A program of learning and confidence building in Earthquake Resistant Building Technologies through testing of half scaled models was carried out by NCPDP-CEDAP at Nirma University during year 2005. The tests focused on (a) commonly followed practices, and (b) new technical features for increasing earthquake resistance.
A new facility was set up for this purpose. This included (a) a shock table consisting of 3m X 6.5m reinforced concrete platform on rollers to build the test models on, (b) a steel stopper at one end to restrict the movement of the platform to a maximum of 9”, and (c) a 1.5 ton pendulum of 2m height at the other end for giving desired shocks to the platform. This facility is the biggest of its kind in the country.
Four tests were conducted and each test was a public event in which building professionals, engineering and architecture students and faculty, masons and contractors, and general public were present to witness the test. During the test pendulum was raised through various angles and released to give the desired impact. The damage to the models was documented. The acceleration caused in the platform and the models was monitored with the help of accelerometers installed on them and a laptop attached to the accelerometers. The event was documented on video and digital photographs.
All test models were built of either burnt bricks or concrete block masonry in mud mortar. The reason to use mud mortar was to ensure that the effect of the earthquake features gets highlighted and, hence, become easily visible. The following tests were conducted.