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Large-Scale Testing Facilities

Compression/Tension Testing Apparatus

This self-reacting testing apparatus can perform both tension and compression tests on full-scale pipelines and joints. It is powered by a 1,500-kip hydraulic actuator with a stroke of ±12-inch. The actuator is asymmetric, so it can impose a larger force of 2,100-kip in compression. Currently, it can accommodate pipes with diameter up to 5-ft and 20-ft long. The length of the testing apparatus can be extended to any desired length by adding new extension links to the longitudinal I-beams. Depending on the displacement and force demands, the actuator can be replaced with another one with desired stroke and force capacity. Depending on the testing objectives, the loading protocols can vary from a monotonic push or pull to a cyclic loading.

Bi-Axial Testing Apparatus

The compression/tension apparatus can be converted into bi-axial testing apparatus. A special loading frame is developed and integrated into the compression/tension testing apparatus that expands its testing capabilities to bi-axial loading. It enables experimental studies of pipelines when bending force and tension/compression force are applied simultaneously. An actuator in the vertical direction is installed in the frame to enable bending and its stroke and force capacity can be based on the testing needs. Depending on the testing objectives, the loading protocols can vary from a monotonic push or pull to a cyclic loading for both directions of loading.

Large Scale Four-Point Bending Test Apparatus

A large scale four-point bending test apparatus is powered by two actuators oriented in the vertical direction. The apparatus is designed in such a way that the locations of the reaction points and the actuators are adjustable. It is designed to be a self-reacting setup with two 120-kip actuators applying the load. The actuators are asymmetric, so they can develop 150-kip force in push direction. Each of the actuators has a stroke of 36-inch. If a larger deflection and force are needed another pair of actuators with greater force capacity and stroke can be introduced into the apparatus. The current configuration allows experimental studies on pipelines with the diameter up to 5-ft and span between the reaction points up to 23-ft. This distance can be extended to about 42-ft by re-orienting the braced columns toward the ends of the bottom I-beams.

Full-Scale Soil-Pipeline-Fault Rupture Interaction Testing Apparatus

This one of a kind full-scale soil-pipeline-fault rupture interaction testing apparatus was formerly part of Professor Tom O’Rourke’s Geotechnical Lifelines Large-Scale Testing Facility at Cornell University. It was graciously transferred to UCB and assembled to the full functioning status. The apparatus is capable of simulating fault rupture effects with as much as 1.8 m (70-in.) of strike-slip fault offset on pipelines as large as 600 mm (24-in.) in diameter. Currently, the apparatus is powered by four 120-kip asymmetric actuators with a stroke of 36-in which can develop up to 150-kip force in a push direction. The actuators will be replaced with new ones with can deliver a longer stroke – up to 70-in and larger force capacity.

Major equipment

The hydraulic power is provided by two pumps: one with 100GPM hydraulic flow and large capacity oil tank and another pump for static testing. Each pump is integrated with designated air-cooling system, so they are stand-alone units which can be moved along the length of the lab space. The state-of-the-art hydraulic controller MTS FT100 enables to control up to 6 actuators simultaneously. The actuators can be controlled from physical feedback (displacement, force, pressure and so on) as well as from a calculated channel combining a few readouts and making calculations on fly. In additional to regular conventional testing capabilities, the controller can perform hybrid simulation by using all 6 actuators. The data acquisition system (DAS) from Pacific Instruments serves as a main system for recording data during the tests. It can support up to 80 channels. It is designed as a portable system which can be used for field studies too. It can support a variety of sensors: displacement transducers, strain gages, accelerometers, inclinometers, and others. Depending on the testing requirements, this DAS can be daisy chained with other data acquisition systems owned by the CEE department to bring a total number of channels to more than 300. In addition to the conventional instrumentation and DAS, the research activities of the Center will heavily utilize fiber-optic sensing. The fiber-optic data can be integrated into the data files recorded by DAS.