The Laboratory for Structures represents an important part of ZAG’s research infrastructure, its main purpose being to perform various kinds of mechanical tests. Its main activities are the following:
the performance of various kinds of laboratory tests of structural elements and assemblages subjected to static and dynamic loads,
the performance of field inspections and tests of structures,
the further development of test methods and the corresponding software.
With the aim of rising to an even higher technological level of experimental research, ZAG has initiated an investment operation which includes the reconstruction of the annex next to the main testing hall and the covering over of the area which has, up to now, been served only by an exterior crane rail. In this way ZAG will obtain a total of 243,40 m2 of new covered areas.
This operation is partly financed by the European Union, i.e. the European Fund for Regional Development within the scope of the Operative Program of Regional Development Potentials 2007-2013 (preveri: The 7th Framework Programme funded European Research and Technological Development from 2007 until 2013).
The value of the investment based on current prices is: 1.841.215,50 EUR, to which DDV is added.
The new features which will be acquired within the framework of the EU operation »Upgrading of the Laboratory for Structures« are the following:
- a new solid reaction wall which will form part of the rebuilt annex to the main testing hall, which will be used for the testing of massive structural elements and assemblages (models) with heights of up to 6 m, subjected to various combinations of horizontal loads of up to 1000 kN, thus enabling high-quality investigations of their behaviour in the case of seismic loadings;
- two new hydraulic activators with static / dynamic loading capacities of 250 kN / 500 kN, together with updated electronics of the servo-hydraulic system, which will enable the performance of complex tests with controlled loading by means of multiple actuators;
- a new optical measuring system for contactless measurements of displacements, which is based on the principles of digital stereo-photogrammetry, and will be equipped with two high-speed cameras capable of running at 3000 frames per second at full resolution, thus enabling the performance of contactless measurements of a field of displacements also in the case of impact loadings;
- a new testing machine which will be equipped with a thermal chamber capable of operating within the temperature range between -75 and 300°C, thus enabling the performance of the most sophisticated types of mechanical tests of smaller structural elements subjected to combined axial-torsional loadings of up to 25kN/200Nm;
- a test cell for research into various passive, active, and hybrid systems for the capturing of solar energy under realistic climatic conditions;
- a new covered area for the performing of tests and for the manipulation of larger test specimens, since the area that has, up to now, been served only by an external crane rail will be covered by a roof.
Through the implementation of the investment operation the present bottleneck with regard to the performance of tests will be relieved, and a new energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly building will be constructed.
By making use of updated test methods, and through the introduction of new methods, ZAG will become comparable to other similar construction research institutes located within the EU.