The project E-FAST: Design Study of a European Facility for Advanced Seismic Testing


E-FAST (Design study of a European Facility for Advanced Seismic Testing) is an FP7 European collaborative project under the support EC grant No. 212109 by the European Commision. It deals with the study of all aspects regarding the design of a major testing facility in Europe that would complement and collaborate with the existing ones. Actually, earthquake risk is a major civil protection issue which is related to mitigation measures for protecting citizens, infrastructures, property and the human cultural heritage. Seismic testing plays a key role for the better understanding of physical phenomena, the validation and improvement of analysis and design methods and for the qualification of sensitive equipment. Therefore the availability of high level experimental facilities is essential to meet the objectives of earthquake mitigation. 


Five European partners with a large experience in seismic and dynamic testing are involved in E-FAST : 


  • define the features of a new testing facility: combining high capacity and flexibility,
  • complementary to existing infrastructures in EU: make progress in advanced testing methods, multiple shaking table control, real time sub-structuring techniques etc, and carry out demonstration tests.
  • study the technical and financial feasibility of this facility: testing equipment, network collaboration.

Time and costs

E-FAST has started from September 2008 and will finish on August 2011. The total budget of E-FAST is 3.2 millions € in which the major source as 2.6 millions € is supported by European Commission and the rest is covered by the partner contributions. The cost for UNIKA in E-FAST is approximately 0.46 millions € in which EC support is 0.36 millions €. 

UNIKA activities

UNIKA is participating mainly in two technical work packages, WP3 on Testing and Simulation and WP4 on preliminary design. In WP3, UNIKA is the work package leader and UNIKA plays the leading role in the state of the art of hybrid testing and in testing and simulation. UNIKA is researching on real-time substructure test of non-linear TMD system on bi-directional shaking table and the criteria of equipment for real-time substructure testing. In addition, UNIKA contributes in the Work Package 4 (Preliminary design) by presenting a concept of equipment for the testing facility, pre-designing a reaction system of the proposed equipment, analyze the performance of each component within UNIKA testing system (such as electronic, servo-valve, cylinders, etc. ). This relates the third problem mentioned in the task and is a perquisite to specify criteria for the control loop.

Test setup at UNIKA for substructure testing in E-FAST:

The test setup consists of: a hydraulic cylinder (1), the SDOF main structure consisting of the shaking table (3) and leaf spring (2), the Tuned Mass Damper (TMD) (4) with UHYDE- device (5) (Dorka 1995, US Patent no. 5456047); locked leaf spring (below) during substructure testing.

UNIKA testing concepts of the new facility:

Test setup of large and irregular buildings
Test setup of bridge models (scale 1:2)
Test setup for engineering systems
Test setup for substructure tests of soil and structure interaction