Facilities / Powell Family Structures & Materials Laboratory / Testing Equipment

  • Accelerated Aging Chamber Exterior View
     Accelerated Aging Chamber Exterior View
    Accelerated Aging Chamber Interior View
     Accelerated Aging Chamber Inerior View
    Accelerated Aging Chamber
    Most accelerated weathering chambers (e.g., the QUV manufactured by Q-Lab) are significantly smaller in capacity. Therefore, the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering built a large accelerated weathering chamber to conform to the requirements for accelerated weathering of bituminous materials set forth in ASTM D4799-08, ASTM G151-10, and ASTM G154-06 (Pictured Below). The chamber has plan dimensions of 1.4 m by 4.9 m (4 ft 6 in by 16 ft) and a water spray retention basin with a chamber height that slopes from 0.30 m to 0.48 m (1 ft to 1 ft 6 in).

    Environmental conditions are controlled and monitored using National Instruments Labview software and a National Instruments CompactDAQ data acquisition system. The UV light system consisted of 1.2 m (4 ft) long UVA 340 lamps, manufactured by Q-Lab, located 102 mm (4 in) above the specimens at an on center spacing of 102 mm (4 in) to ensure irradiance uniformity (Pictured Below). The lamps produced peak irradiance at a wavelength of 340 nm, and were powered by fluorescent light ballasts using an overdriving technique to produce a maximum irradiance at the specimen level of 0.72 W/m2 at 340 nm. The irradiance output is 0.04 W/m2 (at 340 nm) greater than the irradiance of the sun at noon on a clear day (Fedor and Brennan, 1996).

    ASTM G151-00 Section 5.1.2 specifies that the irradiance at any point in the specimen area must be within 70% of the maximum irradiance measured in the same area. The irradiance is inversely correlated to the ambient air temperature near the light and, over time, the irradiance output can decrease. Therefore, the irradiance of the UV light system is periodically recorded at 25 mm (1 in) increments using an Apogee SU-100 attached to a single-stage gantry affixed to the centerline of the chamber.

  • Drop Hammers
     Drop Hammers
    Drop Hammers
    Variable weight Drop Hammer with 12’-6” drop height and variable weights between 100lbs and 900lbs. (Pictured on the Left) 7,000lb Drop Hammer with 15’-6” Drop Height. (Pictured on the Right)

  • High Airflow Pressure Loading Actuator (HAPLA)
     High Airflow Pressure Loading Actuator (HAPLA)
    High Airflow Pressure Loading Actuator (HAPLA)
    This apparatus is based on the pressure loading actuator system (PLA) developed by the University of Western Ontario (UWO). This system pictured below to the left is used to apply time-varying pressure to surfaces of buildings and other structures demonstrated below to the right. The HAPLA consists of two 75hp centrifugal blowers connected to a valve with a rotating central disk actuated by a servo motor. The servo controls the disk’s position, which in turn regulates the system pressure. The valve can be set anywhere from full pressure to full suction. A test specimen duct can then be connected to the outlet side of the duct, making it possible to test windows, doors, soffit, etc.

  • Load Cells
    The lab is equipped with several load cells including flat (or pancake) load cells, S-type load cells, and cantilever load cells. The load cells range from 25lbs to 200kips.

  • Pendulum

    The lab houses an indoor impact pendulum consisting of a 14-foot-high steel frame capable of swinging weights up to 1,600 pounds through an arc with a vertical drop height of up to 3.3 feet.

  • Pneumatic Actuated Uplift Gantry System
     Pneumatic Actuated Uplift Gantry System

    Pneumatic Actuated Uplift Gantry System
    In order to replicate wind uplift conditions, a pneumatic actuator was developed on an overhead gantry system to test various connections. With this system accompanied with multiple load cells influence functions can be developed on various load paths. The picture below is testing the correlation between roof uplift and resulting loads at the foundation of the model.

  • Six Degree of Freedom Shake Table
     Six Degree of Freedom Shake Table

    Six Degree of Freedom Shake Table
    Recently installed in the lab is a 4ft x 4ft six degree-of-freedom shake table with a one-ton payload and ±6 inches of stroke in each of the x-, y-, and z-directions. The shake table is powered by a 125HP Hydraulic Power Unit capable of pressures up to 3000 psi. The complex motion generation capabilities of the shake table will enable testing and monitoring of the structural response of scale models and components in a controlled environment.

  • Strong Floor
    The lab has an 80’ x 32’ strong floor that is 4’ thick and has mounting plates 4’ on center. This allows large loads to be anchored into place using the anchor points with a 200kip capacity.

  • Universal Testing Machines
     Instron 3367Uplift Testing Apparatus

    Universal Testing Machines
    A Universal Testing Machine, or UTM, is a machine that allows samples to be tested in pure tension or pure compression. Currently we have two tension machines capable of testing various building products. As seen below you can see the two testing machines available at the lab.

    The Instron 3367 has a load capacity of 6,750lbf and maximum speed of 20 in/min.

    The Uplift Testing Apparatus capable can apply fluctuating loads on asphalt shingle tab seals (following ASTM D6381 test setup). This portable system performs mechanical uplift testing on existing homes.
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  • Wind Tunnel
     Wind Tunnel

    Wind Tunnel (under development)
    Under development is a 120’ x 20’ Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel. It is powered by 2.09 MW (2800 HP) composed of four 0.52 MW (700 hp) marine Detroit Diesel engines that spin eight hydraulically actuated vaneaxial fans. To recreate the boundary layer profile an active computer control system modulates wind speed by varying fan RPM that pass through several screens and honeycombs before it reaches the test specimen. The control system utilizes a PID-control system operated in the LabVIEW environment.

  • Accelerated Aging Chamber Interior View
     Shingle Projectile Impacting 1/8" Annealed Glass
    Accelerated Aging Chamber Interior View
     Projectile Air Cannon

    Windborne Debris Simulators
    We custom-built two windborne debris simulators, which simulate typical impact scenarios observed in the field.

    The first system is a launching apparatus designed to propel flat projectiles (e.g., asphalt shingles).

    The second system is a capable of launching compact missiles, such as 2x4s and roof tiles. The apparatus is comprised of four major components; the pneumatic ram that propels the projectile along a guided track toward the target, the air reservoir tank and barrel that supply propulsion force to the ram, the electronic butterfly valve that releases the pressure from the tank to the barrel, and the integrated electronic system which monitors projectile speed and maintains the desired tank pressure.

University of Florida College of Engineering
Kirk Hatfield, Director
Engineering School of Sustainable
Infrastructure & Environment
365 Weil Hall
1949 Stadium Road
P.O. Box 116580 | Gainesville, FL 32611
Telephone: (352) 392-9537, ext. 1400
Fax: (352) 392-3394
University of Florida



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