The MTS testing system provides a 2,500,000 lbs load capacity in compression and 1,600,000 lbs in tension. It has a 12-in. stroke actuator, 14 ft by 6.6 ft clear space, 75 gpm power supply, and a versatile TestStar control system. The closed-loop, servo-control system allows tests to be conducted in either strain-control mode or load-control mode. Loading can be put on hold any time during a test and loading procedure can be changed freely during a test without unloading. It can perform cyclic tests with various wave forms and with a loading rate of up to one hertz.
The system is augmented by a 80-channel HBM Spider 8 data acquisition system, a new type of data acquisition system for parallel, dynamic measurement. These characteristics are desirable for reversed cyclic loading tests of specimens simulating earthquake action. This data acquisition system is very versatile as well, because each of the 80 channels can accept both the high-voltage signals from LVDTs and the low-voltage signals from SR4 gauges.
This testing system was purchased from MTS System Corporation at a cost of $670,000 and the installation was completed in 1997. Since 1997, more than three research projects, totaling nearly a million dollars, have been conducted using this test facility.