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European Commission >JRC >IPSC >ELSA


Design Study of a European Facility for Advanced Seismic Testing

Scientific Publications

EFAST Inquiry

Principal Author: Marazzi F
Co-authors :Molina Ruiz F
Reference :EUR 23998 EN. Luxembourg (Luxembourg): European Commission; 2009

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This report contains a detailed description of the inquiry activities conducted in the framework of the EFAST project. EFAST (Design Study of a European Facility for Advanced Seismic Testing) is a joint project financed by the European Commission that foresees the study of all the aspects regarding the design of a major testing facility in Europe that would complement and collaborate with the existing ones. This study aims at identifying the current and future needs in the field, and proposes the concept of a facility using the best available testing technologies. As a preliminary step, it is very important to know the actual testing capabilities all around the world and the needs of the earthquake community, especially in Europe. The inquiry targeted three different kinds of entities: 1. seismic testing laboratories; 2. nuclear energy and chemical industry industries; 3. construction companies. Three different sets of questions and three lists of contact persons were prepared. Each contact received a personal link to access to the inquiry to be completed directly on the web. The inquiry form was very user friendly and could be completed in several step, then submitted to the database. The data were imported into a spreadsheet and analysed. Each question is here reported and the obtained answers are elaborated into graphics. The aggregation and interpretation of the obtained answers suggested some conclusions. For Seismic testing laboratories we obtained that, as regards the maximum weight, length, width and height, often the upper values are for Reaction Walls (RW) facilities and the lower values for Shaking Tables (ST) facilities. Only some facilities cannot perform tests in the transversal and the vertical direction. In spite of the available capabilities, most of the times the tested specimens are light, small in length and height and tested with small displacements amplitude. Even if there is a wide possibility for multi-axial tests, only a few tests were performed in the past with vertical or lateral displacements. Asynchronous multiple-support excitation, multidirectional excitation, substructuring techniques, inter-facility distributed testing and telepresence are not yet common practices even if there are some laboratories which have already started to apply them. Looking at the nuclear energy, chemical and construction companies, it comes that the seismic risk is very important for most of the respondents, probably also because most of the interviewed are directly involved in seismic activities. There is a high demand for large scale tests, but only a few ones were performed in the last years. ST is more used for equipments than for main structures. PSD is more used for main structures than for equipments. The main problem is cost, but also the lack in the current capability of the testing facilities is a reason why seismic testing is not used more often. Maybe there is also a lack of accessibility. Interviewed said that tests should have the dual role of improving the research and to serve as demonstrative projects.