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The ATLSS Multi-directional Experimental Laboratory was constructed in 1987 under funding from the National Science Foundation to be a major facility for large-scale structural testing. The laboratory, located in the Imbt Laboratory on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus, was opened and dedicated in the second quarter of 1989. In 2002, the laboratory was enhanced with the construction of the George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Real-Time Multi-directional (RTMD) Equipment Site. The laboratory continues to support both publicly and privately funded sponsored research and industrial testing programs. The facilities noted below are maintained through the generation of equipment use fees that are charged to users of the laboratory as part of research and testing programs.

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Features 800,000 lb and 5,000,000 lb universal testing machines, and a dynamic test bed with broad fatigue-testing capabilities, and a wide range of instrumentation. Founded in 1909 and enlarged to the present capacity in 1954. Designated as an ASCE Civil Engineering Landmark Structure.

Real-Time Multi-Directional Equipment Site

As part of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Program, Lehigh University has established the Real-Time Multi-Directional (RTMD) earthquake simulation facility at the ATLSS Engineering Research Center. The RTMD earthquake simulation facility is a next-generation earthquake research facility for seismic performance evaluation of large-scale structural systems. This facility has advanced experimental and analytical simulation capabilities to test and validate complex and comprehensive analytical and computer numerical models, leading to advances in earthquake engineering and experimental methods. The facility features a multi-directional reaction wall, five dynamic actuators, advanced instrumentation, and a tele-participation system consisting of real-time streaming data and video. Hydraulic power for the servo-actuator system is supplied by a system consisting of five pumps and three banks of accumulators that enables strong ground motion effects to be sustained in real-time for up to 30 seconds. Real-time multi-directional seismic testing of large-scale structural components and systems at the RTMD earthquake simulation facility can be performed using either the effective force method, pseudo-dynamic testing method, or the pseudo-dynamic hybrid testing method. Distributed hybrid pseudo-dynamic testing can also be performed using the RTMD facility in conjunction with other laboratory sites.
Additional information on the RTMD Site is available at:

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Capable of standard mechanical property tests of metallic, cementitious and composite construction materials. Features 60,000 and 600,000 lb universal testing machines, and Charpy V-Notch fracture toughness testing machine.

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