UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering


Structural & Environmental Testing at Here East (StrEnTHE)

UCL CEGE's new laboratory for large-scale structural and environmental testing is based at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London

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Based at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, UCL CEGE's new laboratory for large-scale structural and environmental testing occupies 400 m2 plan area and a ceiling height of 9 m at Here East. In addition to the test facilities, there is an environmentally controlled curing room of 144 m3 (6 m x 4 m plan x 6 m high) for fabrication of cementitious and masonry specimens, continuous with a similar chamber equipped with a concrete mixer for manufacturing beams, columns, etc.

The Structures test rig accommodates specimens up to 9 m long, 4 m wide, 1.5 m high. Using state-of-the-art servo-hydraulic actuators, this facility can apply quasi-static or dynamic loads up to 1,200 kN, and can be reconfigured to apply high-cycle fatigue loads over several tens of millions of cycles. Artefacts ranging from prestressed stone beams to timber-concrete composite building floor modules, and bridge specimens or critical bridge components can be tested in this facility. A 7 m high, 5 m wide, 14 m long crane of 10 T lifting capacity has been constructed around the rig, to permit lifting of large specimens prefabricated elsewhere. The rig is serviced by a high-resolution, high-speed data acquisition system which accurately records specimen behaviours during testing.

There is also an integrated environmental-mechanical rig offering large-scale testing for masonry wall specimens and other large structural element under monotonic and low-frequency cyclic loading – the only such facility in the UK capable of producing full-scale experiments on various types of masonry material under different loading and environmental conditions.

The 125m3 (5 m x 5 m x 5 m) environmental chambers can produce outdoor and indoor conditions and enclose a rig that accommodate specimens up to 4x4 m subjected to up to 300KN horizontal and vertical loading.