France Opens Seismic Testing Centre
French facility adds large seismic bench to its existing climatic and vibration test facilities for assessing large equipment in the nuclear industry.
n response to changes in French and global requirements for the environmental testing of larger equipment,
Emitech’s Environne’Tech began a three-year upgrade programme to its testing facility in the small French town of Bourgoin-Jallieu near Lyon. The expansion of the equipment qualification and environmental testing centre began with a 10m high building with an area of 800m2
for housing large volume specimens from the nuclear power industry as well as aeronautic and rail components or complete vehicles from the automotive industry. The facility is home to a 93m3 shaker systems.
climatic chamber as well as vertical and horizontal
SEISMIC TEST BENCH With EDF’s French “Grand Carenages” nuclear plant refurbishment programme, and after the accident at Fukushima, the demand for seismic testing has grown considerably and specifications in many areas have been tightened. In response to this trend, Environne’Tech decided to invest in equipment specifically for this purpose and recently, a large-volume seismic bench was added to the existing equipment at the Bourgoin-Jallieu facility. Compared to Environne’Tech’s existing bench, the new seismic bench has up to five times the test capacity and can handle heavier and more voluminous test specimens. The new table for component qualification measures 1200 x 1200 mm. The seismic bench excites two axes simultaneously with a force of up to 150 kN and accepts a maximum payload of 3000 kg for the total spectrum and 500 kg for the component spectrum. It is designed for all types of equipment which have to remain functional before
and after an earthquake. In the case of the nuclear power industry, this includes power station safety equipment, control devices, racks, sensors, connectors, lighting, taps and valves.
OTHER INDUSTRIAL DEMAND It also serves the needs of other markets which are subject to multi-axial stresses, such as the automotive, rail and aircraft industries. The capabilities of the new bench complement those of the existing one. The benches make it possible to implement complex hydraulic interdependencies (pressurising and/or fluid circulation) or electrical interdependencies (connection and monitoring of voltages, currents, temperatures, short-term power failures, etc.) and to control this by means of different sensors (acceleration, movement, stress etc.). The devices are tested under real operating conditions. As well as doubling the test capacity, the addition of a second seismic bench provides Environne’Tech with more flexibility for performing test campaigns.
28 /// Climatic & Vibration Testing Vol 2 No. 1
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