Welcome to the website for our Experimental Dynamic Simulation Research Group (ExDSR). As the name indicates we focus on the simulation of extreme natural hazards that introduces dynamic loads to structures by means of experimental methods. Currently, we are only testing with earthquake-type loads. However, our objective is to expand to other types of natural hazards like wind and impact loads. Experimental research extends the limits of theoretical knowledge. It also validates and verifies findings from analytical research. Our research focuses on two of the experimental methods used to test structures under dynamic loads: shaking table and hybrid simulation.
Shake tables (ST) possess the capability to generate earthquake-like motion thus exciting the dynamic response of the structure being tested. ExDSR utilizes the uniaxial shaking servo-hydraulic shaking table that is located at the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM). This shaking table was developed by Dr. Daniel Wendichansky and, his then master graduate student, now Dr. Maria D. Cortes Delgado. The shaking table tab will have a description of the method, the equipment used for the shaking table and its properties, performance curves, current and future projects. Currently, we are on schedule to test an education and outreach module first developed by Dr. Wendichansky and now modified and supervised by Dr. Cortes Delgado.
Hybrid simulation (HS), combining both numerical and experimental methods, provides an alternative to earthquake simulators for evaluating the response of structures to dynamic loads. This experimental method has the ability to test large-scale structural systems even through collapse and can measure the performance of structural systems to the nonlinear range. HS also utilizes substructuring techniques were large structural systems can be partitioned into analytical and physical substructures. Further, with this method we can use geographically distributed testing to test larger and more complex structures by partitioning the structure into different experimental substructures and testing at different sites. Dr. Cortes Delgado was awarded in 2015 a Faculty Development Grant by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to develop a quasi-static hybrid simulation facility at the UPRM. We are now at the testing stage, with some results at low intensity and linear range. The HS tab will have a description of the method, the equipment used for the hybrid simulation facilities, results for the low intensity test and the plans for our future testing at higher intensities up until 100% and non-linear range.