided only in the second floor slab. The testing program included seismic tests for service and ultimate actions, using the pseudodynamic technique with virtual walls. To this aim a building structure was designed with primary walls and the flat slab frame as secondary element. Cyclic loading tests followed up to ultimate drift capacity of the structure. The sequence of tests included strengthening of a set of damaged connections using bolted bars in holes drilled through the slab, followed by cyclic testing to failure. The instrumentation was provided for the global response and the connections with local rotations in the columns and slab; cracking around the columns was measured with through-crack sensors; a measurement system for internal forces and moments was included within the columns. The results show the response with deformations and damage for the different loading conditions up to failure. The results obtained on a full-scale structure extend and confirm the knowledge in the literature, mainly based on isolated connections and/or small-scale samples.
... Additionally to the self weight of the construction, the terraced house halve was loaded with additional live load. The resulting masses of the single storeys are given in table 2. The pseudo-dynamic tests themselves were conducted according to the method developed at ELSA [10]. The specimens were loaded uniaxially in the direction of the shear walls via the hydraulic pistons. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper deals with the verification of a new design approach for shear stressed masonry structures. Therefore the results of a pseudo-dynamic test on large-scale unreinforced masonry terraced houses has been compared with the results of the new approach and the existing approach of DIN 1053. Both, the large-scale test and the development of the new design approach were part of the European research project ESECMaSE (Enhanced Safety and Efficient Construction of Masonry Structures in Europe). On the basis of the comparison, the deficits of the traditional way of designing shear stressed masonry walls have been discussed. It can be shown that the results of the new approach matche very well with the test results, if one considers a realistic structural system. The commonly used cantilever structural system for unreinforced masonry shear walls does not seem to be appropriate. This applies for both the new design approach as well as for the already existing approach of DIN 1053.
... Additionally to the own weight of the construction, the terraced house halve was loaded with extension and life load. The resulting masses of the single storeys are given in table 2. The pseudo-dynamic tests themselves were conducted according to the method developed at the ELSA [10]. The specimens were loaded uniaxially in the direction of the shear walls via the hydraulic pistons. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper deals with the verification of a new design approach for shear stressed masonry structures. Therefore the results of pseudo-dynamic test on large-scale unreinforced masonry terraced houses have been compared with the respective results of the new approach and the already existing approach of DIN 1053. Both, the large-scale test and the development of the new design approach were part of the European research project ESECMaSE (Enhanced Safety and Efficient Construction of Masonry Structures in Europe). On basis of the comparison, the deficits of the traditional way of designing shear stressed masonry walls have been discussed. It could be shown that the results of the new approach matches very good with the test results, if one considers a realistic structural system. The commonly used cantilever as structural system for unreinforced masonry shear walls does not seem to be appropriate. This applies for the new design approach as well as for the already existing approach of DIN 1053.
... The useful part of the SAFE campaign consisted of 10 specimens numbered T3 to T12. T1 and T2 were used to set-up and calibrate the continuous pseudo dynamic method (Pégon 1999, Pégon et al. 2008). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The SAFE experimental programme consists of a series of 10 specimens of shear walls, with different reinforcement ratios, tested until their ultimate capacity under seismic input motion by the pseudo dynamic method. A unique input signal is used, calibrated for controlling the seismic demand. Its input central frequency is selected so that for some specimens it is lower than their eignenfrequency, while for other ones it is the opposite. In conclusion there is clear experimental evidence that design margins are much larger in the second case (input central frequency larger than structure eignenfrequency) than in the first one.
... The step-by-step integration scheme enables to compute the displacement at time t n+1 = t n +t from the quantities known at time t n . For the SAFE experiment, the JRC used the continuous method [Pegon et al., 2008] , which limits relaxation, improves the signal over noise ratio and is usually faster than the classical method. The method uses a time step t = δt/n η , where δt is the time step of the accelerogram (δt = 0.01 s). ...
