Title: Recent Experimental Activities at ELSA for the Needs of European Standardization
Authors: NEGRO PAOLOZHAO BIN
Citation: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Advances in Experimental Structural Engineering
Publisher: Tongji University
Publication Year: 2007
JRC Publication N°: JRC40678
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC40678
Type: Contributions to Conferences
Abstract: Experimental methods and their innovative applications to earthquake engineering are an invaluable and irreplaceable tool to throw light onto a number of complex matters related to the behaviour of structural systems under seismic excitation. It is commonly acknowledged that the development of code formulations for the design or assessment of earthquake resistant structures and the assessment and validation of said approaches could not have been achieved but through extensive experimental activity. For this reason, in the last decades, very considerable research efforts and economic resources have been allocated, in Europe and worldwide, to the development of increasingly accurate and state-of-the-art facilities and testing methods and algorithms, to the point of being virtually able of experimentally reproducing and studying any structural problem, in many cases removing limitations previously deemed inherent to experiments, due to the incredibly fast-paced growth of computational capacities. Nevertheless, for accurate, grand, expensive and extensive as an experimental campaign can be, for long-standing and active a facility or laboratory can be, there will always be aspects of challenge, novelty, peculiarity inherent in any new experimental campaign, requiring tailoring ad-hoc procedures, solutions, in some cases ¿expedients¿ to fully and correctly study the problem at hand. The European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, located in Ispra (VA), Italy, with its reaction wall facility, the largest in Europe, has been at the forefront of the development and upgrading of the pseudodynamic test method to study the seismic response of virtually any kind of large scale structures of civil engineering. In the paper, the peculiar aspects, from the experimental point of view, of the pseudodynamic testing campaigns carried out in the framework of three recent research projects are thus presented and discussed, with reference to the peculiar issues posed by each of them and the strategy adopted to solve them, and to the effectiveness of said strategies, comparing the results that were derived to the originally planned requirements and the expected outcomes of the campaigns, with the goal of showing how flexibility, problem-solving attitude and open-mindedness were the basic prerequisites for the success of the very challenging experimental activity of a modern, large and state-of the art laboratory.
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