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NEES@UCLA Team Conducts Trio of Global Field Studies

Posted in Announcements

NEES@UCLA Team Conducts Simultaneous Trio of Global Field Studies

2010 UCLA Caltrans testing
Testing in progress at the Caltrans-UCLA field testing site Dec. 8, 2010.

NEES@UCLA successfully completed three very different field tests in one week in December: one in Los Angeles, CA; one in Istanbul, Turkey; and one at the E-Defense lab in Miko, Japan.

In a Caltrans-funded extension of a long-term UCLA-Caltrans foundation testing program, a team including NEES@UCLA performed load testing to failure of large-scale bridge abutment models at the Caltrans-UCLA field test site near Los Angeles International Airport. Dr. Jonathan Stewart, Professor, UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, is Principal Investigator of this research. After much planning, construction, and after working through several setbacks, on December 8-13 the team pushed an abutment wall to backfill failure with total load of 1650 kips while keeping it planar and horizontal. NEES@UCLA was a big part of this test's ultimate success, providing dynamic and static actuators for the field testing, control systems, instrumentation and field support, and assisting with data QA and preparation.

At the same time NEES@UCLA also collaborated with Bogazici University and the Kandilli Observatory & Earthquake Research Institute (KOERI) in Istanbul, Turkey on the NSF-funded, "SGER Field Testing of a Non-Ductile Reinforced Concrete Building in Turkey." Dr. Ertugrul Taciroglu, Associate Professor, UCLA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, served as PI, Dr. John Wallace of UCLA CEE was Co-PI. The collaboration featured researchers and students from the U.S. and Turkey providing unique data on behavior and performance of older reinforced concrete buildings. The field testing in Istanbul started in the summer 2010 with the deployment of NEES@UCLA instrumentation and staff to assist with vibration measurements on a four-story concrete frame with masonry-infill building. The building was stripped to its frame and rebuilt with improved seismic design. UCLA sent a 24-channel structural monitoring system to conduct ambient vibration testing before (July) and during (October) construction, then returned to perform additional measurements. From Dec. 13-15, NEES@UCLA assisted in forced vibration testing of the nearly- completed retrofitted building. Dr. Nigbor attended the December testing, returning with UCLA's instrumentation system.

Istanbul,Turkey & UCLA test 2010
Principal Investigator Ertugrul Taciroglu and Derek Skolnik of Kinemetrics ponder real-time vibration data, Istanbul, Turkey.
UCLA shake table test at E-Defense lab in Miko, Japan.

At the E-Defense facility in Japan, NEES@UCLA PI John Wallace led a team of UCLA and NEES@UCLA personnel in a project that tested instrumented shear walls on a full-scale building. Instrumentation from NEES@UCLA was installed to augment the Japanese instrumentation, specifically to measure concrete shear wall deformations in detail during the shake table testing of a full-scale RC building. Working with Japanese colleagues, they gathered a rich data set on shear wall performance during the week of December 13. This NSF RAPID-funded project opens new collaborative possibilities with NEES@UCLA as an instrumentation resource for E-Defense testing.

“With staff and equipment spread literally around the world, December 2010 stretched our capabilities to their maximum” said Dr. Robert Nigbor, Co-PI and Manager of NEES@UCLA. “I am especially proud of our professional staff, all of whom worked extreme hours, much on tasks not normally theirs, to make all three field testing projects successful.”