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Site Visit: CUREE: Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering

Site Visit: CUREE: Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering

Dave Fleming and I checked out the CUREE labs at the Richmond Field Station of the UC system.
Bob Reitherman showed us around.
Here are some highlights:
Rigid Concrete Wall
This 'rigid' concrete wall is used for testing for external components (cantilevered balconies, windows, etc)  

Compression Test Actuator
Dave and Bob in front of the 4,000,000 lb compression (3,000,000 lb tension) test actuator. Crushing a column sample.

Universal Testing MachineShake Table

Looking up at the Universal Testing Machine; The Southwark-Emery nameplate and rating. This exact machine tested components for the Hoover Dam.


Shake TableLooking down on the 20'x20' shake table. The grey service box is queue for a shake test.

The plates are place holder weights so that the earthquake profile can first be confirmed and verified.


Gusset Column

A victim in the 'boneyard' shows the benefit of a gusset at a beam-column joint. The gusset prevents cracking and failure at the actual interface (seen here intact).


More Boneyard VictimsMore Boneyard Victims
More boneyard victims. Circular rebar failures causing ejection of inner concrete leading to vertical rebar failure. The outer concrete is non-structural in most places.
Bottom picture is total failure mode.


1" Spaced Circular Rebar

1" Spaced Circular Rebar
Bob showing the "success" of 1" spaced circular rebar used in earthquake prone areas. The fact that the concrete within the rebar is intact is very promising.
Less prone areas and cheaper construction methods have larger spacing (>8" typically)

Carbon Fiber Retrofitted Wrapping
An example of carbon fiber retrofitted wrapping. Still very expensive but promising technology.

Wires for strain-gauges and embedded sensor are like birds nests all over the site.

Rubber Isolator AKA Buggy Bumper
Rubber isolator aka 'Buggy Bumper": A pancake like stack of steel discs covered and layered with rubber.
Solid lead ingot in the core for plastic deformation qualities and center of mass concentration.

More Boneyard Fails
More boneyard fails.