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Structural assessment laboratory, JRC

On 16 October 1992, ELSA (the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment), the largest European laboratory for testing large-scale models of structures, was inaugurated by Vice-President Pandolfi at the Institute for Safety Technology of the European Community's Joint Resea...

16 October 1992 - 16 October 1992
Italy

On 16 October 1992, ELSA (the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment), the largest European laboratory for testing large-scale models of structures, was inaugurated by Vice-President Pandolfi at the Institute for Safety Technology of the European Community's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

The Institute is located at Ispra in Northern Italy and specializes in studying problems associated with the safety of industrial installations. Such studies include laboratory tests and computer simulations aimed at estimating the consequences of serious hypothetical accidents, in the case of both conventional industrial installations and nuclear installations.

In the specific area of structural safety, the new ELSA facility will enable analysis to be performed of the actual behaviour of complex structures such as concrete or steel residential buildings, factory buildings or civil-engineering works under severe static or dynamic loads. In particular, it will be possible to determine the safety margins and the energy absorption capacity available above and beyond the endurance limits provided for in the design of structures. ELSA will be especially important with regard to pre-standardization research activities, for example when preparing harmonized construction standards at European level.

The facility includes a reaction wall 16 meters high and capable of withstanding very considerable forces, typically of several hundred tonnes, applied to the test structure.

In Mr. Pandolfi's view, "ELSA testifies to the desire of the European Commission, not only to maintain the Community's capacity in the field of structural research at the highest level, but also to place a unique technological tool at the disposal of Europe, its community of researchers and its construction industry at large."
For further information, please contact:
Commission of the European Communities
Attn. J. M. Donea
Joint Research Centre
I-21020 Ispra (VA)
Tel. +39-332-789989; Fax +39-322-789049