Shake Table I-40

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Develop Understanding of Structural Dynamics with Hands-on Experiments

The Quanser Shake Table I-40 is a bench-scale single-axis earthquake simulator ideal for teaching structural dynamics and control, earthquake engineering and other control topics related to civil engineering. With pre-loaded acceleration profiles of real earthquakes, such as Northridge and El-Centro, students can study their effects on buildings, bridges and various materials. As a typical application, the Shake Table I-40 can excite the flexible modes of a tall structure in order to design, implement, and evaluate a control system to manipulate and dampen the structural vibrations. Students learn how to:

  • obtain the open-loop transfer function model
  • design a PID-based controller to control position of the shake table’s stage
  • calculate bandwidth curves based on the imposed position, velocity and acceleration limits of the shake table

Shake Table I-40 has been also used in outreach programs involving community services and K-12 education.

Create a Configuration That Suits your Needs

You can expand the Shake Table I-40 experiments by adding the Quanser One-floor Active Mass Damper structure to create new MIMO experiments. Also, additional earthquake acceleration profiles can be downloaded from the PEER Strong Motion website.

How It Works

The Shake Table I-40 consists of a stage mounted on a high-quality, low backlash linear guide with a total travel of 40.0 mm (i.e., ± 20.0 mm) and is driven using a ball-screw drive mechanism. Using the high torque direct drive motor, the stage loaded with a 1.5 kg mass can be accelerated up to 1.0 g (i.e., 9.81 m/s²). The high-resolution encoder enables the system to obtain a linear stage position resolution of 1.22 μm.

The Shake Table I-40 can be easily programmed through a Graphical User Interface environment. The provided software eliminates any need for hand coding while enables to monitor and analyze the response.

Quanser-developed Courseware Included

The Quanser Shake Table I-40 experiment comes with Quanser-developed courseware. The Laboratory Guide together with a comprehensive User Manual, pre-designed controllers and a dynamic model allow you to get your lab running faster, saving months of time typically required to develop lab materials.

  • Compact, portable, low maintenance and cost-effective
  • Precise and accurate positioning using high-resolution encoder and low-backlash guide
  • Ball-screw mechanism for robust actuation
  • Standalone software operation using Shake Table I-40 software or highly-flexible operation and control design using MATLAB®/Simulink® via QUARC®
  • Integrated safety features and limits
  • Fully compatible with MATLAB®/Simulink®
  • Fully documented system models and parameters
  • Open architecture design, allowing users to design their own controller
Dimensions (H x L x W)  57.5 cm x 12.7 cm x 7.62 cm
Total mass 5.88 kg
Payload area (L x W)    43.2 cm x 10.2 cm
Maximum payload at 1.0 g¹ 1.5 kg
Maximum travel ± 20 mm
Operational bandwidth¹ 10 Hz
Maximum velocity (with 1.5 kg payload)¹ 41.7 cm/s
Maximum acceleration (with 1.5 kg payload)¹ 1 g
Lead screw pitch  10 mm/rev
Servomotor power  70 W
Amplifier maximum continuous current 3 A
Motor maximum torque  3.53 N.m
Lead screw encoder resolution (in quadrature) 8192 counts/rev
Effective stage position resolution 1.22 μm
Accelerometer range  ± 49 m/s²
Accelerometer sensitivity     1.0 g/V

¹ Please contact Quanser for full operational bandwidth specifications

Topics included in the Quanser-developed courseware:

  • Modeling and transfer function representation
  • PID control
  • Bandwidth curves
The Shake Table I-40 can be also used to teach other topics not included in the Quanser-developed courseware. 

To set up your Shake Table I-40 workstation, you need additional components. Quanser engineers recommend:

for MATLAB®/Simulink® users for LabVIEW™ users
1x Q2-USB data acquisition device¹ 1x Q2-USB data acquisition device²
1x VoltPAQ-X1 linear voltage amplifier 1x VoltPAQ-X1 linear voltage amplifier
QUARC real-time control software Quanser Rapid Control Prototyping toolkit software

¹ alternatively, you can use Q8-USBQPIDe or any equivalent NI DAQ device supported by QUARC
² alternatively, you can use Quanser Q8-USB, QPIDe or any equivalent NI DAQ device supported by Quanser RCP toolkit


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Active Mass Damper
XY Shake Table III
Smart Structure
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