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First of its kind in UAE: AUS completes the construction of a strong testing frame
The Department of Civil Engineering at American University of Sharjah has recently completed the construction of a strong testing frame, which is the first of its kind in the country. The frame will be used for testing structures subjected to high lateral loads from strong wind or earthquakes.
Added to the department's Structures Laboratory, the frame was designed by Dr. Khaled ElMandooh Galal, who is a visiting Associate Professor at AUS during his sabbatical leave from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. The frame is an updated version of a similar testing frame that he recently designed for use at Concordia.
"The frame's testing possibilities are numerous", said Dr. Galal. "The United Arab Emirates is consistently experiencing a series of vigorous structural developments in its urban communities, which is accompanied by the need to test and verify the suitability and capacity of several innovative structural systems," said Dr. Galal. "It is important for academia to respond to the fast-paced development in the construction industry in UAE," he added.
"The frame, once it is completed with the installation of its digitally controlled dynamic hydraulic actuators, will become the hub for the construction community and authorities seeking reliable testing for major projects subjected to high vertical and lateral loads. This will also reflect on training of highly qualified undergraduate and graduate civil engineering students at AUS," continued Dr. Galal.
Emphasizing the strategic importance of this frame, Dr. Jamal El-Din Abdallah, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering, said, "This testing facility will bring the Structures Laboratory at AUS to be recognized as a world-class testing facility, and will be the first of its kind in the UAE. The frame will also act as an in-house demonstration facility for AUS students in their undergraduate and graduates courses in the area of steel structures and high-strength materials."
As for the design of the frame, Dr. Galal said, "The strong testing frame is different from other existing frames in that it is designed to resist high forces that will be applied to the tested elements, reaching up to 200 tons of vertical force and 50 tons of lateral force, without deflecting a few millimeters. The frame will enable the testing of various structural elements and assemblages, such as bridges, slabs, columns, walls, frames, beam-column connections and footings. The tested structural elements could be made of reinforced concrete, steel, masonry or new composite materials."