Article
Full-text available
The SAFE experimental programme consists of a series of 10 specimens of shear walls, with different reinforcement ratios, tested until their ultimate capacity under seismic input motion by the pseudo dynamic method. A unique input signal is used, calibrated for controlling the seismic demand. Its input central frequency is selected so that for some specimens it is lower than their eignenfrequency, while for other ones it is the opposite. In conclusion there is clear experimental evidence that design margins are much larger in the second case (input central frequency larger than structure eignenfrequency) than in the first one. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/q3VX2hw7kifrf9RqsAP9/full
... Also the alterations in the response introduced by the discretetime integration method will not be considered. In fact, the latter alterations are completely negligible when using the continuous PsD technique that uses extremely small integration time steps (Pegon et al. 2008). ...
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Chapter
The activities carried out in the framework of the FP7 project EFAST (design study of a European Facility for Advanced Seismic Testing) are highlighted. The objective is to determine the general characteristics of a new European world class facility for seismic testing. To this end, the demands for testing necessary to support the modern earthquake engineering research have been investigated and compared to the current capabilities of laboratories in Europe. The performance objectives and the requirements of the facility are therefore established. On the basis of the needs assessment and taking into account the technological advances in experimental techniques and equipment (hardware and software) for seismic testing, a modern facility for experimental seismic research should comprise, mainly, an array of high performance shaking tables and a large reaction structure where both traditional (pseudo-static/dynamic) and innovative testing techniques (e.g. real-time hybrid testing) can be applied and combined. A tentative layout of the facility is proposed and issues related to its optimal utilization are discussed.
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Full-text available
The effectiveness of seismic retrofitting of multi-storey multi-bay RC-frame buildings by converting selected bays into new walls through infilling with reinforced concrete (RC) was studied experimentally at the ELSA facility of the Joint Research Centre in Ispra (Italy). A full-scale model was tested with the pseudo-dynamic method and consisted of two four-storey (12m tall) three-bay (8.5m long) parallel frames linked through 0.15m slabs with the central bay (2.5m) infilled with a RC wall. The frames were designed and detailed for gravity loads only and are typical of similar frames built in Cyprus in the 1970’s. Different connection details and reinforcement percentages for the two infilled frames were used in order to study their effects in determining structural response. The results of the pseudo-dynamic and cyclic tests performed on the specimen are presented, and conclusions are drawn.
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Researchers have studied many methods of using active and passive control devices for absorbing vibratory energy. Active devices, while providing significant reductions in structural motion, typically require large (and often multiply-redundant) power sources, and thereby raise concerns about stability. Passive devices are fixed and cannot be modified based on information of excitation or structural response. Semiactive devices on the other hand can provide significant vibration reductions comparable to those of active devices but with substantially reduced power requirements and in a stable manner. Technology of Semiactive Devices and Applications in Vibration Mitigation presents the most up-to-date research into semiactive control systems and illustrates case studies showing their implementation and effectiveness in mitigating vibration. The material is presented in a way that people not familiar with control or structural dynamics can easily understand. Connecting structural dynamics with control, this book: • Provides a history of semiactive control and a bibliographic review of the most common semiactive control strategies. • Presents state-of-the-art semiactive control systems and illustrates several case studies showing their implementation and effectiveness to mitigate vibration. • Illustrates applications related to noise attenuation, wind vibration damping and earthquake effects mitigation amongst others. • Offers a detailed comparison between collocated and non-collocated systems. • Formulates the design concepts and control algorithms in simple and readable language. • Includes an appendix that contains critical considerations about semiactive devices and methods of evaluation of the original damping of a structure. Technology of Semiactive Devices and Applications in Vibration Mitigation is a must-have resource for researchers, practitioners and design engineers working in civil, automotive and mechanical engineering. In addition it is undoubtedly the key reference for all postgraduate students studying in the field.
