Similitude Considerations for Small-Scale Distributed Hybrid Testing of RC Bridges
The commissioning of the Multi-Axial Full-Scale Sub-Structured Testing and Simulation (MUST-SIM) facility at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has created a multitude of new and exciting research opportunities for the earthquake engineering community. In addition to the full-scale testing opportunities provided by the full-scale simulation facility, the creation of a fully functional 1/5th scale laboratory provides unprecedented testing alternatives. Although reduced in scale, the laboratory is functionally identical to its large-scale counterpart and provides a relatively safe and inexpensive environment in which a host of research objectives can be achieved. A small-scale testing regimen can be used as both a precursor and compliment to full-scale experimentation. A current project exploring the effects of combined loading upon the behavior of RC bridge piers will be one of the first to use the 1/5th scale facility in such a manner. As such, a thorough review of small-scale modeling and similitude considerations has been undertaken and appropriate relationships for use in distributed hybrid testing are established. The aforementioned considerations and relationships are presented through discussion of 1/16 scale piers to be tested at UIUC. All aspects of model pier design are presented including development of model materials. In addition, plans for a more extensive study are detailed. It is shown that with proper consideration, small-scale pseudo-dynamic testing can greatly enhance an experimental testing program.