University of Sheffield Geotechnical Beam Centrifuge

Suitable for simulating soil-pipe interaction behaviour in controlled model tests.

University Sheffield Geotechnical Beam Centrifuge

A 2.0m beam centrifuge. Suitable for simulating soil-pipe interaction behaviour in controlled model tests which represent full scale conditions at elevated gravity. Can be used for: (i) assessing burial conditions, (ii) impacts of surface loading on buried infrastructure (iii) interaction between existing and new infrastructure/construction (iv) assessing climate change impact of soils on pipes (v) leak onset and development (vi) ground water flow & contamination migration. All the above can be evaluated in short term immediate behaviour, or long term observations representing years owing to time scaling behaviour in centrifuge modelling. Maximum model capacity of 0.8m x 0.8m measuring 500kg can be tested up to 100 times earth’s gravity, this represents a physical full scale geometry potential of an 80m x 80m field problem.

Type of Facility

 

  • Specialist facility.
  • Pilot facility.
  • Physical rigs.
  • ‘Soft’ facility – for computer based modelling etc.
  • Large facility.
  • Testing/demonstration facility.

Comments: Centrifuge modelling is now finding great promise within the utility industry as it is able to capture full scale observations, long term effects and predictive data to inform numerical simulations.

Application

 

  • Distribution.
  • Industrial.
  • Domestic.
  • Wastewater.
  • Drinking water.
  • Rainwater.
  • Grey water.

Other: River and coasts.

Comments: The facility offers the potential to evaluate the performance of utility pipes (both clean & waste) with respect to areas outlines in Section 1.

Type of Technologies that can be tested

 

  • Monitoring.
  • Measuring.
  • Sensing.

Comments: Bespoke sensors are used to capture pipe performance (bending, shear, deflection etc), ground stress, pore water pressure; providing performance data of pipe/soil integration behaviour. In total 80+ analogue channels available and 80 optic fibre FBG sensors.

Availability For Use By Others

Yes

Cost of Use By Others
Full Economic Cost.

Willingness To Partner
Yes, the research Centre serves as the hub for a UK based research network comprising of 9 other University partners – additional partners are welcome.

Ambitions For Development
We are always developing our capabilities to meet the needs of industry and specialist test services.

Mobile Pilot Plants
No.

Other Info
Several previous projects into pipe-soil interaction have been completed, details of which are available on request. We would also welcome visits to demonstrate the capabilities of the facility.  

Services and Capacity

 

  • Flow rate :
    Pipe flow is possible.
  • Area :
    Maximum model capacity of 0.8m x 0.8m measuring 500kg can be tested up to 100 times earth’s gravity, this represents a physical full scale geometry potential of an 80m x 80m field problem.
  • Number of test units :
    Several test chambers available for multiple tests.
  • Power supply

Comments: Contact for details.

Status of the Facility

 

  • Currently operating and resourced with services, staff etc.

Access to Facility

  • Available to others.

Comments: Only trained staff are able to operate the centrifuge, however we can offer training to external staff who wish to prepare their own model tests. Alternatively centre staff can offer this facility.

Additional Assets


A complementary small scale 1m diameter centrifuge is available for prototyping problems.  

Ownership

 

  • Research centre.

Comments: The centrifuge is established within the Centre for Energy & Infrastructure Ground Research, purchased by the Department of Civil & Structural Eng. and supported by EPSRC.

Funding Partners

University of Sheffield.

Regulatory issues / constraints

 

  • Other.

Comments: Will be determined for each project.

Relevant Accreditation
None.

Supported by:

hydronation logo                        NERC logo