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Centre for Advanced Structural Engineering Laboratory

Diverse structural engineering research facilities

Our Centre for Advanced Structural Engineering (CASE) Laboratory holds a wide range of facilities and testing equipment to support research in structural engineering.

The CASE Laboratory comprises of a strong floor area; a split Hopkinson bar facility; high-performance parallel computing facilities; a wide range of hydraulic actuators; a structural workshop with fabrication, welding and cutting capabilities; facilities for the testing of steel, concrete and steel-concrete components and systems; and other equipment and resources for material characterisation.

Strong floor area

Our strong floor covers an area of 25 x 25 metres and allows researchers to simulate a wide range of loads with actions up to 100 tonnes and frames up to 6.9 metres high. The floor itself is steel-reinforced 1.5 metre thick concrete, with large bolts and anchors to which structural components and systems can be attached and their strength tested. It can be applied to small-, medium- and large-scale specimens for research and applications in structural components and systems, bridge decks and girders, beam column connections, shear walls and other structures used in constructing buildings, bridges and infrastructure.

Split Hopkinson bar

Our split Hopkinson bar facility consists of compression, tension and torsion testers and is used to measure the dynamic properties of various materials including concrete, alloys, rocks and composites under strain rates of up to 10,000/s. This is essential to many applications in impact engineering, blast-resistant design and crashworthiness studies. There is also a temperature control device that can heat specimens to 800°C. As a result, the combined effects of strain and temperature on material properties can be studied.

High-performance parallel computing

Our high-performance parallel computing facilities comprise of 25 state-of-the-art computers located throughout the CASE Laboratory. Each facility serves the purpose of splitting up large and complex tasks across multiple processors.

Hydraulic actuators

The CASE Laboratory houses numerous hydraulic actuators with capacity varying between five and 500 tonnes. Each hydraulic actuator consists of a dual action cylinder that uses hydraulic power to facilitate mechanical operations for different modes of force application (static and dynamic).

Structural workshop

Our specialist equipment and resources serve a broad range of requirements spanning from heavy engineering applications through to fine micro-components. Our equipment includes large-scale and heavy drilling work, water jet cutters, large-scale rigging equipment, wielding facilities and sheet metal machinery as well as industrial standard milling machines, lathes, grinding machines and woodworking machinery.