Conforming to the most recent requirements in the railway sector, the Lab has developed the necessary expertise and testing systems for the validation of pre-stressed reinforced concrete railway sleepers, rails and related fastening systems. Tests are conducted according to the specifications set by RFI, the Italian State Railway Network, and the reference European Standards. Typical testing activities include:
• Bending tests of pre-stressed concrete sleepers for static and fatigue actions
• Impact load testing
• Testing of fastening systems for repeated loading and for the determination of: longitudinal rail restraint, torsional resistance, clamping force, severe environmental conditions, pulling out resistance
• Evaluation of electrical resistance (sleeper with fastening system)
• Evaluation of stiffness for rail pads
The Lab operates on the basis of a wide experience for the testing of members and components of steel, reinforced concrete and composite structures for quasi-static cyclic or seismic loading.
The activities are related to the following aspects:
• testing of full-size or reduced scale models of vertical load-bearing members for cyclic and seismic loading
• testing of connections between structural members for cyclic and seismic loading
• seismic characterization and certification of structural members and connection
• assistance to planning and execution of investigations and tests via quasi-static cyclic loading
The activities can exploit the lab “strong floor” and reaction frames, capable of applying horizontal loads up to 1000 kN, with simultaneous control of the vertical load.
Recent examples of testing of member include: voided slabs and slab-column connections; dissipative connections (friction, plastic and silycon devices) for façade panels; mechanical column-foundation connections for pre-cast structures; coupling beams in reinforced concrete walls made of high performance cementitious composites.
• On site diagnostic investigations on historical masonry buildings, including both non-destructive tests (ultrasound, sonic, radar, thermographic, etc.) and slightly-destructive tests (flat jacks, core sampling, endoscopy, resistograph, surface hardness, humidity measurements, survey of masonry sections and sampling of materials for laboratory testing and stratigraphic surveys, pull-off tests); geometrical survey and survey of structural and physical deterioration and damages, including fire; static monitoring and control of geometric variations.
• Chemical, physical and mechanical characterisation of porous materials (lime and cement-based mortar, stone and ceramic materials, stone and brick masonry and brickwork), study of their durability against environmental factors (freez and thaw, salt crystallisation UV rays, R.H and temperature variations, thermal shock). Experimental application of structural and surface consolidation techniques, re-pointing of joints, injection of mixtures grouts, surface protection. Analysis of material compatibility (mortars, bricks, stones).
• Testing of natural and manufactured stone materials.
The Lab provides high-level expertise, equipment and facilities related to geotechnical testing, aiming at supporting both engineering design and research.
Among others, its activities include:
– laboratory tests on natural and reconstituted samples, executed in accordance with national and international standards and accompanied by official certificate reporting results: identification and classification of soils, mechanical testing (oedometric, triaxial, direct shear, ring shear), hydraulic testing (permeability, water retention curve);
– design of non-standard apparatuses and test procedures (with dedicated data acquisition system) to meet the needs of any special application, also accompanied by official certificates or test reports with experimental data;
– execution of tests for mechanical and hydraulic characterization of geotextile reinforced soils, soils treated with waterproofing mixtures or expanding resins;
– design, development and set-up of small and medium-scale models for the understanding of complex geotechnical and environmental system (p.e. foundations and slopes, earthworks, groundwater pumping systems in urban and non-urban areas);
– the complete development of in situ monitoring programs.
The described skills in testing geomaterials (soil and rock) may also be extended to other types of porous aggregates.
Testing for obtaining the CE marking of structural and plastic anchors and anchor channels (ETAG001, 014 and 020, EAD anchor channels) in collaboration with several TABs. Researches on anchorages in collaboration with foreign universities. Studies and equipment for applications in regard to cracked and seismic systems have been developed.
The Lab is one of the official laboratories that perform sampling and testing services for steel manufacturers in accordance with Italian legislation (L. 1086/1971 and D.P.R. n. 380/2001). The main activity focuses on the execution and certification of tests used for mechanical characterization of construction steels (steel used in normal and prestressed reinforced concrete and steel for structural elements). The Lab continuously inspects and performs quality control checks for several steel producers in Italy throughout Europe and in other non-European countries.
Auditing and certification of structural steel production in agreement with the Italian Technical Standard for Constructions.
Notified Body (CPR-1777) as Factory Production Control (FPC) Certification Body for steel products in accordance with harmonised standard EN 10025-1 – CE marking of construction products – Regulation (EU) 305/2011 (CPR).