Provision of access to the following infrastructure(s):
Seismic Mechanic Studies Laboratory (EMSI) – TAMARIS experimental infrastructure


Name of the infrastructure and its installations:
6 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) AZALEE Shaking Table


Location (town, country) of the infrastructure:
CEA Paris Saclay Research Centre, France


Web site address:


Reference contact for potential TA user groups:

Darius Seyedi – darius.seyedi@cea.fr

Thierry Chaudat – thierry.chaudat@cea.fr


The TAMARIS infrastructure and its main shaking table AZALEE, to which access is offered, belong to CEA’s Seismic Mechanic Studies Laboratory (EMSI), who is leading the French SEISM Paris-Saclay Institute, is part of the University of Paris-Saclay regrouping about 19 academic partners and research institutes, and has international RTD collaborations with other facilities (EU, Japan, China, USA). The AZALEE shaking table, with 1000 kN allowable maximum model mass, is one of the largest shaking tables in Europe. To date, tests with masses up to 920 kN have been successfully performed. The shaking table is 6mx6m and 6 Degrees-of-Freedom (DoF), allowing testing specimens under independent excitations of various types: sinusoidal, random, shock and time-history with 0.5 to 50 Hz frequency ranges. Maximum accelerations of 1g and 2g in the horizontal and vertical directions, respectively, can be applied to specimen with the maximum payload on the table. Peak velocity of the shaking table is 1m/s, peak displacements are ±0.125 m and ±0.1 m in the horizontal and vertical directions, respectively.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
The services offered to users that make the infrastructure unique include a team of about 20 expert scientists and technicians working in earthquake engineering RTD projects, a high-quality control and acquisition system allowing recording 256 channels, and a scientific computing and processing system (CAST3M) for the definition and execution of tests and subsequent interpretation of results. The areas of research supported by the infrastructure cover a variety of experimental and analytical RTD national and international projects, both in the nuclear and non-nuclear fields, for equipment, buildings and soil-structure interaction; both new and existing structures are addressed. Assessment and retrofitting of existing buildings and equipment are of special interest for the laboratory.
In the framework of the recent H2020 SERA and FP7 SERIES projects, TAMARIS has hosted 5 TA Projects with more than 40 users in total: ENISTAT (Experimental and numerical investigation of torsionally irregular RC shear wall buildings with thermal breakers), BANDIT (Seismic strengthening of deficient RC buildings using ductile post-tensioned metal strips (PTMS)), BRACED (Assessment of the seismic response of concentrically-braced steel frames), SEREME (“SEismic REsilience of Museum contEnts”) and FUTURE (“Full-scale experimental validation of steel moment frame with EU qualified joints and energy efficient claddings under near fault seismic scenarios”). From 2008 to 2020, TAMARIS infrastructure has also hosted a series of shaking table campaigns and two international numerical benchmarks, on a 3-story ¼-scale RC model representative of a nuclear building and characterized by strong asymmetry, in the frame of the SMART research program (“Seismic design and best-estimate Methods Assessment for Reinforced concrete buildings subjected to Torsion and nonlinear effect”). The facility has also been involved in the European INDUSE2-SAFETY project (2014-2017), providing Fluid-Structure Interaction experiments aiming at evaluating component fragility and assessing seismic safety of “special risk” petrochemical plants under design basis and beyond design basis accidents”.
Finally, the TAMARIS facility now proposes geotechnical earthquake engineering testing possibilities, such as liquefaction analyses, soil-foundation and soil-structure interactions, thanks to a rigid soil square container (width 4m, height 2m) which can be put on the AZALEE shaking table.


Modality of access under this proposal:
Users will be integrated into the scheduling of the infrastructure during the execution programme of each project, from the design and construction of the test model, to instrumentation, experimental testing and interpretation of the experimental results, receiving from the EMSI staff all the support needed to carry out their project. A user support team will be allocated to each user on a daily basis, to develop and execute the test programme, including appropriate technicians for test model fabrication, instrumentation, etc. A long-term schedule of the experimental projects and use of AZALEE is carried out and continuously updated along the course of the year, in order to prevent any conflict between a new user activity and the ones already assigned to the infrastructure, from occurring.
The duration of user in-person access will depend on the complexity and type of the testing activities carried out (design of the test model and of the instrumentation, testing itself, results processing and interpretation, etc.). It will hence range from a few days (e.g., meetings for test campaign preparation and scheduling) up to a few weeks (e.g., test campaign execution). Teleconferencing can be also provided if needed.
The offered ‘Unit of access’ corresponds to an ‘Access day’, defined as a day when the test specimen is on the shaking table (with related experimental activities) or when it is being mounted or dismounted from the table. The project activities performed before or/and after the test campaign (e.g., design of the campaign and of the instrumentation; specimen design, construction, transportation, demolition and disposal; use of analytical tools to support the design; training; final data processing and analysis; maintenance) are not accounted as being part of an access day, nevertheless, they are included in the cost of an access day. During a day of access, a full day, equivalent to 7.9 working hours, will be recorded for the project to which access is delivered.
The typical duration of the experimental activities when access is delivered is approximately one month and a half per project, when access will be entirely offered to a single project. The remaining activities carried out before and after the experimental campaign (see previous list) are completed over a time span ranging between 12 to 18 months; these activities may be performed in parallel with other projects of the infrastructure.


Support offered under this proposal:

The services that will be given to users having access to the AZALEE shaking table are:

  • Technical assistance in the definition and design of the test model and of the experimental set-up, in order to adapt the testing program to the characteristics of the infrastructure;
  • Fabrication of test models (reduced or full scale) and preliminary tests for material properties identification;
  • Assistance in the design, calibration and implementation of the instrumentation;
  • Digital data acquisition systems and assistance in the choice of the input signals;
  • Photographic and video records of the test model before, during and after the test campaign (including 3D stereovision and correlation as well as video tracking technique for structural damage analyses);
  • Use of analytical tools to support the design of the specimen and test campaign;
  • A computer network with access to large computer codes for linear/nonlinear static and dynamic analyses of structures, and assistance for the development of advanced numerical models;
  • Data repository system accessible via Internet, data processing, analysis and interpretation of test results;
  • Vibration and seismic tests, including the option of sub-structuring, as well techniques for modal assessment and system identification.


At the end of the test campaign, all the generated data will be provided via internet and a test report co-authored with users will be delivered.
Hosting external researchers is a task performed on a regular basis at TAMARIS infrastructure. Users will hence be easily integrated into the permanent laboratory team, from which they will receive technical and scientific assistance. After receiving the necessary training, users will be able to fully participate in the test preparation, execution and data acquisition and interpretation. They will benefit if needed, from the computing capabilities and expertise of the infrastructure (e.g., for nonlinear pre-test analyses). Regarding accommodation, various possibilities are available to scientists visiting CEA: student houses or hotels and house rentals in the surroundings of CEA Saclay Centre. Daily CEA free transportation (morning/evening) is also offered to various destinations in and around Paris.


Outreach to new users:
Highlights of on-going access activities as well as call for proposal of new activities will be essentially performed via the institutional websites (CEA, SEISM Institute, etc.).


Review procedure under this proposal:
For details on the TA evaluation process, please refer to Task 1.2 of WP1 and the process followed by the TA-SEP in particular.

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