|The Materials and Structural Testing Laboratory is
part of the Department of Mechanical and Structural Engineering (shortened with the Italian
acronym DIMS) of the University of Trento. Besides providing the certification for
building materials, the Laboratory staff carries out theoretical and experimental
analysis of structures and structural elements in reinforced and pre-stressed concrete,
steel, timber; executes structural monitoring of in situ structures; is active in the
field of pseudo-dynamic testing (see the 3D Laboratory sketch).
The essential parts of the Materials and Structural Testing Laboratory are the
bi-directional reaction wall, consisting of a 9.5 m tall pre-stressed concrete wall,
and the 42 m long reaction floor; both structures are endowed of regularly placed holes
for a fast and effective connection of structures and loading devices. The wall and the
floor are designed to resist forces of several MN, which are necessary to deform and
seriously damage the full-scale test models of structures (see the maximum loading sketch below).
They are equipped of an high-pressure hydraulic distribution system. Two 10 tons bridge-cranes
permit the movement and positioning of test structures.
By means of computer controlled hydraulic actuators it is possible to expose full scale
structures to dynamic strong forces and control the resulting displacements with high
precision. In addition to static and cyclic tests on large structures and components,
the facility is quipped for the so-called pseudo-dynamic test (PSD) technique,
enabling the simulation of earthquake loading of full-scale buildings.
(i) Certification for building materials according to the Italian regulations;
(ii) Static, cyclic and pseudo-dynamic experimental testing of full-size and large-scale
structures, sub-assemblages and members made by normal and pre-stressed reinforced concrete,
steel, timber, etc.;
(iii) Design of innovative structural systems;
(iv) Numerical simulations;
(v) Structural monitoring;
(vi) Final inspections on in situ structures.