The Centre provides structural testing facilities for a wide range of structures. In addition to the existing testing machines and test rigs, new rigs can be built in the Centre’s workshop to test almost any structure if required.
- Vacuum rig
The vacuum rig consists of a vacuum chamber of length 21 metres, height 4 metres and width approximately 1 metre. It is used to test purlin and roofing systems under simulated wind loading by sucking air from the chamber. A maximum pressure of 5 kPa can be achieved.
The pendulum is used to test structures under impact loading. These structures can include car impact barriers on the sides of roads. A maximum momentum of 20,000 Ns can be achieved.
- Archer testing machine
The Archer testing machine can be used to apply loads to structures biaxially in the vertical and horizontal directions. A maximum load of 12,000 kN can be applied in the vertical direction and 2,000 kN in the horizontal direction.
- Instron biaxial torsion testing machine
The biaxial torsion testing machine is used to test structures subjected to torsion and axial force. A maximum torque of 2,500 Nm and axial force of 250 kN can be applied simultaneously.
- Dartec testing machine
The servo-hydraulic Dartec testing machine is used to apply axial loads. A maximum force of 2,000 kN can be applied in tension or compression.
- MTS testing machines
The Centre has two MTS testing machines for compression and tension testing. Computers are used to control loading and view results during testing. The electro-mechanical machine (Sintech) has a capacity of 300 kN while the hydraulic machine has a capacity of 100 kN.
- Dynamic testing machines
The dynamic testing machines are used to apply vertical, inclined or biaxial dynamic forces to structures (such as train tracks) over a long period of time to simulate fatigue loading. A maximum force of 250 kN can be applied at a rate of 10 Hz (cycles/sec).