The Sasol Laboratory for Structural Mechanics is well-equipped and with some of the unique facilities including:
An 7m x 8m isolated test floor covered with T-slot base plates and natural frequency of about 1 Hz. Test object capacity in excess of 15 tons (typically large truck).
A wide range of load frames, angle plates
A suite of servo-hydraulic actuators ranging from 40 kN to 630 kN with appropriate controllers for multi-axial fatigue and durability testing.
A suite of Schenck hydropuls testing machines for component testing.
Comprehensive data acquisition systems for laboratory use
Comprehensive field testing capability (accelerometers, strain gauges, etc)
50 kN electrodynamic shaker
Polytec PSV 300 and PSV 400 scanning laser vibrometers
Polytec PDV100 portable laser vibrometer
GOM stereo videography with Pontos and Aramis
OROS data acquisitioning and experimental modal analysis
Large range of specialist rotor dynamics test setups for gear, bearing and turbomachine blade condition monitoring investigations
Microphones and sound intensity measurement capability
This is supported by a good finite element analysis capability, built around MSC Nastran, Marc and ANSYS, well as a range of other specialist software such as experimental modal analysis.
While our research impact as measured on scientific databases like Scopus and Science Direct is critically important to the group, industrial relevance is also a very important driver in defining our research foci.
A visual impression of typical projects conducted by the C-AIMand the facilities in our Sasol Laboratory for Structural Mechanics
Machine fault simulators for vibration monitoring algorithm development
Development of condition monitoring techniques for electrical machinery. This development included finite element model of the machine and its conductors
Laser vibrometry for development of turbomachine blade damage detection algorithms
Experimental validation of numerical models of dynamic response of electrical equipment
Development and application of response reconstruction methods for durability testing of equipment
Response reconstruction for durability testing on vehicle development project
Haul road response reconstruction. Initial work requires extensive characterization tests. These are no longer necessary in our recent work, where we apply artificial intelligence and statistical techniques with simplified measurements
Digital image correlation for structural damage and dynamic studies
Scanning laser vibrometry for damage detection studies on composite structures
Durability investigations on composite panels
Vibration studies on rapid rail project
Structural dynamic model updating on large mills
Modal tests on large structure for model verification
Location: University of Pretoria cnr Lynnwood Road and Roper Street Hatfield, Pretoria South Africa