The large-scale structures testing facility consists of a universal testing machine (UTM), and a 13.7m-high reaction buttress equipped with a horizontal hydraulic ram. A combination of 4.5 MN horizontal force and 53 MN compressive vertical force may be applied to large-scale specimens.
Specifications / Capabilities:
The UTM portion of the facility is a hydraulically operated machine of 53.4 MN capacity and is the largest in the world. It is used to test large structural components and to calibrate very large capacity force-measuring devices. It can apply compression forces to column sections or fabricated members up to 18 m in height. The reaction buttress will resist horizontal forces of 4.5 MN at a level of 12.2 m from the floor.
Scientific Opportunities / Applications:
A testing program was conducted to evaluate the performance of concrete columns 1.5 m in diameter and up to 9.1 m high. Another test series evaluated fracture propagation in steel plates 1 m wide and 0.1 m and 0.15 m thick. Low-cycle fatigue tests, destructive or ultimate loads, earthquake simulation in two dimensions, and complex loading of components may all be accomplished in this facility.
This facility, which must be operated by NIST staff, is available for cooperative or independent research on a cost reimbursable basis. Tests should be arranged as far in advance as possible as special hardware may be required.