Hexapod moves to SoFSI

The final major piece of equipment has now arrived at SoFSI, with our six degree of freedom shaking table making the move from Queen’s Building to its permanent home in Langford. With decommissioning in Queen’s Building starting in mid-August, the Hexapod was moved and recommissioned at SoFSI by mid-September. The higher pressure and flow rate of the hydraulic system here allows the Hexapod to reach its full triaxial performance of 8g with a 500kg payload. Since moving, it has already successfully been put to use for seismic qualification work.

Small yellow shaking table with blue hydraulic actuators and base plate in position.

First research project underway

Construction is complete on our first research project at the Soil-Foundation-Structure Interaction Laboratory. This project, which makes use of our 4m deep soil pit, has been under construction since late May. Researchers aim to better understand the interaction between the abutment and backfill of integral bridge abutments.

We are now at an exciting stage in the project, having completed the physical construction, and are now preparing instrumentation ready for testing in August. In total, over 100 tonnes of concrete and sand form the experimental set-up, and this has been a great opportunity to pilot the use of the pit, and hydraulic actuator for the first time.

  • A 4m deep pit, with precast concrete blocks being positioned to form a retaining wall

Shaking table commissioned

In December the large biaxial shaking table underwent commissioning testing. This involved operating the table for the first time and checking all safety and performance functions, followed by validating its performance against the original specification. It was great to see it in motion and we’re looking forward to the training and using it in anger later this year.

Shaking table installed

Another major milestone was passed at the end of September as the 30 tonne surface of our biaxial shaking table was lifted into its final position. The four actuators have since been installed around the table, and once the final hydraulic hoses have been connected, physical installation within the facility will be complete. The next significant event will be acceptance testing of the table which is expected towards the end of November, and will mark the final activity before the faculty is handed to the University.

Wide angle view of the yellow painted shaking table with machined surface in position within its pit.
The 6x4m shaking table in position.