Large-Scale Structural Testing Facility Groundbreaking will be held Wednesday, August 30, 2017 from 10 – 11 a.m. at UTSA’s Main Campus, on the far-north portion of Barshop Blvd., adjacent to Residential Lot 4, in West Campus.
At 15,000 square feet, this is the largest institutional project, fully managed in house, in UTSA history. Significant in many ways, the building will be a game changer for our Civil and Structural Engineering research and will have implications locally, regionally, and internationally.
The large-scale structural testing facility will have a 40 x 80 feet reaction floor with a clearance of 40 feet, providing researchers the ability to test real-size structural systems and components. The reaction floor will have a thickness of at least 3 feet, with a service chase and 3 feet thick walls underneath, conforming a reaction system with the capacity to apply test loads of up 2M pounds over the entire testing area. A thicker region of the floor will be rated for test loads of up to 4M pounds, giving UTSA a capability unique in the US for testing large-scale systems and components with spans of up to 70 feet. The laboratory will have dual cranes with 30-ton capacity to load, unload, and transport heavy specimens.
The laboratory will have a large-capacity Hydraulic Power Supply (HPS) and high-pressure distribution lines with access manifolds in the service chase that will facilitate the use of servo-controlled actuators anywhere in the test floor. The HPS and distribution system will provide the ability to induce large loads at very high deformation rates, allowing researchers to simulate a wide range of problems including high cycle fatigue, earthquake, and blast loads.
The structural testing area will be complemented with support areas for fabrication and instrumentation of specimens, offices for students, faculty, and staff, and a conference room where visitors will be able to observe tests being performed in the lab.