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The SlabSTRESS Testing Programme Performed at the ELSA Reaction Wall

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Abstract

The SlabSTRESS project investigated the behaviour of a full-scale Reinforced Concrete flat slab building under both gravity loads and seismic lateral actions. The two-storey structure had 9.0 m × 14.5 m plan dimensions, three bays in the loading direction and two orthogonally. This layout enabled to test simultaneously three types of slab-column connections: interior, edge and corner. The specimen also accommodated several variants in the construction details: a different distribution of longitudinal reinforcements, with or without punching shear reinforcement. The mock-up was connected to the ELSA reaction wall by four hydraulic actuators of 500 kN each. Pseudo-dynamic tests have been performed first on the specimen treated as part of a building with two sub-structured (numerically simulated) ductile shear walls to study its seismic performance at the Serviceability and Ultimate Limit States. Quasi-static tests have been performed on the specimen – without the numerical shear walls – subjected to cyclic loading with increasing displacements and varying the magnitude of vertical loads. The setup was designed to measure internal actions in each column and to capture any local deformation of slabs and columns in real time. Special transducers able of measuring flexure, shear, and axial load were ad-hoc designed and installed at mid-height of each column, along with a network of transducers (inclinometers and displacement transducers), the latter installed on only eight of the twelve columns. Finally, a distributed data acquisition system converted the 192 measured signals routing them to a central database. This optimised setup was used for the first time on a specimen of such dimensions and complexity. It allowed the integration of global and local measurements and thus provided an in-depth understanding of the role of individual slab-column joints and their interaction with the overall response of the structure to different levels of lateral actions.
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