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The reliability of a Pseudodynamic (PsD) test depends primarily on the accuracy of the control system. Difficulties arise mainly when the method is applied to very stiff or very heavy structures or to structures with a high number of Degrees of Freedom (DoFs). This paper describes the bi-directional PsD testing of a full-size three-storey building. The tested specimen is a composite structure with plan dimensions of 12×16 m and height of 9·5 m, made of steel columns and beams combined with composite reinforced concrete slabs. The PsD test included the application of two uncorrelated accelerograms along the horizontal directions X and Y. Since the structure was not symmetric about the Y-axis, the possibility of torsion was considered by taking into account both horizontal displacements and the yaw rotation at every floor. Three displacement-controlled hydraulic actuators were thus used at each floor to impose these three DoFs while a fourth actuator with special control strategy was added to optimize the distribution of loads among the pistons. The validity of the testing methodology was verified by performing also a dynamic random burst test on the specimen which was afterwards pseudodynamically reproduced. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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A pseudodynamic testing procedure has been applied by which the seismic response of a base-isolated building is obtained by using as specimen the isolators, while the superstructure is numerically simulated. The procedure also takes advantage of the continuous pseudodynamic testing capabilities of the ELSA laboratory, which increase the accuracy of the results and reduce the strain-rate effect of the rubber bearings. A simple proportional correction of the measured forces compensates the remaining strain-rate effect due to the unrealistic speed of the test. The correction factor is obtained by means of a characterizing test on the specific rubber isolators. The developed method has been successfully applied to the prediction of the seismic response of a base-isolated four-storey building submitted to several specified accelerograms. The results for those earthquakes as well as the effects of some changes of the parameters of the system are discussed. Copyright
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Seismic tests have been conducted on two 3-storey structures protected with pressurized fluid-viscous spring damper devices. One of the structures was a reinforced concrete frame with clay elements in the slabs, while the other one was a steel frame with steel/concrete composite slabs. The spring dampers were installed through K bracing in between the floors. The tests were performed by means of the pseudodynamic method, which allowed the use of large and full-size specimens, and by implementing a specific compensation strategy for the strain-rate effect at the devices. The test results allowed the verification of the adequacy of the attachment system as well as the comparison of the behaviour of the unprotected buildings with several protected configurations, showing the benefits of the application of the devices and the characteristics of their performance. The response of the protected structures was always safer than that of the unprotected ones mainly due to a significant increase of equivalent damping. The increase in the damping ratio depends on the level of deformation. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
We present a method with domain decomposition to solve time-dependent non-linear problems. This method enables arbitrary numeric schemes of the Newmark family to be coupled with different time steps in each subdomain: this coupling is achieved by prescribing continuity of velocities at the interface. We are more specifically interested in the coupling of implicit/explicit numeric schemes taking into account material and geometric non-linearities. The interfaces are modelled using a dual Schur formulation where the Lagrange multipliers represent the interfacial forces. Unlike the continuous formulation, the discretized formulation of the dynamic problem is unable to verify simultaneously the continuity of displacements, velocities and accelerations at the interfaces. We show that, within the framework of the Newmark family of numeric schemes, continuity of velocities at the interfaces enables the definition of an algorithm which is stable for all cases envisaged. To prove this stability, we use an energy method, i.e. a global method over the whole time interval, in order to verify the algorithms properties. Then, we propose to extend this to non-linear situations in the following cases: implicit linear/explicit non-linear, explicit non-linear/explicit non-linear and implicit non-linear/explicit non-linear. Finally, we present some examples showing the feasibility of the method. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Pseudo-dynamic tests on a large-scale model of an existing six-pier bridge were performed at the ELSA laboratory using the substructuring technique. Two physical pier models were constructed and tested in the laboratory, while the deck, the abutments and the remaining four piers were numerically modeled on-line. These tests on a large-scale model of an existing bridge are the first to have been performed considering non-linear behavior for the modeled substructure. Asynchronous input motion, generated for the specific bridge site, was used for the abutments and the pier bases. Three earthquake tests with increasing intensities were carried out, aimed at the assessment of the seismic vulnerability of a typical European motorway bridge designed prior to the modern generation of seismic codes. The experimental results confirm the poor seismic behavior of the bridge, evidenced by irregular distribution of damage, limited deformation capacity, tension shift effects and undesirable failure locations. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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