Structures Laboratory
Location E11-G032
Academic Staff in charge Prof. Vai Pan IU; Prof. Chi Chiu LAM
Technician Ka Man TOU; Sein Ye HTUT, Edward
Telephone (853) 8822-4279, 4286
Open Access Reservation Period Monday: 9:00 - 17:00

Objective | Facilities | Courses supported



The main objective of the structures laboratory is to demonstrate and investigate experimentally the behavior of structural elements. To properly illustrate the structural behavior, tests of structural members to destruction are conducted. Tests have been carried out for the determination of the plastic bending capacity of steel beams and the ultimate strength of steel tensile member and steel beam column connections in supporting courses. The laboratory is also equipped with facilities to conduct experimental research in the area of the structural engineering.


Size and capacity of work area

There are two work areas in the structures laboratory: (1) the Main Testing Area and (2) the Secondary Testing Area. The area of the main testing area is about 197 m2 (2140 ft2). It is a 2 cells RC box structure with 1000mm thick strong floor and tie down points on 600 mm x 600 mm grid. The design point load of each tie down points is 500 kN. A reaction strong wall of area about 48 m2 (2700 ft2) is located in the main testing area. It is a RC box structure with thickness of 1860mm and tie down points on 600 mm x 600 mm grid. The design point load of each tie down points is 250 kN. A three-dimensional 12.5-tone crane is installed in the main testing area. The area of the secondary testing area is about 155 m2 (1700 ft2) and several test machines such as the UTM and concrete compression test machines were located in this area.

Loading Frame

There is a 300 kN capacity self-equilibrium loading frame with manual controlled hydraulic ram and jack system in the secondary testing area. This loading frame is suitable for typical steel beam or RC beam tests. Holes are drilled in the columns of the frame to allow flexibility in the test setup. The frame can be modified to suit the testing of structural elements.
In the main testing area, there is two larger loading frames for structural members testing. With proper arrangement of the frame, the capacity of the frame can be achieved up to 1000 kN. Measurement of load, deflection and strain can be done by using a data acquisition system - Measurement Group System 5000. The system is connected through a personal computer that store and display the test data during testing.

Instrumentation and Heavy Equipment
Universal Testing Machines (2000 kN)Universal Testing Machines (250 kN)

Universal Testing Machines (UTM) applies for high-capacity tension, compression, bend/flex, and shear testing. Featuring a dual test space and long test stroke (300mm and 150mm), these frames are available in 2000kN (for bigger one) and 250kN (for smaller one) capacities.

Testing Applications
  • Metals—Bar, Plate, Pipe & Tube, Rebar, Structural
  • Wire—Rod, Strand
  • Concrete—Cubes, Cylinders, Beams
Compression Machine (5000 kN)

The compression machine is used for high capacity compression testing of concrete cylinders, cubes and block. For 5000kN capacity, it can cover most of general concrete testing.

Testing Applications

  • Concrete—Cubes, Cylinders, Beams, Blocks and Bricks

Actuator with 100kN capacity and 254mm stroke

Actuator with 250kN capacity and 500 mm stroke

The actuator system is a component of the testing setup that is responsible for controlling the loading and displacement on the specimen testing

Testing Applications

  • Metals—Bar, Plate, Pipe & Tube, Rebar, Structural
  • Wire—Rod, Strand
  • Concrete / brick—Beam, wall

Beams The laboratory also carries instrumentation such LVDT's (25 mm to 250 mm run), load cells (one 50,000 lbs (222.4 kN) tension load cell, one 50,000 lbs (222.4 kN) compression load cell, three 30,000 lbs (133.4 kN) compression load cells). Inclinometers, demec gauges (50 mm and 250mm gauge length), dial gauges and strain gauges are available for data measurement. Heavy equipment, which included electrical folk lift with 1000 lbs capacity, air compressor with 10 kg/cm2 capacity, impact wrench, magnetic hand drill, hack saw machine and drilling machine are also available in the laboratory.

Measuring Instruments

Heavy Equipment

Some of the structural element tests were shown in the following figures.

Steel bolted connection testSteel beam connection test

Courses supported

CIVL2001 Mechanics of Materials
CIVL2006 Structural Analysis
CIVL2005 Construction Materials
CIVL3000 Steel Design
CIVL3004 Reinforced Concrete Design
CIVL4000/4001 Civil Engineering Project I / II