Morgan State University Acquires 6DOF Seismic Simulator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 18, 2013  Bookmark and Share
6DOF Seismic Simulator

In February 2013, The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) operations director Julio Ramirez and a team of earthquake engineering students from Purdue visited the Department of Civil Engineering at Morgan State University (MSU). Ramirez and the graduate students met with Professor Monique Head, who coordinated the visit, several MSU faculty and students, and faculty from the University of Delaware, and the University of Virginia to discuss NEES research and demonstrate NEEShub resources.  The visit began as a collaborative partnership between NEES and MSU to support the university efforts to encourage enhanced participation of African-American students in the field of earthquake engineering.  Civil engineering education and research at MSU takes place in the newly opened Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies (CBEIS).

This semester, the Department of Civil Engineering (CE) at MSU reached an important milestone as it began operating its 6 degree-of-freedom (6DOF) seismic simulator and strong-floor-strong-wall facility with other laboratories and unique equipment that support engineering research and instruction.

Affectionately known as "Bumblebee," the seismic simulator (shown in Fig. 1) is 3m x 3m with a 10,000 kg specimen maximum mass capacity, 10-20-6 inches x-y-z working displacement range, and 0-60 Hz operating frequency. The seismic simulator can reach accelerations up to 3g with its six actuators. The three Z-actuators (vertical) provide the 3 DOF for Z-translation, pitch, and roll. Each Z-actuator is rated approximately for 169 kN (38 kips) (static), 129 kN (24 kips) (dynamic), and 153 mm (6 inches) of working stroke given a 60 GPM servo valve. The Z-actuators are served by a 200 GPM HSM.  The two Y-actuators (horizontal) provide the 2 DOF for Y-translation and yaw. Each Y-actuator is rated approximately for 245 kN (55 kips) (static), 167 kN (37.5 kips) (dynamic), and 508 mm (20 inches) of working stroke given a 100 GPM servo valve. The Y-actuators are served by a 250 GPM HSM. The X-actuator (horizontal) provides the final DOF for X-translation. The X-actuator is rated for 445 kN (100 kips) (static), 334 kN (75 kips) (dynamic) and 254 mm (10 inches) of working stroke given a 240 GPM servo valve. The X-actuator is served by a 250 GPM HSM. The hydraulic power supply provides 180 GPM at 20.7 MPa (3000 psi). In the same laboratory space, there is a 4.6 m L-shaped strong wall and included strong floor with seven double ended fatigue rated hydraulic actuators with a dynamic force range of 15 to 500 kN.  

In addition to the Seismic Simulator and L-shaped strong-wall-strong-floor facility, MSU has also acquired other equipment to support research and instruction within a Structures and Materials Laboratory, and Structures Research Laboratory. The axial-torsion machine located within the Structures Research Laboratory is capable of simultaneous 250 kN axial, 2200 N.m torsion, and controlled heating in a 1200 °C split-tube two zone furnace with a top-loading controlled atmosphere high-temperature (2000 °C), high-vacuum (10‐5-10‐6  torr) oven.   

Other equipment includes a Drop Tower tester with an environmental thermostatic chamber, a 70 kg  payload  capacity  Electrodynamic   Shaker  and  an Atomic Force Microscope with 90 µm x 60 µm X-Y scan range and 8 µm Z range, a multipurpose   Active   Vibration Isolation Table, and various actuation, measurement, and control devices. Sensors cover strain gages, various LVDTs, load  cells,  accelerometers,  a  high  temperature axial-torsion  extensometer  system,  and  a  non-contact  three-dimensional  Scanning  Laser  Doppler Vibrometer  System with integrated  Geometry Scan Unit. Actuators include various hydraulic, pneumatic, piezoelectric, and shape memory alloy (SMA) types. Other components for measurement and control include a 1-GHz Mixed Signal Oscilloscope, High-Voltage Amplifier and Function Generator, a High-Voltage, High-Bandwidth Power Amplifier.  

Contact Information of CE Structures Faculty at MSU:
Dr. Reginald Amory, Chair,
Dr. Iheanyi Eronini,
Dr. Indranil Goswami,
Dr. Monique Head,

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie classified Doctoral Research University (DRU) offering more than 70 academic programs leading to bachelors degrees as well as programs at the masters and doctoral levels. As Maryland's Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multi-ethnic and multi-racial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information on Morgan State University, visit                                                                                     

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