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In laboratory tests, the effects of gravity and other physical forces generated by violent shaking are influenced by the weight and size of the model being used. Therefore, it is important to be able to test full-size models in order to more accurately re-create the effects of earthquakes on structures. The NEES program includes six large-scale testing facilities which are capable of testing "life-size" walls, columns, beams, and other structural components.

Cornell University

Critical services and supplies, such as communication wires, water, and fuel, are transported using underground pipes that form lifelines to surrounding communities. Cornell University's Large Displacement Facility can test the structural integrity of underground pipelines as well as surface level structures.

Facility Specifications: Technical information

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Lehigh University

Lehigh University specializes in Fast Hybrid Testing that combines real-time physical experiments with computer-based simulation for evaluating the earthquake performance of structural components and systems.

Facility Specifications: Technical information

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University of Buffalo, SUNY

The University of Buffalo, SUNY is exploring the use of Real-Time Dynamic Hybrid Testing, a new form of testing where shake table tests of structural components are combined in real-time with computer simulations of the remainder of the structure. This provides a more complete picture of how earthquakes would affect large structures, such as buildings and bridges, without the need to physically test the entire structure.

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University of California, Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley designed its Reconfigurable Reaction Wall-Based Earthquake Simulation Facility to support the development of a new generation of hybrid testing methods that smoothly integrate physical testing with simulations.

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University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has created a physical-analytical simulation environment whereby multi-axial full-scale models can be subjected to complex testing conditions, representing earthquake ground motion.

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University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota facility supports Multi-Axial Subassemblage Testing, which can be used to investigate the effects of earthquakes, high winds, and other extreme events on structures several stories tall. Structures up to 29 feet tall can be placed on a testing platform and subjected to heavy loads by hydraulic arms that mimic the conditions of extreme events. The arms can simulate vertical forces of 1.32 million pounds and horizontal forces of 800,000 pounds.

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