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Seismic Testing by SRI RESCUE (Repeatable Earth Shaking by Controlled Underground Expansion)
The most devastating damage from earthquakes often results from structural collapse. SRI RESCUE (Repeatable Earth Shaking by Controlled Underground Expansion), a novel earthquake research technology, tests the stability of full-sized buildings in response to earthquake-like ground motion.
SRI RESCUE can be used to test buildings constructed at dedicated test sites, including their foundations and the surrounding soil, or existing buildings in situ. The technology is available for license.
SRI RESCUE employs a unique, controlled underground expansion explosive technique to generate large ground motion with respect to acceleration and displacement. The technology can be used as to evaluate structures fabricated on a specified test bed, or transported and placed near an existing structure to evaluate its response to strong ground motion. To create the RESCUE repeatable earth shaker system, researchers in SRI’s Poulter Laboratory combined expertise in several areas, including the controlled release of gas pressure buildup generated by propellants, methods of constructing deep trenches to form a soil island test bed, and creation of extremely durable rubber materials for the RESCUE sources.
Advantages of the SRI RESCUE technology include tailoring ground motion, producing a high number of pulses, and flexibility to perform multiple tests on a single structure.
With SRI RESCUE technology, repeatable earth shaking tests can be performed on many different full-size structures, including buildings made of wood, steel, and concrete; highway overpasses; storage tanks; pipelines; and earth dams.