Structural Performance

Confidence Under Pressure

The last thing you want in any kind of construction is for the materials you’re relying on to fail, which makes structural testing a crucial part of the process

WSP Opus Research has a comprehensive structural testing facility with an extensive range of loading, measurement and data logging equipment. This provides the capability to test a variety of materials and components under simulated loads, giving clients an independent assessment of structural performance.

This equipment includes a range of traceably calibrated universal testing machines with capacities from 1 tonne to 100 tonnes that can be used for tension and compression testing. In addition, simulated seismic or cyclic loading can be applied with 5 tonne and 25 tonne portable dynamic actuators, as well as a 200 tonne servo-controlled testing machine (shown in the image), all of which are driven by a newly-acquired state-of-the-art controller.

A 3m x 2.4m shaking table is used as a reaction frame for testing the seismic performance of components and structures and we also have two smaller shaking tables appropriate for smaller components that require higher test frequencies.

The facility’s 25m x 5m concrete strong-floor means load tests can be carried out on virtually any material or structure, including full-size building components. Loads are applied to the specimens through specifically designed reaction frames and using hydraulic jacks that range in capacity from 1 tonne to 200 tonnes. These loads can be used to prove strength or failure in areas such as compression, tension, flexure or impact.

Traceably calibrated load cells are used to measure loads and forces, and displacement is measured using both optical and electronic gauges. Specialist skills are available in the use and application of bonded strain gauges for measuring strain, and computer controlled multi-channel data logging is available for data acquisition.

Recently a major source of work has been intruder resistance, impact and load testing of prison and security doors for a variety of clients. This work has involved the use of existing international standards as well as developing in-house methods to suit the specific needs of our clients.