MTS awarded seismic simulation project for China’s National Facility for Earthquake Engineering Simulation

MTS Systems Corporation has been awarded the largest single order in its 54-year history, valued at over $70 million, to design, manufacture and install two of the world’s largest, and most advanced seismic simulation systems at Tianjin University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China.

The project will be part of the new National Facility for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NFEES) on the Tianjin University campus in Tianjin, China. Upon completion, the earthquake simulation facility will be the largest and most powerful of its type, expanding the world’s engineering science and technology research capabilities. It will play an important role in ensuring the safety of hydraulic engineering, buildings and bridges, wind energy generation, and offshore infrastructure.

The lab will include two separate test systems, both of which will be the largest of their type in the world. One system will be a six-degree-of-freedom seismic table with a working area of 16 x 20 meters and a 1350-ton specimen mass capacity, allowing for full-scale or near full-scale testing. The other system will consist of two 6 x 6-meter six-degree-of-freedom seismic tables, each capable of handling 150-ton specimens. These 6 x 6-meter tables will be designed to be submersible in up to three meters of water and configured for independent or synchronous testing. One of the underwater tables will be in a fixed location and the other may be positioned at different points along a 57-meter long trench allowing for testing of large specimens that vary in length, such as bridges, tunnels and pier structures. The basin will also employ wave and current generators to create different sea states to help determine the effects of water and waves on structures during an earthquake or tsunami event.

MTS was selected for this project due to a combination of extensive experience and expertise in creating the most advanced seismic simulation systems in the world, and a demonstrated capability to support sophisticated customers and applications in China. The entire project will be performed over the course of four years with scheduled completion in 2023.

“MTS’ strong presence in China and proven systems integration expertise will contribute tremendously to the success of this project. As a leader in this market, MTS is one of the few companies in the world that has the demonstrated expertise in large-scale seismic simulation technology, and a proven capability to handle all the elements of a project of this scale, from the high-force motion control to the complex systems integration required for the simulation of earthquakes and tsunami events,” states Dr. Jeffrey Graves, MTS President and CEO. “MTS is honored to be working with Tianjin University on this groundbreaking endeavor to better simulate seismic activity, providing information that will help design safer and more sustainable buildings, bridges and renewable energy infrastructure for China’s future.”

“We look forward to working closely with MTS to build the world’s largest, most advanced seismic simulation systems, as essential elements of our National Facility for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. This project is similar in scale to other one-of-a-kind national research projects undertaken by the Chinese government in recent years,” says Prof. Zhang Fengbao, Vice President of Tianjin Universityand Executive Chief Director of NFEES. “When complete, this state-of-the art facility, and its data and results will be shared with researchers from all countries, with a goal of improving the safety and sustainability of critical infrastructure in highly populated areas around the world. Tianjin welcomes all scientists and engineering experts to visit and help to further earthquake engineering simulation research.”

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